October 06, 2016

UAB Hospital named a top breast health center in the U.S.

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breast cancer docsPatients at the UAB Breast Health Center are assigned a multidisciplinary team upon diagnosis. Pictured are Drs. Jennifer De Los Santos, left, Andres Forero and Helen Krontiras. University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital has received a 2016 Women’s Choice Award among the best breast health centers in the country based on its clinical excellence and female patient satisfaction.

The Women’s Choice Award is a referral source empowering women to make smart health care choices by identifying the country’s best health care institutions. Its seal is seen as a symbol of excellence in customer experience awarded by the collective voice of women.

“This is a wonderful honor that has been bestowed upon us, especially since it comes from women in our community and across the nation who have rated us based on the exceptional patient care and treatment they have received,” said Helen Krontiras, M.D., surgical oncologist and co-director of the UAB Breast Health Center. “We hold their trust in great esteem.”

UAB was selected based on robust criteria. All recipients had to meet the high standards of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers from the American College of Surgeons, and also carry the seal from the American College of Radiologists as a Breast Imaging Center for Excellence.

In addition, the breast centers associated with a hospital, such as UAB, had to receive a rating in the top 75 percent for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ patient recommendation measures, or their equivalent in the case of breast centers without hospital affiliation.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer among women. One in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, with 4,000 new cases diagnosed in Alabama each year.

“Whether it’s an annual mammogram or addressing a more serious concern, every woman deserves the best breast care and opportunity to live a healthy life,” said Delia Passi, CEO and founder of the Women’s Choice Award and a 13-year survivor. “By letting women know which breast centers in their area are among America’s best, we are able to reduce their risk by helping them make smarter health care choices.”

The UAB Breast Health Center is part of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the nation’s leading cancer research and treatment centers, and is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center located in the six-state area that comprises Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.

“We know now that breast cancer is not a one-size-fits-all disease. A multidisciplinary approach is key to assuring the appropriate plan is implemented for each individual patient.”

“We know now that breast cancer is not a one-size-fits-all disease,” Krontiras said. “A multidisciplinary approach is key to assuring the appropriate plan is implemented for each individual patient.”

Once patients are diagnosed with breast cancer, they meet with their specialized medical team, including a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and surgical oncologist, on the same day to discuss options and ask questions. The multidisciplinary teams meet three times a week to review cases and determine the best path of treatment for each patient.

“We provide our patients with comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment options and follow-up cares that include screening, risk assessment, prevention strategies, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and research, providing the latest in clinical trial options.”

Located at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital, the breast health center combines the expertise of the physician team with nurse practitioners, navigators and social workers, and a variety of other supportive services, including nutritional counseling, physical and massage therapy, and spiritual and psychological counseling.  

“When women choose the UAB Breast Health Center, they can be confident in knowing that our physicians are nationally recognized experts in breast health and employ today’s leading-edge treatments,” Krontiras said

The complete list of awardees is available.