In November 2023, the ABCS was given a full three-year reaccreditation with the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The ABCS initially achieved full accreditation from the NAPBC in November 2016, and have continuously maintained accreditation since this time. The ABCS is one of only two groups in the state of Arkansas to achieve NAPBC accreditation.
To receive the accreditation, the group must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease. The standards include proficiency in the areas of: center’s leadership, clinical services, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement. A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.
As an NAPBC-accredited center, the Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists group is committed to maintaining levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive, patient-centered, multidisciplinary breast care. Patients receiving care at an NAPBC-accredited center have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient-centered services including psychosocial support, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives.
Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center ensures that a patient will have access to:
- Comprehensive care, including a full range of services from diagnosis to treatment to recovery
- Genetic counseling for high risk patients to help develop personalized care plans for each individual according to their specific risks
- A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
- Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options
The ABCS team is comprised of physicians, nurses, support staff, and other professionals who care for breast cancer patients. Although the teams’ physicians work in different practices, they have functioned as a team, or a “clinic without walls,” for nearly two decades.
Purpose and History
The purpose of the Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists (ABCS) is to promote excellence in the community in breast cancer detection and treatment, and to examine and address the evolving needs of breast cancer patients and survivors in northwest Arkansas.
ABCS practitioners do not work under a hospital or one single breast center. They are all from different, independent practices, yet they have chosen to develop a unique “breast center without walls”, with a focus on providing the best possible care for breast cancer patients.
A Breast Program Leadership Committee (BPLC) is responsible for goal setting, initiating, implementing, evaluating and improving all breast-related activities within the program. Officers and key representative physicians from each specialty are chosen and represent each of the required specialties – Breast Imaging, Pathology, Surgery, Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology.
The team is comprised of both physicians and support staff, including experts in breast imaging, pathology, breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, nursing, and social work.
Local physicians and support staff committed to the treatment of breast disease started meeting weekly in 1998 to discuss treatment options for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. These meetings galvanized the team of specialists dedicated to quality breast care, and in 2015, the group decided to voluntarily apply for the highest national breast cancer care accreditation, the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.