The Imaging Center for Women (ICW) is moving to an expanded and improved facility. In July, the center will officially relocate from its current location, on the first and third floors of the Tompkins-Martin office building adjacent to Mary Washington Hospital, to the new Center for Women, also on the Mary Washington Healthcare Campus. The move will be marked by a ribbon cutting with staff on July 19 and an open house for physicians August 5.
The new facility fulfills a vision by the administrator and physicians of Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg (RAF) to create a patient-focused center from the ground up, rather than trying to fit into existing space that could not be properly designed for women’s imaging.
“The new ICW was our opportunity to design a facility around women’s needs,” said Ed Swager, CEO of RAF, who spearheaded business planning for the center. “The new center features larger waiting areas, more privacy, a more sophisticated environment, and improved patient flow. It houses all women’s imaging services in a single location, designed with our patients in mind. The new center also offers room for future growth, as technologies such as dedicated breast MRI and scintimammography are evaluated for inclusion in our service components.”
“We’ve simply outgrown our space,” said Aye Min, MD, RAF radiologist and physician director of the center. “Having two floors in our previous location required splitting resources. In our new 11,000-square-foot office, all staff and services are together on one floor—bringing more efficiency and better-coordinated care.”
The ICW, a partnership between RAF and Mary Washington Healthcare, provides a variety of diagnostics for women. Services include screening and diagnostic digital mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and biopsy, pelvic sonography and bone densitometry. The new office will be staffed by 11 radiologists (four each shift) and 48 staff members working various shifts, including a nurse, medical imaging technologists, and administrative support.
“Our goal was to make our new office the most comfortable, convenient, high-quality facility it could be, and we are confident we have achieved that,” said Donald Allen, MD, RAF radiologist who served as the ICW’s physician director from its founding in 1996 until 2009. “We are proud to couple our leading-edge imaging technology with an unparalleled patient experience.”
The new office will provide a soothing atmosphere for patients, Dr. Min noted. “Instead of waiting in cubicles for their examinations, our patients can now enjoy a large, beautiful waiting room and relax with tea and coffee, if they like.”
“We’ve focused on creating an environment that not only provides a pleasant ambiance for patients, but preserves privacy and confidentiality,” said Jennifer Williams, manager of the ICW. The new facility includes a comfortably furnished consultation room for patients and their families to discuss breast biopsy results with medical staff. Although women make up most of the center’s patient base, about 5 percent of patients are male, she noted. Male patients will have a separate changing and waiting area.
The ICW also is adding a key position to help facilitate the patient experience in the new space. This position, a breast care coordinator, is held by an experienced nurse in the breast care field. The coordinator serves as a patient liaison for the ICW, facilitating communication among the radiologist, patient, referring physician, and other health care providers. “In particular, our nurse coordinator will ensure that imaging and pathology results are effectively communicated to patients with abnormal breast findings,” said Dr. Min. The coordinator also will facilitate breast education for outpatients who are receiving screening mammography, diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, and breast biopsies, he noted.
As an additional function, the breast care coordinator will serve as a liaison with the breast health navigator, who is part of Mary Washington Hospital. The navigator works with patients whose biopsies show a high-risk lesion or malignancy. Together, the nurse coordinator and nurse navigator will provide unprecedented levels of information, education, and support, Dr. Min said.
The ICW will be the first tenant to occupy the Center for Women, which is located at 1300 Hospital Drive. Free parking is available at the front of the building.