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Gundersen Lutheran Breast Center Earns Top National Honor
Date:3/10/2009

LA CROSSE, Wis., March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gundersen Lutheran is the first in the nation to achieve the highest level of distinction from the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers(TM) (NQMBC) Program. This distinguished honor represents a commitment to provide the highest level of quality breast health care. It's the latest in a long line of honors for Gundersen Lutheran Health System, based in La Crosse, Wis., a national leader in the measurement of breast cancer treatment and outcomes.

"We are proud to be the first -- and so far the only -- organization to reach this achievement," said Kelly Barton, administrative director of Gundersen Lutheran's cancer center. The NQMBC(TM) program is one of the first national quality initiatives designed to measure performance of interdisciplinary breast care.

"This represents a significant investment of time and energy on this quality initiative," said surgeon Jeffrey Landercasper, MD. "It's exciting to achieve another Center of Excellence honor. This award is a demonstration of our commitment to our patients. The reason we invest time in tracking our data is to make a great program even better."

In addition to the NQMBC honor, Gundersen Lutheran is one of only two organizations in the country with every available accreditation for the full scope of breast care, diagnosis and treatment from the American College of Radiology (another Center of Excellence designation). The breast center also has two fellowship-trained clinical breast radiologists, Richard Ellis, MD, and Jeannette Gasal-Spilde, MD. Dr. Ellis recently earned a distinction of his own -- he was inducted as a Fellow in the Society of Breast Imaging, one of only 100 in the nation.

What do the accolades mean? Gundersen Lutheran's model of care surrounds breast cancer patients with a team of specialists, using a coordinated approach that results in a fast diagnosis and a streamlined treatment pathway. At Gundersen Lutheran more than 95% of breast center patients have a needle biopsy. If it's cancer, their treatment plan begins immediately, with unprecedented coordination, a short timeline from diagnosis through treatment, and outcomes that match or exceed the best breast centers in the nation. The end result is excellent, compassionate care, at a reduced cost.

"This program is a model for the way breast cancer care will be delivered in the future," says Dr. Ellis. "We're proud of our clinical excellence and what we've been able to accomplish as a team."


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SOURCE Gundersen Lutheran Health System
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