Canadian Cancer Society improves access to breast screening in the Northwest

06 May 2011


The Canadian Cancer Society has contributed funding to improve access to breast cancer screening in Northwest Ontario.

The Society's CEO recently presented a $100,000 cheque at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre for the purchase of a mammography unit.

"I am pleased that through the generous support of donors and volunteers in the Northwest and across the province, we are helping to improve health service for women of First Nation communities and the Sioux Lookout area," said Martin Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "Better access to screening and early detection of breast cancer will save lives."

Breast screening has been available only through a mobile unit that toured communities in the Northwest and which women needed to travel great distances to reach.

Marnie Hoey, President, Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre Foundation, said she is gratified to know that the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre will be able to fulfill its commitment to the people of 29 First Nation communities and the Sioux Lookout area.

"The Foundation is very excited that the Canadian Cancer Society has made a most generous contribution to support the mammography program," said Hoey. "So many will benefit by expanding the breast cancer detection and treatment program."

When the First Nations agreed to the amalgamation of the two hospitals in Sioux Lookout, the aim was a "new hospital that will improve our health services", said Helen Cromarty, Special Advisor First Nations Health, Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre.

"Access has always been and still is an issue for the people of the north," said Cromarty. "Mammography services at Meno Ya Win means bringing a service, accessible year-round and closer to home — an improvement to health services that will provide women, their families and their communities with a healthier future."

As someone who grew up in a small rural and remote community, Barb Linkewich, VP Health Services, Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre, said she knows first-hand the importance of access to timely screening and diagnosis.

"Not only is the partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society an important and exciting opportunity, it will make a remarkable difference in that many lives will be saved by early diagnosis and treatment," said Linkewich. "Women from the northern communities and Sioux Lookout will definitely benefit."

Read more: Saving more lives through screening

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