Mercy North Breast Center Earns National Accreditation

8:30 AM, Feb 3, 2011   |    comments
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Knoxville, TN -- The Mercy Medical Center North Breast Center is the first breast center in the Knoxville area to earn accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) administered by the American College of Surgeons.

"After reviewing a year's worth of data and conducting on-site inspections, the breast center at Mercy North has earned this designation by meeting the NAPBC's rigorous standards and criteria for the diagnosis and treatment of breast diseases," said Jeffrey A. Ashin, MHP's President and CEO. "This accreditation is important to our patients and their families as it demonstrates Mercy's commitment to using the same evidence-based, state-of-the-art detection and treatment services that are found at the nation's leading cancer centers.


"I salute the staff at the Mercy North Breast Center for passing this demanding accreditation process that proves you can get the best in care for breast diseases close to home," Ashin added.


Guiding the medical services offered through Mercy North Breast Center is a team of physicians that deal with the different aspects of helping to diagnosis and treat cancer including gynecologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and pathologists. Caren Gallaher, M.D., a board-certified surgeon, is the Breast Panel Leader for the breast center.


"This accreditation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the physicians, administrators, therapists, technicians, data analysts and care providers associated with the Mercy Breast Center," Dr. Gallaher said. "The NAPBC was constructed by a consortium of professional organizations who were very interested in insuring a standard for the highest quality of care through outcome monitoring.


"Unlike other 'comprehensive' or 'certified' centers, the NAPBC evaluates 27 standards and 17 components that make up a multidisciplinary system. This signifies that all components of managing breast health and disease including breast cancer are in place and meet these excellent standards. Accreditation means that we have state-of-the-art services, a multidisciplinary team for coordinated care, clinical trial access plus prevention strategies in place and easily accessible in a coordinated fashion. This confirms that Mercy is a center of excellence in breast care. I am so grateful to have such a fabulous team to help me do my job," Dr. Gallaher added.

Crystal Dugger, RN, the Mercy Oncology Health Service Line Leader, said the Mercy North Breast Center had to meet 27 programs standards and 17 program components of care to be accredited. "The NAPBC differs from other evaluations in that it looks at the breast center's entire program for detecting and treating breast diseases.


"The NAPBC certification ensures a patient that the center uses a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinating the best available treatment options, provides information about ongoing cancer clinical trials and new treatment options, provides access to prevention and early detection programs, provides the community with cancer education and support services, and has ongoing monitoring and improvements in cancer care.


"The evaluators were particularly impressed with Mercy Cancer Center's Compassion in Action fund that raises money to help low-income citizens of our community pay for needed services such as mammograms and cancer treatment," Dugger said.


"This NAPBC recognition demonstrates the overall excellence of the Mercy North Breast Center program. The breast center's goal is to have a program that meets all national standards for care and treatment so that if your mother, your sister or your daughter has a breast disease, you can rest assured she is receiving the best medical care available today," Dugger added.


Dugger saluted Ellen Perkins, Mercy's Cancer Quality Coordinator, for her work in making sure the Mercy North's Breast Center meets and exceeds the standards of quality care. "Ellen's guidance in helping to develop measurable outcomes for our breast cancer patients was one of the critical action steps for accreditation. She was one of many people who put in long hours while completing the accreditation application, which resulted in Mercy being the first in Knoxville to receive the NAPBC accreditation," Dugger said.


Services offered at the Mercy North Breast Center include:
• Digital mammography
• MRI breast exams
• Radiation treatment
• Infusion treatment (chemotherapy)
• Bone density scans
• Nurse navigators
• Surgical services through Mercy hospitals

About Mercy Health Partners:

Mercy facilities offer services to treat all members of the family, with centers of excellence in cardiac care, cancer care and orthopedic care. The Mercy Heart Institute has the region's most experienced team of heart specialists to help prevent diagnosis and treat cardiovascular disease. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee has recognized Mercy Medical Center St. Mary's as an outstanding facility for orthopedic services by it designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and for Knee and Hip Replacement. Mercy Medical Center North has the region's only American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Center. In both 2009 and 2010, St. Mary's Jefferson Memorial Hospital was named to the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospitals in America list in the National Benchmark Survey.

In 2009, the Mercy facilities in East Tennessee provided nearly $44 million in charity care and community benefits, including services for the poor, community health screening and research.

For physician referral and service information, please call one of Mercy's referral lines: Ask Mercy at 632-5200 (toll-free at 877-368-7362) or Mercy Wellnesse for Women at 877-599-WELL (9355). A complete list of Mercy physicians, facilities, services and extensive health information is available online at Learn about upcoming Mercy events and news on the Mercy Facebook page and on Twitter.

About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 77,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

About the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC)
NAPBC is a consortium of national, professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and the monitoring of outcomes for patients with diseases of the breast. For more information, visit





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