In February, Community Medical Center CEO, Ryan Larsen shared the County Health Rankings and how Richardson County ranked with overall health and wellness. The first rankings were in 2010 and Richardson County was ranked as the least healthy county in Nebraska. Since then, the county has made slow but steady progress to number 51 (out of 93 counties).
CMC took this progress as heartening, according to Larsen, as the latest reports showed significant opportunities for continued improvement. The county scored poorly for indicators that tend to reduce risks from cancer and heart disease. These include higher than average rates of smoking and obesity, lower levels of physical activity, and much lower rates for basic screening, like mammograms and colonoscopies. When looking solely at health behaviors, Richardson County still received one of the lowest scores in the state.
As Community Medical Center was on the verge of launching proactive measures to improve overall health and wellness, the Corona Virus (COVID-19) hit our community, state, nation and world. Fast forward seven months later, Larsen states today, “This report has not been forgotten and CMC is getting back on track and taking action. All of these are issues we can do something about. Additionally, we have shown over the last decade that we can improve by working together and being persistent.”
As identified in the report, Women’s Health Issues were a priority. Larsen confirmed that the hospital sees women’s health as an opportunity. “In discussions with our doctors and community groups, we think improving women’s health could have a big impact—both for the women themselves and for their families—since women are often both caregivers and the drivers of health behaviors in their families. Further, we’re finding that the hospital and other organizations can and need to do more to support the health of women.”
Community Medical Center is proud to announce a vital first step, the investment of a new 3-D mammography unit. This new unit performs Tomosynthesis (3D) screenings, which allow for more efficient and accurate mammograms. Getting a mammogram is the same for the patient, but results are more accurate due to the upgraded technology. With expert CMC technologists, the radiologist is able to see the breast tissue in thin layers, rather than one flat image. Julie Fiegener, CMC Director of Imaging, says, “The 3-D mammogram shows us pictures of the breast tissue in thinner slices, so it’s similar to being able to read each page of a book and get the full story.”
Larsen said that the hospital is working with the health department and local health care organizations for Women’s Wellness with mammography, cardiovascular screenings, fitness, behavioral health and more. We have the potential to benefit a great number of women and families.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Community Medical Center asks all women to talk with their providers about getting a mammogram and other wellness exams. It is recommended women age 40 and over should have a mammogram every one to two years. Call the CMC Imaging Department at 402-245-6556 to schedule your mammogram.