Virginia Hospital Center is now the first and only NAPBC-accredited breast center in the entire state of Virginia and in Washington, D.C. The Hospital is one of the first 23 breast centers nationwide to receive the distinction by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a new program administered by the American College of Surgeons that sets rigorous standards for breast cancer care.
NAPBC-accredited centers provide evidence-based medicine, and undergo extensive review before selection. These comprehensive, multidisciplinary programs are assessed on 27 essential standards of breast cancer care, including imaging technologies, breadth of radiation and medical oncology programs, reconstructive surgery, survivorship programs, and a “patient navigator” to help patients through the complexities of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. A fully accredited program, such as Virginia Hospital Center’s, must comply with at least 90% of these standards. Reaccreditation requires an on-site review every three years.
“It’s particularly impressive that the Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center is one of the first in the nation to be accredited by the NAPBC,” said David Winchester, M.D., FACS, Medical Director, Cancer Programs, American College of Surgeons and Chair, NAPBC. “The Center has passed a rigorous test, and any patient should feel very comfortable and confident about seeking treatment there.”
Founded in 2007, the Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center offers patients a full range of multidisciplinary services all under one roof. All specialists — including surgeons, breast imagers, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, pathologists, physical therapists, breast health educators and breast oncology nurses — have advanced training in breast health.
“When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she wants to put her care in the hands of people she can trust,” says Stephanie Akbari, M.D., FACS and Medical Director of the Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center. “The American College of Surgeons has given women what they want and need by developing this new accreditation program, and Virginia Hospital Center is honored to be among the first institutions chosen for this important designation.”
In addition to top-notch cancer care, stress reduction for patients and their families is integral to the Center’s healing philosophy. The Hospital offers all-private rooms with daybeds, sends each mastectomy patient a large pink basket full of comforting items for recovery that is waiting in her room when she wakes up from surgery, and coordinates massage therapy for breast cancer patients interested in the services provided by the Teal Center for Therapeutic Bodywork located right on the Hospital’s campus.
Of the substantial capital investments in new and upgraded diagnostic imaging equipment that the Hospital has made since 2005, $7.1 million has been made in technology that contributes to the services offered at the Center for Breast Health. These state-of-the-art technologies include an ACR-accredited and FDA-certified Women’s Imaging Center that provides all-digital mammography imaging with computer assisted detection (CAD). Imaging also includes CT scanning, breast ultrasound and MRI, SPECT/CT gamma camera imaging, and lymphoscintigraphy, a special type of nuclear medicine imaging that provides localization of sentinel lymph nodes. Since the Center’s official opening, surgeons have seen over 800 new patients. In 2008, the Center treated approximately 316 breast cancer cases, an increase from the 167 patients cared for in the previous year.
About Virginia Hospital Center:
For over 60 years, Virginia Hospital Center has provided exceptional medical services to the Washington metropolitan area. Virginia Hospital Center’s new $150 million state-of-the-art facility offers comprehensive healthcare and multiple Centers of Excellence including Cardiology & Cardiovascular Surgery, Breast Health, Neuroscience, Oncology, Women & Infant Health and Urology. Growing service lines include Executive Health and the only Lung Cancer Center in Northern Virginia. Virginia Hospital Center is a teaching hospital, long-associated with Georgetown University’s School of Medicine, and accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and Licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health.