BRISTOL – Breast care patients at Bristol Regional Medical Center can now access high-quality diagnostic equipment and expert caregivers in a renovated section of the hospital focused on providing them the information they need more conveniently and comprehensively.
Bristol Regional has consolidated many elements of breast care with the construction of the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center. No longer spread across different parts of the hospital campus, services such as digital mammography, ultrasound, biopsy and bone density screening will now be housed on the first floor between the main entrance and west entrance of Bristol Regional.
The new center is also designed to provide patients quick and easy access to members of the hospital’s multidisciplinary team. Dr. Sue Prill, a board-certified medical oncologist with Wellmont Medical Associates Oncology & Hematology, has moved her office into the center. Patients will also have a seamless transition to Bristol Regional’s breast care navigator, genetic testing and counseling, lymphedema therapy and clinical research trials, all of which are available in the center should they be necessary.
All of this became possible with a $1 million donation from the Leonard Family Foundation to Wellmont Foundation. The family celebrated with representatives of the hospital and Wellmont Health System at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, June 11. The center will begin seeing patients Monday, June 17.
“This is a spectacular center that reflects the commitment by our physicians and other dedicated caregivers to deliver compassionate care and provide the best patient experience possible,” said Greg Neal, Bristol Regional’s interim president. “We’re thankful to the Leonard family for enabling us to continue serving our patients with superior care by believing strongly in our care team.”
The new center will provide an enhanced collaborative care model in which physicians and other caregivers from multiple disciplines at Bristol Regional work together to develop a treatment plan tailored to meet each patient’s needs. Plus, patients will benefit greatly from having an oncologist focused solely on breast cancer in Dr. Prill and dedicated radiologists with specialized training in breast health.
Other highlights of this remarkable facility are the proximity of surgeons located on the second floor directly above the breast center, registered mammography technicians, extended evening and weekend hours and assigned parking spaces in front of the hospital.
“Many patients who come to the center will have no need to utilize services other than a mammogram,” said Sue Lindenbusch, vice president of the Wellmont Cancer Institute. “But for those who are diagnosed with breast cancer, there will be many additional steps in the process as their journey toward healing begins. We are here to help.”
Lindenbusch said the structure of this center will help patients immensely by showing them they have a strong support system right at their fingertips. She said that illustrates the healing environment that pervades this facility.
“By simplifying the access points to services they need, we are empowering our patients to devote their time and attention to securing answers they need and making decisions that best fit them at this important juncture,” Lindenbusch said. “This is essential in the early going when a patient is experiencing so many emotions, perhaps at the same time.”
Bristol Regional is one of only two facilities in the region accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The other is the Comprehensive Breast Center at the Holston Valley Outpatient Center.
Mammograms will continue to be available at the Volunteer Parkway Imaging Center as another convenient option.
Patients who receive a cancer diagnosis will still have access to the J.D. and Lorraine Nicewonder Cancer Center at Bristol Regional, which includes the Jackie Leonard Infusion Center. These facilities provide superb care for cancer patients who are well on their way to recovery.
Bristol Regional has been a proven leader in delivering superior oncology care. CareChex, a division of Comparion, recently selected it among the top 10 percent in the nation for cancer care and women’s health. The hospital’s success can, in many ways, be attributed to a synergy between the community and Bristol Regional’s physicians and other staff members.
Frank Leonard said he is proud his family can continue to play a key role in advancing outstanding health care in the region. He understands the importance of innovative facilities because his wife underwent breast surgery 25 years ago and a fellow business executive died from breast cancer.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to support a facility that can ease the mind of a woman who has a mammogram and learns she does not have cancer,” Leonard said. “But it is nice to know that a woman or man diagnosed with breast cancer can hit the ground running in the fight against this disease by working with caregivers and utilizing other diagnostic tools all within a few feet of each other right from day one.”
Todd Norris, Wellmont Health System’s senior vice president of senior advancement and Wellmont Foundation’s president, said the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center is the latest example of philanthropy that has profoundly impacted patient care.
“We appreciate the confidence Frank and his family have repeatedly shown Bristol Regional with their financial support,” Norris said. “They have made a tremendous difference in our patients’ care and bolstered the quality of life in the area Bristol Regional serves. Their investments have been concrete evidence that community partners can supplement our clinical expertise, enabling us to deliver the best health care anywhere.”
For more information about breast health and ways to support healthcare initiatives, please visit www.wellmont.org.
Dr. Sue Prill, right, a medical oncologist with Wellmont Medical Associates Oncology & Hematology, and Sue Lindenbusch, vice president of the Wellmont Cancer Institute, stand by a new digital mammography machine in the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center.
Dr. Sue Prill, right, a medical oncologist with Wellmont Medical Associates Oncology & Hematology, and Sue Lindenbusch, vice president of the Wellmont Cancer Institute, stand by a new stereotactic biopsy machine in the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center.
Todd Norris, center, senior vice president of system advancement for Wellmont Health System and president of Wellmont Foundation, presents framed photos of the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center with the signatures of physicians and Wellmont leaders.
Members of the Leonard family pose in one of the lobbies of the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center. Seated, left to right, are Carol Leonard and Jackie Leonard. Standing, left to right, are Frank Leonard and Roger Leonard.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony and sign unveiling on Tuesday, June 11, celebrated the opening of the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center, which includes this 3form Wovin Wall in the lobby on the west end of the hospital.