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East County Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019 10 months ago

A more caring process at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

The Breast Health Center at the facility adds a few spa-like touches.
by: Andrew Atkins Staff Writer

Major changes to the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center’s Breast Health Center have given patients a more comfortable experience.

Tracy Legutko, a supervisor at the Breast Health Center, said patients have loved the new facility since it opened in October.

“They walk in, and they’re like, ‘Wow, this is amazing,’” she said.

The center had its ribbon cutting and open house in late February once finishing touches — like the last bits of furniture — were in place.

Shawn Imhoof, director of imaging services at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, said the approximate $1.5 million in improvements mean centralized services for patients and increased efficiency, so patients spend more time receiving personalized care.

The center has, effectively, two waiting rooms. Once patients are called from the first waiting room, they’re taken to another waiting room with two dressing rooms to allow them to change into hospital gowns. Patients can watch TV or enjoy complimentary light refreshments while they wait.

When patients head into the rooms for their actual procedures, most of the rooms are connected, so they can privately move from procedure to procedure all the way through to the counseling room. At the completion of their appointments, which Imhoof said takes an average of 30 minutes, patients often spend a bit of time finishing up a show or a snack and decompressing before they leave.

“They love the spa-like feel of what we’ve built here,” Imhoof said. 

Part of the personalized care comes in the form of Michelle Lynch, a breast care navigator.

Lynch follows patients who have been diagnosed with cancer every step of the way. She helps set up appointments, attends support groups or surgeries with them, and acts as an interpreter of sorts between patients and doctors to put the information in layman’s terms.

The internal waiting room.

Aside from changes like appearance, centralization and process, the Breast Health Center also has new equipment. The equipment includes a wireless method for localizing breast masses, a 3D stereotactic biopsy table and a 3D mammogram machine.

This story has been updated to correct the address for the Breast Health Center.

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