Three Washington providers to build $16M breast care center

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Three Tacoma, Wash.-area healthcare organizations, MultiCare Health System, Franciscan Health System and TRA Medical Imaging, have come together to construct a $16 million state-of-the-art breast care center.

The Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation has committed $5 million to its development.

The new Carol Milgard Breast Center, named in honor of a Tacoma breast cancer survivor, will serve an estimated 60,000 patients a year. The center will draw from an area with as large as a 100-mile radius.

By combining the experience of three breast imaging service providers in the Tacoma area, the organizers hope to provide faster, more efficient service and better technology and expertise.

“We’re taking advantage of the economy of scale,” said Khai Tran, MD, medical director of mammography and women’s imaging at TRA, who formed the idea for the center. “Instead of everyone duplicating services, we can concentrate [our services].”

“This is really the impetus for us to think of a new model, hence the idea of creating a unified breast center,” Tran said. “Because [the center] is going to be such high profile, we’re going to be able to attract the few mammographers who are still being trained.”

The center will offer a variety of screening and diagnostic services, including digital mammography, breast ultrasound, MRI and breast biopsy, as well as bone density services. Because of the scale of the center, it will also be able to offer some of the newest technologies.