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Breast cancer program first in Canada to earn prestigious NAPBC accreditation

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

North York General Hospital's (NYGH) breast cancer care program, which includes the BMO Financial Group Breast Diagnostic Centre, is the first comprehensive breast cancer care program in Canada to receive full accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.

“Our cancer surgery wait times are the best in the province, we provided radioactive seed localization as the standard of care before anyone else in the GTA, and North York General was the first hospital along the eastern seaboard of North America to use tomosynthesis for breast imaging,” says Dr. Nancy Down, Medical Director, Breast Integrated Care Collaborative and Division Head, General Surgery, NYGH. “Inviting the NAPBC to review our breast cancer program is one more step we have taken to demonstrate our commitment to excellence.”

Breast Cancer Care at NYGH is provided through an Integrated Care Collaborative (ICC). An ICC is a system of health care providers, clinics and services focused on breast cancer patients and their families. This focus means that patients receive evidence-based care, following best practices in a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment.

Dr. Nancy Down, Medical Director, Breast Integrated Care Collaborative and Division Head, General Surgery, North York General, speaks to a patient before surgery.

During the accreditation survey process, the centre must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease. The standards include proficiency in the areas of: centre leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement. A breast centre that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.

In April 2015, North York General Hospital was the first hospital in the Greater Toronto Area to provide as its standard of care radioactive seed localization for patients needing breast surgery.

Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited centre ensures that a patient will have access to:

  • comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services
  • a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
  • information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options, and most importantly,
  • quality breast care close to home.

“One out of nine Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Even with the research and treatment gains that have been made, breast cancer remains a complex disease requiring a team of experts, like the team we have at North York General, working together towards the best possible outcomes,” says Dr. Tim Rutledge, President and CEO, North York General Hospital.