Aug. 29-Sept. 12, 2003
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‘A great ride’ comes to a smooth landing
Reynolds puts love of numbers to work for University
New orthopaedic surgery chair focuses on today’s broken bones, tomorrow’s new legs
Breast Care Center offers high-tech health, warm environment
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Transfer students get early start at building community
Breast Care Center offers high-tech health, warm environment
Thirteen breast cancer survivors, some pictured above, along with former first lady of Virginia Susan Allen, center, cut the ribbon July 17, marking the opening of U.Va.’s new Breast Care Center.
Photo by Peggy Harrison
Thirteen breast cancer survivors, some pictured above, along with former first lady of Virginia Susan Allen, center, cut the ribbon July 17, marking the opening of U.Va.’s new Breast Care Center.

By Elizabeth Kiem

Five years in the planning and six months under construction, the U.Va. Health System’s new Breast Care Center threw open its doors last month at a dedication ceremony that drew more than 200 guests and hospital staff.

Thirteen breast cancer survivors joined Susan Allen, a former first lady of Virginia, to cut the ribbon July 17.

The $2 million center, situated just inside the front door of the Hospital West Complex, is the result of creative collaboration that included the input of numerous women, some of them former patients, and the vision of a dedicated group of Medical Center radiologists, surgeons and oncologists.

“The front door location is no mistake," said Dr. Jennifer Harvey, who will co-direct the center with Dr. David Brenin, chief of breast surgery services. "It is a symbol of this institution’s commitment. … We want women who come here to be relaxed and feel healed.”

Allen, known for her interest in women’s health issues and for having started the First Lady’s Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative, spoke about the intense stress women deal with when faced with breast cancer. “For those who are going through the worry of being diagnosed, [the center offers] a calming and very stress-free environment, and that is what we need,” she said.

R. Edward Howell, vice president and chief executive officer of the U.Va. Medical Center; Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., vice president and dean of the School of Medicine; and Michael Weber, director of the U.Va. Cancer Center, also spoke at the event.
Not lost on the group was the fact that an estimated 211,000 new invasive cases of breast cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths among women ages 40 to 59, are expected to occur among U.S. women during 2003.

Harvey said that initially she expects the center to treat as many as 30 women a day. It has a staff of nine, including four technicians, and a rotation of radiologists and surgeons. The layout comprises five imaging suites and five clinical exam rooms as well as two diagnostic areas for radiologists and surgeons to study patient images. There is also a space for clinical trials and for second-opinion consultations.

The new, 7,500-square-foot facility consolidates for the first time services that previously had been scattered throughout the hospital. And while it offers state-of-the-art technologies in digital mammography, ultrasound and stereotactic needle biopsy and surgical services, equal consideration was given to the overall comfort and tranquility of the waiting areas, consultation offices and exam rooms.

David Cattell-Gordon, director of Community Relations for the Health System, emphasized the center's mission to provide services for University faculty and staff as well as the larger community. “There are a lot of women here at the University age 40 and over who will welcome the center as good news,” he said. “They need first-class breast care and we are here to provide it.”


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