In a calculated effort to lower the occurrence of advanced breast cancer in Clallam and Jefferson counties, First Federal awarded Olympic Medical Center $375,000 from the First Federal Community Dividend Program.
"First Federal employees and its board recognize that having a healthy community means having accessible, state-of-the-art health care options," said Rhonda Curry, Olympic Medical Center assistant administrator of strategic marketing and communications.
Olympic Medical Center, in partnership with the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, will use the funds to execute a three-tier program to reduce the number of severe breast cancer cases on the Olympic Peninsula.
"This gift is a generous contribution toward digital mammography and breast health screening and education," Curry said.
"Through a partnership with the OMC Foundation, we can also use a portion of the funds to provide free mammography screenings to women in our community who need them."
Each year, First Federal allocates money from its Community Dividend Fund to programs that benefit the community. These programs must support one of three areas: housing, economic development and/or community development through capital projects.
The total capital purchase of digital mammography for Olympic Medical Center is estimated at more than $1.12 million dollars.
"We are thrilled here at First Federal that we can make such a great impact on breast cancer by providing funding for this project," said Kendra Waggoner, First Federal community development officer.
"When detected early - normally through a regularly scheduled mammogram - there is a 95-percent recovery rate from breast cancer.
"Women who don't receive mammograms run the risk of breast cancer being diagnosed at a point when there is only a 50-percent chance of recovery - and we know that only half of women over 40 in Clallam County are getting their annual mammograms," Waggoner said.
"With this gift from the Community Dividend Program, our goal is to increase the percentage of women who get annual mammograms.
"The program exists not only to help support our community through housing and economic development, but through capital initiatives that provide our community with services it needs to stay healthy."
For more information about the First Federal Community Dividend Program, go online to www.doing
For more information about Olympic Medical Center, call 417-7000 or go online to www.olympicmedical.org.
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