Congratulations to our BreastScreen Team - 21 April 2011
More than 70 Waitemata staff and community health partners recently celebrated the launch of BreastScreen Waitemata Northland’s new digital mobile unit for the Rodney region.
The launch on April 15 was officiated by breast physician and MP Dr Jackie Blue on behalf of the Minister of Health and Dr Dale Bramley Deputy CEO. The launch means BreastScreen Waitemata Northland now has the first fully digital breast screening service in New Zealand. The launch also commemorated the five-year anniversary of the BreastScreen Waitemata Northland service.
Dr Dale Bramley said the launch was an important day in the life of the DHB and marked a huge amount of effort by our staff to improve the screening rate for Waitemata women.
He said five years ago, the screening rate for women in the district was only around 30% of eligible population. Today, nearly 70 percent of women aged 45 to 69 in the district are in the screening programme.
“This is a fantastic achievement by our staff. We have now achieved one of the highest breast screening coverage rates in the country. This has been done by the hard work and dedication of the breast screening staff.”
WDHB board member Gwen Tepania-Palmer paid tribute to the contribution of the many people who had worked tirelessly to get to this point.
She also spoke about a bracelet she has worn for the past 10 years on her right arm – a reminder of a good friend she supported through breast cancer.
Dr Jackie Blue said the unit will improve access and choice for women in the region.
“We know that routine breast screening reduces the chance of dying of breast cancer by between 20 and 30 percent for women aged 45 to 69.
“But it is not just about numbers and statistics. Imagine the huge loss suffered by the whanau and friends of these women, and the workplaces and communities they are part of.”
BreastScreen Waitemata Northland programme manager Moira McLeod said the new unit is the realisation of a key strategic goal for the service – to have a fully digital service.
She said the fully digital service is a first in Australasia – and could not have been achieved without the support of the Board and staff.
“The success of the programme is down to each and every one of you.”
The new unit will begin operating in Rodney from 1 July.
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