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Beebe Auxiliary donates $275,000 to Beebe Healthcare for advanced technology in lung cancer diagnosis

The Beebe Auxiliary has donated $275,000 to Beebe Healthcare toward the purchase of a navigational bronchoscopy system, an advanced technology that can locate lesions in the far reaches of the lungs where they often go undiagnosed in early stage lung cancer.

Auxiliary President Wendell Alfred presented the check to Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, President and CEO of Beebe Healthcare, at the Auxiliary’s recent annual luncheon.

“We are going to be saving lives with this technology,” Chris Steele, RRT, Director of Respiratory Services, told those attending the luncheon. Because the majority of lung cancer occurs in the periphery of the lungs, he said, only about 15 percent of lung cancer cases nationwide are diagnosed in the early stages.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the United States.
Navigational bronchoscopy helps the physician find early stage cancers in the small and narrow bronchi in the lung periphery that a normal bronchoscope cannot access. It is a minimally invasive procedure that combines electromagnetic navigation and advanced 3-D imaging, making a road map into the lungs. Navigational bronchoscopy will complement the lung cancer screening initiatives in Delaware with an increased ability to diagnose, stage, and treat lung cancer.

“We are very excited that we will be able to bring this advanced technology to our patients at Beebe,” Mr. Steele said. Mr. Fried thanked Auxiliary members for their generosity and for their continued support and commitment to Beebe Healthcare.

“Thanks to the leadership of our pulmonologists, with their guidance, particularly Dr. Batra, we are able to continually look for ways to improve the care and treatment of patients with lung disease.

“We are really very blessed at Beebe that you understand and value what we do to provide the health care so necessary for those in all of our communities,” Mr. Fried said. “We do not take for granted that we have a group of people like you.”

Mr. Fried said that Beebe is getting ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016 and that nearly 300 people already are volunteering to make it a year of celebration. Mr. Alfred pointed out that the Auxiliary, as the oldest fundraising organization for Beebe, next year will celebrate its 80th anniversary, making 2016 a special year.

“This past year our members donated more than 31,000 hours of their time in support of Beebe,” Mr. Alfred said.

Each year at the luncheon, the Auxiliary recognizes individuals who have given great support to Beebe and to the Auxiliary.

The Honorable William Swain Lee, the Chair of the Board of Beebe Healthcare, in a surprise announcement, was honored as the Distinguished Honorary Beebe Auxiliary Member. Mr. Alfred read the resolution, which cited Judge Lee as being a longtime, true friend of the Auxiliary who has given beyond the usual by contributing many hours, days and years of volunteer service.

Judge Lee has served on the Beebe Board since 2000. He served as Board Vice Chair from 2005 to 2010 and then was named Chair.

Valery and Richard Cordrey of East Coast Garden Center in Millsboro, as special honored guests were recognized with their family for their generosity and “unselfish willingness to help the Auxiliary as it works on behalf of Beebe Healthcare.” The resolution cited their commitment to sponsoring the Auxiliary’s plant sale for four years, and for this year’s first annual Auxiliary’s Plant Sale and Family Fun Fair that was a success.

The Auxiliary also recognized special honored guest Frank Molino, Beebe’s Security Manager, for his caring and quiet way of protecting “us and those we love.” The resolution stated that after September 11, 2001, when security was challenged, institutions are not as safe as before, and that “a visit to a medical facility should always be reassuring and protective of human rights and safety.” It stated that Frank Molino “exemplifies that quiet reassurance that is carried forth by the men and women of his department…”

Caption: Pictured here, left to right, Beebe Auxiliary President Wendell Alfred presents the check for $250,000 to Beebe CEO and President Jeffrey M. Fried at the Auxiliary’s annual luncheon.

Beebe Auxiliary raises funds through several initiatives including: Beebe’s Treasure Chest Thrift Shop in the Midway Shopping Center; the Gift Shop at the Medical Center in Lewes; the Auxiliary’s Arts and Craft Committee activities; the annual Plant Sale and various employee sales events throughout the year. This year, for the first time, the Auxiliary held the First Annual Plant Sale and Family Fun Fair at the East Coast Garden Center in Millsboro in April that was a complete success.

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services. For more information, please visit us online at