Newport News, VA – June 12, 2009 – The Women's Imaging Pavilion at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center and Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center in Newport News are among the nation’s first breast programs to gain full, three-year accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Administered by the American College of Surgeons, the Sentara centers join one other in Arlington, Virginia to earn the designation.
Both Sentara breast centers underwent rigorous evaluation and onsite surveys to gain complete compliance with accreditation standards and required services.
“We’re honored to be among the first in the U.S. to receive the NAPBC designation. This recognition signifies tremendous teamwork from our breast specialists and our ongoing pledge to strengthening the Sentara Cancer Network,” says Mark Szalwinski, Sentara Corporate Vice President of the Peninsula.
“NAPBC accreditation is a perfect complement to the other diagnostic certifications we’ve already received,” says breast imager Kelley Allison, M.D., co-medical director of the Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center. “Patients can take heart knowing both Sentara breast centers offer all key breast services, and those services are rendered seamlessly to provide the best care to our patients. It’s a remarkable demonstration of our quality,” she continues. The Peninsula’s only fellowship-trained breast mammographers practice at Sentara breast centers, providing specialized radiology interpretation.
Two-time breast cancer survivor Elizabeth Latta of Gloucester, Virginia knows the difference a comprehensive breast program can make. When first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, she thought her care would be choreographed.
“The first time I was totally lost. I was going in circles, and I didn’t know who to ask or trust. At that time, there wasn’t a whole lot of care. No support groups…nothing,” says Latta. “I remember being very angry,” she said.
Her most recent diagnosis in 2008, gave new perspective. “This time, it was a breeze. I knew everybody in the Women’s Imaging Pavilion,” says Latta whose routine checkups were done at the center.
“Wendi saved my life. We were talking almost every other day,” Latta recounts of the breast patient navigator at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, Wendi Whiting, RN, who is also certified in oncology and breast care.
Latta had the advantage of a multidisciplinary group of doctors guiding her care, one of the hallmarks of this accreditation program. “It made me feel better,” Latta says. “I didn’t worry, because I knew someone else was.”
NAPBC is a voluntary accreditation. At a minimum, NAPBC-accredited centers demonstrate the following: multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment available; access to clinical trial information and new treatment options; access to breast information, education, and support services; and ongoing monitoring, and improvement to care.
“It’s remarkable for Virginia patients to know Sentara breast programs are among those leading the nation in breast care. Offering patients an integrated team approach, cancer navigator, and the chance to participate in clinical trials demonstrates the caliber of care most associate with academic centers,” says surgeon Terryl Times, M.D., who practices at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center.
Other Sentara breast centers expected to seek the national accreditation include Sentara Leigh Comprehensive Breast Center, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sentara Bayside Hospital, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, and Sentara Princess Anne.
About NAPBC Accreditation
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) is a consortium of 15 leading organizations dedicated to improving the quality of breast care and results monitoring. Organizations like the American College of Surgeons, American Cancer Society, American Society of Breast Surgeons, National Consortium of Breast Centers, and Society of Surgical Oncologists, among others, have collaborated to develop unified standards in breast care. To maintain accreditation, centers must monitor ongoing compliance with NAPBC standards and undergo an onsite review every three years. More about NAPBC accredited breast centers can be found online at www.accreditedbreastcenters.org.