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Advertise on the Tentacle

November 7, 2011

A Boon for Women in Frederick County

Michael Kurtianyk

Last week, the Frederick Fairgrounds was the site for the biannual Good Samaritan Dinner. Twice a year, Frederick Memorial Hospital celebrates the contributions of past and present donors with a dinner and an update on its growth.


At the dinner, participants learned about the hospital’s Women’s Center at Crestwood. The center had its grand opening October 21; and it is truly a gem of a place for women.


Located at 7211 Bank Court in Frederick, the Women’s Center for Breast Care provides services to women by being a one-stop mammography center. Women schedule their mammograms and – if necessary – an MRI and ultrasound can be done on the same day. The center offers full service laboratory work, including CAT scans and ultrasounds as well as plastic surgery, oncology and rehabilitation services.


If the doctors see something untoward, and a biopsy is needed, it can be scheduled within a week. The center also has a resource room in which patients can participate in support groups. They can learn about the latest research in the treatment of breast cancer.


To understand the significance of this center, it is important to understand what it used to be like before the Women’s Center opened, as we heard at the dinner from Dr. Susan Bahl, medical director of the center and one of the premier breast surgeons in the country:


Before the center opened in October, the average number of days between initial mammogram and surgical intervention was 59. Since the center this year, that number has been reduced to 11 days.


The number of women in Frederick County diagnosed with breast cancer at Frederick Memorial Hospital in 2010 was 102. There were 70 women in Frederick County diagnosed with breast cancer at FMH who stayed locally for treatment that year. In 2011, the estimated number of women in Frederick County who will be diagnosed with breast cancer at Frederick Memorial Hospital is 158. The estimated number of women in Frederick County diagnosed with breast cancer at FMH who will stay locally for treatment this year is 120.


The most striking feature of the Women’s Center is called the GPS. Essentially, it’s a staff person, called a patient navigator, who consults each patient and walks her through the various suites at the Women’s Center. After the initial consult, the patient navigator walks the patient from the initial testing, to the waiting area, and then, if necessary, for further testing. It’s a simple concept, but one that reduces the patient’s anxiety. It’s also an opportunity for physicians from the different specialties to meet patients in the same room to determine a treatment path together.


There is also artwork on the walls from local artists, and the building will host regular art shows. The artwork can be purchased, and 30 percent of the proceeds will go into a special women's fund. Frederick’s very own artist Yemi, who earlier this year completed the 175-foot mural on McCutcheon’s Apple Products building on Wisner Street of the Pillars of Frederick, provided graphic designs used on glass walls and doors.


All in all, the Women’s Center for Breast Care is a beautiful building that serves an important need in our community. Well done, Frederick Regional Health System!


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