Carol Milgard Breast Center in Tacoma marks 5th anniversary

Officials at the Carol Milgard Breast Center in Tacoma will mark the organization’s fifth anniversary next week.

The non-profit breast center opened on Feb. 23, 2009, and was named to honor the spirit of Carol Milgard, a long-time Tacoma resident, philanthropist and 30-year breast cancer survivor. It is jointly owned by Franciscan Health System and MultiCare Health System, and managed by TRA Medical Imaging.

Over the past five years, the breast center has provided over 120,000 screening mammograms to women, and more than 250,000 exams and procedures in total, according to Dr. Khai Tran, the breast center’s medical director. It has served over 70,000 patients who, combined, have visited the breast center over 225,000 times. It has also given well over $2.3 million in services to medically underserved and uninsured patients. Dr. Tran estimates the breast center has diagnosed more than 3,000 incidents of breast cancer over the past five years.

“We’re honored to be making a real difference in our community, one patient at a time,” said Dr. Tran. “Our primary goal has always been to detect breast cancer as early as possible.”

Last year, the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation awarded a $2.75 million grant to make the breast center the first imaging facility in Pierce County to provide 3-D mammography, which aims to aid in the early detection of breast cancer. The foundation — which was created in 2000 with Carol’s husband, Gary, and their three children — has been a long-time supporter of the breast center, having provided a major gift of $5 million to establish the breast center.

“In addition to the continued support by the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation, we rely on our gracious donors to help us offer services to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Sharon Snuffin, chair of the Carol Milgard Breast Center board of directors.

Staff at the breast center, which is located at 4525 S. 19th St., is inviting all current and former patients and family members to stop by between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Mon., Feb. 24, to share their sentiments as part of a recorded video diary that will be produced to mark the anniversary.

“We want to capture the thoughts and feelings of our patients, radiologists and staff on this special day,” said Jackie Ostrom, the breast center’s executive director. “Participation will be strictly voluntary, and we hope to release short videos throughout the day on our Web site and via social media.”

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