Dena Lopez feels right at home at Methodist Hospitals Southlake after having spent a good portion of her life there. She was born at the hospital campus in Merrillville. Then, around 19 years ago, Lopez started her career there, working in the hospital system’s Breast Care Center as the department secretary.
“I was a mammography assistant and really enjoyed working the mammography department, so I went back to school to become an x-ray tech,” she said. “I have an associate’s degree in Radiologic Sciences and have been a breast technologist for seven years. I am the lead Quality Control (QC) tech.”
The lead Mammography Technologist is responsible for the daily operations of the department, which includes coordinating patient scheduling and daily work assignments and serving as a resource for the other imaging technologists in the breast center, according to Lopez.
“We are like a big family and work together very smoothly to give our patients the best treatment and care,” Lopez said.
Through her role at work, she aims to make the patients feel as comfortable and at home in their surroundings as possible. She said that one of the best things about working in the mammography department is how she, her coworkers, her manager, and Breast Radiologist Dr. Anastasia Siatras work together as a team.
"We all agree that our patients come first,” Lopez said. “We try to do whatever we can to help ease their fears and anxiety. Mammograms are not typically something women want to do, so every day we try to make it the most enjoyable experience possible and ease their anxiety. As a whole, everything we do here is very important, and we take our jobs very seriously. If we can catch breast cancer early, which is the reason for yearly mammograms, we understand that we are totally changing that person’s life.”
“I want to stress the importance of women getting their routine mammograms,” Lopez added. “It actually does make a difference. We don’t ever want the cost to be the reason why someone is not getting a mammogram. There are different financial aid programs available to help.”
Lopez explains that Methodist Hospitals offers a program in which the Chicago Bears organization donates every year so women who are uninsured or underinsured can get a mammogram. The Methodist Hospitals Foundation, the Breast Care Center, and Bears Care, the charitable arm of the Chicago Bears, provide 3D screening and diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies at no charge for women and men who meet financial assistance guidelines.
“If you are ever having an issue, you should definitely get it checked out,” Lopez advised. “Don’t wait and put it off just because you don’t have the money to cover the cost.”
In her time away from the hospital, Lopez keeps busy with her daughters’ activities, her new puppy, and hanging out with her friends. She also loves to read.
For more information about mammography and women’s care services at the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center at Methodist Hospitals, visit its website here.
For more information on the Bears Care mammography financial assistance program at Methodist Hospitals, call 219-981-5440 to see if you qualify.