Mammography Technologists: Pictured (l-r) back: Julie Pizarro, RT (R)(M); Kris Barry, RT (R)(M); Kara Nelsestuen, RT (R)(M)(BD); front: Brenda Markegard, RT (R)(M).

Regular screening leads to peace of mind.

Whether it’s time for your first screening mammogram or you’ve been vigilant about scheduling annually, when it comes to breast health, it’s important to stay in the loop with the latest information. Here’s what to know:

  • With today’s mammography screening and techniques to treat breast cancer, the survival rate is on the rise. Regular screening mammograms may catch cancer in its earliest stage when it’s most treatable.
  • Winona Health provides 3D mammography, our standard of care (at no additional charge) since 2013. According to Claudine Van Meeteren, director of Imaging Services at Winona Health, 3D mammography (or tomosynthesis) is 41 percent more effective than traditional mammography in detecting invasive breast cancer. That means peace of mind when it comes to early detection. 3D mammography also leads to fewer callbacks and helps prevent over diagnosis.
  • After a screening mammogram, approximately 10 percent of women are called back for further imaging. This includes a diagnostic mammogram and/or an ultrasound. There are a number of things that could show up in a mammogram, and not all of them mean cancer – but it is important to find out.
  • Board-certified Diagnostic Radiologists George Ripeckyj and Alex Westenfield and the mammography team at Winona Health encourage women to get screening mammograms beginning at age 40 as recommended by the American College of Radiology and the American Cancer Society.
  • Winona Health has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. This signifies that Winona Health has earned accreditation in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast MRI, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy.

To schedule a screening mammogram at Winona Health, a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, call 507.457.4320 (select option 1). All mammograms at Winona Health use 3D mammography at no extra charge.

“It’s important for women to know that showing up for a screening mammogram saves lives. As radiologists, we believe in a proactive approach to screening because we know it saves lives. At Winona Health, we have state-of-the-art tools to detect, diagnose and treat breast cancer.” – Alex Westenfield, MD

“Because we’re on-site, we can often look at something right away. Mammography technologists have access to us and we usually are available for a consultation, which means quick, personalized care for our patients.” – George Ripeckyj, MD

Screening mammograms are considered preventive care and are typically covered by insurance. However, if you have trouble affording your mammogram, contact the SAGE Program.


The Sage Screening Programs help keep Minnesotans healthy through screening and early detection of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. Screenings are provided at participating locations free of charge to people who qualify. Call 1-888-643-2584

For Wisconsin residents: For information about resources to help cover the cost of breast cancer screening through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, visit Wisconsin Well Woman Program.

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