Breast Center Awarded Elite Center of Excellence Designation
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Breast Center Awarded Elite Center of Excellence Designation 

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Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center Gains Elite Center of Excellence Designation  

February 8, 2008 – Newport News, Virginia –The Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center joins an elite group of only four other breast imaging centers in Virginia designated as an American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. After rigorous evaluation of staff, equipment, physician credentials, technique and image quality, the center is now fully accredited in the three major areas of breast imaging and cancer detection—mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, and ultrasound guided biopsy.

Going well beyond the mandatory mammography accreditation required by the American College of Radiology, the region’s only comprehensive breast center gains the stamp of approval for its voluntary accreditation in stereotactic breast biopsy and ultrasound guided biopsy as well.

“This is proof of the quality care we’ve been providing our patients, to the highest standards of patient safety and quality,” says Dr. Kelley Allison, co-medical director and fellowship trained mammographer at the Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center.

At the same time, Sentara unveils Hampton Roads first high-risk breast cancer assessment program at the Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center.

Now for the first time area women with concerns about their breast health can refer themselves to a Sentara Patient Navigator by calling 757.594.1899 in Newport News or 757.345.4000 in Williamsburg, who will answer questions and help evaluate their risks of developing breast cancer. At a minimum, these women will be offered participation in a surveillance plan to help guide further evaluation and care. If necessary these women will have immediate access to screenings and a team of breast cancer specialists including onsite surgical and medical oncologists, genetics counselors, and patient navigators.

“Women in our area have never had such a specialized team of resources ready and assembled for their breast health before,” continues Dr. Allison. 

Elite Accreditation and Peninsula’s First High Risk Breast Assessment Program

“We are committed to providing women with answers about their risks of developing breast cancer. Our team of specialists empowers women with information and options to help prevent and avoid undiagnosed breast cancer,” says Dr. Deborah Martinez, Sentara surgical oncologist.

Patient Story

“It was happenstance that I was referred to Sentara’s breast cancer program,” says 50-year-old Patricia Dwyer, who had been getting screening mammograms for the last 20 years.

Dwyer, whose mother died in 1987 from breast cancer, was considered to be at high risk for developing breast cancer herself. Even without symptoms, Dwyer’s gynecologist referred her to a Sentara surgical oncologist specializing in breast care to have a baseline breast MRI.

“They found a tumor in my breast the size of a piece of rice. That’s how early it was detected,” says Dwyer. “If women could get the ball rolling on their own, I think a lot more women could be helped,” Dwyer continues.

Now Sentara’s high risk breast assessment program offers women who believe they are at increased risk of developing breast cancer the option to begin evaluation immediately.

“I could not have had better care, and the timing was phenomenal. For all of the people who have been working with me, this is a passion and a priority,” says Dwyer who had a double mastectomy within about one month from her initial diagnosis.


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