Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 21, 2008

Women’s Center now open at OLBH

Facility available for touring today

RUSSELL — Wanda Hieneman remembers the weeks that crawled by after she found the lump and went to her doctor.

“You’re waiting and waiting,” she said. “And when the word comes it takes you to your knees so fast.”

The word, of course, was cancer. Several years ago, when Hieneman was diagnosed, it took up to four weeks of slogging to appointment after appointment before a diagnosis. The drawn-out process in itself was enough to frazzle the nerves.

No wonder Hieneman was smiling Friday. She and three friends, Cathie White of Flatwoods, Karen Howard of Greenup and Judy Colley of Ironton, were among the hundreds who toured the new Women’s Center at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.

The open house showcased the $1.1 million self-contained facility in the Bellefonte Centre adjacent to the hospital.

The center, which opened Monday, combines services under one roof to minimize the time it takes to determine if a lump is cancerous.

It offers digital mammography, clinical breast exams, dedicated breast ultrasound, surgical consultations, minimally invasive breast biopsy and bone density screening.

The center allows for compression of the diagnosis process into a single day. Patients typically can go in without an appointment the day after finding a lump and receive all the services they need the same day.

The facility is designed with both physical and emotional comfort in mind, as well as maximum privacy, said director of radiology Terri Hannon.

Rooms are decorated in muted earth tones with subdued overhead lighting and comfortable seating. All the rooms are soundproofed, Hannon said.

The mammography suite includes two state of the art digital mammography units; the units are in such high demand that OLBH had to wait eight months after ordering to receive them, Hannon said. Among other things, the machines cause less discomfort because of their flexible paddles.

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