One System, Elevating Care

From prevention to treatment plans, navigating concerns about your health—or the health of a loved one—can often be overwhelming.

In the Albany Med Health System, breast care is provided at all four hospitals, which are fully accredited and provide a full array of services.

The latest addition is the newly opened Center for Breast Health at Columbia Memorial Health (CMH), where patients have access to comprehensive care that supports both the patient and their loved ones. That comprehensive care includes screening and diagnostic breast health services in a modern location that is comfortable for visitors.

Supported in part by generous contributions from the community, the Center provides specialized care closer to home and provides seamless resources for patients, no matter where they are in their health journey.

“An integrated approach to health has been proven to result in better clinical outcomes for patients,” said Rakel Astorga, MD, a physician at Columbia Memorial Health and expert in breast health.

Dr. Astorga stressed the most important part of that integrated approach is an early and accurate diagnosis once a health problem is discovered.

“The Center blends the experience and expertise of our providers with advanced diagnostic technology in a soothing and comfortable environment,” said CMH President and CEO Dorothy Urschel, DNP.

Beyond the Clinic

As colleagues across the System support patients, researchers at Albany Medical College are looking for ways to give clinicians new tools in the fight against breast cancer.

Margarida Barroso, PhD, professor of molecular and cellular physiology and director of the Imaging Core Facility at Albany Medical College, is co-leading research to use artificial intelligence to improve targeted drug therapy in HER2-positive breast cancer treatment. In conjunction with researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Barroso and her team are conducting extensive research that they hope will have a significant impact on the future of cancer treatments.

“We are seeking to provide a better understanding of how tumors adapt or change during treatment,” Barroso said. “This could help determine a particular drug’s efficacy on a specific tumor.”

Earlier this year, the National Cancer Institute awarded a $3.3 million grant over five years to further support the research collaboration between Albany Medical College and Rensselaer.