Close to Home:  A Team Approach at the new Breast Health Center

WMC’s new breast surgeon, Dr. Rebecca Baskin, easily summed up the reason she came to lead the Breast Health Center which opened June 1, “Everyone is passionate about what we do here, from the front desk, to my nurse and the nurse navigator, Cary Ralph, to the full team of specialists.  This is the type of team approach we are trying to build.  The human touch is very special.”  

Breast cancer is not just a disease that she treats.  Dr. Baskin has experienced it up close and personal.  As a breast cancer survivor in her 30’s, Dr. Baskin brings a special appreciation for excellence in everything they do: from patient and family education the day a patient first visits the Center, to a highly coordinated approach to care with the assistance of the nurse navigator, to a “one stop shop” experience that provides the latest imaging and diagnostic equipment that allows the patient to move easily through the process.  

A basic tenet of the program:  Support the patient’s decision-making process with education and a full team of specialists that work together.  Early on, each patient’s case gets exposure to the full team of specialists when cases are reviewed at the weekly tumor board meetings.  The surgeons and oncologists meet with the patient before treatment, giving them the opportunity to get to know and feel comfortable with their team.  This high-touch human approach helps to reduce anxiety and in turn supports the patient’s healing.

Although the Center has only been operating for a couple of months, patient numbers have exceeded expectations. Dr. Baskin already has a vision for the Center’s future.  Coordinated and integrated care will continue to be at the core of her vision.  Another nurse practitioner along with more exam and procedure rooms are needed.  Among other things, Dr. Baskin hopes to integrate a Lymphedema specialist as well as Physical Therapists, specialized in breast cancer recovery, while building the nutrition program through different phases of treatment.  There is also a concern for high-risk patients who do not have access to some of the state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures.

“Williamson Medical Center is very in tune with the health care needs of the community.  It is very much a part of the community.  The staff live here and they care about the women of Williamson County”,  said Dr. Baskin.  No doubt, under her leadership the Center will reach out and continue to serve the women and families of the region.