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April 14, 2010 > Doctors, Staff, Volunteers Work to Change the Face of Women's Health Care

Doctors, Staff, Volunteers Work to Change the Face of Women's Health Care

As Washington Women's Center celebrates its third anniversary, Clinical Coordinator Kathy Hesser, R.N., says it is the strong partnership with the women the center serves that has driven its growth and success.

"I think it keeps getting more and more exciting because I'm finding that more ladies in the community know about the Women's Center and are coming in for various programs," Hesser says.

Response to the educational programs offered at the Women's Center has been tremendous, according to Hesser.

The Lunch and Learn seminars, which cover a range of topics from arthritis to skin care and low sodium cooking to genetic counseling, have more than doubled in participation since the program's inception. The yoga classes offered by the center, taught by certified instructors, also have been adding sections as fast as possible to keep up with demand.

Quality over quantity

While Hesser says she is excited to be reaching an increasing number of women in the community, the ultimate goal is to make every offering at the center meaningful.

"I had a lady call me after attending our low sodium cooking class, and she said, 'Thank you so much for this class. I've been trying to keep my sodium down, and I came home with so many recipes and motivation that I can finally follow the diet my doctor tells me I need to adopt to lower my blood pressure.'

"I think the fact that she took the time to call shows that these programs are meaningful for people. I keep searching for topics that will help them accomplish positive lifestyle changes that will enable them to stay healthy and well, and I think we're meeting that goal."

Breast health: best care and treatment options

An integral piece of the Women's Center's mission lies with the comprehensive breast health services that have been accredited by The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that has been established to identify and recognize breast centers providing quality care in the United States.

Washington Women's Center Medical Director Dr. William Dugoni, Jr., M.D. attributes the center's success and accreditation by the NAPBC to more than five years of dedication by physicians, staff and volunteers to a common goal.

"As a breast health center, our program ensures multidisciplinary, integrated, and comprehensive breast care services to women in the Tri-City area and Northern California," Dr. Dugoni says. "We were the first center in Northern California to receive this accreditation and only the third in the entire state. Through many individuals' hard work, our center has thrived and will continue to expand services for members of the community."

NAPBC-accredited centers demonstrate the following services:
* A multidisciplinary, team approach to coordinate the best care and treatment options available
* Access to breast cancer-related information, education, and support
* Breast cancer data collection on quality indicators for all subspecialties involved in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment
* Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care
* Information about clinical trials and new treatment options

Top-notch services, expert care

Services and care at the Washington Women's Center are facilitated by a nurse coordinator to ensure patients get every appointment they need and to provide support and counseling throughout their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

The breast program at the Washington Women's Center ensures seamless access to hospital-based services and a team approach to patient-centered care which includes: Breast Tumor Board, Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Series, Reach to Recovery Volunteers, Breast Cancer Support Group and the Breast Care Conference.
"I think that we have a great element of teamwork with the center staff, nurses in the hospital and the doctors," Hesser says. "It's nice to see all the hard work and effort to improve women's health care is growing roots, sprouting and flowering."

For a complete list of services and classes offered at the Washington Women's Center, visit

Image of better health

Diagnostic imaging, another vital element of the Women's Center, is easily coordinated with the Washington Outpatient Imaging Center, a state-of-the-art facility fusing the latest technology with convenience and expert care, which also celebrates its third year of operation this year.

Washington Outpatient Imaging Center offers the most advanced, all-digital imaging technology available in one convenient location.

Services at the center include:
* 64 Slice CT (Computed Tomography)
* Digital Mammography
* Diagnostic Ultrasound/Breast Ultrasound/Biopsy
* Bone Density Scanning (DEXA)
* General diagnostic radiology services
* Interventional Radiology
* Women's Health Education
* Minimally Invasive Breast Biopsies - Click here to learn more
* MRI Services

For a complete description of services offered at the Outpatient Imaging Center, visit For an appointment, call (510) 791-3410.

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