Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hospital’s Mammography Project Explained at Chamber

Pam Ballard, CEO of the Susan G. Komen Foundation

Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce President Cheryl Mills, left, presents the Chamber 
Member of the Month Award to the owners of the Sequoyah County Times,
 from Mills’ left, Jeff Mayo and Becky and Jim Mayo. 

The Sallisaw Educational Foundation was awarded a scholarship from the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce at the chamber membership luncheon Wednesday. At the presentation are, from the left, Judy Martens, chamber director, Cheryl Mills, chamber president, Scott Farmer, Sallisaw Schools superintendent, and Ernie Martens, Sallisaw High School principal.

Carl Albert State College (CASC), Sallisaw, received a scholarship from the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s membership luncheon on Wednesday. Presenting the scholarship funds are Chamber Director Judy Martens, left, and Chamber President Cheryl Mills. Brian Warner accepts on behalf of CASC.

Indian Capital Technology Center (ICTC) was awarded a scholarship by the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s membership meeting Wednesday at ICTC. Chamber President Cheryl Mills, second from right, presents the scholarship check to Curtis Shumaker, ICTC director.

Sequoyah Memorial Hospital’s planned digital mammography was the topic at the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon Wednesday.

Debbie Knoke, the hospital CEO, explained the hospital is moving from film mammography to digital mammography, and the transition must be completed by Dec. 31.

The Susan G. Komen foundation awarded the hospital a $125,000 grant for the project and Walmart has awarded the hospital $1,500. Knoke asked Sallisaw business owners to also donate to the project, which has a $300,000 price tag.

Knoke said 700 persons, both men and women, have mammograms at the hospital a year, and the regional occurrence of breast cancer is three times the national average.

She said, “It is important that, as your hospital, we offer the services you need.

“The hospital does belong to you,” she said.

Knoke introduced Pam Ballard, Komen Foundation CEO. Ballard asked the crowd not to be shy about using the words breast and cancer in mixed company.

“Speaking about this is something we should do in public,” she said.

Ballard noted one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and about 40,000 men and women die yearly with breast cancer. She emphasized that both men and women should have mammograms if irregularities are noted.

Ballard said early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer. If breast cancer is detected early, patients have a 99 percent cure rate.

Ballard said the reasons Sequoyah Memorial Hospital received the grant was because of the dedication of the staff, which has over 80 years of experience, the high rate of breast cancer in the region, and the easy accessibility of the hospital’s services.

Ballard urged the community to help the hospital, through donations, to reach the $300,000 needed for the digital mammography project.

At the beginning of the meeting, Chamber President Cheryl Mills presented chamber scholarships to the Indian Capital Technology Center, Carl Albert State College and the Sallisaw Educational Foundation.

Mills asked chamber members to volunteer for and help sponsor the Diamond Daze Festival, to be held June 1, 2 and 3 on the Sallisaw High School campus. The festival features the Battle of the Bands on June 1, and country singers Craig Morgan on June 2 and Phil Vassar on June 3.

The chamber will sponsor a workshop on Small Towns at 11:30 a.m. March 29 at the People Inc. Conference Center. Deb Brown from SaveYourTown will be the guest speaker. Those planning to attend are asked to respond by March 27 by contacting the chamber or calling 918-775-2558. Lunch will be served.

The Sequoyah County Times was named the chamber’s Member of the Month for March. Jim and Becky Mayo, Jeff and Beth Mayo and the Times’ staff accepted the award.

Mills noted the Times was founded by Florence and Wheeler Mayo, and has been in business for 84 years. The owners and operators of the newspaper are Jim and Becky Mayo and sons, Jeff and Jack Mayo.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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