Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center

Drs Trudi Brown and Deborah Sims take a break Sept. 20, 2019, in the McKelvey Garden outside Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center at Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber. Both women are breast surgeons at Windber.

WINDBER – Two breast surgeons based at Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center in Windber can often provide same-day biopsies for patients called back following a suspicious mammogram.

Drs. Deborah Sims and Trudi Brown say women appreciate the quick response.

It’s part of the breast center’s commitment to providing a one-stop shop for breast care in a welcoming environment.

Those were among the goals when the center opened in February 2002 as the region’s first outpatient facility dedicated to women and breast cancer.

The center was inspired by the late Jeanne McKelvey, of Salix, a breast cancer patient who was frustrated with long waits, unwelcoming clinical environments and the need to travel from one facility to another for care.

“My goal is really what is up there: One door to go through, and somebody right inside that door – like at a hotel – to escort you to where you need to go for your procedure,” McKelvey said when the center opened.

Although some things have changed, the Murtha center continues to provide most services required by women facing breast cancer, as well as those trying to prevent the disease.

“Women can expect nothing but the best at the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center,” the center’s website says.

“They have access to the most up-to-date technology in breast imaging and care, providing them with the peace of mind they need when undergoing breast exams.”

The Murtha center remains a one-stop facility for breast care, offering low-dose 3D mammography, breast ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, minimally invasive biopsies, genetic counseling, bone densitometry and the opportunity to contribute to research studies through Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber.

Windber also benefits from community support through its Pink Ribbon Care Fund. Largely supported by the Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out Foundation, the fund provides financial help for patients, and has allowed the center to offer updated services and equipment.

An advanced automated biopsy system and lymphedema early detection system are among the recent additions.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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