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October 8, 2020

Ribbon-cutting ceremony held to commemorate new service

Okemah, Okla. – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health (MCNDH) launched 3D mammography services at its Okemah hospital, Creek Nation Community Hospital, beginning in October.

Services are available to both tribal citizens and non-Native patients and launched in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, streamed via Facebook Live, commemorated the new service. Participants included Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill, Muscogee (Creek) National Council Speaker Randall Hicks, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Secretary of Health Shawn Terry and Abbi Lee, CEO, Susan G. Komen Oklahoma.

“The Muscogee (Creek) Nation remains committed to improving rural healthcare in the communities we serve,” said Shawn Terry, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Secretary of Health. “Early detection drastically improves breast cancer survival rates and we are proud to bring these critical mammography services to residents in Okemah and surrounding areas.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The 3D GeniusTM Mammography technology provides greater accuracy, earlier breast cancer detection and improves the ability to find more invasive cancers. Mammography services are also available at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Medical Center in Okmulgee and the Koweta Indian Health facility in Coweta.

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“We fully believe that where you live shouldn’t determine if you live. Geography alone cannot predict if a person is at risk for breast cancer, however, it does impact access to quality care within things like prevention, screening and treatment options,” said Abbi Lee, Executive Director Susan G. Komen Oklahoma. “We know one of the most important factors in a breast cancer diagnosis is catching it early. That is why having a mammography machine within a short driving distance is such a gift for the area – not just the tribal members, but the entire community. The fact that it is 3D makes it even more so. 3D mammography machines make it so that fewer breast cancer diagnosis are missed.”