Hackensack University Medical Center Welcomes Breast Surgeon Dr. Tara Balija

November 3, 2015 02:13 PM
Tara Balija, M.D.

The Department of Surgery and the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center today announced that breast surgeon Tara Balija, M.D., will be joining the team.  Dr. Balija specializes in breast surgical oncology and embraces a multidisciplinary approach when it comes to caring for her patients to optimize outcomes.

Dr. Balija will also serve as the director of a new program within the Division of Breast Surgery called Cancer Risk Evaluation (CARE).  The CARE program provides assessment, surveillance and management for patients who have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

“At HackensackUMC, we are dedicated to providing the best patient care possible, and Dr. Balija shares those same goals,” said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer, Hackensack University Health Network. “Dr. Balija has an outstanding reputation as an advocate for her patients, and we are glad to have her advocating on behalf of the HackensackUMC’s breast cancer patients.”  

Dr. Balija joins HackensackUMC after completing her general surgery residency at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and her fellowship training in breast surgical oncology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  Dr. Balija is trained in nipple sparing mastectomy and is researching healthcare disparities as it relates to breast cancer patients.  She has found that her unique approach to healthcare – which includes providing emotional and social support throughout treatment – improves health as well as the overall patient experience.  She plans to continue cultivating her multidisciplinary approach in caring for breast cancer patients at HackensackUMC.

“I think communication between patients and their physician teams is essential to providing quality patient care and outcomes,” said Dr. Balija.  “I am thrilled to be a part of the HackensackUMC family and look forward to continue bringing excellent care to my patients in a multidisciplinary fashion.” 

Balija received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University and medical degree at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, both located in New York City.

Breast Surgery is a division of the Department of Surgery at HackensackUMC, with a team of on-site, full-time, fellowship-trained breast surgeons. The division’s multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer includes working closely with a team of radiologists, pathologists, plastic surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and nurse navigators.  This multidisciplinary team has devoted their practices entirely to the management of diseases of breast. This specialized approach to treating breast cancer provides patients with the exact type of services they need to battle the disease and its physical, emotional and social side effects.  Recently, the Breast Service received Disease-Specific Care Certification from the Joint Commission, scoring perfectly with no recommendations for improvement.

About Hackensack University Medical Center

HackensackUMC, a 775- bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,717 beds, more than 10,000 team members and 3,300 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings - maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is the only hospital in New Jersey, New York and New England to be named one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals™ nine consecutive years, and receive the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.     

About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive cancer center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, preventive care, as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancer.

Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. The 14 specialized divisions feature a team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. John Theurer Cancer Center provides comprehensive multidisciplinary care, state of the art technology, and access to clinical trials, compassionate care and medical expertise— all under one roof. Physicians at John Theurer Cancer Center are members of Regional Cancer Care Associates one of the nation’s largest professional hematology/oncology groups. For more information, please visit http://www.jtcancercenter.org.









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