(Hartford, CT) - The Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has been granted a three-year, full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.

The distinction has been given to The Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Saint Francis in recognition of the staff’s voluntary commitment to provide the highest level of quality breast care, and to offer patients every advantage in their battle against breast cancer.

At the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Saint Francis, Medical Director and Breast Surgeon, Kristen Zarfos, M.D., and a team of surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and pathologists work together to promote overall breast health in women. The specialized care is provided in a state-of-the-art facility where breast cancer patients receive personalized treatment. “If a patient comes in for a routine mammogram and an abnormality is discovered, or she has an abnormal clinical finding, our goal is to provide additional diagnostic studies the very same day,” said Dr. Zarfos. Oftentimes a patient will tell me that this type of immediate and personalized care creates a level of trust in our ability to help them through a difficult process,” added Dr. Zarfos.

In addition to the advanced and immediate care provided at the Comprehensive Breast Health Center, the same group of physicians meets weekly through a ‘multidisciplinary conference.’ Doctors representing all specialties present patient cases, including profiles, diagnoses, pathology and x-rays. Together, they develop a comprehensive recommendation and map out an overall plan of the patient’s care. “Not only do we meet weekly, but every day we are in constant communication with our radiology, medical oncology and radiation oncology team about our patients,” added Dr. Zarfos.

In addition, the Comprehensive Breast Health Center provides care customized to each woman and her family’s needs. A nurse navigator and social worker with specialized training in the care of women with breast issues are available for each patient as needed. A breast cancer support group and survivorship program are also available if a patient chooses.

In order to be considered for accreditation, the Center underwent a rigorous evaluation process and performance review, demonstrating compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

The standards include proficiency in the following areas

  • Center leadership
  • Clinical management
  • Research
  • Community outreach
  • Professional education
  • Quality improvement

“The breast disease management team at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford has well-trained, competent physicians, nurses and support staff. The physical place is outstanding and organized in such a way that all necessary services are close at hand. This may well be the best center I have inspected to date,” noted a surveyor with the NAPBC.

The NAPBC-accredited designation ensures that a patient will have access to comprehensive care, including a full spectrum of state-of-the-art services, a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options, and information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options.

The Saint Francis Comprehensive Breast Health Center is one of the very few comprehensive physical breast centers where radiologists and surgeons work side by side to give individualized care.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets and is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.