LMH West Campus aims to be one-stop shop for breast health

The new Women’s Center at the LMH Health West Campus was designed to handle most of the care patients needed all under one roof, with multiple services just a few seconds’ walk away from one another.

Megan Pedersen, director of specialty clinics, said this multidisciplinary approach was stressed throughout the planning and designing process. It was important for the Women’s Center to be equipped with advanced technology but also to provide high-quality care in a one-stop shop format, she said.

“There has been much thought put into making it convenient for women to get the care they need in a way that will allow them to live their lives to the fullest by getting some time in their days back,” Pedersen said. “We are going to make it easier for women to get the care they need.”

Focusing on breast health

One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. When breast cancer is detected early enough, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100%. Family history may put some women at higher risk, but 85% of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of the disease.

Dr. Jennifer Hawasli, a fellowship-trained physician in breast surgical oncology, joined the LMH Health Women’s Center staff in August. She decided to become a breast surgeon because she not only gets to operate, which she enjoys, but she also gets to spend time in the office with patients.

“Breast cancer can be a very scary diagnosis,” she said. “I like being able to explain their disease to my patients. By giving them knowledge about their disease, I can give them power over it.”

Hawasli said she’s pleased with the advanced, comprehensive services the campus is able to offer.

“From the breast center, mammography, plastics, radiology and even outpatient surgery, having all of these services in one place helps ease anxiety for breast patients,” Hawasli said. “Today, breast cancer can be treatable but requires multidisciplinary care and patients have to go to multiple physicians. Decreasing locations and bringing many members of the breast cancer team under one roof helps decrease stressors.”

Dr. Scarlett Aldrich, a physician with Plastic Surgery Specialists of Lawrence, said she was also excited to focus her time at the West Campus on breast care.

“Talking about breast cancer and cancer care is a hard topic and can be overwhelming to patients,” she said. “Providing the opportunity for women to combine several aspects of their care at one time at the West Campus will efficiently bundle and minimize the time spent in a doctor’s office so that they can focus on maximizing their quality of life everywhere else.”

Many other providers and clinic employees are also available to help patients coordinate future appointments and minimize their appointment time.

“It also promotes easy and efficient communication between providers when our offices are steps away from one another,” Aldrich said. “This is an exciting step forward in the future of LMH Health.”

Get to know LMH’s new breast surgeon

Hawasli is one of LMH Health’s newest employees, having joined the medical staff over the summer. She said she’s been impressed not only by the new facilities at the West Campus, but also by LMH’s team-focused approach to treatment.

“Breast cancer is best treated as a team,” she said. “I was fortunate to find LMH Health, where we have a wonderful team that works together to take care of the patient.”

Hawasli earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas-Austin and her medical degree from Texas Tech. She completed her internship and residency at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and her fellowship in oncological breast surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. Hawasli is also board certified in general surgery.

What Hawasli loves most about her job, she said, is building strong relationships with her patients.

“Being a doctor is incredibly rewarding, especially being able to tell my patients that their cancer has been removed,” she said.

Schedule a mammogram

Is it time for you to have a mammogram? Breast cancer will affect hundreds of thousands of women this year alone.

Spare an hour for your breast health at LMH’s Project Mammogram screening event on Nov. 7 at the new Women’s Center at LMH Health West Campus. Call 785-505-3300 to reserve your spot, and visit lmh.org/events for more information.

— Jessica Brewer is social media and digital communication specialist at LMH Health, which is a major sponsor of the Lawrence Journal-World’s health section.


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