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ECMC Breast Health Program Honored as Top 10 Submission by America’s Essential Hospitals in Vital 2020 Population Health Category

BUFFALO, NY — Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation’s Breast Health Program was recently honored by America’s Essential Hospitals as a Top 10 submission nationally. The VITAL 2020 Awards Committee stated that this program was “receiving high marks and extensive consideration” for its Increasing Breast Health Equity via Primary Care Navigation program in the Population Health category.

ECMC President and CEO Thomas J, Quatroche Jr., Ph.D., said, “We are appreciative to America’s Essential Hospitals for this recognition. The results of this initiative to increase mammography screening highlight the dedication of ECMC’s primary care staff and Western New York Breast Health for their commitment to improving patient outcomes and access. Ultimately, this initiative has saved lives.”

As of 2016, the breast cancer mortality rate in Erie County, New York, exceeded that of the state by 4.7 percent.* With support from the American Cancer Society Change Grant program, ECMC examined barriers preventing women from getting mammograms. A survey of patients showed transportation to be the single largest barrier to obtaining health care. Further complicating matters, Western New York Breast Health previously only offered mammogram services through its Mobile Mammography Coach and screening results were not automatically entered into patient records; instead, results were often mailed, called in, faxed, or otherwise electronically sent to the main health care campus.

In October 2018, an ECMC Foundation and Western New York Breast Health initiative began to increase mammography screening in primary care clinics by monitoring provider ordering compliance, tracking contact attempts for all patient reminders, and conducting training for all providers and staff on motivational interviewing. Further, transportation barriers were addressed through the Mobile Mammography Coach and a collaboration with a local taxi service.

As a result of the initiative, ECMC and Western New York Breast Health saw a nearly 12 percent increase in mammography screenings over a yearlong period, including four potential lives saved—four patients returned abnormal screenings and were later confirmed to have breast cancer. In addition, the project resulted in several important improvements to internal processes to meet patients’ needs.

Information about ECMC Breast Health Services and the Mobile Mammography Unit is available at (716) 632-7465 and

ECMC Primary Care Services including Breast Health Care is provided through the ECMC Family Health Center at (716) 831-8612 and the ECMC Grider Family Health Center at (716) 898-4449 and at

*New York State Cancer Registry breast cancer data (2016):

ABOUT AMERICA’S ESSENTIAL HOSPITALS: America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Our more than 300 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care.

ABOUT ERIE COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER (ECMC) CORPORATION: The ECMC Corporation was established as a New York State Public Benefit Corporation and since 2004 has included an advanced academic medical center with 573 inpatient beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and Terrace View, a 390-bed long-term care facility. ECMC is Western New York’s only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, as well as a regional center for burn care, behavioral health services, transplantation, medical oncology and head & neck cancer care, rehabilitation and a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and patient experiences— the difference between healthcare and true care.

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