A strong focus on women’s health is the motivation behind Decatur Morgan Hospital’s newly renovated and renamed Breast Health Center. The project, which began with the idea in mind to provide people in the community with a state-of-the-art facility and equipment for their breast health care needs, was funded by the community through fundraisers and charity events sponsored by the Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation. Final results of the fundraising yielded some $800,000 for construction, finishes and furnishings and new technology including 3D mammography.
“We decided to rename the center, because we provide more than mammography. We also have ultrasound and stereotactic breast biopsy which we do in the Breast Health Center,” said Noel Lovelace, Vice President of Development and President of Foundation. “At other, less comprehensive facilities, a woman might have to go to a surgery center or other facility to have a biopsy. At Decatur Morgan, the surgeon comes to the patient. Having an abnormal mammogram that needs further exploration is stressful enough without waiting a week or two to see a surgeon. Our surgeons are fantastic and have made a commitment to see a patient within 24 hours for any needed biopsies. And the same great team that provides annual mammograms is there to support the patient and the surgeon, so there’s certainly a level of comfort there,” Lovelace said.
As more and more research is being released by the American Cancer Society (ACS), it is essential for individuals to be aware of their breast health. According to the ACS, 1 in 8 individuals will be diagnosed with breast cancer or some other breast health issue in their lifetime. With such a statistic, Decatur Morgan Hospital’s goal through the Breast Health Center is also to ensure the community is made aware of the importance of breast health with special events and free and discounted mammograms to uninsured women who qualify.
For those women who receive a diagnosis of breast cancer, Decatur Morgan’s local medical staff includes all specialists needed for treatment. According to Lovelace, collaboration is key. Primary care physicians and gynecologists work closely with the radiologists, surgeons, oncologists and reconstructive surgeons to care for each patient. The staff in the Breast Health Center help a breast cancer patient navigate and coordinate their care.
Decatur Morgan has provided these services for many years so local patients did not have to travel for their health care needs -but the facility needed a fresh look and a new brand. Rather than seeing patients leave Decatur to seek treatment, according to Lovelace, Decatur Morgan wanted to offer a beautiful, comfortable environment with staff specializing in the provision of breast health care during the difficult journey some patients experience, as well as after treatment care. The idea of providing care and comfort with familiarity through a local staff was ultimately a driving force for this project.
It is important to note that the ACS recommends individuals over 45 receive an annual mammogram. To take control of your health, make an appointment with one of Decatur Morgan’s health care providers today.