ThedaCare Receives Fox Cities' Only National Breast Centers Accreditation

February 23, 2011

Recognition Honors Dedication to Providing Patients the Highest Quality Care

The ThedaCare Breast Centers is the only facility in the Fox Cities to receive official accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). This major certification recognizes ThedaCare’s dedication to improving the quality of care and monitoring the outcomes of patients with breast diseases.

The breast center, which serves patients at Appleton Medical Center, Encircle Health, and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, applied for accreditation so that patients and community members can feel confident they are receiving the best comprehensive and collaborative care in the country, right here at home, said Kim Barnas, vice president of ThedaCare.

“When patients come to ThedaCare for their breast care, they're coming to a system that has highly trained breast surgeons and mammographers,” Barnas said. “They’re getting a very consistent, very strong clinical team that can take care of any situation.”

ThedaCare Breast Centers is one of about 200 national centers to go through NAPBC’s rigorous application process and onsite survey. It is the only accredited breast center in the Fox Cities. To receive the three-year certification, ThedaCare had to meet 27 program standards and 17 program components of care, which the NAPBC established to ensure facilities are providing the most efficient and contemporary care possible for patients diagnosed with breast diseases.

“What it means for patients is that their breast center has had to work very hard to meet standards set by this accreditation board, to guarantee they will receive a certain level of excellence in care and have every important service available,” said breast surgeon Honnie Bermas, MD, who treats patients in surgical oncology at Fox Valley Surgical Associates at Appleton Medical Center.

Dr. Bermas said patients receive many benefits by getting their breast care at an accredited center. At the ThedaCare Breast Centers, patients can be confident that the center has in place the most important diagnostic, research and support components, which may not be available at other, non-accredited centers. Components include: imaging, needle biopsy, pathology, interdisciplinary conferences, patient navigation, genetic evaluation and management, surgical care, education, support, rehabilitation, nursing, and quality improvement.

A significant component is ThedaCare’s multidisciplinary breast care conferences. These weekly meetings bring all aspects of a patient’s care – namely, experts in pathology, surgery, radiation oncology, radiology, medical oncology, and mental health – together in one room to discuss and review cases.

Helping patients navigate through an often confusing process is another crucial component in place at the ThedaCare Breast Centers. It is designed to help guide patients through each step of their care. ThedaCare recently hired two new patient navigators, breast care coordinators who will be with patients through testing and diagnosis.

“ThedaCare is very excited and very proud of our employees who really work so hard every day to provide great care,” Barnas said. “We keep our patients as the center, of our focus, and all of us have the same goal – to provide the highest level of care that supports patients and families.”

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

For more information, media may contact Megan Wilcox (megan.wilcox@thedacare.org), APR, corporate and public relations specialist for ThedaCare, at (920) 830-5847. For after hours or on weekends, please call (920) 729-3100 (Theda Clark Medical Center switchboard).