BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Long Island-based Medical Arts Radiology, which today has eight outpatient facilities, will make its way to Queens in the near future to provide the radiology services in which it has specialized—including a mammography spa—in Long Island for years.
Medical Arts Radiology—which offers advanced imaging equipment employs some of the region’s most renowned radiologists—provides a variety of diagnostic imaging, such as MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, PET/CTs, nuclear medicine, X-rays, fluoroscopy, arthrography and more. In addition, Medical Arts Radiology conducts needle biopsies, steroid injections and platelet-rich plasma therapy.
However, due to the severity and unique health concerns that women have when it comes to specific forms of cancers, Medical Arts Radiology ensures that all of its facilities have a separate women’s suite, which provides visitors with privacy.
In an effort to draw women who might typically be more inclined to go shopping than get a breast examination, Medical Arts Radiology created Pure Mammography, which is a spa that provides screenings similar to those at its other facilities, but with an emphasis on ridding women of the anxiety often felt during testing.
“There are a lot of women who are falling through the cracks that just don’t get mammographies,” said Georgia Cioffari, the chief operating officer at Medical Arts Radiology. “So, the concept was trying to do something that makes it more comfortable for women, so that they don’t feel intimidated in coming in and having it done by making it a very nice experience for them.”
Pure Mammography is currently located inside of the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. The facility is next door to Cinnabon and directly across from a children’s play area.
Felicia Telep, the office manager for Pure Mammography, said that any woman shopping in the mall can walk in. She said that women will often drop by and leave their children in the play area with a spouse or friend while getting a mammogram, which takes approximately 15 minutes.
Since the spa is for women, only women are allowed inside, ensuring that they have the privacy they need.
Once a patient walks in, they are immediately directed to the waiting area and are given an iPad, so that they can provide a thorough risk assessment, which allows Pure to better understand the patient’s needs and determine which screening is best for them. While completing the assessment, the staff at Pure offers complimentary water or coffee.
“It’s more private than a hospital,” said Telep. “You come in and don’t feel like a number. We don’t rush you and we give every patient the same patient care.”
Following the assessment, the woman is directed to the dressing room, which allows her to change out of her clothes into a Pure robe. Once the woman is done changing, she is directed to the specified exam room. Each of the rooms plays soothing spa-like music to help ease the anxiety.
Since mammograms can be uncomfortable and may cause anxiety, each room has a flat-screen TV on each wall that allows the patient to choose the view of their choice, such as a sunset or ocean. The screens are placed on all four walls since radiographers often ask women to turn to various angles during a mammogram—so, regardless of the direction in which they are facing, patients will continually be surrounded by soothing scenery.
According to Cioffari, if a woman needs a follow-up with testing, she will be referred to one of the Medical Arts Radiology facilities. If a patient doesn’t have a doctor, they can obtain a reference.
Since Pure Mammography does not have a doctor or nurse practitioner on site, Medical Arts Radiology is planning to add video conferencing into the rooms, so that a patient can talk one-on-one with a radiologist should a problem emerge during the process.
Medical Arts Radiology suggests that women begin to get mammograms at age 40 and that it is urgent that they have had one completed by age 50.
“The average woman at risk should begin at age 40,” said Dr. Barry Morganstern. “Women with strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer may be earlier. That risk is most significant if it’s a first degree relative or cancer pre-menopausal. But I don’t think any earlier than the age 30.”
While Medical Arts Radiology is unsure whether it will open a Pure Mammography site at the Queens Center Mall or within a few blocks of that site, Cioffari said that the new locale would have full modality.
Morganstern said that the company is eyeing Elmhurst in an attempt to make its services available to the most patients.
“Denser populated areas can definitely find more women who need screening exams,” said Morganstern. “The CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] showed blacks and Hispanics undergo screening mammography at a much lower rate than Caucasians and other populated groups in this country. Queens may have a larger population of blacks and Hispanics who are underserved at getting mamographies.”
Medical Arts Radiology accepts all insurance carriers and has a giveback program known as The Art of Giving, which provides financial assistance for residents who make less than $40,000 annually.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org