June 16, 2017

Meet Joyce: Promoting Standard of Care in Breast Imaging for 25 Years

"I have been with Beekley for 25 wonderful years and am very proud to have helped the accuracy of medical imaging exams by teaching technologists and radiologists about how our products help them improve communication of findings. I feel very privileged to work with so many absolutely wonderful people and love the rewarding relationships I have with my customers."  Joyce Chase, Senior Account Manager, Beekley Medical        

We would be remiss if our Associate spotlight series "Meet Beekley" did not feature our most seasoned and highly decorated Sales Associate. Joyce's history is so intertwined with Beekley Medical's history that it's almost impossible to to tell one without mentioning the other.   

Joyce Chase began her career with Beekley in 1991. Back then Xerography mammography was still being done and the newer screen-film technology(aka analog) was making headlines for being faster, requiring lower radiation dose, and providing the "greatest" contrast, making it easier to see through breast tissues.  

To help put Joyce's career into perspective - the Mammography Quality Standards Act did not exist until 1992. These regulations were put in place to standardize not only the quality of breast imaging, but also the procedures radiologists must follow to communicate their findings to referring physicians.

To help radiologists convey their findings, the American College of Radiology (ACR) created the Breast Imaging - Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) to provide a common language for reporting breast cancer. 

BI-RADS opened the door for Beekley products in breast imaging.

Teaching a new common language for mammography 

When Joyce started, Beekley's primary market was diagnostic X-ray. One of our most popular products, the X-SPOT®, was used to mark nipples on chest films in order to prevent the nipple shadow from possibly being misidentified as lung nodules when seen on film.

It wasn't long before mammographer's started using the X-SPOT as a localization marker to communicate a palpable finding to the the radiologist.  However, with better mammography imaging, radiologists were seeing all sorts of things on patient films that could be misidentified as cancer - skin moles, post-surgical scarring in the breast, and yes, even nipples. So they began requesting markers on all these areas as well in order to help rule out false-positive findings. The only problem now was how to identify the markers indicating the benign from the suspicious. 

Enter Joyce.  "At that time our company pioneered the idea of a protocol of marking for meaning (the Beekley Skin Marking System®) to eliminate those questions and reduce the number of unnecessary repeat exams, extra radiation to the patient, and unnecessary biopsies. I was teaching radiologists and technologists how consistently using a specific skin marker to document a specific area of importance on the images could improve communication and documentation of clinical findings."

And teach she did - with a missionary zeal for providing a standard of care with skin markers in mammography, Joyce was a leader in converting breast imaging facilities to the new system - including some of the most influential facilities on the leading edge of breast cancer treatment and research.

Her exemplary "teleteaching" sales technique earned her recognition as Salesperson of the Year in 1993 (her first of many), and Coach of the Year in 1994.    

Solving customer challenges with new technologies 

"Effective sales professionals play two complementary roles – one as a business consultant to their clients and the other as a business strategist to their own company.  With over 25 years of healthcare industry experience, Joyce knows her customers' challenges and she works collaboratively with Beekley Medical to develop innovations that help to eliminate those challenges." Lee Ann Fachko, National Sales Director, Beekley Medical    

As Joyce was a primary influence in the rise of Beekley Medical as the market leader for skin making in mammography during the early days of analog, she was integral to ensuring we would stay that way as new technologies for breast imaging were being developed.

I think most of Joyce's customers consider her a friend - she just has that way about her. People like her, trust her, and rely on her to make things happen.  

It was Joyce's close relationship with Susan Sprinkle-Vincent, who was lead mammographer at the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center at the time - one of the largest and busiest breast centers in the country, that led to Beekley being the first to develop mammography skin markers for digital mammography and ultimately, digital breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography).

MD Anderson was one of the first to implement digital mammography and Susan, a strong proponent of nipple marking on every patient, relayed to Joyce that the metallic pellets were incompatible with the digital equipment due to ghosting and other issues affecting dosing.

Ever the champion of her customer, Joyce brought the issue to new product development and pressed for the creation of low density markers that would not ghost on the new digital exams. Her persistence paid off, and in short order, a low-density, non-metallic pellet was made for digital equipment followed by the creation of lower density shape markers for other areas of concern in digital mammography .

Because Joyce is constantly in with her customers to ensure that we are meeting their needs and expectations, she is often the first to hear about new trends in breast imaging and the first to alert our product development team about changes on the horizon that could impact not only our business, but patient care as well.

Joyce was the first to hear about the "slinky" artifact some of her customers were experiencing with their skin markers under the new imaging equipment for digital breast tomosynthesis.

Thanks to Joyce's ear and advocacy for her customers, her early concern led to the research and development of TomoSPOT® skin markers for 3D Breast Tomosynthesis - the first skin markers with a density level that was tested and proven to significantly reduce the "slinkying" effect under the sensitive 3D portion of the exam.    

A Brush with Breast Cancer  

"My mission in my career has always been to educate radiology professionals on how our products help improve the early detection of cancer to save lives and preserve quality of life.  Little did I know that my passion and clinical knowledge would save my life!" Joyce Chase, Senior Account Manager, Beekley Medical      

In 2002, Joyce was diagnosed with breast cancer. According to her recollection "If I wasn't in this field, I may have waited to begin annual screening. Knowing that I had a better chance at beating cancer because I was diagnosed early helped me to positively face lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I now share my personal knowledge and helpful tips from my cancer treatment journey to help and inspire others to provide the very best care that will also save lives." 

Joyce's experience as a cancer patient continues to help comfort and inspire others on the same journey in our local community. Joyce had the honor of helping to design the state of the art Beekley Center for Breast Health & Wellness at Bristol Hospital from the perspective as patient. Her poise and eloquence as a salesperson came in handy when she was asked to be a spokesperson for the center and featured in their marketing. It was a moment of pride for all of us at Beekley to see Joyce's face looking down at us from billboards on state highways.  

Golden Circle of Excellence 

"Joyce is incredibly passionate about the practice of better mammography and is dedicated to helping every one of her customers do just that. Joyce was heavily involved in the development of the market for skin markers and has been doing so for over 25 years. Her “never say never” motto drives her success in sales  She is talented and we have been so lucky to have her on the Beekley Medical team for all these years." Martha Flannery, VP Sales & Marketing, Beekley Medical       

Joyce has accumulated quite a number of recognition and accolade awards throughout her career with Beekley to accompany her many accomplishments.

She has been named Salesperson of the Year 4 times, inducted into the Chairman's Circle twice, named to the President's Club 8 times, and was a Top Gun recipient in each of the 4 years it has been awarded for excellence in her modality.

Joyce's success as a top sales associate stems from her passion and belief in that what she does saves lives. And thanks to her drive to educate and innovate, she has.  


Related Articles: 

How a Mission to Positively Impact People’s Lives Drives Growth at Beekley Medical

Meet Queenee: A Passion for Patient Care Drives Performance, Success, and Satisfaction

My Breast Cancer Journey with Beekley

Meet Lena: Ensuring Customers Get a Best First Impression of Beekley's Products and Services




Mary Lang
Senior Marketing Communications Manager

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