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Caring RN eases patients into breast biopsies
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Doctors Hospital of Manteca Women’s Imagining services staff received a high ranking in a recent survey by the American College of Radiology. RN Debbie Aventi and Dr. Mario Sattah are pictured in the center while other members clockwise are Kim Bettencourt, Jim Morrell, Debbie Peters, Krissy Vickerman and Amber Shipman. - photo by GLENN KAHL


The Women’s Imaging Center has an all-female staff performs mammograms to help detect breast cancer. Upon request, the staff will provide one-on-one breast self-exam education. Ultrasound is used as diagnostic tool for pregnancy, and it is also used to detect solid masses and cysts in conjunction with a mammogram. For more information go to or call 823-3111.

Women frightened about having a breast biopsy find something of an angel when they check into the Doctors Hospital of Manteca Women’s Imaging unit.

It’s Debbie Aventi who makes the difference – the registered nurse serving as the breast health program navigator with over 30 years in patient care.

Dr. Mario Sattah, medical director for the Imaging Services said it best when he talked about Aventi who he explained takes the patients by the hand when they first come into the unit and walks them through the process.

Sattah said the relaxation she achieves in the women is something he has seen at no other hospital.  “When they come to my biopsy table they are relaxed and smiling,” he said.

Aventi said she see it as an honor in holding their hands before and through their biopsies and calming their fears.  The RN said it is unusual and “absolutely phenomenal” to have an MD on staff in the radiology department during the day while the techs are testing – another positive that doesn’t happen in all hospitals.

Dr. Sattah commented on the state of the art equipment and techniques in Doctors’ radiology and imaging services that was a huge consideration in the recent three year term of accreditation in Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Imaging and Mammographic Imaging Services by the American College of Radiology.

Mark Lisa, Doctors Hospital CEO, commented on the accreditation saying, “This achievement validates our efforts and commitment to provide the best breast health services we can to our communities.

“When you combine a superior team of health professionals with the latest technology – watch out!” Lisa said.

Making up the staff are two radiologic technologists, Krissy Vickerman and Debbie Peters.  The Imaging Director is Jim Morrell and the office coordinator is Amber Shipman.  Kim Bettencourt serves as the office manager.

Dr. Sattah, along with his three brothers, are all in the field of medicine.  He said he knew he wanted to be a physician as a young boy.

Growing up in Seattle, WA and later in Atlanta, Georgia he would “hang out” in his dad’s medical clinic after he got home from school.  He didn’t have to go far because the family physician located his clinics right in front of his home.  

He said he got to see the patients coming and going with smiles on their faces.  “This is a good thing my dad is doing,” he remembers thinking.

As for his current role in treating breast cancer in Manteca he stressed, “This is a critical time in their lives – when they are diagnosed with breast cancer.”  He reiterated that the women come to his biopsy table smiling.  They get a much better experience with Debbie and the equipment we use, he added.

“We are very proud of what we do here.  We get good feedback,” he said.

Included in that feed back are  homemade goodies all the time from their patients with a lot of toffee brittle, egg rolls, cookies and an endless stream of thank you cards, both the doctor and nurse said.

Dr. Sattah is the oldest of the four brothers in his family.  Their fields include a breast oncologist in Tennessee to an infectious disease specialist at USC in Los Angeles to another doctor involved in international medical development in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Manteca physician and his wife have one son, seven-year-old Nathan.  He already has some idea what he wants to do in life:  “I want to be like Daddy!”