Upstate Community Medical, P.C.: Breast Care for Women Across Central and Upstate New York

By: Jennifer Webster
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Specialty: 

Breast surgeons Mary Ellen Greco, MD, FACS, and Kristine M. Keeney, MD — both Central New York natives — bring unequaled specialized care to the region.

Drs. Keeney and Greco

The Upstate Breast Care Center, the practice of Drs. Greco and Keeney, has provided comprehensive breast care services within the community since 2012. Dr. Greco and Dr. Keeney joined the practice at Upstate University Hospital Community Campus to create the first comprehensive breast care center in the community, utilizing their expertise in the areas of benign and malignant breast disease.

“We are unique in our area in that we focus exclusively on the treatment of breast-related problems,” says Dr. Keeney, who holds a voluntary faculty appointment at Upstate University Hospital and is the only surgeon in the city who is fellowship-trained in breast surgery. “From imaging abnormalities or palpable findings to surgery and follow-up care in our practice, we treat women who live throughout a wide geographic area and provide excellent navigation while maintaining close relationships with referring physicians and the medical and radiation oncologists we partner with.”

“In addition to Dr. Keeney and I being the only two surgeons focusing exclusively on comprehensive breast care in our region, we are affiliated with Upstate University Hospital and Upstate Cancer Center,” adds Dr. Greco. “We have received accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), which is granted to centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of breast care and undergo a rigorous evaluation process accreditation to demonstrate their firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease. The NAPBC accreditation means that breast care patients under our care can be confident that their providers are following the highest standards of scientifically proven treatment.”

Multidisciplinary Expertise

Patients of the Upstate Breast Care Center have access to Upstate University Hospital’s Cancer Center, a new, state-of-the-art facility located on the hospital’s downtown campus. The Upstate Cancer Center offers the most advanced outpatient treatment, clinical research studies, and support services all in one convenient location.

Upstate Dr Greco -article
Mary Ellen Greco, MD

“Each week we participate in a multidisciplinary clinic where patients are seen by a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and surgeon,” Dr. Greco says. “Their cases are presented at a multidisciplinary conference at the end of the clinic day, and treatment options are discussed.”

In this setting, patients have access to the best opinion on managing their disease from a team of experts who consult together to customize treatment based on the patient’s needs.

Drs. Greco and Keeney also hold a monthly multidisciplinary conference at the Community Campus that includes pathologists, radiologists, medical and radiation oncologists, and referring physicians.

“This conference is open to all physicians in the community,” Dr. Keeney notes. “To enhance our relationship with our partners locally, we notify providers when their patients are being presented and invite them specifically so they can continue to play a key role in their patients’ course of treatment.”

The Upstate Breast Care Center’s comprehensive approach of providing all aspects of breast care means that each patient is assured of seamless communication among all caregivers, resulting in a more efficient, effective and tailored approach to meeting each patient’s individual needs.

Convenient and Comprehensive Care

With the majority of its services located under one roof, the Upstate Breast Care Center offers comprehensive support and care for patients with breast disease. The office and affiliated hospital offer the latest in technology and combine that with exceptional customer service.

The goal of the office is to provide access to medical care in a timely fashion. Patients with an urgent need are typically seen within 48 hours. The time delay from finding to appointment is reduced to a matter of days, which improves efficiency and accessibility for patients. Whenever possible, care is coordinated so that all of the required testing and consultations are completed during a single visit. This is particularly convenient for patients who live outside the Syracuse area.

Upstate Breast Care Center employs a certified breast health nurse navigator, Mary Butler, RN, who provides individualized coordination of care by serving as a consultant, educator, practitioner and researcher for each Upstate Breast Care Center patient and her family. Butler plays an integral role, ensuring that patients get timely access to breast care services and information.

Upstate Dr Keeney -article
Kristine M. Keeney, MD

“Mary Butler is a breast imaging nurse who is familiar with the biopsy process,” Dr. Keeney says. “She schedules biopsies and follow-up appointments. After surgery she continues to guide patients through their oncology treatment, if necessary, getting them from point A to point B.”

Upstate Community Medical also provides genetic testing for patients.

“We focus on BRCA genes that are most commonly associated with increased breast cancer risk,” Dr. Greco says. “We offer patients who qualify for genetic testing this option to determine if they carry these genes. Screenings are adjusted according to their risk.”

If increased risk for breast cancer is discovered, more aggressive screening is recommended.

Upstate Breast Care Center is conveniently located directly across the hall from the Wellspring Breast Care Center, which is accredited by the American College of Radiology. Wellspring’s radiologists and staff are specially trained in breast imaging and perform routine screening and diagnostic mammograms, diagnostic breast ultrasound, and stereotactic and ultrasound guided biopsies.

“They are right across the hall from us, which provides convenient access for our patients,” Dr. Greco says. “We routinely consult with Wellspring’s radiologists and coordinate care plans with them.”

Breast surgeries are typically performed at the Upstate University Hospital Community Campus. Drs. Greco and Keeney have forged strong relationships with local plastic surgeons and are able to work with patients so they can choose the type of reconstruction that works for them. Patients requiring mastectomy have the benefit of a one-step surgical procedure in which both the mastectomy and reconstruction are performed.

At the Upstate Breast Care Center, specialists work together to understand patients’ individual needs so a treatment strategy can be developed specifically for them. Drs. Greco and Keeney encourage community physicians to reach out with any questions they may have.

The Upstate Breast Care Center offers a full range of breast health services and strives to provide the best care to patients, whether their needs are preventive, routine, chronic or unexpected. Affiliation with Upstate Cancer Center provides access to state-of-the-art treatment options and technology.


To learn more, visit upstate.edu/community/services/breast_center or call 315-492-5660.