Healthy path: Hospital closer to expanding breast cancer patient care

6/24/2014

St. Catherine Hospital has made another important step toward enhanced care for breast cancer patients.

St. Catherine Hospital has made another important step toward enhanced care for breast cancer patients.

The local hospital is aiming for certification in the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. Part of the quest had Heather Wright-Renick, a registered nurse at St. Catherine Hospital, earn dual certification as a breast patient "navigator," which better equipped her to help guide breast patients through their journey of care.

Wright-Renick — a breast cancer survivor herself — is coordinator of the Breast Center located in the new Legacy House across from the hospital at 309 Walnut St.

Hospitals in the national program are able to offer the full spectrum of interdisciplinary care to patients with breast disease. Patients have access to the most current forms of evaluation, treatment and follow-up care. A multidisciplinary team approach will make it possible to coordinate the best treatment options.

Certification for the Breast Center also will mean local patients won't have to head elsewhere for certain aspects of their care.

Such convenience in cutting down on distance needed to travel is particularly important in a rural part of the state. Having easy access to medical treatment can lessen both the financial and emotional stress for patients and their families.

As a regional medical facility, St. Catherine Hospital continues to make strides toward the ongoing goal of offering more services needed by local and area residents. When people leave town for specialized medical care not offered in Garden City, it can have an impact on the local hospital's bottom line, and in turn hurt the community as a whole.

St. Catherine Hospital also has demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing needs. Like other hospitals, it faces the ongoing challenge of delivering quality health care amid escalating costs of providing care and the growing burden of governmental red tape.

Availability of health care is critical to the economic well-being of any community. More importantly, the availability of expanded, comprehensive services makes it possible to better serve people in their time of need.

Consider St. Catherine Hospital's progress toward the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers a welcome development in that regard.

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