Glimmer of Hope Foundation continues battle against breast cancer in the Mon Valley


(March 21, 2016 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Glimmer of Hope Foundation continues battle against breast cancer in the Mon Valley photo
Diana Napper, left, founder and executive director of A Glimmer of Hope Foundation is shown presenting a $5,000 donation to Natalie Furgiuele-Iracki, M.D., Monongahela Valley Hospital breast surgeon and Breast Care Center medical director. The donation will be used towards the purchase of Tomosynthesis (Tomo), 3-D breast imaging technology.
A Glimmer of Hope Foundation has been raising funds for breast cancer research since 1994, and the Foundation recently presented Monongahela Valley Hospital (MVH) with a $5,000 gift to continue funding innovations in breast cancer treatment and care.

The donation will be used to support the purchase of Tomosynthesis (Tomo), 3-D breast imaging technology, at the hospital's main campus. MVH currently operates a digital mammography unit at HealthPLEX Imaging in Rostraver Township. This initiative is to assist the hospital in obtaining 3-D technology at the main campus as well.

The hospital is in the process of creating a Breast Care Center and the acquisition of Tomo is a major part of the hospital's plan. The Breast Care Center - tentatively set to open late summer - will be a comprehensive, multi-level approach program that will begin with a genetic test risk assessment screening.

"The first step in this process is to complete a risk assessment questionnaire to determine your likelihood of having cancer now or in the future," said Natalie Furgiuele-Iracki, M.D., MVH breast surgeon and Breast Care Center medical director. "However, this assessment is just one step in this program and is accompanied by annual mammograms, follow up testing, treatment and survivorship."

The hospital also has a dedicated nurse navigator, Lisa Eicher, RN MSM, who is part of the Breast Care Center. The nurse navigator is specially trained to assist with every step of a patient's care. She communicates with patients, one-on-one, to help them navigate the health care delivery system.

As part of the Breast Care Center initiative, Diana Napper, founder and executive director of A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, recently visited MVH to learn more about its goals and mission. Ms. Napper quickly learned there is a strong dedication at MVH to provide the best breast health care possible for the community.

"We are helping to save people's lives," said Ms. Napper. "Our belief at the Foundation is people first. We have to think of the patient holistically; mind, body and soul. Research shows if a patient is treated like a person and not a number, they will be more successful in their journey to wellness and in the healing process. We believe Monongahela Valley Hospital shares these same beliefs. I could feel the energy from the staff and the passion as well as the compassion they have for their patients and this technology."

Ms. Napper, a mother of four, started A Glimmer of Hope Foundation as a way to memorialize her best friend, Carol Friedman, formerly of New Jersey, after she died of breast cancer. Since then, the Foundation has raised more than $3 million for breast cancer research in Western Pennsylvania, and has provided funding for innovative programs as well as Tomo mammography technology for local hospitals.

Ms. Napper's goal is to have every traditional mammography unit replaced with Tomo, making it the standard of care at all health care facilities. MVH is partnering with A Glimmer of Hope Foundation to continue to fundraise to obtain Tomo technology at the hospital's main campus.

"We work with many corporations, sports teams and organizations in the Pittsburgh area, and because of the transparency of the Foundation we have had great success in bringing awareness as well as state-of-the-art technology to our local communities. For the past 20 years, A Glimmer of Hope Foundation has been dedicated to raising funds to further breast cancer research in premenopausal women," Ms. Napper said. "The incidence of breast cancer in women under 40 is increasing. The Foundation's goal is to focus more attention on this alarming development."

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