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Former NIHD Breast Cancer surgeon honored for career impact

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Former NIHD  Breast Cancer surgeon honored for career impact

During its conference March 15-20, The National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC) recognized former NIHD breast cancer surgeon Dr. Jay K. Harness with its Impact Award. NCBC presents this annual award to an individual, widely recognized for their achievements, which had substantial impact on the care of patients.

During his career, Jay K. Harness, MD FACS, established four breast centers including those at the University of Michigan, Tufts University in Boston, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, Calif., and right here at Bishop’s Northern Inyo Hospital in 2016.

A recognized leader and organizer in breast centers; he has authored more than 100 published articles, 30 book chapters, and edited or co-edited four textbooks. Dr. Harness is the past president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and Breast Surgery International.

His book and social media effort, Breast Cancer Answers, is perhaps the best-known effort he put forward while working with Northern Inyo Hospital. The book serves as a guide for patients through the cancer journey by answering a myriad of questions. Dr. Harness hopes the book continues to be a patient guide for achieving emotional reconstruction during the cancer journey.

In addition to seeing patients at Northern Inyo Healthcare District, Dr. Harness helped establish – and remains supportive of – NIHD’s Moonlight Mammograms program, which offers expanded screening hours every October for patients whose work schedules may not allow mammogram access during standard business hours. Dr. Harness also willingly gave his time to speak with several community groups in the Owens Valley, always promoting the need for regular health screenings.

Many working relationships he established at Northern Inyo continue today. Dr. Cheryl Olson now operates the NIHD program he established. In 2020, Dr. Harness retired to Arizona, however, his passion for patient care continues. Recently, Dr. Harness serves as Chief Medical Officer for Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, which advocates the establishment of exercise as a standard of adjunctive care for cancer patients.

Northern Inyo Healthcare District congratulates Dr. Harness on this honor and thanks him for his contributions to health care in the Owens Valley.