DAYTON — A local foundation focused exclusively on fighting cancer in the Miami Valley has awarded $200,000 to Premier Health hospitals to support research and the treatment of cancer patients.
The gift by the Gala of Hope Foundation should ensure greater physical comfort for patients who choose to undergo a stereotactic breast biopsy at Miami Valley Hospital or Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton. New biopsy equipment, purchased in part with the foundation’s support, will help visualize tumors while reducing the number of steps needed for a procedure and lowering the radiation dose for patients compared to a traditional 2-D biopsy.
The foundation’s gift also will go toward the purchase of a portable bedside ultrasound machine at Upper Valley Medical Center in Miami County. The Breast Center at Atrium Medical Center, meanwhile, will use a portion of the gift to help buy a breast biopsy system that helps radiologists accurately target subtle lesions and that functions more rapidly than the hospital’s existing machine.
“The Gala of Hope Foundation, on behalf of our more than 500 donors and supporters, are thrilled to be partnering with Premier Health to change the face of cancer in our community,” said Barbara Mills, who co-founded the foundation with her husband, Bob. “With this donation, cancer patients will receive advanced equipment to help make their treatments more palatable. We will also be helping to support the critical research needed to help find cures, once and for all.”
In addition, the foundation’s funding will support research that examines the impact of preoperative treatment of iron deficiency in cancer patients. Iron deficiency is a common problem for cancer patients; the disease triggers an inflammatory process that suppresses iron availability.
“The Gala of Hope Foundation’s support of our mission to improve the health of local communities is a substantial public service,” said Mary Boosalis, president of Premier Health. “Our gratitude goes out to the Mills family and their foundation for strengthening the quality of the cancer treatment and research at work in our region. The Miami Valley is lucky to have a foundation that specifically sees to the cancer needs of local residents.”
While this is the largest gift from the foundation to Premier Health, it is not the first. The foundation gave $100,000 in 2014 to pay for journals for newly diagnosed cancer patients at Premier Health hospitals. Last year, the foundation provided $50,000 to help fund the health system’s mobile mammography unit. Today’s funding brings the foundation’s total financial support of Premier Health’s mission to $350,000. To date, the foundation — which holds a gala every two years as part of its growing fundraising efforts — has invested more than $1 million to fight cancer and improve the lives of people affected by the disease.