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Unleashing the Power of #Humankindness: The Women’s Imaging Center at St. Joseph’s Medical Center/Dignity Health

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Women’s Imaging Center is proud to be a proponent of raising awareness of the importance of breast health, while offering women and men access to state-of-the-art technology and specialized services delivered with humankindness. At St. Joseph’s Women’s Imaging Center, patients can take solace in the care they receive in an environment that focuses on compassion and kindness. This is because the Hello Humankindness culture at Dignity Health centers around the concept that patients are people first, each deserving to be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect. 

Women’s Breast Imaging Center
Mammograms are a must, not a maybe. In 2018, it’s estimated that there will be over 260,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and nearly 40,000 breast cancer deaths. Routine mammograms are the best way to detect early breast cancer, and the Women’s Imaging Center at St. Joseph’s Medical Center is determined to make getting one a little bit easier. Pam Stolley, manager of the St. Joseph’s Women’s Imaging Center, has specialized in mammography for over 30 years and truly loves her job. “I enjoy the interaction with patients and although we can’t prevent breast cancer, we can help women identify issues early on; that saves lives,” shared Pam. As a cancer survivor, she understands the value of treating patients with dignity and compassion. “If all we can do is provide a firm hand to hold, or a hug, or whatever it may be to at least make their journey softer and easier, that is our priority.”

The Women’s Imaging Center at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, an American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, offers state-of-the-art 3D mammography and stereotactic breast biopsies. This advanced technology uses mammography to precisely identify and biopsy an abnormality within the breast. Because many women and men will not feel a lump or have any signs or symptoms of breast cancer, this technology allows doctors to detect and diagnosis cancer quickly. “3D is becoming the new standard of care. Patients who traditionally have to go elsewhere to utilize this type of technology can now receive mammograms and biopsies in one location,” noted Pam. 

Breast Center of Excellence
As a comprehensive breast cancer care center, the Women’s Imaging Center at St. Joseph’s Medical Center is recognized by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers as a Breast Cancer Center of Excellence. This honor is given only to centers that are committed to providing the highest level of quality breast care and undergo a rigorous annual evaluation process. Taking a team approach, the Women’s Imaging Center is composed of a staff that is devoted to providing the best care possible to patients. “My staff has a combined 110 years of mammography experience. Each one has a unique background that lends itself to their ability to provide compassionate care to our patients. This not only creates an environment of support, but each one is committed to our mission of creating an atmosphere of kindness,” said Pam. “Everyone understands the importance of their job, and their backgrounds and experience provide patients with a sense of kindheartedness that helps patients feel cared for and comforted during a difficult time.” 

Team member Lorrie, who has over 30 years of experience in mammography, stated, “The best part of my day is interacting with my patients. I try to do the best job possible. I could potentially save lives.” This team approach offers consistency and commitment that set the Women’s Imaging Center apart. Patients have access to a dedicated breast cancer Nurse Navigator to help guide them through the entire cancer treatment and recovery process. 

The Importance of Breast Health 
Nearly 80 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history and the disease tends to be more aggressive in younger women. Women 40 and older should get an annual screening mammogram even if they do not have any signs or symptoms. Additionally, women who are at a greater risk of breast cancer, such as those with a family history of breast cancer, should speak with their doctor to determine if early screenings are needed. Awareness and early detection can greatly reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.

Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center is a not-for-profit, fully accredited, regional hospital located in Stockton. With nearly 600 physicians and more than 2,300 employees Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center is nationally recognized as a quality leader in the healthcare industry and consistently chosen as “most preferred hospital” by local consumers. Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center specializes in cardiovascular care, comprehensive cancer services, orthopedic and spine care, and women’s and children’s services, including neonatal intensive care.

For more information about the Women’s Imaging Center, visit their website at: stjosephscares.org/mammo. The Women’s Imaging Center offers convenient hours, same-day, next-day and walk-in appointments. To schedule a mammogram, call 209-466-5027.