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Tuscon's First Accredited Breast Center

Mar 10, 2015
The Breast Center at Carondelet St. Mary’s has been granted full accreditation from the American College of Surgeons National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), the highest recognition a breast center can receive. Carondelet’s program is the first breast center in Southern Arizona to receive this distinction – making it Tucson’s first fully accredited breast center. Not only did it receive accreditation in all areas, but The Breast Center also is being recognized as a national best practice in breast cancer surveillance. For Tucson-area women, this means they can receive care at Carondelet that meets the highest standards based on national best practices.

The Breast Center at Carondelet St. Mary’s is the hub of comprehensive care for women’s breast health needs. It focuses on prevention, early detection, and expert treatment of breast disease, such as breast cancer. It differs from other breast centers because of its standardized, coordinated path of care from initial surgeon visit to post-discharge follow-ups. The clinical team offers a holistic approach to treatment, meeting each week to discuss treatment plans and to follow each patient through every aspect of care—from diagnosis to treatment to recovery. Patients have access to genetic counseling, Carondelet’s bilingual patient navigator who provides education and support, and to other specialists, such as a physical therapist and social worker.

“NAPBC accreditation is the gold standard for breast care and something the team of specialists at St. Mary’s has been working toward since the Center’s inception in 2011,” says Amy Beiter, MD, president and chief executive officer of Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital. “It is a wonderful testament to the quality of care patients receive here and the commitment of our medical staff and clinical teams.”

Approximately 550 breast centers across the US have earned this distinction, including three in Arizona: Two are in Phoenix and now The Breast Center at Carondelet St. Mary’s makes three. To receive NAPBC accreditation, a facility must undergo a rigorous process, and score top marks in all 28 program standards, which measure leadership, clinical management, and quality improvement criteria.

"I appreciate the expertise and high level of communication between specialists associated with the program. The way they take ownership of The Breast Center patients is absolutely unique,” says Chris Reed, MD, radiologist with The Breast Center. “I truly love being able to reassure and help these patients through their experience.”

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