Johns Hopkins breast imaging specialists to provide imaging services
The Center for Breast Care at Calvert Memorial Hospital brings together a team of breast health experts - including breast radiologists from Johns Hopkins - with an experienced navigator backed by the latest technology in one comfortable and convenient location.
"This center provides the same quality of care you would find in a major metropolitan area," said CMH President and CEO Jim Xinis, "right here in our community."
Located in Suite 102 of the new Calvert Medical Arts Center on the main hospital campus, the breast center offers comprehensive and coordinated care for women - from outreach and screening to diagnosis, treatment and survivorship, all under one roof, in a timely manner.
Board-certified surgeon Dr. Sheldon Goldberg, member of the American College of Breast Surgeons, was recently named as the center's medical director. "His personal and professional dedication to caring for women with breast cancer," said Xinis, "is matched by the physician leadership team who worked side-by-side for the past year to develop this center." The team also includes general and plastic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, breast radiologists from Johns Hopkins and breast pathologists.
The new center offers physicians involved in the management of breast disease a dedicated space to see and treat their patients. "This collaborative environment makes it easier for physicians to consult with each other about a patient's treatment," said Goldberg. "We also have multidisciplinary conferences to discuss more complex cases."
"A unique part of our team is the breast care navigator," said Goldberg. Linda Walton, RN, BSN, OCN has more than more than 20 years in breast cancer care at the tertiary (or more advanced) level and is an oncology certified nurse. For the past 12 years, she worked at Washington Hospital Center's Cancer Institute coordinating services and coordinating care for patients in their breast health center, which she also helped to develop.
Prior to that, she helped develop the breast center at Anne Arundel Medical Center. She has also worked at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center and in breast cancer research at the National Institutes of Health.
Her office is located in the diagnostic imaging center inside the dedicated women's imaging suite. When there is an abnormal finding of any kind, Walton is immediately connected with the woman. This contact early in the process is key, said Goldberg. She helps lessen anxiety, by providing reassurance, explaining results and answering questions about her diagnosis and treatment options.
"It's like learning a whole new language," said Walton, "and I'm the interpreter. My role is to help our patients better understand the information being presented so they can make informed decisions."
And when the diagnosis is cancer, Walton is there for them every step of the way - guiding them through the entire process. This can involve facilitating appointments, advocating for them, coordinating care and putting them in touch with services that will make the process a little easier, such as nutrition counseling and complementary medicine.
"Being the navigator is a very special place to be for me," said Walton. "It's really an honor." For more information or to make an appointment, call 410-414-4700.
Calvert Medical Imaging Center (CMIC) provides breast-imaging services for The Center for Breast Care at CMH. It is located on the lower level of the same building. The center features a state-of-the-art PET/CT scanner and digital mammography as well as breast MRI and stereotactic biopsy. A separate women's imaging suite caters to the comfort and privacy of their female patients.
"The sophisticated diagnostic technology at CMIC is on a par with what you would find in a tertiary center in a metropolitan area," said lead radiologist Dr Guillermo Zambrano.
He noted that digital mammography is used exclusively at CMIC and added that dedicated breast radiologists read all screening mammograms. When a breast biopsy is recommended, most can be performed using a minimally invasive alternative to surgery known as image-guided needle biopsy.
Johns Hopkins Joins Team
In March, breast radiologists from Johns Hopkins joined the Center for Breast Care at CMH to provide a complete range of imaging services. Dr. Nagi Khouri, who is director of breast imaging for the Johns Hopkins Avon Breast Center in Baltimore, also directs Calvert's imaging program. In 2007, he was selected as one of the top five women's imaging specialists in the country. His involvement with the Center for Breast Care at CMH helps assure an accurate diagnosis, which is critical to establishing the right treatment plan.
The breast center is also home to Fran's Nu Image, which offers fittings of prostheses, bras, specialized apparel, lymphedema products, wigs, turbans and scarves in a private area. "We're excited to be part of this new center and glad to be able to offer our products and services right at the point women need them," said Mimi Quade, owner and certified fitter.
She is routinely there on Mondays but makes appointments on other days, as needed. Walk-ins are welcome but Quade suggests appointments in order to avoid a wait.
The hospital's breast cancer support group also meets at the center and the American Cancer Society's Look Good, Feel Better classes are held there. The free program is led by a licensed cosmetologist and is designed to help female cancer patients cope with hair and skin changes that occur during treatment.
For more information about programs and services offered at the center, call the breast care navigator at 40-414-4700. Women interested in a screening mammogram can also call this number.