Touching Gift for Two CPMC Programs
"This is an amazing contribution and shows great foresight from someone who used our services decades ago," says Scott Plymale, LCSW, Ph.D and executive director of the Community Health Resource Center at CPMC. Dr. Plymale is referring to a recent gift from the estate of Waneta Averhoff for $845,350 that is to be shared equally between his center and CPMC's Breast Health Center. Ms. Averhoff's past gifts to these programs were modest, so the size of this bequest came as quite a surprise.
Funds for the Breast Health Center will be used to purchase new 3D digital mammography equipment, which allows for better detection of small tumors, particularly in women with higher breast density. This is a big step forward in care, because statistics clearly show that the sooner breast cancer is detected, the higher the survival rate. Plus, research shows that this technology helps decrease the number of times women are called back for additional scans, saving them time, travel and anxiety.
"We are truly grateful for Ms. Averhoff's gracious generosity," says Jessica Leung, M.D., FACR and medical director of CPMC's Breast Health Center. "The technology is expensive, but this gift will help enable CPMC to be the first center in the city to offer 3D mammography on a large scale."
With the gift to the Community Health Resource Center, Dr. Plymale plans to increase the center's community health screenings by 25 percent—from 1,300 a year to more than 1,600. He also wants to double the size of their Cancer Buddy program and rejuvenate the Kidney Wellness Program, which lost most of its funding during the recession about five years ago.
"This gift is helping us bring community-based health screenings into disadvantaged neighborhoods. We can only do this through philanthropy. Ms. Averhoff wanted to make sure others had access to services that she valued." says Dr. Plymale.
"Services like the ones Ms. Averhoff enjoyed can now be offered to hundreds of people in her memory," says Dr. Plymale. "Without her gift that just wouldn't be possible and we are tremendously grateful for her generosity."