Friday, March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update

In an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, Parkview Health is currently canceling certain types of non-urgent medical visits. Francine’s Friends is canceling appointments that are scheduled through the end of May.

These steps are being taken to protect you, our staff and other patients. We appreciate your understanding of this change and will reschedule at a future date.


Mark Your Calendar and Save the Date for the 16th Annual "Lunch with FRIENDS"!

Calling all FRIENDS — time to mark your calendar and gather all of YOUR friends for the 16th annual “Lunch with Friends”. A community favorite, this year’s luncheon will be held Thursday, October 22, 2020 at the Mirro Center for Research & Innovation, 10622 Parkview Plaza Drive, Fort Wayne, IN.

“Screening mammography continues to save lives and through the Francine’s Friends mobile mammography program, women in northeast Indiana can be proactive in their breast health,” explained Marita Dwight-Smith, executive director. “This is a vital community resource and the funds raised each year at our annual 'Lunch with Friends' makes a huge difference in how many women we reach and how we reach them, regardless of any barriers.”

The 15th Annual “Lunch with Friends” raised $109,478 to support the early detection of breast cancer through screening mammography. Read more about last year's event HERE.

2020 sponsorship opportunities are currently available — CLICK HERE to learn more.

Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography helps provide community-supported funding to make state-of-the-art 3D screening mammography available to ALL women in Fort Wayne and the surrounding counties, regardless of their ability to pay due to lack of insurance or transportation.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Francines Friends a 2020 Recipient of IBCAT Grant



Francine’s Friends is again a recipient of a grant for breast cancer screening from the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, Inc. (IBCAT).

In 2019 alone, IBCAT granted $445,000 to 30 organizations dedicated to screening mammography and diagnostic programs. Services are available in nearly every Indiana county. In addition to screening/diagnostic services, IBCAT also funds Support Services grants for patients currently battling breast cancer. For assistance, visit www.breastcancerplate.org to find the program that is closest to you.

“Not only does this grant help in the detection and prevention of breast cancer, it’s imperative to the overall well-being of those who might otherwise not have access to screenings. IBCAT helps us fund screenings in Adams, Allen, Dekalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties in northeast Indiana,” reminded Francine’s Friends director Marita Dwight-Smith. "We are so grateful for this support and for the difference IBCAT is helping to make in the lives of our patients and their loved ones,” she concluded.

IBCAT receives funds through sales of breast cancer awareness special group recognition (SGR) license plates.  Indiana residents may purchase an Indiana breast cancer awareness special group recognition license plate by visiting any Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch,  online at https://www.in.gov/bmv/, or on a Connect kiosk for an annual $40 fee, $25 of which is a direct tax-­deductible donation. The plate may be purchased for display on passenger motor vehicles, motorcycles, trucks with a declared gross weight of not more than 11,000 pounds, and  recreational vehicles.

For more information on the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust and the programs it funds, please visit www.breastcancerplate.org or call 866.724.2228.

Purchase your HOPE plate today!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

3D Mammography Now Available on Francine’s Friends Mammography Coach!

3D mammography is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection, and it now is the screening tool used on the Francine’s Friends mobile mammography coach.

As someone who has specialized in mammography since 1989, with a degree in radiology and management, Marita Dwight-Smith, BAM, RT(R)(M) ARRT, is excited to bring the latest 3D technology to women in the Fort Wayne community and the surrounding area.

"With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of the breast tissue in one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of normal breast tissue looking like an abnormal area,” explains Dwight-Smith, current director of the Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Program.

"By looking at the breast tissue in one-millimeter slices, the radiologist can provide a more confident assessment. In this way, 3D mammography finds cancers missed with conventional 2D mammography, which is why we are so excited to have it available on the mobile mammography coach,” she continued.

During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images. Then, a computer produces a 3D image of the breast tissue in one-millimeter slices, providing greater visibility for the radiologist to see breast detail in a way never before possible because they can scroll through images of the entire breast — like pages of a book.

“The additional 3D images make it possible for a radiologist to gain a better understanding of the breast tissue during screening and the confidence to reduce the need for follow-up imaging,” said Dwight-Smith.

A mammogram is still the best form of protection and the only medical imaging screening test proven to reduce breast cancer deaths.  Early detection is the best weapon in the fight against cancer and finding breast cancer in its earliest stages increases the survival rate to an astounding 95%!

Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography helps provide community-supported funding to make screening mammography available to ALL women, regardless of their ability to pay due to lack of insurance or transportation.