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Center for Breast Care opens at Emory Johns Creek Hospital

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Janet Christenbury

A ribbon cutting was held on Sept. 12, 2013 to officially open the new Center for Breast Care at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

Emory Johns Creek Hospital held the official grand opening of its Center for Breast Care on Thursday, Sept. 12. The specialty center, which opened to patients in August, is designed to provide women a more streamlined and stress-free environment and better access to breast care. 

The new $1.5 million center offers all digital, state-of-the-art technology -- including 3D mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided procedures, plus more. Breast MRI and MRI-guided biopsies are offered in the nearby radiology department. 

The center is staffed with a team of dedicated breast health specialists, each with specialized training in breast care. It is centrally located in a 4,000 square foot suite on the first floor of the hospital's Physician's Plaza. This location offers patients direct access to the hospital and its services, including surgery and oncology. 

"The Center for Breast Care was specifically designed to meet the multi-disciplinary needs of the female patient who is undergoing breast care and treatment, and all that goes along with it," says Craig McCoy, CEO of Emory Johns Creek Hospital. 

One benefit of the center is the ability to help schedule women for any additional evaluations, such as an MRI or a biopsy, during the initial visit. 

"If a radiologist notices a concern on a diagnostic mammogram, we want to provide a continuum of care to the patient while there and determine if a follow-up procedure is needed," Maria Piraner, MD, assistant professor of radiology at Emory and the center's breast radiologist. "By moving forward and helping the patient schedule a procedure it a timely fashion, it reduces worry and undue anxiety."

Patients at the new center will experience new breast imaging technology. The 3D mammogram, sometimes called breast tomosynthesis, is designed for early breast cancer detection. It is done in conjunction with a traditional 2D mammogram and takes about 4 seconds longer than a usual mammogram. 

"This is truly a game changer," says Leonel Vasquez, MD, assistant professor of radiology at Emory University School of Medicine and chief radiologist at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. "The ability to see inside the breast with this level of detail means fewer women will have to be called back for additional images."

Another major asset is the center's nurse navigator, who serves as a patient's primary point of contact. The navigator will be available to answer questions, provide information to assist in decision-making, coordinate care with necessary breast health physicians and provide emotional support for the patient and her family. 

"This is a pivotal role and it provides patients with ongoing support when they may be at a loss of where to go and what to do next," says McCoy. 

The Center for Breast Care is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Emory Johns Creek has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology and provides patients with a cancer program that has been accredited with commendation by the Commission on Cancer.

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