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Breast Cancer Care Coordination

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Breast Cancer Care Coordination: Screening, Knowledge, Support

The Norris Cotton Cancer Center Kingsbury Pavilion at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene (CMC/DHK) provides support and timely education and intervention strategies through its Breast Cancer Care Coordination program.

Using Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR), a research system established by The Dartmouth Institute in 2011, patients between the ages of 35-69 are offered the opportunity to take an interactive survey during their annual physical in Family Medicine and Women’s Health departments. Using an iPad, individuals answer questions about their medical and family history. When completed, a ‘risk’ score is calculated. Those women that are found to be at higher risk of developing breast cancer are referred to the Breast Care Coordinators and receive education about recommended screenings, based on national evidence-based guidelines. Additionally, patients are given assistance with scheduling appointments, and, if breast cancer is diagnosed, share in the decision making process to develop their individualized plan of care. Breast Care Coordinators are nurses that provide education about breast cancer, its care, risks, management, and treatments; coordinate and schedule appointments; provide follow up care and evaluations; and assist with access to resources for social, financial, and psychological support. Each patient’s journey is unique and fluid, modified to fit the healthcare needs and lifestyle goals of the individual.

Breast Imaging Center of Excellence Accredidation"As oncology nurses, we are helping patients through a very difficult time in their lives and it’s important for them to know that we genuinely care and are always there for them,” shares Beverly Griffin, RN, BSN, OCN, Breast Care Coordinator. “Our patients become almost as close as family to us and we acknowledge their fears and concerns. Our oncologists, nurses and support staff work together as a tight team, but we also involve social workers, dieticians and other departments in the total care of our cancer patients. I leave work every day feeling fulfilled, knowing our patients are getting the latest treatment modalities and the most compassionate cancer care, close to home."

The American College of Radiology recently designated CMC/DHK as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, which recognizes breast imaging centers that have earned accreditation in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, and breast ultrasound (including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy) and have met the highest level of imaging quality and patient safety. The CMC/DHK Radiology Department operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has a team of certified Radiologists who perform and interpret all procedures. The Mammography department is also approved by the FDA and features state of the art technology that reduces a patient’s exposure to radiation, while maintaining high image quality.