It started with a warm smile. A smile filled with compassion for Amanda Thacker, Carolyn Gregor and Mary Ann Murphy when they came to Orange Park Medical Center’s Breast Care Center for mammograms and treatment. Even though their journeys took different paths, they chose and continue to visit the comprehensive Breast Care Center, because of the incredible experience and relationships they’ve developed with Center staff and physicians.
For Amanda, her choice was further reinforced when her doctor from another hospital referred her to the Breast Care Center, where several of her patients received top of the line care. And while news of something suspicious turned up in her test results, she was immediately introduced to Orange Park’s Breast Care Coordinator Heather Holst, RN, to provide guidance and support through the next part of her journey. To Amanda, Heather was “an angel of care” and was the person who held her hand and explained what to expect every step of the way, providing comfort, knowledge and peace of mind to Amanda when a loved one couldn’t be there with her.
The Breast Care Center provides comprehensive care in one location, giving patients the ability to have their screening, biopsy, surgery and follow up care at Orange Park Medical Center, named as a Joint Commission Top Performer and one of the top seven percent of all hospitals nationwide for quality outcomes. In addition to being a full-service provider, having a dedicated Breast Care Coordinator who is a registered nurse, provides a special layer of personalization. This special nurse provides one-on-one guidance for coordination of care, answers questions and provides assistance with resources and support groups. The Coordinator also arranges subsequent care within the imaging modalities, an individual’s primary care physician, surgeons and oncologist as appropriate. This multidisciplinary care team works closely to provide care that is compassionate, dignified and centered around a team approach.
Mary Ann came to Orange Park’s Breast Care Center for treatment after initial exams showed cause for concern. “Staff members Heather and Teneil (Pollock) knew I was scared when they first met me and they were so wonderful towards me,” said Mary Ann. “While it was a scary situation, I had a great experience with the staff and my surgeon made me feel very comfortable.” Like Mary Ann, Amanda appreciated that the physicians were readily available. “The Radiologist (Drs. Mori, Bean & Brooks, P.A.) who did my biopsy was comforting and explained what he was about to do every step of the way,” said Mary Ann.
Carolyn Gregor knows she’s made the right choice when she returns to the Breast Care Center each year for her mammogram. Carolyn has been seeing the same mammography technologist, Teneil, for many years and enjoys the personal touch when she comes in for her annual visit. “I appreciate the fact that you don’t feel like a number and there is a smile on their face,” said Carolyn. “As a patient you want someone on the other side that really cares.” While she has gone to other facilities for the screening, she says she’s never had the confidence she has now with the Breast Care Center and her mammography technologist.
All of the staff at the Breast Care Center have been on the team for over 10 years. These long tenures create a confidence among patients. It can be reassuring when the same staff provide care and are familiar with your previous visits at the Center.
When asked if they have shared the positive experiences with family and friends, Carolyn chimed in that she tells everyone and will ask people in the community if they’ve had their mammogram and how wonderful her experience always is at Orange Park. Letting people know of Orange Park’s Breast Care Center services out in the community is also very important to Mammography Supervisor Stacy Jordan. “Every year OPMC is a top fundraising team at the Making Strides against Breast Cancer (American Cancer Society) event in Orange Park. We are passionate about helping raise funds and supporting our community to end breast cancer, but until that day, our mission is to make the experience the very best it can be for all women and families who need to address breast-related issues.”
Today, Amanda and Mary Ann are both Breast Cancer Survivors and Carolyn continues to be healthy as well. There’s an undeniable comfort at the Breast Care Center for these ladies and Mary Ann is very certain that “If I should ever have to deal with breast cancer issues again, I will only be at Orange Park Medical Center.”
To schedule a screening mammogram at Orange Park Medical Center’s Breast Care Center, please call 888-887-6675.
Amanda Thacker provided the following poem to the Breast Care Center Staff to summarize her experience.
My Orange Park Medical Center Friends
Orange Park Breast Center, what can I say? Their staff is amazing in each and every way.
From the moment you walk through the door you are greeted with a smile and “how do you do?”
Then there’s the techs in charge of mammography and screening, they were so gentle and kind I thought I was dreaming.
Next, I met two fantastic ladies, whose job was to keep me encouraged, their support is so pure, they are determined we will find a cure.
Breast Care Coordinator was their title, the short time I was there they were my idols!
Biopsy day came, I was real nervous. I wasn’t alone that sweet coordinator, one particular in mind, took hold of my hand, saying together we stand, we’ll fight this fight to the very end!
My fight continued for nearly a year, and thanks to them only shed happy tears!
I followed up just recently after my fight and treatments, and the same bright smiles continued to greet me.
I want to say thanks to you all, for such gentle care, you guys do it with such flair.
Although I wouldn’t want to experience it again, I can’t say thank you enough all my hard working friends!
XO Amanda Thacker