Our Stories: Buoyed by a mammogram and gratitude

Pam Lamb’s eyes lit up when they landed on the newspaper item. For women 40 and over without health insurance, it read, Providence Milwaukie Hospital was offering free mammograms. Pam reached for the phone – and soon would be reaching out in ways she couldn’t have foreseen.

The Oregon City woman felt “very excited” to secure one of the few remaining spots at that annual mammography clinic in September 2011. She had reluctantly put off a screening since her husband had suffered a job layoff and they’d lost their health insurance.

At the clinic, Pam’s screening revealed a suspicious mass. An ultrasound followed. Then a biopsy broke the good news: no breast cancer.

“Every step of the way, everybody was very warm, kind, looking out for my comfort and to take care of my needs,” Pam says. “It was just a wonderful team.”

Buoyed by gratitude, Pam has become fast friends with hospital staff and is giving back by volunteering to help Providence Milwaukie at community events. In April she joined pharmacy employees in collecting expired medications on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

“We give her a hug whenever we see her,” says Penny Wilson, diagnostic imaging manager. “We just feel like she’s become part of the Providence family.”