Construction, Health Care, and Lakeshore

Mercy Health Partners plans $4M breast cancer center

May 16, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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Mercy Health Partners plans $4M breast cancer center
A rendering of the entry area at Mercy Health Partners’ Comprehensive Breast Center at the Lakeshore. Courtesy Mercy Health Partners

Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon is raising funds in the community to help cover the cost of a $4 million advanced breast cancer screening and treatment center it plans to open in Norton Shores this fall.

The MHP Lakes Village Comprehensive Breast Center will be one of just two such centers in Michigan and is modeled after the CBC at Mercy Health's Saint Mary’s Health Care in Grand Rapids.

The MHP Lakes Village urgent care and outpatient clinic is at 6401 Prairie Street, just off of U.S. 31 and about a mile south of the Lakes Mall. The new breast center there will entail the renovation and expansion of 7,200 square feet.


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One of the cornerstones of MHP’s current breast cancer services is the be the reduction of days between diagnostic mammograms and biopsies from an average of 19 days to just three days — sometimes even less than that. 

When diagnosed early, the survival rate for localized breast cancer is 99 percent.

The CBC also offers in-depth surveys, counseling and genetic testing to identify a woman’s risk to BRCA1 and BRCA2. BRCA1 is a genetic mutation which 37-year-old actress Angelina Jolie has and which led to her decision to undergo a double mastectomy, which she wrote about in an op-ed piece published in The New York Times earlier this week. BRCA1 in women entails an exceedingly high risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.

New breast cancer services

Expanded services at Lakes Village will include breast cancer screening, diagnostics, treatment, digital mammography, minimally invasive breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and genetic testing and patient counseling services.

Other key features of the new Lakes Village breast cancer center will include an onsite education and information resource center, a patient nurse navigator program, high risk patient monitoring and nutritional counseling.

Future plans include adding salon services, therapeutic massage therapy and a boutique for women’s special needs.

“The facility at Lakes Village campus, which should begin undergoing renovations by late spring, goes far beyond a bricks and mortar expansion,” said Mark Fazakerley, MHP board member and chair of the Major Gifts Committee. Along with his wife Christine, he has been a major proponent in bringing the advanced CBC to the community.

“I believe the Comprehensive Breast Center is not just another medical facility, but it is a center that is advancing the detection and treatment of breast cancer to another level here along the lakeshore,” said Fazakerley, who is one of the owners at Eagle Alloy in Egelston Township. “By providing the highest-quality services and diagnostics, our patients will be more informed and have a greater understanding of the entire array of breast care services available. The bottom line is having this center here in our community will save lives.”

Nurse navigators

The decreased time in reaching a diagnosis helps reduce the stress and anxiety of patients awaiting results.

Each patient will have her own nurse navigator to help guide her through whatever process may be required. The nurse navigator will also serve as a liaison to the patient, family and the entire breast care team.

"We have assembled the best and brightest care providers who are dedicated to a collaborative approach that will ensure world-class breast health care for every woman. When the knowledge of the team is shared with a patient, her anxiety and stress can be greatly reduced — that alone is a powerful therapy that will help fight the disease,” said Dr. Mark Hass, MHP’s CBC medical director.

The center’s staff is also working to increase awareness that all women, upon age 40, should have a mammogram every year and that the center has resources available to help cover cost of a mammogram for women who are uninsured or under insured. 

Financial assistance information is available by calling 231-672-6246. Women can self-schedule by calling 231-672-4800 or by visiting mercyhealthmuskegon.com. A doctor's order is not required.

Capital campaign

The fund drive, called “Be Here,” has already reached about 75 percent of its goal to raise $2 million through private donations from individuals and businesses.

“We are extremely grateful for the support we have received to date,” said Claudine Weber, MHP’s chief development officer. “We are now at a crucial point in the campaign. We invite the community to help us raise the remaining $400,000 needed to ensure the center becomes a reality. Every level of generosity is welcome and each and every donation is a significant step toward bringing enhanced breast care services to the women in our community.”

Donor can participate in the fund drive online or by calling the MHP Development Office at 231-672-3896. 

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