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Located at 100 Brown Street, in the Medical Services Building at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, the new Eleanor and Ethel Leh Women's Center features state-of-the-art, 3-D digital mammography with tomosynthesis, which is the only mammography equipment of its kind available on the Delmarva Peninsula. Additionally, the Center offers bone density screenings using Dexa Scan, which aides in the diagnoses of bone loss and certain conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia. This non-invasive test generally takes less than 20 minutes to complete and is performed with low levels of radiation, less than the radiation from a typical chest x-ray.
"With the new, state-of-the-art 3-D digital mammography equipment that is being used here, our highly skilled radiology staff will have the ability to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages," comments Kelly Bottomley, Radiology Manager, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. "This technology, which is rarely found in a rural area, will be invaluable to the women all across the Mid-Shore whose lives will be saved as a result of its use."
University of Maryland Chester River Health Foundation hosted a Donor Preview Event featuring the Women's Center on Wednesday, October 30 to pay tribute to the donors who made the Center and its services possible. When the project is complete, 100 percent of the funding for the Center, totaling more than $1.1 million, will have come from community donations. A large portion of the funding for the Center was provided by a bequest from Eleanor and Ethel Leh, two local sisters who had a great deal of esteem for the health care provided by UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown and its medical providers.
The vision of the Women's Center would not have been possible without UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown's dedicated radiology staff members who worked to raise funds for the Center's equipment. Their grassroots efforts, which included yard and bake sales, Tervis Tumbler® sales, tie-dye t-shirt sales and a Texas Hold-Em tournament, helped to make this vision of enhanced women's health services in Kent County a reality.
The Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary, which raises funds to benefit programs and services at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, was also instrumental in the funding of the state-of-the-art equipment housed in the Leh Women's Center. According to Jack Edson, Auxiliary President, the Auxiliary made donations totaling more than $110,000 in support of the Center.
"When the Auxiliary saw just how passionate the staff was about purchasing the new mammography equipment and their vision of a top-notch environment for Mid-Shore women to receive care, there was no question that we would support the cause," comments Edson. "The Auxiliary has a great presence in our local hospital and will continue to support its services in order to continue the legacy of high quality health care here in Kent County."
Eleanor and Ethel Leh were world travelers who enjoyed multiple adventures including visits to Egypt, Thailand and Antarctica. The sisters' home featured a huge wall map displaying red pushpins indicating the many places they'd visited, a map that now adorns the wall in the Leh Women's Center's waiting area. When they retired, Eleanor and Ethel Leh made Chestertown their home and in their later years utilized local health care services ranging from community physicians to care at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.
"In the late 1990's, the Lehs revised their wills and established a trust to ensure 50 percent of their remaining estate would be contributed to the hospital 'to provide the highest priority medical equipment and technology needed at the time for the greatest benefit of the people it serves,'" comments Maryann Ruehrmund, Executive Director, UM Chester River Health Foundation. As a result of the Lehs' bequest to the Hospital, the Eleanor and Ethel Leh Women's Center was born. "The character of these ladies and their commitment to health care on the Mid-Shore will be our daily inspiration as we welcome women into the Leh Women's Center."
Kenneth D. Kozel, President and Chief Executive Officer, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health comments, "Much like our mission, the Leh's were committed to ensuring that Kent County residents had access to first-class health care services, inspiring them to make such a generous contribution." Kozel continues, "University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is committed to providing quality health care to the residents of Kent County and across the Mid-Shore. We are proud to say that the technology now available at the Leh Women's Center is unlike any other on the Delmarva Peninsula as our mammography device is the only one of its kind anywhere on the Eastern Shore."
The Foundation's Donor Preview event was followed by a grand opening for the employees of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, held on October 31 in recognition of their efforts to raise funds for the project. A Community Open House will be held on Saturday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during which tours of the Women's Center will be provided.
For additional information about making a donation to help complete the funding of the Leh Women's Center, contact Maryann Ruehrmund, Executive Director, at 410-810-5660. To learn more about the services and diagnostic testing available at the Eleanor and Ethel Leh Women's Center, call 410-778-3300.