Saint Agatha Foundation and JMA Wireless Support Life-Saving Next-Generation 3D Mammography Technology at Crouse Health

Combined Gifts of $800,000 Enable the Purchase of Cutting-Edge Digital Tomosynthesis Machines to Facilitate Early Breast Cancer Detection & Improve Patient Outcomes

Crouse Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of Crouse Hospital, today announced that the generous support of the Saint Agatha Foundation and JMA Wireless enabled the acquisition of two new, next-generation digital tomosynthesis machines – known as 3D mammography – that improve early breast cancer detection and save lives.

The Saint Agatha Foundation provided $406,000 to purchase a new digital tomosynthesis unit for the Hadley J. Falk Breast Health Center at Crouse Hospital, replacing an older version of the technology that was also funded through Saint Agatha support. The machine went online in early October.

A second 3D unit, purchased through a Saint Agatha Foundation grant and a matching grant from JMA Wireless, and will be coming online this week. The addition of both machines coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“These machines are a testament to the legacy of my sister, Laurie, who was a tireless advocate for breast cancer awareness and founded Saint Agatha during her own battle with the disease,” said JMA Wireless CEO John Mezzalingua. “Laurie’s message to our family was clear: Early detection saves lives. We have taken her words to heart and are continuing her fight on behalf of breast cancer patients. We are proud to be able to carry on Laurie’s important work by investing in the most high-tech 3D mammography machines available to make early detection possible for more Central New Yorkers.”

Amid her own battle with breast cancer, Laurie Mezzalingua founded the Saint Agatha Foundation in 2004 to provide financial assistance to individuals fighting the disease in Central New York. The Foundation provides support, comfort, and care to uninsured and underinsured breast cancer patients in Onondaga, Cortland, Cayuga, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, and Jefferson counties. Led by Laurie’s mother, Kathleen Mezzalingua, since Laurie’s death in 2009, the Foundation has provided more than $17 million to 10,032 men and women.

“Saint Agatha Foundation is proud to assist Crouse Hospital with the purchase of new tomosynthesis technology, providing the most advanced screening available and aiding in the earliest detection possible for those who may have breast cancer,” said Kathleen Mezzalingua, Board Chair of the Foundation. “Earlier detection means better outcomes for treatment and that is our hope. My daughter Laurie was always appreciative of the care provided by Dr. Stephen Montgomery and team following her surgery and treatment at Crouse Hospital during her battle with breast cancer.”

Using funds provided by the Saint Agatha Foundation, the Hadley J. Falk Breast Health Center was the first facility in Central New York to offer mammography using digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). This technology uses X-rays to create 3D images of the inside of the breast, producing the highest resolution results available and making it easier for radiologists to spot small abnormalities – including in difficult-to-detect dense breast tissue – while using the lowest possible dose of radiation.

Research has shown that DBT can increase cancer detection rates by up to 25 percent compared to standard 2D mammography alone. It can better pinpoint even smaller breast calcifications, enabling an earlier start to potentially life-saving treatment. The new machines made possible by JMA Wireless and the Saint Agatha Foundation also position Crouse Health to be an early adopter of the next revolution in breast cancer detection: Contrast-based imaging.

“We are enormously grateful to the Saint Agatha Foundation and JMA Wireless for their generous and ongoing support of Crouse’s breast health program,” said Stephen Montgomery MD, Director Emeritus Hadley J. Falk Breast Health Center Crouse Hospital. “The new tomosynthesis units will make it possible to continue to provide our patients with the highest level of care while providing the most advanced imaging technology available.”

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women and the second most common cause of death. Each year in New York, more than 16,700 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 2,500 of them die after battling the disease, according to state Health Department data. Diagnosis of breast cancer in men is also possible, though rare, with roughly 160 diagnoses annually in the Empire State.

The economic impact of a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent battle against the disease can be devastating for patients and their families – especially for those who are uninsured or underinsured. The Central New York region includes communities with some of the nation’s highest poverty rates. The Saint Agatha Foundation provides financial support to breast cancer patients for medical and non-medical needs, so they can focus on treatment, not their bills.

About Saint Agatha Foundation
Founded in 2004 by Syracuse, NY native Laurie Mezzalingua, who passed in 2009 after a 12-year fight with the disease, Saint Agatha Foundation provides financial assistance to individuals in Central New York State who are battling breast cancer, enabling them to focus on treatment not their bills. The Foundation’s support is made available through grants given to medical and non-medical service providers, who, in turn, make funds available to qualified patients through an application process. Saint Agatha Foundation’s mission is focused on patients in Central New York, specifically Onondaga, Cortland, Cayuga, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, Jefferson, and St. Lawrence Counties. Those interested in learning more about Saint Agatha Foundation and, importantly, Laurie Mezzalingua’s inspiring life story and legacy are encouraged to visit the Foundation’s website at

About JMA Wireless
JMA is restoring US leadership by redefining wireless networking technology during the crucial transition to 5G. JMA is a committed partner with the Syracuse community, in particular Crouse Hospital, whose investment in women’s breast health is a lifesaving, critical service for families living in upstate NY.

About Crouse Breast Health Services
As the area’s leader in breast healthcare, Crouse has always offered the latest in screening and diagnostic imaging provided by the region’s most experienced breast healthcare team. The Hadley Falk Breast Health Center offers enhanced privacy and greater comfort, along with the personal attention and support patients have come to expect from Crouse. The Breast Health Center provided 8,500 3D mammography tests in 2022.