News Release: University News

Mar. 22,  2010

Avon Breast Center at Grady Memorial Hospital Earns National Accreditation

News Article ImageDr. Sheryl Gabram-Mendola

Recognized as critical component of the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Health System, the Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Center has been awarded full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), making it the only public hospital program in the southeast region to earn the coveted national recognition.

The NAPBC is administered by the American College of Surgeons. Accreditation is granted only to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of breast care and undergo a rigorous evaluation and review of their performance. During the survey process, the center must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease. 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 team at the Avon Breast Center works tirelessly to ensure our patients obtain the best possible care and services," says Sheryl Gabram-Mendola, MD, MBA, professor of surgical oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and director of oncologic services for the Avon Center. "It is because of their dedication and hard work the center was awarded this recognition. The accreditation will benefit our patients, our community and our collaborative efforts in the future."

The Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Center is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary breast care program, offering a full spectrum of clinical and support services, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, counseling and laboratory research. The patient care team is comprised of multidisciplinary specialists in medical, radiation and surgical oncology, breast imaging, pathology, nursing, pharmacy, social work, mental health services, nutrition, community outreach and navigation, palliative care and other specialties.

Since opening in 2003, the center has treated more than 1,000 newly diagnosed women and has increased its mammography services by more than 60 percent.

In the last decade, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than $11,000,000 to the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and The Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Center to further its mission to expand breast health care for medically underserved women in metropolitan Atlanta.

Slide Show
AVON Comprehensive Breast Center

Audio slide show featuring Dr. Sheryl Gabram-Mendola, Director of the AVON Comprehensive Breast Center.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. This year alone, an estimated 178,480 women will be diagnosed with and 40,460 women will die of breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. In African-American women it is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of death exceeded only by lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, African-American women are two to three times more likely to die from breast cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic population.

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
  • Quality breast health care close to home

"The Avon Breast Center at Grady provides cutting edge care and as a result has decreased breast cancer outcome disparities for women treated at Grady," says Gabram-Mendola. "It is because of the extensive support from The Avon Foundation that we are able to accomplish this and make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of women."

The Avon Foundation is an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families. The Foundation currently brings this mission to life through the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program and the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which raises funds and awareness to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer with a focus on the medically underserved. From 1992 to the end of 2008, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade will have raised and awarded more than $585 million worldwide for medical research; access to care; support services; screening and diagnostics; and education and awareness. The largest fundraising program in the United States is the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series. To learn more visit


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