Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center

Bertha VillalpandoBertha Villalpando is no stranger to Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (PSMEMC).

Each year, Villalpando gets an annual mammogram at the medical center. Each year, the 62-year-old also attends the medical center's annual cancer survivors' Mass and breakfast.

In 1998, the mother of three was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy at PSMEMC. Since then, she has been diligent about yearly mammograms. In 2006, a screening detected three benign lumps in her breast, which were surgically removed.

Her First Digital Mammogram
For the first time in October 2010, the Back of the Yards resident had a digital mammogram in PSMEMC's new digital mammography suite. She noticed a difference with the new equipment.

"I liked the change (the new digital equipment) and it felt more comfortable during the exam - the new equipment was gentler and there was less pressure," Villalpando said. She was satisfied with the care she received in breast imaging services. Her test results came back negative.

The new digital mammography system provides physicians with clear and precise all-digital images, rather than images on X-ray film. The suite features two new machines and a private, comfortable setting for patients. The new suite also is handicap-accessible. The medical center's mammography service is accredited by the American College of Radiology.

A Long-time Patient
For more than 35 years, Villalpando has been a patient at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth. She has undergone 11 surgeries and procedures at the medical center - including the deliveries of her two sons (now ages 35 and 30). Villalpando recommended The Family Birthplace to her daughter-in-law, who delivered both of her children (now ages 5 and 9) at PSMEMC. Villalpando has received care from several PSMEMC physicians - including Korathu Thomas, M.D., a medical oncologist.

"The nurses are attentive and the medical center lets family members stay overnight," said Villalpando, who is an active member at St. Michael Archangel Church in Chicago. "I'm pleased with the hospital because the staff is caring and understanding."

The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 and older have a screening mammogram each year. Early detection is key in the fight against breast cancer. For patient convenience, mammogram scheduling is available seven days per week. Routine mammogram appointments can be scheduled within two days. A doctor's order is required.

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