PHCS News

Quality Care, Close to Home

Jan 30, 2012

University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) has earned a three-year, full accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.

UMCP earned accreditation by demonstrating that patients have access to comprehensive, high-quality care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services; a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options; and information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options

The NAPBC accreditation applies to the full spectrum of care provided at UMCP and UMCP's Breast Health Center in East Windsor, from diagnostic services such as mammography to the most advanced cancer treatments.

UMCP is the first Mercer County facility to earn NAPBC accreditation. Nationwide, accredited breast care programs include those operated by prestigious institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, the University of Chicago, and the Cleveland Clinic.

"We are proud to be among this select group," said Linda F. Sieglen, MD, MMM, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs for Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS), which includes UMCP and the UMCP Breast Health Center. "This designation demonstrates the comprehensive, state-of-the-art care we are able to provide, thanks to the skill and commitment of our physicians, nurses and other members of the clinical team."

Accreditation is available to programs that voluntarily undergo a thorough evaluation and demonstrate compliance with NAPBC standards for treating women and men who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Those standards include proficiency in leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement.

Patients at UMCP and the Breast Health Center have quick, easy access to an expert team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and surgeons, including a fellowship-trained breast surgeon. The patients can also access an array of state-of-the-art services, including digital screening and diagnostic mammography; ultrasound-guided and stereotactic biopsies; MRI-guided biopsy; genetic counseling and testing; and certified breast health navigators. These specially trained nurses provide one-on-one support and skilled guidance, from diagnosis through treatment, for patients diagnosed with breast cancer. The Breast Health Center has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

The five-year survival rate among UMCP breast cancer patients is significantly higher than the national average. Among patients diagnosed at UMCP, 85 percent are in an early stage of breast cancer - Stage 0, 1, or 2. Ninety-four percent of these patients are diagnosed using a minimally invasive needle biopsy instead of a more traditional surgical biopsy. A needle biopsy does not involve a large incision, so patients report having less pain and discomfort as they recover from the procedure. Since their cancer has been caught at an early stage, nearly three-fourths of women undergoing surgery for breast cancer at UMCP are able to have breast conservation surgery, often called a lumpectomy.

"We provide our patients with every advantage in their fight against breast cancer," said Rachel P. Dultz, MD, FACS, breast surgical specialist, Medical Director of the UMCP Breast Health Center, and chair of the multidisciplinary Breast Program Leadership committee. "People don't need to travel far and wide searching for the best care. We provide it right here, close to their homes."

Also serving on the Breast Program Leadership committee are Thamarai Saminathan, MD, representing pathology; Christopher L. Ananian, MD, radiology; Thomas R. Blom, MD, medical oncology; Edward M. Soffen, radiation oncology; James Demetriades, MBA, Vice President, Professional Services, for PHCS; Judith Neuman, CTR, Director, Cancer Program; and Beth Krefski, MSN, RN, CBCN, Director, Breast Health Center.

University Medical Center at Princeton is a Clinical Research Affiliate of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and an accredited oncology teaching program of the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer.