PUBLIC NOTICE: Replacement of Mammography Machines at Inuvik Regional Hospital and Stanton Territorial Hospital

Public Notice

(Yellowknife, Inuvik – February 6, 2024) - The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) would like to advise residents of planned temporary mammography service closures, while new mammography machines are installed at the Inuvik Regional Hospital (IRH) and Stanton Territorial Hospital (STH).

Both IRH and STH mammography services will be temporarily closed during their respective implementation periods:

  • STH anticipated closure between February 7th to March 8th, 2024.
  • IRH anticipated closure between March 4th to April 5th, 2024.

The new machines will offer enhanced screening capabilities to users and supports NTHSSA’s Vision of Best Care. Funding was made available for the machine at STH through fundraising efforts from the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation and CIBC Run for Our Lives. The Department of Health and Social Services funded the purchase of the IRH machine through their health technology evergreening program.

For more information about breast cancer screening in the Northwest Territories and for regular updates, visit


Mammography Service Closure:
During the implementation of the new mammography machines residents can expect a delay to screening appointments; however, wait times will be monitored to ensure that screening mammography is coordinated and offered within the recommended follow-up timeframes.  Diagnostic mammography services will be referred to and coordinated in Alberta:

  • Residents will be referred to one of three sites in Alberta:
    • Canada Diagnostic Centres
    • Insight Medical Imaging- Lendrum Site, and/or;
    • MIC Medical Imaging Centre

Resuming Mammogram Services:

STH Site
Once the new machine is installed at the STH site, services will resume using a slow start approach prior to the resumption of services at full capacity.

  • Appointment times will be increased to an hour long to allow for the resolution of any unexpected technical difficulties throughout the day.
  • During this slow start, diagnostic mammography services will be made available only for those that are in the Yellowknife area and do not require medical travel to their appointments. The reason for this is to avoid unnecessary travel of individuals due to the potential for unexpected technical difficulties.
  • Clients outside of the Yellowknife area will have their care coordinated with Alberta clinics to avoid unnecessary additional travel time and expenses.

Once the mammogram machine is up and running at full capacity, services at STH will resume as normal.

STH will have locum coverage to support the resumption of mammogram services between March 14th- April 3rd, 2024, allowing for an increase in available mammography appointments during this time.

IRH Site
IRH will also resume screening mammography services using a slow start approach and appointment times will be offered at longer intervals.



The new mammography machines at both sites will have the capacity to offer Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT).

DBT, also known as 3D mammography, is an advanced form of breast imaging. DBT is used in addition to conventional mammography or as a screening tool and removes summation artifacts (tissue overlap) and allows for better visualization of the breast tissue. Using low dose x-ray, the mammography unit rotates in an arc to capture multiple images of the breast tissue under one compression. The DBT exam can be completed in both directions- top to bottom, and side to side. The slices are then processed by a computer which reconstructs the data (slices) into a synthetic 2D image as well as a 3D reconstruction.

Radiologists will review all images: synthetic 2D images, the DBT slices and the 3D reconstruction.

Although the machines will be able to offer DBT, guidelines and protocols are currently under review to incorporate DBT.


**Release updated February 7, 2024 to reflect update to funding information.