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April 23, 2008 > Washington Women's Center Celebrates Successful First Year in Operation

Washington Women's Center Celebrates Successful First Year in Operation

Women's Center Combines Diagnosis, Treatment, Education and Peace of Mind

When it comes to women's health, taking care of yourself doesn't have to mean sitting in a cold waiting room waiting to be called on for some unfamiliar procedure. The Washington Women's Center, according to Center Coordinator Kathy Hesser, R.N., has already proven itself to be a welcoming, pleasant atmosphere for women, but she's finding women are beginning to discover the center offers much more.

"I think that women are learning more and more that we are more than 'just' a nice place to have a mammogram," Hesser says. "We are very patient-first focused. Women comment on how kind and caring everyone is from check-in registration to the diagnostic testing. We also give them someone to call and help them understand why they may need to come back for additional views or help them get scheduled as soon as possible. We work with the doctors' offices to get priority patients in quickly and our radiologists let the client and doctor know results that day."

Since opening, the Washington Women's Center has continued to increase its educational offerings to the community that include the Center's midday and afternoon Lunch and Learn series, Evening Lecture Series the third Tuesday of each month, as well as Saturday classes, all focused on educating women about their unique health issues.

"From healthy skin to heart health...from Arthritis Exercise to our Gentle Yoga Program, women are learning to take care of themselves in fun and relaxing ways," according to Hesser. "Women are learning that there is a center for them."

At the core of the Center's mission is supporting women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. This is the aspect of the Center Hesser says she is most proud of.

"Our community doctors and the staff at the Women's Center are a caring team that gives support in many different ways," says Hesser. "Our Breast Care Conference that brings together all the specialty doctors in one setting to explain the women's diagnoses really helps families hear the information again, take notes, process it and feel supported by the medical team.

"As the Coordinator, it gives me a chance to see the clients again and offer peer navigators, support groups and other classes to help educate the woman and her family on her disease."

Diagnostic services, including state-of-the-art mammography, ultrasound and bone density appointments are available within five days of calling. Minimally invasive breast biopsy appointments are available within five to seven days of recommendation.

Whether women are visiting the center for a class or a biopsy, Hesser serves as a gatekeeper and guide for those seeking answers to questions, additional resources or a friendly face to walk them through a procedure.

"Knowledge is the cornerstone to helping yourself stay well," she says. "Without knowledge we cannot formulate questions at our health care provider visits. We cannot be proactive about our health. By keeping ourselves informed, we can be a better health care consumer."

To learn more about programs and services at the Washington Women's Center, call (866) 608-1301 or (510) 608-1356 or visit, click on "Services & Programs," and select "Women's Health."

Focus on Women's Health

Find out how physical activity can improve both health and overall wellbeing. The following programs at the Washington Women's Center, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont, are for women seeking the benefits of gentle exercise.

Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program

This official Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program - for women only - focuses on those with mild osteoporosis and arthritis. Classes meet twice a week for six weeks.
When: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. (Beginning May 19)
- Mondays and Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. (Beginning May 19)
Call: (510) 608-1356 to register or for more information
Fee: $48 per session/12 classes

Gentle Yoga for Health and Healing

This class is intended for women seeking a gentle program to support their overall health. No previous experience is required. Each class will include the basic principles of movement, structural alignment and breathing awareness. Series of six classes.
When: Thursdays, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. (Beginning June 12)
Call: (510) 608-1356 to register or for more information
Fee: $75

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