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Press Release

Bellevue Hospital Breast Care Service Team
Bellevue Hospital Breast Care Service Achieves “Center of Excellence” Accreditation

Bellevue’s multi-disciplinary team approach includes state-of-the-art chemotherapy, surgery, reconstructive surgery; ensures supportive, culturally-sensitive care

June 23, 2014

(New York, NY) - Bellevue Hospital Center, part of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), announced today that its Breast Care Service has been awarded Center of Excellence accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) of the American College of Surgeons.  This is the highest form of clinical and quality care recognition for breast cancer centers in the United States. 
“This full three-year accreditation demonstrates that Bellevue Hospital provides the highest level of breast cancer treatment and management that you can attain nationally,” said Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph, Director of the Breast Services. “The patient can be assured that she is receiving the highest level of care by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and support staff.”

“At Bellevue Hospital, breast cancer services are delivered by a multidisciplinary team of providers through an integrated care plan. This team effort assures the expediency of quality care, and allows Bellevue to live and breathe a patient centered model of care for the breast cancer patients,” said Steven R. Alexander, Bellevue Executive Director.

The NAPBC accreditation program challenges breast cancer centers to enhance the care they provide by addressing patient-centered needs and measuring the quality of the care they deliver against national standards. 

At Bellevue, a multidisciplinary team of providers delivers integrated care that includes:

• surgery
• medical and radiation oncology
• pathology
• radiology
• plastic and reconstructive surgery
• rehabilitative medicine
• palliative care 
• simultaneous in-person translation services
• support groups
• patient navigation

The clinical team is supported on-site by an oncology trained nursing team, psychiatry, social work, chemo pharmacists, patient navigators, therapeutic artists, a legal health attorney, and a cadre of trained volunteers.  Administrative support is provided by oncology trained staff, a specialized tumor registrar, and financial counselors. 

“We work with patients and their families to provide the level of care that the patient needs while respecting the patient’s wishes. Our patients can come here and receive the latest in breast cancer treatment, including clinical trials for locally advanced breast cancer, flap reconstruction, and nipple sparing mastectomy. We continually strive to provide our patients with state-of-the-art care in a sensitive and supportive environment,” Dr. Joseph said.
The Breast Care Service has 2,678 visits a year – 12 percent of the Bellevue Cancer Center volume.

As part of the accreditation process, the NAPBC surveyor found the breast care center compliant on all 27 standards they examined, with no deficiencies.

The NAPBC also selected three Bellevue Hospital patient education components, available in English, Spanish and Mandarin, to be included in the NAPBC national Best Practice Repository and shared with other healthcare providers around the country:

Bellevue Hospital Breast Care Service Patient Education Videos – Three animated videos that allow patients to see a mastectomy, sentinel lymph node dissection, and a lumpectomy.

Bellevue Hospital Breast Care Service Patient Centered Notebook – A notebook given to patients that can be customized based on the patient's diagnosis and type of surgery and includes a Bellevue Hospital map and glossary.

Bellevue Hospital Breast Care Service Patient Care Summary – A checklist given to all patients at the end of their visit that lists which provider they saw, diagnosis, what tests were ordered, contact numbers and next appointment.

The Bellevue Breast Care Service has been following NAPBC guidelines since 2011, and has also been a certified participant of the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC), through the National Consortium of Breast Centers, since 2009.  As a member of NQMBC, Bellevue has been tracking and measuring its performance on quality measures with over 400 participating breast centers nationwide.  This forum has facilitated total transparency in Bellevue's performance as it has become a Center of Excellence.

Photo: (Left to Right): Dr. Shubhada Dhage (Breast Surgeon); Monti Castaneda (Senior Research Coordinator); Camille Ferdinand (Clinical Manager - Oncology); Dorothy Surgiasz (Supervisor of Nursing Education); Ampah Amoah (Patient Care Associate); Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph (Chief Breast Surgery Service); Dr. Kenneth Rifkind (Chief of Surgery); Mohamed Sadif (Coord. Mgr. - Cancer Registry Operations); Nancy Guzman (Cancer Center Administrator); Sheridan Blair (Patient Care Associate); Dr. Jonathan Melamed (Director of Anatomic Pathology); Elizabeth Horowitz (Breast Surgery PA); Yvette Robinson (Director of Nursing); Seema Das (Head Nurse); Ketsy Erazo (Clerical Associate); Dr. Amanda Spray (Psychologist); Ai-Lian Lim (Director of Occupational Therapy); Nati Mejias (Administrative Assistant - Surgery)

About Bellevue
Bellevue is a member of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) and is America's oldest hospital, established in 1736. Affiliated with the NYU School of Medicine, Bellevue is a major referral center for highly complex cases. The 828-bed hospital has more than 4,000 employees and works closely with interdisciplinary staff throughout the hospital. Its emergency room sees more than 125,000 visits every year. Clinical centers of excellence include: Emergency Medicine and Trauma Care; Cardiovascular Services; Designated Regional Perinatal Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU); Comprehensive Children's Psychiatric Emergency Program; and Cancer Services.

About HHC
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system, the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country, and one of the New York area's largest  providers of government-sponsored health insurance, MetroPlus Health Plan, the plan of choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, five skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission's John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc or find us on facebook.com/nycHHC  or twitter.com/HHCnyc.

- Evelyn Hernandez, Bellevue Public Affairs, 212-562-4516 - evelyn.hernandez@nychhc.org
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