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Quadruple Accreditation for Richmond University Medical Center Breast Imaging Services

October 7, 2019 – Richmond University Medical Center’s Breast and Women’s Center is now an accredited facility by the American College of Radiology (ACR) after earning the gold seal of accreditation for the center’s comprehensive mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound guided biopsy services. The gold seal represents the highest level of accreditation provided by the ACR for quality of care and patient safety. The accreditations come a year after the center began providing services last October.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR practice parameters and technical standards. The Breast and Women’s Center’s imaging services underwent an in-depth ACR peer-review evaluation to receive accreditation. The evaluation was conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists that are experts in image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs, all of which were assessed during the review. The findings were then reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation for approval. While the imaging services provided at the main hospital have received accreditation from the ACR in the past, this is the first time the ACR has awarded accreditation for the Breast and Women’s Center.

“It is fitting that these accreditations come in October as we mark national breast cancer awareness month,” hospital president and chief executive officer Dr. Daniel J. Messina said. “Too often women in Staten Island feel Manhattan is the only source for quality breast care. These accreditations are proof that is not the case. The same high quality, comprehensive services found over an hour away outside our borough are in fact right here, minutes away.”

Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body parts to help physicians diagnose and better treat medical conditions. Ultrasound imaging of the breast produces a picture of the internal structures of the breast. Mammography is a specific type of imaging test that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breasts. A mammogram is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.  A breast biopsy is performed to remove cells, either surgically or through a less invasive procedure involving a hollow needle, from an area in the breast suspected to be cancerous. These cells are examined under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. In stereotactic breast biopsy, a special mammography machine helps guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of an abnormal growth.

Last October, the Breast and Women’s Center opened at 1161 Victory Boulevard offering advanced clinical breast care services under the direction of board certified, fellowship trained chief of breast surgery, Dr. Tihesha Wilson. Earlier this year, the center’s imaging services went on-line under the direction of board certified radiologists and fellowship trained breast imagers Dr. Michael Shamis and Dr. Dara Fedele. Imaging services and procedures are conducted in state-of-the-art sensory suites, the first of their kind on Staten Island. The suites are outfitted with flat-screen televisions that display calming visuals such as waterfalls, forests, and beach scenes and also incorporate an audio component, such as water rushing, birds chirping, or waves lapping, to create an even more interactive experience.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded these accreditations from the ACR,” president of Richmond University Health Network and chief administration officer Richard Salhany said. “It speaks volumes for the quality of care provided by our team at the center and more importantly, assures all of Staten Island that experienced, qualified breast care is being provided at our Breast and Women’s Center.”

According to the American Cancer Society, from 2011 to 2015, Staten Island has had the highest rate of new cancer cases in New York City. In Staten Island, female breast cancer accounts for 13.9 percent of all cancer cases on Staten Island and 6.9 percent of all cancer deaths.

Founded in 1924, the ACR is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care. The ACR serves more than 37,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

On Tuesday, October 15th, Richmond University Medical Center will be providing free 3D mammograms from 11 AM to 7 PM at the Breast and Women’s Center. Mammograms will be provided by appointment only. Those interested should have a referral from their physician and if possible, a copy of their previous mammogram. Those without a physician’s referral will have one provided for them by medical staff at the center. To make an appointment, call 718-818-1161.