Breast care center dedicated

The new Battelle Breast Care Center at Madison County Hospital was dedicated on Oct. 23. In celebration, many individuals cut pink ribbons attached to the center’s door in the Park Avenue Medical Building in London, including three breast cancer survivors: (from left) Mona Flax, executive director of the Hospital Foundation; P. Buckley Moss, an artist who served as guest speaker at a fundraiser for the hospital’s breast care initiative; and London resident Beverly Baker, a patient at the center.
Dr. Robert Casillas, vice president and manager of Battelle’s Biomedical Science and Technology Product Line
Dr. A.J. Beisler, medical director of the Battelle Breast Care Center.
Dr. Mitchell Spahn, OB/GYN
Sue Besinger, R.N., patient navigator
Stefanie Cunningham and Robin Hastings, mammographers

The reason is simple: Madison County’s breast cancer incidence and mortality rates are among the highest in the state.

According to Mona Flax, executive director of the Madison County Hospital Foundation, “Our board members were shocked when they first heard these statistics in December of 2006, and they vowed to take action.”

In 2007, the foundation and leadership of Madison County Hospital launched a Breast Cancer Initiative with two major goals.

“The first is to educate women in our community about the importance of early detection,” Flax said. “The second is to raise money so that Madison County Hospital can expand breast cancer diagnostic and treatment services for local women.”

To date, the Foundation has raised over $1.1 million in gifts and pledges toward its $2 million dollar goal, thanks in large part to a lead gift from Battelle of $300,000.

“Battelle has long been one of our loyal business partners, and always a friend to the people of Madison County,” said hospital CEO Fred Kolb. “By stepping forward with this generous contribution, Battelle reinforces its commitment to improving the quality of life and health care in our area.”

Dr. Robert Casillas, vice president and manager of Battelle’s Biomedical Science and Technology Product Line, said the gift was another way for Battelle to give back to the community. Battelle has a lab facility in Madison County in West Jefferson.

“We are proud to be able to give funds for this important effort,” Casillas said. “Reaching out and lending a helping hand is the responsibility of every good corporate neighbor and citizen.”

The hospital and the foundation aren’t waiting until all the money is raised to start expanding breast care services. As money becomes available, it is being put to use.
The most visible example is the new Battelle Breast Care Center at Madison County Hospital, which is named for Battelle and was dedicated on Oct. 23.

The Battelle Breast Care Center is located in the Park Avenue Medical Building in space formerly occupied by mammography and bone density. In addition to mammography and bone density, the newly decorated center now boasts an examination room and a patient consultation area.

This center offers a more comfortable atmosphere for patients and a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating breast cancer. The center has already extended its hours, offering evening appointments for those who need them.

Campaign funds also have allowed the hospital to hire a patient navigator to assist women who are undergoing diagnostic testing or treatment for breast cancer. The navigator, Sue Besinger, R.N., is an experienced oncology nurse who is on hand to guide women through any type of procedure or treatment program. Besinger provides a variety of special services for patients, from accompanying them to physician appointments to helping them find specific resources they may need.

Battelle’s gift will help the hospital purchase one last critical piece of diagnostic equipment, a digital mammography unit that can also be used to perform stereotactic biopsies. Stereotactic biopsies are a minimally invasive way to diagnose breast cancer. Currently, local patients must travel to Columbus for this procedure. The hospital plans to add the digital stereotactic unit to the Breast Care Center in 2009.

Dr. A.J. Beisler, general surgeon, was recently named medical director of the Battelle Breast Care Center. Beisler is a graduate of The Ohio State University and completed his post-doctoral medical fellowship in surgery at Dartmouth Medical School. He is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Beisler earned an innovation award for establishing a similar breast care center at the Naval Hospital at Cherry Point, N.C. He has been instrumental in bringing two state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures to Madison County Hospital, sentinel node biopsies and MRIs of the breast. Funding for the equipment came from the hospital Auxiliary and Radiology Inc.

“So many advances have been made in the treatment of breast cancer,” Beisler said. “If a patient is diagnosed early, her chances of recovering to live a full, healthy life are extremely high. Mammograms, breast self exams and regular check-ups take just a few minutes each year, but can literally save a woman’s life.”

Randy Crisp, president of the hospital foundation, stated, “We are extremely grateful to our community for its strong support of this campaign to date and especially to Battelle for their generous gift.

“Successfully completing this campaign will enable us to establish an endowment fund to help women who don’t have adequate health care coverage for the care they need.”

Kolb added, “With the addition of stereotactic, Madison County Hospital can offer a full range of state-of-the-art breast cancer diagnostic and treatment services right here in our community. The physician specialists who provide surgical, radiology and oncology services for our patients were trained at the finest institutions. They could practice anywhere in the country.”

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