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Cancer research center in the works

When it comes to detecting breast cancer the tiniest image is vital, while at the same time Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) is after a much bigger picture, according to Tim Stephens, Vice President of professional services.

Paint the Town Pink, an annual fundraising event presented by The Union and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, helps the hospital do both.



This year the target for proceeds (expected to be $20,000 or more) is the replacement of a MRI breast guidance system. This device, according to Stephens, aids doctors in searching thousands of images to find those that require a closer look, and pinpoints more accurately the biopsy of any suspicious tissue.

At the same time, Stephens is focusing on a project funded by some of the $75,000 raised by previous events. A Women’s Resource Center has been developed to serve as a hub of information and research, as well as home to an expansive outreach into the community.




“The new Center will be a room in SNMH’s Diagnostic Imaging Center, open to the community, where the public can relax and have access to a wide range of information about cancer and wellness,” Stephens said. “It will be stocked with information in a variety of media, from written to video, and will feature a computer station for online research.”

It will be available for use by support groups and for individual counseling. But Stephens is even more enthusiastic about what will go on outside the walls.

“The Center is the physical aspect of the Women’s Resource Center but the real benefit is our ability to reach beyond the walls of our hospital. We’re developing information kiosks that we can take out into the community for ready access,” he explained. “We’ll be reaching out in a whole new way.”

Stephens envisions placing these mobile information kiosks at cancer education meetings hosted by churches and other organizations, as well as in drug stores and other shopping locations.

“The kiosks will provide a chance to learn about cancer in relative privacy and at their own pace,” he said.

Paint the Town Pink, now in its sixth year, is an event to raise funds towards the advancement of breast health care in the community, promote awareness and education.

“We want to keep awareness high all-year-long because early detection through mammography, self-exams and doctor visits is vital to successful treatment,” said Stephens.

The hospital will also be adding breast cancer content to its web site to provide still another option for women needing information. One “Mammography what you need to know for Ipad” YouTube video has already been viewed over 100,000 times this year, he said.

Kimberly Parker, executive director of the SNMH Foundation said previous Paint the Town Pink events have also provided ultrasound equipment, along with a faxitron, which speeds up the process of examining biopsied tissue. The Union has given the hospital $75,000 in proceeds from the first five years of Paint the Town Pink.

“This event is really important to us, and is a great partnership between the hospital and local businesses that want to play a role in this important effort,” she said.

The hospital is grateful to our community involved newspaper, The Union, who started this event six years ago with Jeff Ackerman’s personal commitment to the fight against breast cancer. Since that time The Union dedicates countless hours to lead, staff and support Paint the Town Pink. The event has grown and hosts over 50 vendors and welcomes about 700 people every year.

The sixth annual Paint the Town Pink will be held this Thursday, October 25, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. It will feature food, wine, entertainment, a fashion show, and a silent auction. Over fifty vendors are participating. Tickets to the event are available at Briar Patch, SNMH Foundation, The Union Newspaper and SNMH Gift Shop.

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