FAIRHOPE — A $50,000 gift from the Finger family, long-time friends of the Fairhope community and Thomas Hospital, will go toward the purchase of a 3D mammogram machine at the Thomas Hospital …
FAIRHOPE — A $50,000 gift from the Finger family, long-time friends of the Fairhope community and Thomas Hospital, will go toward the purchase of a 3D mammogram machine at the Thomas Hospital Breast Center.
"3D mammography is essential in providing timely, accurate readings for women with a history of breast cancer or dense breasts," according to a release issued by Infirmary Health Systems. "This addition will continue to enhance Thomas Hospital's mission to provide world-class care to Fairhope and its surrounding communities."
Hannah Peterson, director of Marketing and Community Relations with Infirmary Health Systems, said the new 3D mammography unit, which will be installed by the end of March will be the fourth unit installed by Infirmary Health Systems in Baldwin County. The Thomas Hospital Breast Center currently has two units, while a third unit was installed at the Thomas Medical Center in Daphne.
The donation was made in the spring of 2021 to the Thomas Hospital Foundation by Van and Mary Finger in the name of Kathy Baugh, former vice president of the Thomas Hospital Foundation.
"Kathy is a leader in our community, and she has done incredible work for Thomas Hospital," said Van Finger. "We have been involved with the Thomas Hospital Foundation since 1994, and we are excited to hopefully inspire others to give in Kathy's name to honor all that she has done for our community."
Since 1993, Baugh raised more than $32 million for Thomas Hospital projects, including a new birth center, a new emergency department, open heart surgery and cardiovascular services and a state-of-the-art breast center.
Peterson said the Thomas Hospital Breast Center and mammography units were definitely among the largest projects Baugh worked on as a member of the Foundation.
"Getting the center built was definitely one of the largest campaign programs she worked on," Peterson said, "and was definitely something that was always close to her heart."
The Finger family said they were prompted to make the donation after Van Finger was diagnosed with COVID-19 in December of 2020 and hospitalized at Thomas Hospital for nine days.
Baugh learned from Van's wife, Mary, that Van was "under the weather." Mary assured Baugh his illness was "no big deal" and that he was resting comfortably at home.
But Baugh knew well the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and knew even better how quickly patients could turn from having mild symptoms to needing serious treatment. Baugh urged Mary to bring Van to the Thomas Hospital Emergency Department immediately, where he was eventually admitted and gratefully just missed being placed on a ventilator for breathing support.
The Finger family felt touched by how Baugh and the staff and physicians at Thomas Hospital cared for them prompting the donation to be made in Baugh's name.
To make a donation to the Thomas Hospital Foundation, visit thomashospitalfoundation.org or call 251-279-1517.