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Awards and Honors

ACS Recognizes BreastCare Center for Exceptional Support to Breast Cancer Patients

Dr. Michael Wertheimer, Director of the BreastCare Center at BIDMC, is recognized by the American Cancer Society at its annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.The BreastCare Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has been recognized by the New England Division of the American Cancer Society for their extraordinary efforts supporting breast cancer patients and their caregivers.

Michael Wertheimer, MD, Director of the BreastCare Center and Chief of Breast Surgery at BIDMC (right), accepted the award at ACS’s 20th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Boston on October 14, 2012, at the DCR Hatch Shell.

"The BreastCare Center at BIDMC is a unique and special place,” Wertheimer says. “We offer a blend of state-of-the-art, world class technical breast cancer care and research in an extraordinarily warm, compassionate environment with collaboration, and coordination of care.”

Wertheimer notes that this award, as well as other recent national recognitions from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, spotlights the extraordinary teamwork and coordination the BreastCare Center puts forth each day.

“This reflects the BreastCare Center’s position as one of the top programs in the United States, and is a tribute to the enormous team of outstanding individuals in all the departments of our multidisciplinary program,” he says.

BIDMC’s BreastCare Center was one of eight Massachusetts breast health facilities recognized and celebrated at this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk for their dedication and commitment to serving breast cancer patients and caregivers, and helping to raise awareness in the fight to end breast cancer.

An event originating in Boston, the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk is now held in more than 270 communities across the United States and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fight breast cancer.


The BIDMC BreastCare Center is Officially Top Notch; Scores Perfect Marks and Receives Prestigious Award

NAPBC Gold CircleThe Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center BreastCare Center has received full, three-year accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, the first breast center at a Boston academic medical center to achieve special accreditation in Boston area.

NAPBC surveyor Arnold H. Herman, MD described the BreastCare Center as "a model for any large institution" and a "truly exemplary program that will hopefully start a trend in large academic centers coming forward for NAPBC accreditation."

Full accreditation by the NAPBC - a part of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons - requires the provision of contemporary, multidisciplinary care in 17 program components while meeting 27 exacting standards.

The standards - which span areas from a center's leadership to its research, clinical management, professional education, quality improvement, and more - were established by the NAPBC's multidisciplinary board, which is composed of experts representing the disciplines that work together to diagnose and treat breast diseases, says Michael D. Wertheimer, MD, Director of the BreastCare Center and Chief of Breast Surgery in the Roberta and Stephen R. Weiner Department of Surgery.

Breast Care Center Team"This demonstrates that our BreastCare Center is a national leader in providing outstanding, multidisciplinary care for patients," says Wertheimer.

Participation in NAPBC, a consortium of national professional organizations launched in 2008 to improve the quality of care for patients with breast diseases, is currently voluntary. The process required "opening all aspects of the BreastCare Center to critical, rigorous internal and external review and comparing them to ideal national standards," says Wertheimer.

The accreditation process, which included a Nov. 17 site visit involved staff from: general surgery, medical oncology, radiology, radiation oncology, social work, pathology, plastic surgery, health information/medical records, health care quality, oncology nursing, and community benefits.

Herman also made special note of the weekly tumor board, which he called "superb" and commended the "unique" multidisciplinary evaluation process for new breast cancer patients and the high quality of support services, "which serve … patients in a manner that could be cloned for all to use."

Mary Jane Houlihan, MD, Receives Cancer Liaison Award

History repeated itself when Mary Jane Houlihan, MD, a breast surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, recently received the Cancer Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance Award from the American College of Surgeon's Commission on Cancer. The award recognizes clinicians who go above and beyond expectations to improve and provide direction to their cancer program. Houlihan won the award in 2008 as well.

"I am very happy to be honored," Houlihan says. "It is nice to be acknowledged for the work that one does. A lot of people at BIDMC work hard to make our cancer program strong."

Cancer Liaison Physicians are volunteer physicians responsible for providing the leadership and direction to establish, maintain and support their facility's cancer program. Houlihan has served in this capacity for more than a decade. In addition, she is the Chair of the Tumor Registry and the Co-Chair of the medical center's Cancer Committee. She said this multidisciplinary group ensures quality clinical care as well as ongoing education around cancer issues, research and community outreach is being done at BIDMC.

"I like working here so much because of my colleagues," says Houlihan. "They nominated me and that is why I am really honored to receive this award."

Houlihan is not the only person to recognize the success of this collaboration among departments at BIDMC. On more than one occasion, the Cancer Care Center at BIDMC has received the Commission on Cancer's Outstanding Achievement Award - a three-year approval with commendation - certifying that the center meets or exceeds Commission standards. Houlihan says the Cancer Care Center was reaccredited with commendation last fall.

Houlihan completed her residency at BIDMC and has been on staff since 1988. She came to the medical center as a general surgeon and decided to specialize in breast surgery in 1992. Houlihan knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine. When she started medical school, she had no interest in becoming a surgeon and even tried to talk her way out of completing her surgery clerkship. But on the first day of her clerkship, she had a change of heart.

"I just thought 'this is it,'" she says. "I've never looked back."

70 Hospitals and Health Systems With Great Oncology Programs

From Becker's Hospital Review:

Becker's Hospital Review has named "70 Hospitals with Great Oncology Programs." These hospitals are on the cutting edge of cancer treatment, prevention and research, and the Becker's Hospital Review editorial team selected them based on clinical accolades, quality care and contributions to the field of oncology.

These hospitals have been recognized for excellence in this specialty by reputable healthcare rating resources, including U.S. News & World Report, HealthGrades, Thomson Reuters, the National Cancer Institute, the American College of Surgeons and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. They have demonstrated continual innovation in treatments and services, patient-centered care, and the achievement of clinical milestones and groundbreaking discoveries.

"The Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center includes 19 specialty programs in oncology along with eight multidisciplinary clinics that use a team-based approach. It is one of only 34 centers in the country to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

"BIDMC's Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, received the 2011 International Award for Cancer Research from the Pezcoller Foundation-American Association of Cancer Research for the advancements he made in cancer genetics." 

Read the full article »

Contact Information

BreastCare Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Shapiro Clinical Center, 5th floor 
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-667-2900
Fax: 617-667-9711