Construction begins on Tuality Healthcare’s new Breast Health Center

September 08, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Workers from Howard S. Wright Construction are hard at work transforming an empty space in the third floor of the Seventh Avenue Medical Plaza building into Tuality Healthcare’s state-of-the art Breast Health Center.  When completed and open for patients in early November, the center will provide patients in Washington County with a warm, inviting and comfortable environment for mammography exams and other breast health services.

The Breast Health Center has been in the planning stages for many years, according to Amy Kaiser, RN, MS, OCN, breast health service manager with Tuality Healthcare. The center will feature all new digital mammography equipment and built-in efficiencies that keep waiting and procedure time to a minimum. 

Just as exciting is the makeover of Tuality’s Mobile Mammography van. The only one of its kind in Oregon, the mobile van provides fast, effective screening mammograms at sites all over western Washington County. It travels to businesses, clinics, senior centers and other locations to provide breast health services. It, too, will have updated interior and state-of-the-art digital mammography equipment and will host its first patient in late October.

The new environments in the Seventh Avenue Medical Plaza and the mobile van are exciting developments, Amy said. Just as important, she said, is the top-notch service that the experienced Breast Health Center staff provides. “A lot of mammography patients specifically request one of our mammography technologists because they are so good at what they do,” she said.  “The staff is very skilled and very professional. They do an awesome job.  Service is what brings people back.”

The time efficiencies are important as well, Amy said, because people who are undergoing breast exams want to “get in and get out.”  The goal of less than five minutes waiting time involves an efficient check-in system that features a camera to monitor the waiting area. The center’s layout also has efficiencies built in so patients don’t have long waits or long walks to other parts of the facility.

Framing and layout of the breast health center suite is nearly complete, according to Dan Callahan at Howard S. Wright Construction, one of the Northwest’s leading builders. Sheetrock installation will begin the second week of September.

The 4,221-square foot facility has a price tag of $2.08 million, according to Steve Krautscheid, director of Facilities and Properties. Construction of the facility will cost around $650,000. Updating the mobile mammography van will cost $130,000. The remainder of the funds, $1.3 million, will go for digital mammography, and other equipment, for the breast health center and mammography van. “We are pleased with the steps taken to create a facility that is very customer oriented and emphasizes superior service and respect for our patients,” said Krautscheid.

Funding has been a community endeavor with numerous donors helping to get the project completed. In fact, the Tuality Healthcare Foundation supplied $900,000 in funding for the project, according to Cece Clitheroe, foundation director.

“We are very excited to bring this new technology to Tuality Healthcare,” said Cece. “We are extremely grateful to our donors for helping make these new facilities a reality. These new facilities will provide needed service to women in western Washington County.”

Other stakeholders – patient focus group members, breast health center employees, radiologists, surgeons and other support personnel – provided input that resulted in the warm, inviting facilities that will be open for business in less than two months.

The new facilities with new features and new equipment provide what Amy calls the crucial “continuity of care” component that patients desire these days. “We have new facilities, new equipment and dedicated employees who will provide a personal touch,” she said. “We’re excited about the care we provide to women in our service area.”