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Hunterdon Medical Center Receives National Recognition for Breast Care

Published January 13, 2011

  PDF Icon 2010 Annual Report 

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), the only national accreditation program specifically for breast disease, awarded Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program Three-Year Full Accreditation.  The NAPBC is a consortium of national and professional organizations dedicated to quality of care and the improvement of outcomes for patients with diseases of the breast.

Less than 5% of all breast centers in the country are accredited by the NAPBC.  As part of this exclusive group, Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program provides patients with access to a comprehensive interdisciplinary team specializing in the care of malignant and benign breast disease.   This breast care team includes board certified physicians, surgeons specializing in breast care, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and reconstructive surgeons, along with genetic counselors, social workers and oncology certified nurses and dietitians.  Patients have access to state-of-the-art services, including digital mammography, breast MRI, high-risk screening, lymphedema rehabilitation and clinical trials.  Those who go to NAPBC accredited Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program receive timely, efficient, compassionate care from physical examination and treatment to follow-up and survivorship.

 Pamela Vlahakis, RN, BSN, CBCN, one of the first certified breast care coordinators in the nation, navigates patients through the system. She is experienced in breast health and works with patients who have abnormal results on their mammogram that require further investigation. Ms. Vlahakis works as a liaison between patients, physicians, and surgeons to ensure that patients receive appropriate care and prompt results.

Each NAPBC accredited center undergoes a rigorous survey process to ensure compliance with 27 standards, which address leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, education, data management, and quality improvement.  Randy Stevens, M.D., NAPBC surveyor noted, “Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center has a superb patient navigation process and an outstanding genetics program - identifying patients to be referred, active in research and follow through with the patient.”

But probably most importantly, Hunterdon Medical Center is proud of its five-year survival rates for breast cancer patients, which exceed community cancer center and national averages for all stages of the disease. Breast cancer represents approximately 30 percent of the total cancer cases treated at Hunterdon. While the rates of incidence in Hunterdon County are slightly higher than the state rates, mortality rates in the county are slightly lower thanks, in part, to a higher percentage of cases diagnosed at an early stage. Eighty-five percent of the patients diagnosed with breast cancer at Hunterdon had early stage disease, which significantly improves survival rates.

Healthcare providers at Hunterdon Healthcare follow all national recommendations for the treatment of breast cancer.  Hunterdon Healthcare monitored and demonstrated 100% compliance with national quality metrics.

For more information on Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program call Pamela Vlahakis at 908-237-5447 





National Data Reported from 1,404 Hospitals, Community Cancer Centers/Data Reported from 480 Hospitals


  Hunterdon Medical Center Community Care Centers National
BREAST Cases Rate Cases Rate Cases Rate
Stage 0 83 98.7% 14,977 94.2% 110,357 95.3%
Stage 1 165 95.0% 37,949 89.2% 251,418 91.3%
Stage 2 126 87.9% 30,254 80.2% 200,423 83.0%
Stage 3 22 72.1% 6,766 54.2% 40,978 58.3%
Stage 4 12 33.3% 3,222 18.5% 19,283 21.4%
All Stages 408 90.5% 93,168 82.0% 622,459 85.0%
Source: NCDB, Commission on Cancer, ACoS/ACS.Survival Reports, 8/24/10



 Breast Cancer Survey Chart