The move is designed to both help save the lives of women in the territory and to make testing convenient and streamlined.
The suite opening in November will offer a convenient and fully-integrated approach to general radiology, mammography, ultrasonography, and bone densitometry all in one central location.
Men using the services in radiology will enter through a separate door so women will have complete privacy.
Dr. Angelo Galiber, chief radiologist at JFL, says early detection and screening is key to surviving cancer.
“These are low-cost, effective tests for detecting problems,” Galiber said. “Early detection saves lives, reduces treatment, and cuts costs.”
He added the hospital has already made the digital transition in mammography.
David Williams, Imaging Services director, said it is recommended women get a bone density screening around age 56. Williams called the people working in the unit "a sensational team of radiologists."
Hospital spokeswoman Xualanda Simmonds-Emmanuel said if cancer is detected in a mammogram at the women's suite they can do the biopsy and pathology all in that convenient location.
“We have put together the whole approach in the Women’s Imaging Suite Mammography Program,” Simmonds-Emmanuel said.
The unit does accept walk-ins, but Dr. Galiber stressed patient must have her own primary care physician for their treatment.
“This imaging suite will fill the gap for low- to moderate-income citizens,” Williams said. “We want everyone to know they can come in and have screening done.”
Velma Vasquez, a bilingual ultrasound technician, is the unit's link to the Hispanic community.
“I'm really excited about offering women the convenience of everything in imaging in one spot,” Vasquez said.
The hospital held an "Empowering Women Through Fashion fundraiser" this weekend, with the proceeds going to the JFL Women’s Imaging Suite Mammography Program. The hospital partnered with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and is accepting donations through it. People can also make a donation to the Women's and Children’s Health Center.
JFL offers the community a full array of medical and specialty health-care services to cover needed treatments, including but not limited to: acute, emergency, rehabilitative, and ambulatory care; most medical specialties including internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, psychiatry, physical medicine, acute and chronic hemodialysis and more.