North York General Hospital Announces $2 Million Gift, Becomes First in Ontario to Secure 3-D Breast Imaging Technology

    TORONTO, May 25 /CNW/ - North York General Hospital today announced a
generous gift from Charlotte and Lewis Steinberg, ensuring patients will have
access to the most advanced mammography technology available. This
state-of-the-art digital mammography with tomosynthesis technology is the
latest innovation in breast cancer screening and diagnosis, improving the
chances for early detection and identifying breast cancer tumours as small as
a few millimetres.
    "We are excited to add this technology to our diagnostic capabilities,"
said Dr. Elizabeth LaMere, Chief and Medical Director of Medical Imaging. "In
addition to the benefits of digital mammography, tomosynthesis is a technique
that has the potential to improve detection of cancers and reduce false
positive findings."
    Having been approved for use in Canada in March 2009, North York General
Hospital is the first Ontario hospital to purchase digital mammography
machines with tomosynthesis, which offer improved tumour detection in younger
patients and/or patients with dense breasts. The machines are a
state-of-the-art Hologic Selenia Dimensions system.
    Digital mammography with tomosynthesis complements standard mammograms
and digital mammograms as an important tumour diagnostic tool. Research shows
the potential benefits to patients include fewer unnecessary biopsies, fewer
recalls and faster, more accurate diagnoses.
    "This technology is an important step forward in helping to improve early
detection of breast tumours, which in turn will help improve quality of care,"
said Mr. Steinberg. "We are delighted to be able to support North York General
Hospital's breast cancer services in this way."
    With this $2 million gift securing the purchase of three digital
mammography machines - two with tomosynthesis imaging technology and one with
biopsy capability - the Steinbergs are now the largest individual
philanthropic donors in North York General Hospital's history. "In these
turbulent economic times, the Steinbergs' generosity inspires us all to
embrace the health of our community," said Charles E. Beall, Chair, North York
General Hospital Foundation, Board of Governors.
    Tomosynthesis is a cutting-edge technology that takes multiple angled
low-dose images of the patient's breast in an arc pattern, which are then
reconstructed into a series of up to one hundred thin (one millimetre)
high-resolution slices that can be displayed dynamically, creating a
three-dimensional effect. This approach eliminates tissue overlap and noise
found in currently employed digital and traditional mammography.
    "We are deeply grateful for the continued support and exceptional
generosity of Charlotte and Lewis Steinberg," said Bonnie Adamson, President
and CEO, North York General Hospital. "Our staff are committed to providing
the highest level of care to our patients and their families - this new
technology will further enhance our ability to offer superior breast cancer
screening and diagnosis."
    The three digital mammography machines, two with tomosynthesis
capability, will be operational by fall 2009. This additional imaging
technique will improve diagnosis and detection of breast cancer for all of
North York General Hospital's patients referred to the hospital for
assessment, which, last year, totalled almost 9,000 people.
    This includes patients referred by their family physician for routine
screening, patients referred through the Ontario Breast Screening Program
(OBSP) at the hospital's Branson site, as well as those referred for a
diagnostic assessment, encompassing patients referred to the BMO Financial
Group Breast Diagnostic Centre, which opened at the hospital's General site in
1997. This centre was one of Canada's first centres for rapid assessment
breast patients, offering a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis of breast
    The Steinbergs have a long history with North York General Hospital, and
have supported many important programs at the hospital, including the
Charlotte and Lewis Steinberg Emergency Department, the Genetics program and
providing funding for the breast services' first sentinel node machines.
    Thanks to the Steinbergs' generosity, North York General Hospital has
enhanced ability to purchase cutting-edge equipment and offer treatment
options well ahead of other Ontario hospitals. In recognition of the
Steinbergs' gift, North York General Hospital's Breast Services will be named
Karen, Heather and Lynn Steinberg Breast Services.

    About North York General Hospital

    North York General Hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto,
is one of Canada's leading community teaching hospitals. We offer our
culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and
long-term care services across three sites. The hospital embraces health by
providing innovative and compassionate care for the whole family at every
stage of life. In September 2008, North York General Hospital was identified
by Cancer Care Ontario as the first hospital in Ontario to meet all its
targets for cancer surgery wait times.

For further information:

For further information: Kerry Collings or Rob McEwan, Argyle
Communications, Onsite: (416) 707-6443 or (416) 454-4515, Office: (416)
968-7311, ext. 227 or 242,,; Colin Longhurst, North York General
Hospital, (416) 756-6485, or main media line: (416) 756-6127,

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