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Forbes Regional Hospital, Highmark Open Doors to New Comprehensive Breast Care Center

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new facility on Monday.

A new state-of-the-art Breast Care Center that will offer women living in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh access to the region’s most comprehensive and world class breast cancer services opened at Forbes Regional Hospital on Tuesday.

Officials from Forbes, West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) and Highmark celebrated the opening of the new Breast Care Center at the Monroeville hospital on Monday.

A community open house to showcase the center also will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 9 to 11 a.m. The public will have an opportunity to tour the new center and meet with physicians leading the program.

The Forbes Breast Care Center provides women with the complete spectrum of advanced breast diagnostic procedures, including digital mammography, breast ultrasound and direct digital stereotactic breast biopsy services—a non-surgical method of performing biopsies on breast abnormalities. Same day results will also be the norm for women undergoing screening mammography at the center.

William Poller, director of breast imaging for WPAHS; surgical oncologist Donald Keenan; and breast imaging radiologist Maureen Bidula will lead the Forbes Breast Care Center along with a dedicated nurse navigator and a team of experienced nurses, registered mammography technologists and support personnel.

Area primary care physicians and surgeons will also actively participate in the center.

“Our program offers patients everything they need for their diagnosis and treatment in one convenient location, saving them the stress and inconvenience of a trip into the city,” Poller said in a press release. “Complementing the center’s state-of-the-art technological capabilities, the facility was specially designed to emphasize patient comfort, allowing our team to provide compassionate, personalized care in a serene, spa-like atmosphere.”

The Breast Care Center also offers women the opportunity to schedule evening and weekend appointments, as well as free parking. Its innovative Nurse Navigator program helps guide, educate and support women step-by-step through their breast cancer journey.

“Forbes Regional is committed to a level of comprehensive, personalized breast care that is unsurpassed in the community,” Keenan said. “From diagnosis through treatment and recovery, our goal is to ease the burden of our patients’ experience as much as possible and to quickly return them to a healthy and productive life.”

For those diagnosed with breast cancer, the new Breast Care Center is a conduit to Forbes Regional’s specialized cancer services. Patients at Forbes also have unique access to new breast cancer therapies being investigated in clinical trials organized by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), a National Cancer Institute funded international study group headquartered on the Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) campus. Both AGH and Forbes Regional are members of WPAHS.

“We are very happy that our patients from the eastern suburbs can now receive a full range of outstanding breast cancer care services closer to home,” said Dr. Thomas B. Julian, director of the WPAHS Division of Breast Surgical Oncology and associate director of the Allegheny Breast Care Center. “West Penn Allegheny’s nationally recognized expertise in the management of breast disease and its leading role with the NSABP enables our physicians and patients to choose the most appropriate and advanced course of treatment that will provide the best chance of a positive outcome.”

The new Breast Care Center was developed as part of a in Forbes Regional by Highmark intended to modernize and reconstruct the hospital to better meet the needs of the community and improve the patient experience. Highmark and WPAHS have entered into an affiliation agreement that, pending regulatory approvals, will significantly strengthen the health system and position it as the centerpiece of a new and innovative integrated healthcare delivery system for the region.

“This wonderful facility is another great example of Forbes Regional’s exciting transformation under the direction of West Penn Allegheny and Highmark," said Dr. Peter Naman, president-elect of the Forbes Regional Medical Staff and vice chair of its department of surgery. "The Breast Care Center will serve our patients and the local medical community well by working closely and collaboratively with area primary care physicians, Premier Medical Associates and East Suburban Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates.”

Editor's Note: Information was obtained from a press release distributed by Stephanie Waite, media relations specialist for the West Penn Allegheny Health System.

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