The National Consortium of Breast Centers recently announced that Dianne Courtney-Freeman, RT (R) (M), CBPN-I, senior mammography technologist, and Dorothy Carlson, RT (R) (M), CBPN-I, mammography technologist at the Center For Imaging at WCA, have received the designation of certified breast patient navigator through the completion of the NCBC's Breast Patient Navigator Certification Program. This certification program validates their knowledge and skills in navigating a breast patient through their breast care/cancer continuum of care.
"Dianne and Dorothy's choice to participate in this certification program shows their personal and professional commitment to providing high-quality care for our patients," said Tammara L. C. Hodges, WCA Hospital director of imaging services. "Moving a patient through her continuum of breast care or breast cancer care is a complex and highly individualized process. The complexity is significantly reduced with the assistance of our certified navigators who are specially trained to navigate a patient through the processes of care. Their certification status directly benefits our patients by equipping our breast patient navigators to personally guide each patient through the care process."
Most patients today realize they should follow early detection guidelines and follow-up with their care providers; however, sometimes barriers prevent individuals from following these guidelines. It is the Breast Patient Navigator who helps the patient work through, reduce or eliminate barriers to their breast care.
From left, Dianne Courtney-Freeman, RT (R) (M), CBPN-I, and Dorothy Carlson, RT (R) (M), CBPN-I, certified breast patient navigators at the Center For Imaging at WCA, comfort a patient during a stereotactic breast biopsy procedure.
The certification of a breast patient navigator revolves around the Breast Patient Navigation Matrix, which directly benefits patients by equipping the breast patient navigators to personally guide each patient through the care process. Patients are guided through the continuum of their care, knowing how to contact the appropriate individual on staff on whom they will depend for the services and support throughout their various stages of care. Patients are assisted in identifying resources available to them and are empowered to become informed participants in their breast health/cancer care program. The patient is the focus in each of the navigation stages.
"Our primary goal is to assist patients through the breast imaging process and ensure they receive timely results," said Dianne Courtney-Freeman, a senior mammography technologist at the center with over 30 years of experience in caring for women's needs. "We follow patients from their initial mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies to surgical treatment and care, if needed. We also assist with barriers that may keep them from care such as insurance or transportation."
During the breast imaging navigation stages, the breast patient navigator guides the patient through the breast imaging process and ensures the patient receives timely exam results, is scheduled for appropriate follow-up care or scheduled for their next routine exam. Breast cancer patient navigators are dedicated to saving lives by ensuring all patients who have a suspicious finding receive resolution through timely diagnosis and treatment, eliminating barriers to care, assisting with follow-up appointments and ensuring each patient efficiently moves through the care delivery system.
The Center For Imaging at WCA is committed to ensuring every individual who visits the facility for a mammogram receives the care and attention he or she deserves. "We're here to help every woman feel comfortable every step of the way," said Dorothy Carlson, staff mammographer and certified breast health navigator. "Whether it is assisting with insurance concerns or just a heart-to-heart talk about issues affecting treatment, our goal is to be a resource for our community. If an individual has questions, we are here to ensure that she gets the care she needs and deserves."
Breast MRI imaging and MRI-guided biopsy are the newest in a comprehensive array of breast health services available at the Center For Imaging & Medical Arts at WCA - designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology's Commission on Breast Imaging. Other services include same day mammogram screening; breast and general ultrasound, PET/CT Imaging, MRI imaging, bone densitometry screening, screening and diagnostic mammography with same day results, Stereotactic and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy and outpatient laboratory.
The Center For Imaging provides low-dose X-ray mammograms with clearer, magnified pictures for better image interpretation. The technology allows for images to be reviewed more quickly. If abnormalities are discovered in an image, biopsies are performed, and results are discussed with patients the next day. "Women in our community are busy with family and work, but scheduling mammograms is essential for early cancer detection and overall health maintenance," says Lyndon Gritters, board-certified radiologist on the medical staff at WCA. "If it's time for a yearly mammogram, I encourage women to be proactive in the fight against breast cancer by participating in screening and detection."
To schedule a mammogram exam, call 664-8448. For more information on additional services offered at the Center For Imaging & Medical Arts at WCA, visit www.wcahospital.org.