Stoneham Sun

May 3, 2012

By Matthew Reid

The newest breast health center in the area will open sometime this spring at the Hallmark Health System Stoneham outpatient campus, located at 41 Montvale Ave., offering patients a bevy of services at one centralized location.

“We feel this center will set us apart in terms of what we offer and the ease of treatment,” said John Seccareccio, RT, system director of imaging services for Hallmark Health.

The Hallmark Health Comprehensive Breast Center will offer patients access to the latest technological advances in prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast disease. Through a collaborative approach and modern diagnostic and therapeutic services, patients will receive accurate diagnosis and immediate care, with an emphasis on compassion.

An open house for Hallmark employees was held last month at the center, which is located on the fourth floor of Hallmark’s existing Stoneham facility, and the early impressions were highly favorable.

“We were really amazed and excited at the turnout,” said Elisa Scher, RN, MSN, system director of oncology services for Hallmark. “The feedback we received was very positive.”

Some of the same doctors who will be working at the center, as well as some of the same patients who will be receiving treatment there, also had a hand in designing the facility. Scher said Hallmark sought information from focus groups and the design of the center slowly took shape.

She said it ended up being a collaborative process that went very smoothly.

“We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out,” she said.

One of the biggest draws to the new center will be the first-class equipment that will be used there.

“It should make us stand out among facilities in the area,” Seccareccio said. “A lot of the faculty input we received during the design process led to the equipment we now have. It’s truly state of the art.”

Another draw of the facility is the addition of a nurse navigator, a specially-trained employee who will coordinate care by working with radiologists and surgeons who specialize in breast disease to provide a full range of services to meet patients’ breast health needs.

The nurse navigator is with the patient every step of the way managing care for the patient, working closely with an inter-disciplinary treatment team, assuring timely access of scheduled appointments and providing emotional support to patients and families.

The nurse navigator will also educate patients about individual breast disease diagnoses and treatment options, help patients make informed decisions about treatment and care, advocate for patients throughout treatment and assist with recovery and rehabilitation plans.

Seccareccio said the position will dovetail into the center’s all-encompassing approach.

“It’s really about balancing the preventative side and the treatment side,” he said. “Now we can do it all right here.”

And that brings it back to what Seccareccio and Scher agree is the biggest draw of all at the center, that being that all services will be centrally located.

“Bringing our system’s technology and expertise together in one building will allow us to better serve our patients by making their care more efficient and convenient,” said Olga Efimova, MD, PhD, director of breast imaging at Hallmark Health. “Women in the area can take pride and confidence in knowing they have a world class, comprehensive breast center close by.”

Services at the Hallmark Breast Care Center include:
· Diagnostic digital mammography
· Breast ultrasound
· Stereotactic and ultrasound guided biopsies
· Breast cyst and fine needle aspirations
· Galactography
· Nurse navigator
· Surgery consults
· Lymphedema specialist
· Social worker

For more information on the new Hallmark Health Breast Care Center, call 781-224-5806.  For more information about Hallmark Health, visit or follow on Twitter @hallmarkhealth.

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