The idea of a task force sounds like a secret FBI operation. While the Breast Health Task Force at Chester County Hospital is not law enforcement, they are certainly fighting for your health.
The Breast Health Task Force is a team of medical professionals that meet regularly for one purpose: to make sure you get the best possible care for your breast health. This group includes physicians, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists - basically anyone who's involved in caring for the breast health of patients at Chester County Hospital.
The task force's role is essential, but it often flies under the radar. However, their actions ensure the most thorough, effective breast health care is available at Chester County Hospital.
Dr. Catherine Porter, DO, Physician, Clinical Associate of Surgery, and Chair of the Breast Health Program at Chester County Hospital, explains what exactly the breast health task force does and how it can benefit your breast health.
How the Task Force Benefits Your Care
Staying current on breast health research is crucial - and it's the task force's job to make sure this happens at Chester County Hospital. More and more women are beating breast cancer each year, and death rates have been decreasing since 1989. This is largely because of the new ways researchers and physicians are preventing, detecting, and treating breast cancer.
Whether you're just going in for a mammogram or you're currently battling breast cancer, it can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. The task force's job is to make sure the physicians at Chester County Hospital have the necessary tools to provide the best possible care when you need it most.
The Breast Health Task Force at Chester County Hospital prioritizes up-to-date research on best practices for lab tests, imaging tests, and treatments.
Catherine Porter, DO,
"We make sure that our patients' care plans follow national standards of care. We're focusing on and following the guidelines - and doing it in a timely fashion," Dr. Porter says. Having a team that's dedicated to this aspect of breast health ensures patients have access to the medical advancements in breast health that are happening every day.
Survivors of breast cancer are also a priority for the task force. Dr. Porter says they make sure survivorship services are as effective and helpful as they can be. For instance, they ensure patients have access to services like nutritional counseling, genetic testing, and fertility treatments.
A Glance Inside the Breast Health Task Force
Your breast health is complex - and so is the team that regulates breast health at Chester County Hospital. These medical professionals come from multiple disciplines such as radiology, pathology, and oncology, and they work with patients in various roles from screening for breast cancer to recovery and survivorship.
"The structure of the program involves input from the surgeon, the medical and radiation oncologists, and also from nurses and therapists. Everybody has the ability to give their input with our 360-degree approach," says Dr. Porter. On this important team, each of its member's perspective is important to maintaining an effective breast health program.
The task force is like a governing body that makes decisions about the program. They meet 4 times a year to review, discuss, and enhance the care of their patients. "We meet to ensure we're addressing any unmet needs that may be surfacing," Dr. Porter says, highlighting the task force's role in ensuring physicians have the right resources to care for their patients.
The task force makes sure there are high-quality services available from diagnosis to survivorship. This can include nutritional counseling, genetic testing, exercise programs, counseling, and even transportation for treatments.
When it comes to medical care, there are important standards that need to be met to keep you safe and healthy. The task force is in charge of regulating these standards. They are responsible for Chester County Hospital's national accreditation through the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). This organization has very strict standards to monitor the quality of breast centers throughout the country, including right here in West Chester, PA.
The Task Force and the SHiNE Foundation
When you've been told you or a loved one has breast cancer, the last thing you want to think about is money. Unfortunately, breast cancer can be expensive. The Breast Health Task Force can help by covering some of the costs of treatment through their partnership with the SHiNE Foundation.
"The SHiNE Foundation allows us to be able to say you absolutely have things like a wig, educational services, and transportation. It takes some of the burden off the patients," Dr. Porter says.
The task force works with the SHiNE Foundation to lessen the burdens of cancer in other ways, too, such as emotional support, fitness memberships, therapeutic massages, and reimbursements for medication. These programs can alleviate some of the stress involved with cancer - so you can focus on getting better.
The Breast Health Task Force: Making Your Breast Health a Priority
New information about breast cancer is always popping up on the news and the Internet, and it can be hard to keep track of the current research. Fortunately, that's not your job. The Breast Health Task Force at Chester County Hospital is dedicated for this purpose - all you need to do is take advantage of their services.
The result of this extensive team is a high-quality program for your breast health. "Being recognized for that quality is rewarding - but it's not as rewarding as being able to meet my patients and feel confident that we are going to take care of them," Dr. Porter says. "We can help with most of the needs that they have during a really difficult time in their lives."
Do you have questions about your breast health? Call 610-738-2300 for information on local providers on Chester County Hospital's medical staff.
Interested in getting involved in the SHiNE Foundation? Attend a fundraising event or donate a monetary gift to support breast cancer patients at Chester County Hospital.
Related Information from Chester County Hospital: