On Friday night, 325 women will gather in Hillsborough for a night of dinner, cocktails and entertainment as they raise awareness of an often overlooked medical facility and funds to bring digital mammography to the San Mateo Medical Center.
According to Foundation Volunteer Lia Turk, San Mateo Medical Center is the only Bay Area hospital without digital mammography.
“We’re hoping to bring out County’s hospital into the modern era,” she said.
Sponsored by the San Mateo County Health Foundation, the sold-out will be a women-only affair, attended by the likes of Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo. Four Medical Center doctors, two of whom are breast cancer survivors, will speak at the event.
Turk noted the importance of garnering community support for the Medical Center, as the facility is sometimes overlooked, especially due to the new nearby.
“The County hospital is sort of this well kept secret,” she said. “We’re hoping to establish more of an outreach between the hospital and the local community.”
This is the biggest fundraiser the San Mateo County Health Foundation has put on, and, so far, members have seen a lot of support. Turk guessed this may be due to the number of lives touched by breast cancer, those involved with the event, timing, or a combination of those factors.
Members began planning the Underwire Project in January and have received donations from across the County. One donor who was unable to attend asked that employees of the radiology department go in her place.
Although the event is sold out, community members can still donate through a program called Sister-In-Need, which supports the San Mateo Medical Center Breast Cancer Support Group.
Turk hopes this event spurs community involvement in the hospital moving forward, helping it provide the best medical care possible.
“The overall goal is just to…make the community aware of this fantastic medical facility that we have right here in our backyard,” she said. “It’s something we need to support more actively and we’re hoping to capture all of this momentum and put it to good use.”