The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Mountain Community Helps Fund New 3D Mammography Machine

Patients scheduling appointments for mammograms at Mountains Community Hospital (MCH), can rest assured they are getting the most advanced diagnostic technology. Thanks to a generous grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and donations from community members, the hospital was able to purchase a Genius™ 3D mammography™ machine, developed by Hologic, Inc.

Using advanced breast tomosynthesis technology, 3D mammography exams have been clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancers, while at the same time decreasing the number of patients asked to return for additional testing.

Tomosynthesis is an imaging technique that can be used to screen for early signs of breast cancer in patients with no symptoms. It can also be used as a diagnostic tool for patients exhibiting symptoms. Multiple images of the breast are taken and then sent to a computer that uses an algorithm to combine them into a 3D image of the entire breast.

Conventional mammography equipment provides physicians with 2D images to evaluate the breast. This can be limiting due to overlapping layers of tissue. The result can be unclear results, false alarms or missed malignancies. The 3D mammography system, chosen by MCH, produces the only mammogram FDA approved as superior for women with dense breasts.

During the mammogram, both 2D images and tomosynthesis scans are performed. During the tomosynthesis portion of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images. A computer then converts the images into a stack of thin layers, allowing the radiologist to review the breast tissue one layer at a time.

The 3D exam requires no additional compression and takes the same amount of time as a conventional 2D exam. Because of the curved compression surface – which mirrors the shape of the breast – the exam has been clinically proven to be more comfortable than a traditional 2D exam. It also delivers a more even compression.

The result is sharper images that make it easier to find invasive breast cancers – regardless of the patient’s age or breast density. Studies have shown that a 3D mammogram can detect 20 to 65 percent more invasive cancer than 2D alone. In addition, it reduces recalls by up to 40 percent compared to 2D alone.

“We are grateful to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the community for giving us the opportunity to offer this superior diagnostic tool to our patients,” said Charlie Harrison, CEO of Mountains Community Hospital.

To schedule a mammogram appointment, call the MCH Radiology Department at (909) 436-3130.

Over the past 8 years, the San Manuel Band of Missions Indians have donated close to $200,000, enabling us to purchase equipment for Radiology, Surgery and our Skilled Nursing Departments that would not be possible with patient revenue alone.

About the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The people served by Mountains Community Hospital live in the ancestral lands of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are one of several clans of the Serrano Indians. Spanish missionaries named the native people Serrano, meaning “highlander” or “mountaineer” in Spanish, however, the Indians call themselves the Yuhaaviatam, or “People of the Pines.” Their history in the area began 2,500 years ago. In 1891, the United States established the San Manuel Reservation which took its name to honor Chief Santos Manuel. The Tribe donates millions of dollars every year to organizations that support the residents of San Bernardino County and surrounding areas, as well as to Native American causes nationwide. For more information about the Yuhaaviatam, visit

About Mountains Community Hospital Foundation

The MCH Foundation’s mission is to secure healthcare for the mountain community by providing consistent financial support to Mountains Community Hospital. Many rural community hospitals are little more than first aid stations, and in this cost-cutting environment, many have had to end services altogether, forcing remote populations to face long drives when they need medical attention. However, thanks to gifts from community members and charitable foundations, Mountains Community Hospital is not only surviving, but thriving, and continuing to add services for the people who depend on it.

The Foundation has provided more than $5 million in patient care support in the past 10 years. Recently we have funded much-needed equipment and projects such as:

  • 3D Mammography Machine

  • Clorox UV Machine

  • Toshiba Aquilion Prime 80-slice CT Scanner for the Radiology Department

  • Toshiba Aplio 300 Ultrasound Machine for the Radiology Department

  • 12-seat activity van and truck for our Skilled Nursing Facility’s residents

  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for our Skilled Nursing Facility

  • Fully adjustable electric beds for our Skilled Nursing Facility and Medical/Surgical Nursing Unit

  • Financial support for $6 million seismic strengthening project mandated by the state

  • Cardiac, telemetry and vital signs monitors for the Emergency and Medical/Surgical Departments and Post Anesthesia Care Unit

  • BIOFIRE® FILMARRAY® system for our Laboratory

  • Omnicell medication dispensing system for our Pharmacy

  • Bench and lending library for our patient waiting area

  • Mobile C-arm for our Operating Room

  • State-of-the-art gurneys for our Emergency and Medical/Surgical Departments

If you are interested in learning more about the Foundation, or would like a tour of the hospital, please contact Kim McGuire, Foundation Director, at (909) 436-3263.