Com­pre­hen­sive breast can­cer cen­ter opens

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By JOSH BOLLINGER jbollinger@star­dem.com

EAS­TON — Some of the words and phrases used to de­scribe the new Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter and the process to build it in­clude “a her­culean task,” “a rec­og­nized need,” “world class,” “state of the art,” and much more.

Shore Re­gional Health held a rib­bon cut­ting and grand open­ing cer­e­mony for the new cen­ter for breast health on Wed­nes­day, June 22.

“Our fo­cus has been, for the last few years, on pa­tient­cen­tered care,” said John Dil­lon, chair­man of the Shore Re­gional Health Board of Di­rec­tors. “There is no fa­cil­ity in our sys­tem that is more pa­tient-cen­tered than this fa­cil­ity.”

The Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter, at 10 Martin Court in Eas­ton, stands in a build­ing that used to only con­tain Shore Re­gional Health’s Di­ag­nos­tic and Imag­ing Cen­ter.

Af­ter 16 months of ren­o­va­tions — dur­ing which about 250 to 300 pa­tients a day were still seen in the build­ing — worth about $6.5 mil­lion, the Shore Re­gional Health’s breast health ser­vices are now fully in­te­grated with the Di­ag­nos­tic and Imag­ing Cen­ter in a fa­cil­ity that houses what Shore Re­gional Health rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony and grand open­ing on Wed­nes­day, June 22, called state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mar­ket­ing Spe­cial­ist for Shore Re­gional Health Christina Win­gate-Spence said the premise for the cen­ter is to make it more con­ve­nient for peo­ple who are in need of breast health ser­vices and di­ag­nos­tics to get ev­ery­thing they need in one lo­ca­tion.

The Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter of­fers di­ag­nos­tic mam­mog­ra­phy; breast ul­tra­sound and MRI; stereo­tac­tic, ul­tra­sound-guided and MRI-guided biop­sies; ex­ci­sional biop­sies for be­nign and ma­lig­nant breast dis­ease; fine-nee­dle as­pi­ra­tions; sur­gi­cal care for all be­nign and ma­lig­nant dis­eases of the breast; a Well­ness for Women screen­ing mam­mog­ra­phy pro­gram; a Sur­vivors Of­fer­ing Sup­port pro­gram; and a Women’s Health Bou­tique for post-mas­tec­tomy gar­ments, pros­thet­ics and swim wear.

Shore Re­gional Health CEO Ken Kozel said Wed­nes­day that the land­scape of health care “is chang­ing rather dra­mat­i­cally.”

“Shore Health has been fo­cus­ing our ef­forts on keep­ing our com­mu­ni­ties healthy through en­hanced out­pa­tient ser­vices, such as pre­ven­ta­tive care, health ed­u­ca­tion, ac­cess to di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices, ac­cess to pri­mary care physi­cians and spe­cialty physi­cians, and a va­ri­ety of other pro­grams that will help us main­tain the well­ness of our friends and neigh­bors,” Kozel said.

“Many of those ser­vices are avail­able right here at the Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter,” he said.

The breast cen­ter’s med­i­cal di­rec­tor, Dr. Roberta J. Lilly, said women and men should not have to knock on many doors and try to get into clin­ics far from home in or­der to get all the care they need. She said it needs to be easy to ac­cess and close to home, “which is what we have here.”

“I think the open­ing of the Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter is the start of a new era for us,” Lilly said.

Lilly said that about fourand-a-half years ago, when she trans­ferred to Shore Re­gional Health within the uni­ver­sity sys­tem, that she dug into sta­tis­tics and found that the five Mid-Shore coun­ties have some of the high­est rates of breast can­cer com­pared to any­where in the coun­try. Even more com­pel-

ling, she said, is that some of the Mid-Shore coun­ties are see­ing mor­tal­ity rates from breast can­cer that are higher than av­er­age, “and this shouldn’t hap­pen any­where.”

She said all breast can­cer is treat­able and most is cur­able, and long-term sur­viv­abil­ity of breast can­cer is in the 90th to 95th per­centile.

She called breast can­cer care a “truly multi-di­men­sional, multi-dis­ci­plinar y field” and “that’s why it’s one of those ar­eas where it’s so im­por­tant to bring ev­ery­body to­gether in one room ... with minds and au­thor­ity and ac­count­abil­ity, and that’s what it takes to get a multi-dis­ci­plinary breast cen­ter up and run­ning.”

Kozel, Dil­lon and Moor­head Ver­mi­lye, vice chair­man of the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion Board of Trustees and the chair­man for the breast cen­ter’s cap­i­tal cam­paign, all thanked one spe­cific donor fam­ily that pro­vided most of the money re­quired to ren­o­vate and build the breast cen­ter — the Clark fam­ily.

“When this no­tion first came in front of the board (of di­rec­tors), it was not a mat­ter of whether we’d do it or not, it was how do we make this hap­pen,” Dil­lon said.

The Clark fam­ily and the Clark Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion Inc. do­nated $5 mil­lion to Shore Re­gional Health to build the com­pre­hen­sive breast cen­ter.

For Court­ney Clark Pas­trick, pres­i­dent of the Clark Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion Inc., the mis­sion was per­sonal, she said.

Be­sides con­sid­er­ing the Eastern Shore and Eas­ton a place her fam­ily can call home, Clark Pas­trick said she was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer 15 years ago, and it’s only thanks to the work of good breast health ser­vices that she could at­tend the grand open­ing of the com­pre­hen­sive breast cen­ter as a breast can­cer sur­vivor.

“The Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter will pro­vide ex­cep­tional breast health ser­vices, lead­ing-edge tech­nol­ogy, out­reach pro­grams and sup­port ser­vices to the en­tire Eastern Shore,” she said. “My mother (Alice Clark) and I are pleased to have this breast cen­ter, which pro­vides vi­tal care to this com­mu­nity, bear the Clark fam­ily name.”

In ad­di­tion to the $5 mil­lion do­nated by the Clark fam­ily, Win­gate-Spence said Shore Re­gional Health had to start a cap­i­tal cam­paign to fund the to­tal cost of ren­o­va­tions and tech­nol­ogy needed to run the breast cen­ter. The Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion raised money from gen­er­ous donors in the com­mu­nity, she said, and lo­cal state law­mak­ers helped se­cure a $540,000 bond from the state.

“It has been said that with­out a vi­sion, peo­ple will per­ish, and you have the vi­sion and you moved for­ward,” Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-MidShore, said Wed­nes­day to a group of sup­port­ers at the grand open­ing and rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant that we have the right di­ag­no­sis, that we have the right treat­ment, that we have the right ser­vices, that we have the right fol­low up at the right time, and that’s what the de­liv­ery of health care is all about these days,” Eckardt said.

PHOTO BY CHRIS LEWKOVICH

Front row, from left, are Linda Prochaska, a field rep­re­sen­ta­tive for U.S. Sen. Bar­bara Mikul­ski, D-Md., Moore­head Ver­mi­lye, Dr. Roberta J. Lilly, Alice Clark, Court­ney Clark Pas­trick, Ken Kozel and Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore. They, among many oth­ers, cel­e­brated the grand open­ing of the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter on Wed­nes­day, June 22.

PHOTO BY CHRIS LEWKOVICH

Pic­tured above is a view from a wait­ing room at the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter, which had its grand open­ing and rib­bon cut­ting on Wed­nes­day, June 22.

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