By Rochelle Rose, Noozhawk Contributing Writer

The Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Pink Ribbon Committee creatively put together a “Think Pink” Brunch in the ballroom of Hotel Corque in Solvang. Proceeds raised will benefit the hospital’s 3D Mammography Initiative.

The Pink Ribbon Committee members were Barbara Anderson, Becky Christenson, Lana Clark, Judith Dale, Kate Firestone, Pam Gnekow, Doris Holzheu, Hayley Firestone Jessup, Linda Johansen, Puck Erickson Lohnas, June Martin, Tresha Sell and Gerry Shepherd. Many guests were dressed in various hues of pink, from blush to hot pink.  

Just six months ago, the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation launched the 3DMammography Initiative to purchase a digital breast tomosynthesis imaging system that uses a low-dose X-ray system and computer reconstructions to create 3D images of breasts. It has been proven that 3D mammography can detect 20 percent to 65 percent more invasive breast cancers compared with 2D alone.

“Early diagnosis of breast cancer is the key to positive patient outcomes,” hospital vice president Wende Cappetta said. “The SYVCH Foundation is committed to funding this important equipment for our community.

“Outstanding community support has helped the foundation raise $380,000 toward the goal of $500,000.”

After a social hour, which included coffee, tea, mimosas and specially labeled Hitching Post Think Pink rosé wine, guests visited the brunch buffet, where they had their choice of fresh fruit, a vegetarian egg soufflé and an assortment of pastries. Later, Firestone Jessup led a spirited game of bingo.

Dr. Gary Blum, the guest speaker and an SYVCH radiologist, gave an enlightening and succinct introduction to 3D mammography, aka breast tomosynthesis.

“The physical exam continues to be the cornerstone of breast cancer detection,” he said. “However, 3D mammography gives us an advanced detection tool. During the 3D part of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. The new equipment has a more rapid take rate. The stack of synthesized images gives us a very accurate three-dimensional image.

“It will result in fewer callbacks — those phone calls that no one likes to receive after a mammography. Callbacks will be reduced by 40 percent. We are so fortunate that we will have this equipment at our hospital.”

SYVCH Foundation administrator June Martin described how breast cancer has affected several of her close family members.

“I am passionate about this project,” she said. “This is going to save lives.”

During 2018, the SYVCH Imaging Department performed 1,392 2D mammograms despite a strong demand for enhanced 3D images. It is estimated that once the new 3D mammography system is installed, the number of mammograms will increase to more than 1,700 patients a year.

Sponsors of the “Think Pink” Brunch included Gerry Shepherd, Montecito Bank & Trust, Hitching Post Wines, JoAnn and Ken Verkler, Linda Johansen, Mullen & Henzell LLP, Jim Vreeland Ford, Tresha Sell and Rio Vista Chevrolet, Kate Firestone, Allen Anderson and Jane Shade, Judith Dale, C&D CPAs, D.L. Electric, Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and Sol Wave Water.

Founded in 1964, the nonprofit Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, at 2050 Viborg Road in Solvang, provides high-quality outpatient surgical services, inpatient care, comprehensive imaging (including MRI, CT, digital mammography, ultrasound, X-ray), on-site laboratory, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, physicians specialty clinic and 24-hour emergency services to the community.

SYVCH is part of the nonprofit Cottage Health, providing medical care to the Central Coast region.

The Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop, manage and channel the community’s financial support on behalf of Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital.

Click here for more information about Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital. Click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at