Coastal Maine Center for Breast Health, part of the radiology department at Waldo County General Hospital, is now a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence, the highest level of certification by the National Quality Measures for Breast Cancer (NQMBC).
“This is a marker for us; a recognition for the community,” says Dr. Nancy Webb, a radiologist who has specialized in women’s breast health for the past 15 years. “We wanted the community to know that we do quality work.”
Getting that designation was the result of efforts and support by a number of people. First, there was the task force of all those involved with breast health, including surgeons, primary care doctors and oncology staff. That formed four years ago. The goal was to coordinate efforts and to get recognition for the quality work that was taking place.
The group wanted to compare its efforts with those of similar sized hospitals and NQMBC seemed the way to do that based on its mission “to empower breast centers of all types and sizes with the ability to measure and improve quality of care provided to breast center patients.” They do that by identifying quality care measures, providing immediate access to information and allowing breast centers to compare their performance with other centers across the United States.
In January 2007, Dr. Webb returned to WCGH where she was a staff radiologist from 1995-1998. She had spent several of the intervening years as Director of Women’s Imaging for The Breast Care Center and Cape Cod Radiology Associates in Hyannis, Mass. In March 2007, the Imaging Department upgraded its mammography to digital. That was done, not because of the task force which hadn’t even formed yet, but because, according to Ann Hooper RTR(M), head of the Imaging Department, “We were keeping up with good techniques and standards of care.”
Ann Hooper and Dr. Webb recognized that the department was “already doing most of the things it needed to do to be a Center of Excellence” so they pushed to increase the quality a little bit and to get the recognition the department deserved.
In March 2011, Ann Hooper RTR(M) and Dr. Webb headed to the 21st annual National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference in Arizona. When they returned, Hooper was a certified Breast Cancer Navigator and Dr. Webb had completed an Assuring Quality Breast Program.
In June 2011, Kim Lenfestey, LMSW, was hired as the Hospital’s first Breast Care Navigator. In that position she helps breast cancer patients and their families to navigate through the maze of healthcare options, from diagnosis to survivorship. She is also available for support to women who are fearful of developing breast cancer based on family history. She has been instrumental in providing Telegenetic counseling for all oncology patients at the Hospital.
Another member of the mammography team is Danielle Wight, RTR(M), the radiology team leader for mammography. She is responsible for keeping the necessary data for NQMBC and making sure all state regulations are adhered to. Mammography is heavily regulated and a recent state inspection found absolutely no problems, which is unusual. Hooper says. “Not even any little dings. That’s Danielle. It really is a team.”
For her part, Danielle says, “I’m proud to be part of a team that does such a good job and is recognized for quality care.” She helps Dr. Webb coordinate education sessions with the nine registered mammography technicians in the imaging department to keep them up to date on any proposed changes and to reinforce good techniques.
Other members of the team include Radiologists Dr. Gregory Grotz and Dr. Tom Jones, the general surgeons and the oncology department. Hooper says they are also fortunate to have the support of the administration to work toward becoming a Center of Excellence.
“I’m proud to have this certification,” says Hooper. “It reinforces that we provide a community service and gives us good accountability.”
On May 3 the Hospital Aid held a successful spring yard sale, raising S2,030.
In mid-March, the Hospital began its partnership with Advanced ICU Care. After an exhaustive search, the Hospital chose Advanced ICU Care to provide eICU intensivist and RN monitoring and coverage for our ICU patients.
Advanced ICU Care is the single largest independent company providing eICU services in the nation. Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Kent Clark, said, “We chose to partner with this company because of their excellence in clinical outcomes, ability to provide 24/7 intensivist monitoring and coverage, and their collaborative approach to patient management. Advanced ICU Care is dedicated to providing our clinicians with high quality consultative services while working to complement your approach to patient care.”
He also thanked the medical staff for their patience and support over the past six months as the Hospital worked to find the best eICU solution for us, our clinicians, staff, and ICU patients.
Fourth graders in RSU 20 recently attended “Good Health, Good Choices,” a program focused on keeping young people tobacco free for life.
The Waldo County General Hospital Aid will sponsor its annual blood drive on Friday, Oct. 25, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge Hall (behind the Shrine Club) on the corner of Northport Avenue and Wight Street, Belfast.
All donors will be entered into a raffle for a $200 Visa gift card, courtesy of Suburban Propane.
To donate, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health, and show a valid I.D. You must also provide a list of any medications you are taking.
After donating, you will be provided with free snacks and a place to rest for about 15 minutes. The complete process from registration to relaxing at the canteen usually takes about an hour.
To make an appointment for the Oct. 25 blood drive or for more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.
Would you like to enjoy Maine-grown organic fruits and vegetables all year long? Learn how you can with “kitchen shares.”
Based on the Community Supported Agriculture model, with kitchen shares you receive a share each month that includes an assortment of nine items from Cheryl Wixson’s Kitchen. She purchases farm-fresh fruits and vegetables from more than 40 Certified Organic Maine Farmers during the harvest season and then creates small batches of pasta and pizza sauces, condiments, jams, pickled vegetables, marinades, dressings and dry mixes.
There are currently pick-up locations in Bangor, Belfast, Blue Hill, Deer Isle, Ellsworth, Freeport, Portland, Rockport, Unity, Waterville and Yarmouth. And others can be added with a minimum of five shares per location.
The cost of the November to April kitchen share is $300 if you pick up and $390 for mail orders in Maine only.