07/05/2012 - The UHS Breast Center has become the first facility in Greater Binghamton to receive full, three-year accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
The accreditation places UHS among an elite group of medical centers where the full spectrum of breast care is available and meets the highest clinical standards.
Accreditation by the national organization, a branch of the American College of Surgeons, is awarded only to those centers that have voluntarily committed to the high standards and agree to undergo a rigorous performance review.
"The accrediting agency evaluates each breast program on its entire range of services, including imaging, surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, physical rehabilitation and nurse navigation, as well as outreach and patient education," said Michael J. Farrell, MD, medical director of the center.
The knowledge, skill and teamwork of the providers and employees enabled the center to win the top accreditation, for which they prepared over a two-year period, he noted.
"We have an excellent care team, including Camelia Lawrence, MD, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon, whose practice is devoted to the area of breast disease, both benign and malignant processes," Dr. Farrell said.
UHS gives women in Greater Binghamton a breast care option comparable to what they would find at a large university hospital, said Susan Kost, RN, program manager at the Breast Center.
"This latest accreditation means the UHS Breast Center meets the same exacting standards that other major breast centers across the country live by," she said.
UHS also has been awarded quality designations by the Commission on Cancer, another branch of the American College of Surgeons.
The center offers complete screening and diagnostic services for breast cancer and other breast conditions, including digital mammography examinations, ultrasound testing, and both ultrasound-guided and stereotactic biopsy.
If a patient is diagnosed with cancer, a cancer nurse coordinator is on staff to help her with information and support throughout the treatment and recovery process.
The center has clinical offices at both UHS Wilson Medical Center and UHS Binghamton General Hospital. In the fall, it will be moving to the new UHS Vestal on the Vestal Parkway.
In keeping with its mission of emphasizing wellness and providing comprehensive care, UHS Hospitals also offers "Pearls of Wisdom," a program that encourages women to have yearly mammograms. When a woman receives a mammogram, she goes home with a freshwater-pearl necklace, and a pearl is added with each subsequent annual mammography visit.
UHS is a locally owned, not-for-profit, 916-bed hospital and healthcare system serving Greater Binghamton and surrounding counties. Founded in 1981, UHS provides a full range of medical, surgical, rehabilitative and long-term care services from more than 60 locations around New York's Southern Tier.