On June 28, 2017 the email from Dr. Sai Varanasi read. "Good Morning Ayn, Just wanted to share the good news. The center has been recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence by NCBC. We cannot thank you and Beekley enough to be with us in our journey."
For those not familiar with the industry - A Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence is the highest recognition level bestowed by the National Consortium of Breast Centers.
According to Dr. Varanasi, breast surgeon at the Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness at Bristol Hospital, "Recognition as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence is an honor that we are very proud of as it is a reflection of our breast care team’s dedication to providing comprehensive, streamlined, and compassionate breast care. We understand that collecting data for key quality measures is an essential part of performance improvement. Our team has worked hard to establish a culture of quality and we strive to maintain and build on that every day. We solicit and value patient feedback through our patient satisfaction surveys to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community. Our multidisciplinary team at the Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness at Bristol Hospital is proud of the quality breast care services we provide and which is now acknowledged through the NQMBC (National Quality Measures for Breast Centers)."
It is a high honor, and a well deserved one at that. This is the culmination of a goal set forth almost 2 decades ago to improve breast health in our local community.
A Community Mission- A Journey to Better Breast Health
At that time, mammogram screening compliance in the greater Bristol (CT) area was 40%. Fearing that women were not going for mammograms because of cost, the Development Foundation introduced the Bristol Community Breast Health Project to help provide free screening and financial support for follow-up care, if needed, for women who were under or uninsured. The goal was to insure that every woman in our local community had access to quality breast care. That goal has never wavered.
Beekley Associates enthusiastically embraced the Community Breast Health Project and in October, 1999, Project Giveback (now known as ARC Angel) was introduced - an internal fundraising program with the goal of raising $1500, enough money to sponsor 1 free day of mammograms at Bristol Hospital for women who were otherwise not able to afford one. It helps to remember we were a much smaller company then, and accomplishing this goal was a really big cause for excitement and celebration - how many lives did we help possibly save that day? And how can we help more?
Over the course of the last 18 years, our commitment to helping Bristol Hospital in their goal of delivering top quality breast care to the women in our community has remained steady, while the means of doing so have evolved along the way - from sponsoring free mammograms to helping fund equipment purchases, to philanthropic grants by the Beekley Family Foundation to help build a new 6,100-square-foot comprehensive breast center.
A Certified Quality Center of Excellence Equals a Team of Excellence
But it takes more than screening programs, equipment purchases, and buildings to provide quality care - it takes people.
We have seen first hand the dedication of the Bristol Hospital organization and the Bristol Hospital Development Foundation to build a community hospital that rivals the services and professional expertise offered by those in larger cities.
This journey has been one of community for community - perhaps as all good journeys should be.