Hospital system opens mammography screening center

DULUTH - Gwinnett Hospital System has taken strides to make mammography services available to more women in the county.

The medical center's Duluth campus opens the Center for Screening Mammography today in an effort to increase access to routine breast screenings.

Ginger Powell, director of development for Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, said the new location at the Hudgens Professional Building, 3620 Howell Ferry Road in Duluth, will expand mammography services by approximately 8,000 exams per year.

Powell said the need for a new center with more space was crucial with the increase of patients visiting the medical center's first mammography office at the Marion Allison Webb Center for Screening Mammography at the hospital's Lawrenceville campus.

"Gwinnett Hospital System is the largest provider of screening mammography in Gwinnett," Powell said. "Gwinnett Medical Center does approximately 40,000 screening mammograms and about 20,000 diagnostic mammograms a year. This will allow us to reach many more patients."

The new center was created using funds donated to the hospital's Time Matters campaign.

Powell said $215,000 raised by Volley Fest Inc., plus $115,000 from Brighter Smiles for Brighter Futures, the fundraising efforts of local dentists, went toward the cost of the center.

Combined with other donations, Powell said the approximately $600,000 project was completed.

"More than $4.3 million was raised by the campaign over the past six years," Powell said. "Our goal is to improve access to routine and diagnostic mammograms and expand screening for breast cancer patients."

According to Powell, the foundation has been talking about ways to continue to increase breast health services throughout the county but said nothing has been set in stone.

"Our next step is to decide what we're going to adopt next as a foundation to fund," Powell said.