Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute Breast Care Center First in Maine to Receive National Accreditation
The Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute Breast Care Center has become the first in the state to receive a full, three-year accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), administered by the American College of Surgeons. Accreditation by NAPBC is given only to centers that voluntarily commit to provide the highest level of quality breast care, as well as undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance.
Earning the NAPBC Accreditation means an organization excels in patient care, and is measured on its merits in five areas: quality improvement, professional education, community outreach, center leadership, and clinical management. Centers must be compliant with 27 standards within these five areas. The Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute (MMCCI) Breast Care Center was 100 percent compliant.
"We are proud to have been recognized by NAPBC for our commitment to quality cancer care," says Dr. Tracey Weisberg, medical director of the MMCCI Breast Care Center. "Our staff has worked diligently to provide the most expert and compassionate care to breast cancer patients across Maine. To be nationally accredited and regarded among the best breast cancer centers in the country is an honor, but our patients are the ones who truly benefit."
Receiving treatment at an accredited center ensures that patients have access to:
- Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services. The MMCCI Breast Care Center offers leading edge diagnostic and screening services, as well as the latest advancements in radiation therapy (radiation oncology), surgery (including plastic and reconstructive surgery) and medical oncology. Patients also have access to genetic testing and counseling, support groups, education, and post-treatment support at the MMCCI Breast Care Center.
- A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options. Our team participates in weekly conferences to review data and develop treatment plans that are best for the patient. The breast care team collaborates on individual cases, reviewing radiology imaging, pathology specimens, and surgical assessment.
- Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options. The MMCCI Breast Care Center works collaboratively with the oncology specialists at Maine Center for Cancer Medicine (MCCM), where numerous active clinical trials are underway. All patients with breast cancer are carefully screened and, when appropriate, offered the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial.
- Quality breast care close to home. The Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute Breast Care Center provides screening, early detection, diagnostic imaging services, specialist consultation for benign breast conditions, comprehensive treatment resources and treatment of breast cancer (including support through survivorship), in a warm, welcoming, patient-family centered environment.
Among the many things that make our Center special are Clinical Patient Navigators, who assist patients through their entire diagnosis and treatment process, helping guide them through the many appointments, treatment options and post-treatment care. Our Navigators are Oncology Certified Advanced Practice Nurses with specialized expertise in the care of breast cancer patients. Patients also have access to a team of health care providers, including an Oncology Social Worker , a Clinical Oncology Dietician, Genetics Specialists. The services of a Patient Navigator supported by the MMCCI and the American Cancer Society are also available to help patients connect with important support resources in the community, such as transportation.
The NAPBC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast. This mission is pursued through standard-setting, scientific validation, and patient and professional education. Its board membership included professionals from 5 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of breast care.
In addition to the NAPBC Accreditation, the Commission on Cancer (CoC) has also awarded Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute with another Three Year Accreditation with Commendation, the highest rating awarded to such facilities. MMC is the only teaching hospital in Maine to earn this recognition. Moreover, MMC was one of only two hospitals in all of New England to be awarded the CoC's Outstanding Achievement Award for exceptional performance in 2007.
The Radiation Oncology Program of MMCCI was recently redesignated as the only facility in the state to receive Accreditation in Radiation Oncology from the American College of Radiology (ACR). Earning the ACR accreditation means an organization has demonstrated a commitment to patient care and quality, and is able to offer advanced technology and techniques for the care and treatment of cancer patients. One example is a new program offering accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) via high-dose rate brachytherapy for breast cancer patients. This outpatient treatment targets the tumor site rather than the whole breast - eradicating any residual tumor cells while leaving more healthy tissue and cells intact. In addition to its effectiveness and reduced toxicity- APBI requires less time than more conventional whole breast treatment.
For more information about the MMCCI Breast Care Center or other services within the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute, please call 1-877-831-2129.
Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute (MMCCI) is Maine's leading provider of oncology services for adults and children, offering a depth and breadth of clinical quality and expertise that is unrivaled in northern New England. From prevention and early detection, to state-of-the-art treatment and clinical trials, as well as educational and emotional support, the MMC Cancer Institute is home to the most comprehensive array of award-winning cancer care resources in the region. For more information, visit www.mmc.org/cancerinstitute.
Contact: Tiffany Nelson
(207) 662-5032 (office)