Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center’s Dena Lopez was born to work in healthcare – NWILife

Dena Lopez feels right at home at Methodist Hospitals Southlake, having lived there for a good chunk of her life. She was born on the hospital campus in Merrillville. Then, about 19 years ago, Lopez started her career there, working as a department secretary at the hospital system’s breast center.

“I was a mammography assistant and really enjoyed working in the mammography department, so I went back to school to be an X-ray technician,” she said. “I have an associate’s degree in radiology and have been a breast technologist for seven years. I am the Quality Control (QC) Lead Engineer.”

The lead mammography technologist is responsible for day-to-day operations of the department, which includes coordinating patient planning and day-to-day work duties, and serving as a resource for the other imaging technologists at the breast center, Lopez said.

“We’re like one big family and we work together very smoothly to provide the best treatment and care for our patients,” Lopez said.

Through her role at work, she wants patients to 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 the way she, her colleagues, her supervisor and breast radiologist Dr. Anastasia Siatras working together as a team.

“We all agree that our patients come first,” Lopez said. “We try to do everything we can to ease their fears and anxiety. Mammograms aren’t usually something women want to do, so every day we try to make the most of it, enable a comfortable experience and ease their anxiety. Overall, everything we do here is very important and we take our work very seriously. If we can get breast cancer early, which is the reason for yearly mammograms, we understand that we are totally changing that person’s life.”

“I want to emphasize the importance of women getting their routine mammograms,” added Lopez. “It actually makes a difference. We never want cost to be the reason someone doesn’t get a mammogram. There are various financial assistance programs to help.”

Lopez explains that Methodist Hospitals offers a program where the Chicago Bears organization donates each year to enable women who are uninsured or underinsured to get a mammogram. The Methodist Hospitals Foundation, the Breast Care Center and Bears Care, the Chicago Bears charitable arm, offer free 3D screening and diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies to women and men who meet financial assistance guidelines.

“If you ever have a problem, you should definitely have it checked out,” advised Lopez. “Don’t wait and put it off just because you don’t have the money to cover the costs.”

In her time away from the hospital, Lopez is 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 nursing services at Methodist Hospitals’ Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center, click here.

For more information on Bears Care’s Mammography Financial Assistance Program at Methodist Hospitals, call 219-981-5440 to see if you qualify.