Oakwood celebrates naming of breast care center

Oakwood Healthcare System celebrated the naming of the Karen Colina Wilson Smithbauer Breast Care Center at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center as a result of a $500,000 gift for breast care equipment, staffing and community outreach.

Smithbauer, a longtime resident of the Downriver community, an eight year breast cancer survivor and a business leader in southeast Michigan, founded The Karen Colina Wilson Foundation in 2007 with a focus on women’s and children’s causes. She is a member of the Oakwood Foundation Board and is the valued chair of Oakwood’s Women’s Advisory Committee, which was created to pave the way for transformational delivery of healthcare to women in southeastern Michigan. She is also a board member at First Step, a domestic violence shelter and safe haven for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Smithbauer also supports numerous other community and civic causes in the Downriver and Western Wayne communities.

This transformational gift provides the latest in programs and technology for prevention, early detection and timely treatment of cancer. Oakwood now offers advanced breast cancer screenings with a comprehensive array of cutting-edge technologies that allow women a one-stop service and provides a nurse navigator to support women through their journey. The Karen Colina Wilson Smithbauer Breast Care Center provides digital mammography, which uses less radiation than film mammography and improves image storage, transmission and interpretation. The center has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in digital mammography by the American College of Radiation.

As family, friends, hospital administration and staff gathered this past Saturday for the celebration at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center, Smithbauer spoke of her experience and the reason behind her gift.

“Women’s healthcare can go to a higher level, and Oakwood can provide that Center that can meet the needs of women in every aspect of their care,” said Smithbauer. “These women need resources, they need to have people they can talk to, they need reassurance, and they need to have whatever they need at that point in their life.”

Carla O’Malley, Executive Director and President of the Oakwood Healthcare Foundation, praises Smithbauer for her continuous support and dedication to women’s causes.

“Karen’s interest in transformational leadership, her compassionate view of the world and desire to become involved for the ‘greater good’ makes her one of our most valued allies. We are honored to have her passionate voice representing women’s causes.”

Oakwood also recognized Women Celebrating Life Downriver for making a generous gift supporting “Free Mammogram Days,” a community outreach initiative that provides free mammograms for women who are at least 40 years of age, have no health insurance and are considered a “screening patient” without active breast disease.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, with 1 in every 8 diagnosed each year. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Regular screening is essential to early detection, with a 96% survival rate. For more information about The Karen Colina Wilson Smithbauer Breast Care Center or Oakwood’s Women’s Healthcare initiatives, please visit www.oakwood.org/foundation.

CUTLINE: Left to Right: Joan Hennessey, Carla O’Malley, Dolores Pfeffer, Patrick Smithbauer, Karen Colina Wilson Smithbauer, Rebecca Kaplar, Nancy Colina, Karen Mazo, John Colina, Debbie Dingell, Kathryn Chambers, John Daly, and Kimberly Pfeffer (background, right: Joe Diederich, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Oakwood Healthcare, Inc.).