32nd Annual Festival of Trees a resounding success in bringing advanced technology to fight lung cancer to McLaren Port Huron

The McLaren Port Huron Foundation announced today that the 32nd Annual Festival of Trees raised more than $65,000. This year’s event was a fundraiser to support new technology for early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. 

“Hosting the Annual Festival of Trees was a priority for McLaren Port Huron,” says Sara Tait, director of the McLaren Port Huron Foundation. “How to do that in the age of COVID required some out-of-the-box thinking, which our team really stepped up to.” 

For this year’s Festival of Trees, the hospital’s South Tower Lobby was transformed into a winter wonderland, with 17 decorated trees. In keeping with tradition, the trees were created by local designers and raffled off just before Christmas. Proceeds were designated to purchase an endobronchial ultrasound bronchoscopy (known as EBUS), an advanced technology to accurately locate and biopsy lung cancer lesions at an early stage. 

“Even though we scaled the event back substantially, the community really responded and overwhelmed us with their generosity, and their willingness to adapt to a new format,” says Sara. “This year’s event far exceeded our expectations.”

With the EBUS technology at McLaren Port Huron, physicians will have the ability to diagnose and treat lung cancer at an earlier stage, offering patients a higher likelihood that treatment will be successful. 

“Adding this tool to our arsenal for diagnosing and treating lung cancer will improve patient care and outcomes for lung cancer patients in our community,” says Dr. Vasken Artinian, a pulmonary critical care specialist. “EBUS is considered the procedure of choice for accurate diagnosis and staging of lung cancer, as it’s less invasive and more precise than conventional tools.
“It really complements our full-service cancer program at McLaren Port Huron and is an opportunity to ensure patients can remain in the community for diagnosis and treatment,” says Dr. Artinian. “We’re so grateful to the community for their generosity and support.”

The EBUS is expected to be operational in early summer 2021.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 228,000 new cases of lung cancer will be identified, and more than 135,000 people will die from lung cancer. Survival statistics vary depending on the stage of the cancer when diagnosed, but experts agree that people with earlier-stage cancers have a better likelihood of successful treatment.

McLaren Port Huron offers a comprehensive program for treating lung cancer, including minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery. The Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Port Huron also offers state of the art treatment and clinical trials to advance care for the community. 

McLaren Port Huron is a 186-bed non-profit hospital located in Port Huron, Michigan. A community hospital founded in 1882, it has a strong history of providing quality, compassionate care to residents living in St. Clair and Sanilac counties and has earned repeated recognition for both clinical excellence and patient safety from nationally renowned health care rating organizations. McLaren Port Huron provides a full range of services, including cardiovascular care at the James C. Acheson Heart and Vascular Center, award-winning cancer services onsite through the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, comprehensive orthopedic services and general, bariatric and robotic-assisted surgeries. The hospital is nationally verified as a Level III Trauma Center and operates the busiest Emergency Center in St. Clair County. Also available at the hospital are family birthing services and the only accredited sleep center in the region. In addition to its main campus in Port Huron, the hospital operates community health centers in Marysville, Yale, Lexington and St. Clair.