NWA Physician Group Receives Highest National Accreditation for Breast Care

As Part of Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists, The Breast Center Receives Highest Accreditation in Breast Care

Women diagnosed with breast cancer in Northwest Arkansas can be reassured they are receiving the best care available. A recent award of accreditation for a multidisciplinary group called Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists confirms that women and men can get the highest level breast cancer care in Northwest Arkansas.

Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists, a volunteer group of physicians and expert staff in Northwest Arkansas, has been granted a three-year/Full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.   Accreditation by the NAPBC is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance.

What is truly different is that this group in Arkansas is not under a hospital or one single breast center, but a group of physicians from several independent practices who have met weekly to review breast cancer cases and who have been working together to coordinate treatment since 1998. The Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists consist of physicians from breast imaging, pathology, surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology. Although the physicians practice in independent groups, they have functioned as a team for years and have now formed a “breast center without walls” to assure quality, coordinated breast cancer care.

Left to right, standing: Dr. Daniel Atwood, Audra Flammang, Sarah Faitak,RN, Tracy Thurow, RN, Dr. Kevin Pope, Dr. Kelly Johnson, Dr. Lizhen Gui, Whitney Cornelison, RN; Dr. Michael Cross, Misty Johnson,RN, Dr. Lucas Campbell. Seated: Dr. Steven Harms, Dr. Anthony Hui.
Not pictured: Dr. Thad Beck, Miki Biggers, LCSW, Dr. Gareth Eck, Cynthia Gunselman, PT, Dr. Hershey Garner, Dr. Danna Grear, , Morgan Ludwick,RN, Dr. Arnold Smith, Dr. Stephan Rosenfeld, Dr. Tom Whiteside

The accredited group includes physicians from The Breast Center, Highlands Oncology Group, Breast Treatment Associates, Nothwest Arkansas Pathology Associates, Fayetteville Surgical Associates, and Plastic Surgery Clinic of NWA. The ABCS team also includes nurses and support staff from local clinics and non-profit organizations.

To receive the accreditation, the center 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 leadership, clinical management, 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.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that there would be 232,340 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the United States in 20131. In addition, hundreds of thousands of women who will deal with benign breast disease this year will require medical evaluation for treatment options.

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, most importantly,

  • Quality breast care close to home.

According to Dr. Kevin Pope, a radiologist at The Breast Center who was prominent in establishing Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists and applying for the accreditation, the coordination of care between specialists who work closely together can make a big difference in the quality of care and adds considerable value to outcomes for patients. Pope added, “A recent study in the American Journal of Roentgenology highlights the importance of the multidisciplinary approach, which we have been using for years to provide the best care for our patients.”

For more information about the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, visit their Web site at www.accreditedbreastcenters.org.

This article was featured in the Northwest Arkansas Citiscapes April 2017


  1. American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures 2013. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2013.
  2. American Journal of Roentgenology (AIR). Leesburg, VA: ARRS; February 2017.