Just across the hall
The farthest a woman has to travel for breast care consultation and services is down the hall.
She'll start her journey at Advanced Radiology, located inside the Fisher building almost across from the hospital's new Center for Breast Health. While there, a digital mammogram will record images of the breast, which Advanced Radiology's website states takes about seven minutes to complete.
Sometimes, a woman will be called back to Advanced Radiology for a diagnostic mammogram if a possible abnormality was detected on the original screening. This typically consists of more pictures of the breast taken from different angles, and less than 10 percent of women who have additional tests are diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
If abnormalities persist, a small amount of breast tissue must be removed and examined, a process called a biopsy.
That's when Advanced Radiology enlists the Center for Breast Health's services. They'll call over Marcia McMullin, a health navigator, who'll help schedule the biopsy. But that's not all she'll do. McMullin generally brings the woman to the center's small conference room, and they'll sit down at a circular table and chat.
They'll go over educational material and pamphlets explaining biopsies. They'll talk about the new breast center and comprehensive care.
"That's what we're here to do," Hobart said. "If we didn't have that service, [the woman] would have been out in her car by herself with nobody to process that with."
They'll come back to the center to receive the biopsy results inside the center's single exam room. Hobart, a surgeon, will pull them up on a flat-screen monitor and explain. She'll then lay out options if the patient is one of the 12 percent of women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
Then back to the small conference room the patient goes. The scheduler sits down with her to nail down times and dates for surgery and follow-up appointments.
The scheduler exits, and McMullin walks in the room.
"Sometimes it's a big, huge shock," McMullin said, "and they just need to sit in here for a little bit."
She'll figure out any help the woman might need, such as transportation to the hospital and resources on how to tell her young children about her new diagnosis. She'll sit and chat with the woman for as long as the patient needs.
"They just leave with, I think, a little bit better sense of calm," Hobart said. "They don't get out to the parking lot with as many unanswered questions."