Expert breast health services closer to home.
Call it the “backyard advantage.” For women in the midvalley, the need for many breast health services used to mean a long drive to and from Denver. But now, the Breast Center at Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) offers comprehensive breast cancer screening, diagnoses and treatment options close to home.
“The need for breast care services in our area is increasing every year,” said Heather Milne, RN, Nurse Navigator of the Breast Center. “The population here is changing and growing. Twenty-five years ago, the population was much younger overall; now we have a broader spectrum of ages of women who can benefit from having these services available locally.”
A major commitment to our community
The Breast Program represents a significant commitment for AVH. Plans for its development began to take shape about four years ago and have included adding dedicated staff and upgrading and expanding the technology to diagnose and treat cancer. The goal is to have as complete a suite of services as possible.
“We’d like to take care of women from the time of diagnosis through treatment and to do so in our patients’ home community,” said Betsy Brew, MD, FACS, Breast Care Surgeon with AVH and the Denver-based group, Surgical Specialists of Colorado. “Staying in the comfort of your home and not making those long drives when you don’t feel well are important advantages for our patients.”
Big-city quality, small-town comforts
Many of the program’s professionals, including radiologists from Radiology Imaging Associates (RIA), are based in Denver and visit Aspen regularly to provide care. And Dr. Brew was quick to note the AVH Breast Center’s equipment is also comparable — and even superior — to that found in many major medical centers. For example, she said that wholebreast ultrasounds, an important screening tool for women with dense breast tissue, are available at AVH but not at some of the state’s largest hospitals.
AVH’s program also offers state-of-the-art 3D mammograms for every patient, as well as breast MRIs, stereotactic biopsies and a comprehensive array of other diagnostic and treatment radiology services. One hallmark of AVH’s program is its multidisciplinary approach, from the close involvement of a patient’s primary care physician to the presence of the nurse navigator to act as the patient’s champion along the patient’s unique care path. Other established AVH medical services — such as the infusion center, medical oncology, oncology rehabilitation and breast reconstruction — complement the newer additions. Other services such as nutrition counseling, lymphedema care, genetic counseling and psychosocial support help our patients regain strength to move forward and live well.
So far, the response from patients has been completely positive. “They love it,” Dr. Fraser said. “Truly, they are glad to have top-quality breast care close to home and to know that we are here to help them through their journey of healing.”
For more information about the Breast Center at Aspen Valley Hospital, please visit the Breast Center page of our website or call 970.544.1420.