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Nashville's First Mammographer Honored with Dedication at TriStar Centennial Women's Health & Imaging Center

July 13, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 13, 2012) –Women’s Health & Imaging Center staff dedicated their new conference room in honor of Marie Kempista, Nashville’s first mammographer, during an open house July 12 in the center’s new location on TriStar Centennial’s campus in Nashville, Tenn.

This dedication recognizes Kempista’s lifetime of achievements and commitment to advancing and providing access to mammography for women in Middle Tennessee. She started Middle Tennessee’s first screening mammography program at what is today TriStar Centennial and helped implement Middle Tennessee’s only Tomosynthesis 3-D mammography program at TriStar Centennial before retiring in 2011.

She is also a breast cancer survivor.

Kempista retired before what was formerly known as The Breast Center moved to its new location with a new name in May 2012. But the staff felt her influence throughout the space and felt like she was a big part of the vision for the new design and technology that would be available to patients.

“When we found out the new center was going to be a reality, I announced it in a staff meeting and said we should call it the ‘Marie Kempista Breast Center.’ Marie cried when she heard that,” recalled Janina Mattus, manager of the Women’s Health & Imaging Center. “I shared that story with our vice president of imaging and that started the ball rolling for the Kempista Conference Room.”

Kempista came to Nashville in 1973 from Detroit to help Parkview, now TriStar Centennial, launch the first screening mammography program in the area using Xeroradiography technology. She instructed many technologists on mammography positioning and was an influential asset to the community. Her high level of knowledge and dedication aided the innovative and growing breast screening program. Later, in 1990, Kempista and others founded The Middle Tennessee Mammography Society, which educates mammographers on the new modalities and ensures superiority in breast care. After more than 40 years of providing healthcare services, Kempista retired from TriStar Centennial in 2011.

Her compassion and dedication to women’s health and wellness will now serve as a daily reminder for those following in her footsteps today and in the future.

“Those who worked with Marie directly will be reminded of her laugh - it's contagious,” said Mattus. “I hope others who come to the conference room learn the impressive contribution she made to TriStar Centennial, the Nashville community, mammography, and the lives of women.”

After 43 years of providing loyalty to the development of breast care, Kempista has seen the breast cancer program evolve, each step of the way, from Xeroradiography to film, then to the latest digital and 3-D mammography technology. The conference room symbolizes her devotion to quality diagnostic services for women and will inspire others in the profession to be as pioneering as she was. TriStar Centennial continues to provide Middle Tennessee with the highest quality of care available in women’s imaging services.

“Looking back on the 43 years of my working career, I am humbled,” said Kempista. “I’m also thankful to have worked for HCA’s TriStar Health.”

Pictured above: Marie Kempista, Nashville’s first mammographer, and Wayne Reid, vice president of imagining for TriStar Centennial, unveil the portrait that will be displayed in the Women’s Health & Imaging Center Kempista Conference Room during a ceremony July 12, 2012.

Celebrating 44 years of providing quality healthcare to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and the surrounding region, TriStar Centennial Medical Center is a 657-bed comprehensive facility offering medical and surgical programs including behavioral health, 24-hour emergency, heart and vascular, imaging, neurosciences, oncology, orthopaedics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, sleep disorder, and women’s services. An affiliate of TriStar Health, TriStar Centennial Medical Center is home to TriStar Centennial Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, TriStar Centennial Women’s & Children’s, TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center as well as TriStar Centennial Parthenon Pavilion, one of the oldest and largest full-service psychiatric facilities in the region. Round-the-clock care is also available at TriStar Ashland City, a critical access hospital in nearby Cheatham County. The new TriStar Emergency Room at Spring Hill will provide 24-hour emergency care for nearby Spring Hill, Tenn., and surrounding communities when it opens in 2013. For more information about the services offered and health plans accepted by TriStar Centennial Medical Center or TriStar Health, call TriStar MedLine® at (615) 342-1919 or (800) 242-5662, or visit TriStarHealth.com and choose TriStar Centennial Medical Center. TriStar Centennial Medical Center is located at 2300 Patterson Street in Nashville.

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