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Community Support Changing Lives of Cancer Patients

Contributions Fund Advanced Technology, Essential Resources

“Everyone does what they can to make this a better world,” said CalvertHealth Foundation board member Marianne Harms, “and I am so grateful that I have been able to participate in a small way to make our breast center a focal point of health care for women in our community.”

Since the CalvertHealth Sheldon E. Goldberg Center for Breast Care opened in 2010, it has changed the landscape of how breast care is provided. The center brings together in one convenient location a multidisciplinary team of breast health experts with an experienced navigator backed by the latest technology like lower-dose 3D mammography – designed to detect even the most subtle signs of early cancer.

In the last decade, thousands of supporters both in the hospital and the larger community, have given more than $1 million to oncology programs at CalvertHealth, including the breast center. Harms’ major gift in 2016 enabled the breast center to add exam rooms, enlarge its library and expand access for the community. Proceeds from the foundation’s annual black-tie gala helped the breast center to acquire the latest stereotactic breast equipment as well as a dedicated breast ultrasound unit. This technology reduces wait times and provides superior imaging quality for making diagnoses and performing biopsies.

Thrifty Ladies, a thrift shop run by CalvertHealth volunteers, is another group that has made significant contributions to the breast center. It has donated $175,000 since it opened in 2014 in the Dunkirk Marketplace. “They are truly volunteering from the heart and do what they can to help,” said Susan Stevens, director of patient experience and volunteer services at CalvertHealth Medical Center.

Since it began in 2010, as a way of honoring their friends who had died of cancer, the annual Pink & Blue Tournament, hosted by The Cannon Club (formerly Old South Country Club) has raised more than $173,500 to assist patients with prostate and breast cancer at CHMC. According to Theresa Johnson, who oversees the CalvertHealth Foundation, these funds have played an important role in expanding CalvertHealth’s genetic testing and cancer navigation programs.

Two years ago, proceeds from this event were used to purchase new clinical recliners for patients to use during chemotherapy treatments. “Our patients spend a lot of time in those chairs and it really enhances their comfort and has made a tremendous impact in their quality of care,” said medical oncologist Dr. Arati Patel.

The 30th Annual CalvertHealth Benefit Golf Classic held in May raised more than $92,000 to support the new financial oncology navigator, who works closely with patients and family members to help ease any worries about treatment costs and insurance processing.

Other special events continue to be a powerful and healing force for area residents confronting cancer as well as their families and friends. The Spotlight Music Series showcases talented performers who believe strongly in giving back to their community. The popular fundraiser, created by the late foundation board member Robin Henshaw, is an enduring tribute to her indomitable spirit. (Visit CalvertHealthFoundation.org/Events-Foundation for more information).

On the first Saturday in October, a sea of pink-clad supporters will once again surge into Solomons for CalvertHealth’s 10th Annual Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk. The sense of unity and common purpose are as pervasive as the positive energy of the participants. They come in groups, big and small, young and old, from as far away as Ohio and North Carolina to remember those who lost the battle, to celebrate those who survived, to encourage those who continue the fight and to support the breast center.

Hundreds of local residents have benefitted from the lung cancer screening program that was created in 2017. A five-year pledge of $165,000 from the DeCesaris/Prout Cancer Foundation helped fund this vital effort. The goal is to detect this deadly disease before symptoms can appear when treatment can be more effective.
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