Efficiency, technology, comfort at new breast center in Northwest Indiana

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Right tools: The mammography room at the new breast care center Methodist Hospitals' Southlake campus is equipped with advanced imaging tools, including the region's first three-dimensional mammography. | Supplied photo

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After a more than a year of planning and preparation, Methodist Hospitals has opened a new, leading-edge breast care center at its Southlake campus.

The center combines the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment and technologies with optimum efficiency and a top-notch staff in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. As beautiful as it is functional, the center features earth tones, etched glass accents and comfortable furniture.

Efficiency has been built into the center’s layout and operation. Women arriving for mammograms are greeted and shown to a private inner waiting area with dressing rooms and secure lockers, where they change into attractive, comfortable gowns.

Patients who require additional testing, from diagnostic views and ultrasound to cyst aspiration and biopsy, are promptly taken care of without having to leave the center.

“Methodist is on the fast track to helping women, and that includes reducing that stressful waiting period to between 48 and 72 hours,” said Dr. Dennis Streeter, the head of the Surgical Oncology Unit and director of the breast center. “Whenever possible, we perform biopsies the same day.”

The breast navigator, Stacy Knox, is located in the center and serves as the “go-to” person for all patients.

“My job is to make life easier for patients and their families, answering questions, assisting with scheduling, providing resources and giving them the continuity of having one person to guide them along their journey,” Knox said.

Plenty of resources

Streamlining both workflow and patient service, the center contains consultation rooms, a high-risk breast clinic, a bone-density scanning area, and all tech work areas, including the radiologist reading room. Services offered include genetic counseling and lymphodema treatment.

An interactive breast health education suite houses an extensive array of information and hands-on learning tools.

“We’re really trying to promote prevention and early education,” said mammography manager, Jennifer Sanders. “Since we only see them once a year, it’s important that women take ownership of their breast health.”

Methodist was the first hospital in Northwest Indiana to offer 3D mammography.

“Digital tomography makes it easier to find these cancers when they’re small and more treatable and curable, but if people don’t come in, we can’t help them,” said Dr. Kenneth Segel, lead interpreting radiologist for mammography. “With this center, we’re trying to make it as convenient and comfortable as possible to encourage patients to have their mammograms.”

Well accredited

Methodist is accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and by their Commission on Cancer, in addition to being awarded the Designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

“In our last accreditation we received seven out of seven commendations, which is very rare. We’ve always had a top quality program in every respect and having the center completes the picture,” said Dr. B. H. Barai, Methodist Hospitals’ oncology program medical director.

“At Methodist, family is important to us and we treat our patients as though they are part of the Methodist family,” said radiologist, Dr. Anastasia Siatras MD. “We are proud to provide them with the very best care that they can get, give them the best techniques, and use the most advanced technologies.”

More information about Methodist Hospitals is at www.methodisthospitals.org.

Provided by Methodist Hospitals