The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

March 21, 2014

Women vote Geisinger Breast Clinic among best

DANVILLE — Patients voted Geisinger Medical Center and Geisinger Wyoming Valley among America’s Best Breast Centers.

The facilities are two of just 14 in Pennsylvania to earn Women’s Choice Awards.

The recognition is especially meaningful to Cindy Crevling, of Millville, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2012. After a double mastectomy at Geisinger Medical Center that November, she is now cancer-free.

“It was a whirlwind. … I was just in awe so much of the time,” she said of her treatment at Geisinger’s breast clinic. She said the entire staff was very calming and extremely supportive of her.

“When you had questions they just totally opened up. …You never felt like they were trying to keep something from you,” she said. “I really feel like I made some lasting friendships with some of the people I came in contact with.”

What sets Geisinger’s breast program apart from others is the dedicated providers who work with each patient, said Dr. Rosemary Leeming, Director of the Comprehensive Breast Program for Geisinger Health System.

It’s not just physicians that interact with patients but dedicated imagers, technicians and other front-line attendants, “the vast majority of whom have had some sort of personal experience with breast cancer or breast disease. … They know where patients are coming from,” Leeming said. “It’s a much more personalized approach.”

The dedicated team is also capable of getting results quicker, which gives the patient more options for their treatment.

Leeming also credits GMC’s facilitator program, which allows patients to receive a personal phone call informing them of their cancer test results. One of the common complaints the center used to get from patients was that they would receive a letter about their test results, but couldn’t tell what the medical information meant.

The phone call reaches out to them before the letter arrives, explaining to the patient what their medical information means and helping them determine the next step, if any, in their treatment.

“What they’ve done here is really try and streamline that process as much as possible,” Leeming said.

The Women’s Choice Award was given to Geisinger based on feedback collected from thousands of women, based on whether they would recommend their hospital or service to others.

All awarded centers have met the standards of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and carry the Breast Imaging Center of Excellence seal from the American College of Radiology. They also have above average patient recommendation ratings according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Over the years, breast care has changed “from primarily surgeon-driven, big operations to a much more personalized approach,” Leeming said.

It’s a system that Crevling and similar patients have found invaluable.

“I felt very grateful for the hospitals and the doctors I had,” she said.

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