Tampa General Hospital Opens North Tampa Breast Health Center Offering Convenient, Comprehensive and Compassionate Care

Published: Oct 15, 2020

By Tampa General Hospital


The team of medical experts offers breast cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery with a unique patient-centered approach.

TAMPA, FL (Oct. 15, 2020) – Tampa General Hospital’s new Breast Health Center in North Tampa is designed to provide patients with a partner through every step of their cancer journey, providing clinical excellence and compassionate care. The TGH Breast Health Center offers screenings and diagnostic testing, including 3D mammography, ultrasounds, biopsies and other in-office procedures and treatments under one roof.

The new center is located at 17416 Brookside Trace Court in New Tampa and officially opens October 15, 2020.  This is the third Tampa General location specializing in cancer care, joining the TGH Cancer Center on the main TGH campus and the TGH Brandon Healthplex.  

The TGH Breast Health Center’s sub-specialized medical staff includes USF Health physicians Dr. Charles Cox, Dr. Jason Hechtman, Dr. Abigail Beard and Dr. Meira Pernicone. The team also includes radiologists, pathologists, and radiation, surgical and medical oncologists, and other clinical staff who actively collaborate and guide patients through every step of their care journey. Unique features include:

  • Patients are assigned a Nurse Navigator to act as their advocate and help them to understand their diagnosis and treatment process. The Nurse Navigator assists in the logistical areas of the patient’s care, including scheduling appointments, accessing medical records, recommending supportive resources and making sure that the patient receives every treatment in their personalized care plan, in the most effective sequence, and in accordance with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines.
  • Patients will be able to learn more about and, if eligible, enroll in cutting-edge clinical trials performed in conjunction with the research teams at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. The TGH Breast Health Center’s Program Leader, Dr. Charles Cox, is the principal investigator on a number of these clinical trials focused on assessing the genes in individual tumors to pinpoint the cancer fighting agents that will be most effective.
  • A full spectrum of genetic testing and counseling provides patients and their family members insight into their risks for developing breast cancer or other types of cancer. Using telemedicine, questionnaires and a patient’s medical history, genetic counselors can help identify and explain best next steps and make decisions with the patient about the best course of action to deal with a current diagnosis or mitigate cancer risks.
  • Early palliative care is offered to address any barriers that a person may face on their path to a positive outcome. From mental health challenges to financial stresses to coping with treatment side effects, the TGH Breast Health Center team will walk each patient through their options to find the solution that is right for them.
  • Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI), a highly sophisticated imaging system that looks at cellular activity in the breast, improving cancer detection in women with dense breast tissue and assessing treatment effectiveness, will be offered at the center in the future.  The technology functions like a PET scan but at one-fifth of the cost, providing savings to patients. Upon installation, the TGH Breast Health Center will be one of only five locations in Florida with this technology.

The TGH Breast Health Center is the lifelong vision of Program Leader, Charles Cox, MD, FACS, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon, and chair of Breast Surgery Oncology and director of Breast Care Service at USF Health.

“It has been a goal of mine to create a system to navigate patients through their entire cancer journey, and provide them with the very best care, and that’s exactly what we’re doing at the TGH Breast Health Center,” said Dr. Cox.  

Patients can schedule an appointment at the TGH Breast Health Center within 48 to 72 hours after learning of their diagnosis. TGH is committed to providing expedited time frames compared to longer waits at other facilities. Offering comprehensive breast health services in a single location means patients avoid the additional stress of scheduling, follow-up, or travel to multiple facilities to fulfill their care plan. The new facility has been designed with the patient experience in mind, from access to the latest technologies and research to calming interiors. The center also offers acupuncture for managing pain, alleviating post-treatment side effects and calming general unease.

The 5,000-square-foot clinic offers:

  • Three imaging rooms in partnership with Tower Radiology, the largest physician-owned and operated outpatient radiology practice in Tampa Bay. Imaging will include 3D mammography, ultrasound and, eventually, molecular breast imaging (MBI).
  • Three procedure rooms to accommodate diagnostic testing, including biopsies as well as other in-office and outpatient treatments and procedures.
  • Four exam rooms.

“I’m extremely pleased to offer this multi-disciplinary care to our community through the TGH Breast Health Center,” said Abe Schwarzberg, MD, senior vice president and chief of Oncology at Tampa General Hospital. “Expanding our services to this new location brings care closer to patients through an innovative medical team and individualized care plans tailored to the patients who need them.”

The TGH Breast Health Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Appointments can be made by calling 813-844-7585. Insurance information can be found here.

Tampa General Hospital, a 1006-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track.  As one of the largest hospitals in Florida, Tampa General Hospital is first in the state to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost.  For more information, go to www.tgh.org.

USF Health's mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, and USF Health’s multispecialty physicians group. The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. For more information, visit health.usf.edu