Every time the new Snow King gondola makes its circuit this season, a pink cabin will crest the top of Town Hill.
The singular rose lift is a nod to breast cancer awareness and the work St. John’s Health does to detect, treat and support those who are impacted by the disease.
While this year’s breast cancer awareness month lacked some of the in-person ceremonies of previous “Light the Town Pink” events, St. John’s still ran an educational campaign and invited folks to selfie in from the pink light-wrapped antler arch on Town Square.
Beyond the fanfare, support from St. John’s Health Foundation and community donors allowed the Jackson hospital to purchase a second Hologic 3D mammography system to expand capacity for breast health screening.
“Doubling our capacity will help patients get scheduled sooner,” Tiffany Logan, the hospital’s diagnostic imaging director, said in a release. “Early detection means early treatment, and providing quick, easy access to appointments is part of our focus on caring for the community.”
Patient appointments for the new system are set to begin next March, and the hospital is hopeful more women over 40 will be able to their schedule their recommended mammograms.
Based on 2018 data, Teton County women are slightly more likely to be screened than the rest of Wyoming and the country, but there were still 30% of women over 40 who hadn’t received a mammogram within the past 2 years when the data was collected.
“The accessibility of screening mammography is a big road block to getting yearly examinations,” St. John’s radiologist Dr. Sean Haling said in the release.
As the only medical center in a 200-mile radius recognized by the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, St. John’s diagnostic services are in high demand.
This summer, the Jackson hospital added a mobile imaging unit to save cancer patients commutes to Salt Lake City or other out-of-state facilities.
St. John’s installed its first 3D mammography unit in 2016 and was able to perform 3,000 mammograms in its first year, according to an update by Dr. Haling.