needle core breast biopsies were also being
performed by appropriately credentialed
physicians. 9 The radiology department
portion of the survey only lasted two to
three hours. However, the NAPBC site
survey covered a much wider scope of
components, a few of which included
leadership responsibilities and goals, inter-
disciplinary breast conferences, clinical
management of patient care, oncology,
rehabilitation, and community outreach.
Some specific areas of focus during the
site visit to SHWBC included:
• Pathology reporting: insuring consis-
tency—eg, including cancer grading,
tumor size, tumor margins, hormone
receptors, and genetic testing outcomes
• Breast surgeon’s office: random pulling
of patient records looking for accurate
and complete documentation of find-
ings and care
• Genetic testing/counseling: accurate
recording of tumor staging in accor-
dance with the National Comprehensive
Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines
In December of 2008, just eight months
after receiving the Breast Imaging Center
of Excellence certification, SHWBC became
the first breast center in the nation to
receive the NAPBC accreditation.
A successful breast center requires a strong
foundation built on initial, and continued,
administrative support, consistent physician referral base, talented and dedicated
technical staff, as well as development of
all service lines related to the diagnosis
and treatment of breast cancer. Once a
center establishes itself in the community,
the key is to maintain that standing.
The evolution of SHWBC has a proven
track record that making the commitment
to establish and maintain a viable breast
center can be financially lucrative, on top
of providing outstanding service dedicated to women’s breast health. Being the
first facility in the nation to receive the
NAPBC accreditation certainly is an
By staying on the cutting edge of technology and looking ahead at new imaging
tools such as tomosynthesis and nuclear
medicine based imaging, SHWBC will
continue to move forward with our commitment to the community.
1Breastcancer.org. Breast Cancer Statistics.
January 8, 2010. Available at: http://www.
statistics.jsp. Accessed April 4, 2010.
2Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Mammography screening: When should
women get mammograms? Available at:
wires/ faq9.php. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
3Mahoney MC. Backlash Continues Against
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines. January
2010. Available at: http://www.rsna.org/
Cancer_feature.cfm. Accessed March 18,
4American Cancer Society. Press releases: American Cancer Society Responds to Changes
to USPSTF Mammography Guidelines.
November 16, 2009. Available at: http://
item=201. Accessed March 18, 2010.
5American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts
& Figures 2009-2010. Available at: http://
final%209-08-09.pdf. Accessed April 13,
6Gibbons M. Screening’s defenders and
doubter’s. Advance for Imaging and Radiation Oncology. 2010; 20( 6): 8, 10, 12.
7National Consortium of Breast Centers. Breast
Center Types and Criteria as defined by the
National Consortium of Breast Centers.
Available at: http://www.breastcare.org/
BCTypes/ centertypes.html. Accessed March
8U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Mammography Quality Standards Act and Program. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/
htm. Accessed July 12, 2010.
9National Accreditation Program for Breast
Centers (NAPBC): Program Standards.
Available at: http://www.accreditedbreastcenters.
org./standards/ standards.html. Accessed
September 14, 2010.
Beth Ann Vara graduated from United Hospital
School of Radiology in Port Chester, NY in 1994 and
has since focused on mammography and breast
imaging. She has held positions ranging from staff
mammographer to mammography department
coordinator. Beth is currently employed at The Tully
Health Center, Stamford Hospital’s outpatient facility,
where she serves as the chief administrator of
ambulatory imaging. She can be contacted at