Breast program earns coveted national accreditation

COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) has taken its breast program to the next level and is now among an elite group of institutions nationwide after receiving a three-year/full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. This achievement makes CRMC’s breast program the only accredited breast center in the Upper Cumberland.

“We strive to be recognized as leaders in providing the best breast care, and now with this accreditation we take another step in being just that for our patients,” said Lisa Bagci, director of the Cancer Center at CRMC.

Accreditation by the NAPBC is given to centers that have voluntarily committed to undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. The breast program at CRMC has met all the requirements and demonstrated 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 leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement.

“It is a lot of work to be designated a National Accredited Program, and it could not happen without our physicians and staff members joining together,” Bagci said. “We are a comprehensive breast center. It all starts at the Women’s Center, but our Cancer Center, pathology, imaging and surgeons work alongside each other and that makes this program successful. From screening patients through oncology treatment, everyone is team. We are honored to be designated a National Accredited Program.”

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that there would be 232,570 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the United States in 2014.

 In addition, hundreds of thousands of women who will deal with benign breast disease this year will require medical evaluation for treatment options.

“This service is a must at Cookeville Regional,” said Michelle Zellner, director of the Imaging Center. “We are here to serve the women of the Upper Cumberland and to help them, and even their families, through their journey. Good news or not-so-good news we are here with you every step of the way. And not only do we have the NAPBC accreditation, the breast imaging center has also been designated a center of excellence by the American College of Radiology. With both organizations putting their seal of approval on our program, women in our region can rest assured that they are getting the best in breast care at Cookeville Regional, from the screening process to diagnosis and treatment.”

Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center ensures that a patient will have access to: comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services; a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options; information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options; and breast care close to home.

The Women’s Center is located in CRMC’s Outpatient Imaging Center at 251 W. Third St. For more information about the Women’s Center, visit For more on the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, visit

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