It started off as just a room, but the vision of what this space will now provide goes beyond its walls, according to Tim Stephens, director of radiology for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH).
He is referring to the new Women’s Resource Center that opened Monday at the Sierra Nevada Diagnostic Imaging Center, located in SNMH Building 4, a freestanding building behind the hospital. Funding was provided by the Paint the Town Pink event, sponsored by The Union.
The room will be available during weekday business hours, and no appointment is needed to use it, explained coordinator Linda Waring.
Placed in what used to be an office, the center will house a growing multimedia collection of information about breast cancer and other women’s health issues.
“It’s set up like a lounge and is self-guided,” Waring said.
And, said Nurse Navigator Linda Aeschliman, R.N., it can serve as a place where family and friends can meet and talk.
“It’s quiet space that offers access to the Internet, books, videos and other materials, as well as a place to discuss these things,” she said. “It’s a wonderful additional resource for people in our community who want to learn more about breast cancer, its early detection, treatment options and after-treatment care. We so appreciate the community support that allows us to provide this resource and so many others.”
The center will include a computer terminal but also provides wire-free service for people who want to go and use their own computers, Waring said.
They will also find information about mammography, or the cost of treatment, or services available through the hospital or other community organizations.
“People have been asking for this kind of information, and this new center is our response,” Waring said. “It’ll give people a quiet, private place where they can gather answers to their questions.”
Stephens offered a sampling of videos now available: “Mammograms Myths and Truths,” “Nurse Navigator and You,” “Mammography Biopsy Consult,” and Mammography — What You Need to Know.” The latter was created by the hospital and is on YouTube, where he said it has already had more than 110,000 hits.
“This represents the spirit of our project,” he explained. “The focus is outreach, education and awareness. The room itself is a great resource, but it is the digital presence that is so important. We are now able to take our message to the women of Nevada County by a variety of means, and digital media is a primary method.”
He envisions loading hospital-produced videos onto ipads to take them to community meetings as part of a community-wide education effort. These can be used by speakers at events or loaned to groups wanting to learn about breast cancer and other health issues.
Stephens said he also wants to distribute some of the digital library to other locations within the hospital, such as blood-drawing stations and waiting rooms.
“This will allow us to expand our education reach and broaden our audience,” he said. “That is our ultimate goal.”
To view the educational videos and for information, visit snmh.org.
All physicians providing care for patients at SNMH are members of the medical staff and are independent practitioners, not employees of the hospital.