VISTA, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 30, 2014) - In 2012 the Affordable Care Act determined that women over 40 are entitled to breast cancer mammography screenings every 1 to 2 years. So why is the national average for mammogram screenings for eligible individuals at only 64%? A local North County San Diego medical group is taking this question personally. After all, the best defense again breast cancer is early detection.

Greater Tri Cities IPA Medical Group in North County San Diego is rallying defenses into action with a new 2014 initiative -- The Heart of healthcare campaign; the initiative to keep the health of individual patients at the forefront of a volatile healthcare system. Greater Tri Cities IPA has partnered with Tri-City Medical Center's Edgar and Jo Anne Jones Women's Diagnostic Center to encourage early detection and commemorate patients' efforts with an iconic pink scarf. This initiative coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness month. After receiving a reminder call that the patient is due for a mammogram, the patients who complete their screening will be given a pink scarf to reflect their personal effort towards awareness and early detection. By wearing the scarf, the medical group hopes routine screenings will become more contagious.

Most insurance covers routine mammogram screenings at no out-of-pocket cost to the individuals. This initiative helps to encourage patients and educate them on their preventive benefits. Heather Rotan, Clinical Initiatives Manager for Greater Tri Cities IPA, is a driving force behind the outreach. Ms. Rotan explains, "I am passionate about this program because breast cancer kills approximately 40,000 women per year. I lost my grandmother to breast cancer about 3 years ago and my husband lost his grandmother to breast cancer when he was only 10." Ms. Rotan continues, "Early detection of breast cancer results in higher survival rates, which in turn means we get to keep our grandmothers, mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and cousins." Greater Tri Cities IPA strives for the highest success rates for patients and their families.

In order to support successful early detection, Greater Tri Cities IPA partnered with a Nationally Accredited Breast Center: The Edgar and Jo Anne Jones Women's Diagnostic Center at Tri-City Medical Center. By featuring fully-digital mammography, the Women Center radiologists receive the best images available allowing them to see abnormalities that were previously undetectable. Their team includes 12 licensed technologists with advanced skills in mammography each with at least 15 years of experience. Susan Stalter, RN, BSN, OCN, ACM, Breast Health Nurse Navigator with the Women's Center, explains, the accreditation "is only given to centers that demonstrate competency in breast cancer screening." According to the National Cancer Database, the Women's center at Tri-City Medical Center scores 12% higher than the national average in detection of stage 1 breast cancer. Ms. Stalter added, in addition to breast cancer, Tri-City Medical Center "is accredited by the Commission on Cancer for all cancer types in the community." Ms. Stalter is able to offer personalized support, education from the American Cancer Society, connection to hospital support groups, and complimentary wigs and fittings for those affected by this disease. Greater Tri Cities IPA Medical Group hopes that this joint effort can raise the average of completed mammogram screenings for their patient population, the community, and the nation.

About Greater Tri Cities IPA Medical Group (GTCIPA)
Greater Tri Cities IPA is an association allowing independent physicians the opportunity to preserve quality, individualized care in an ever-digitalized healthcare system. The network is comprised of over 40 internal medicine, family practice, general practice, and pediatric primary care doctors fluent in 9 languages including Spanish, Farsi, Korean, and Tagalog. GTCIPA strives to provide comprehensive personalized care with a local specialty network, convenient laboratory locations, and timely access.

For more information about GTCIPA, contact the dedicated, live customer service team at (760) 732-0272 or visit For press inquiries, please contact GTCIPA's Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Tamulis, at (760) 941-7309 x140.

Contact Information:

Elizabeth Tamulis
Phone: 760-941-7309 x140