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April 29, 2011 > Women's Center Grows and Puts Down Roots

Women's Center Grows and Puts Down Roots

Washington Women's Center Celebrates Four Years of Service

In today's world, we expect it all. Plus, we want it in a convenient package. For four years now, the Washington Women's Center and the Outpatient Imaging Center at Washington Hospital have been offering just that... The latest in imaging technology. The latest in breast cancer diagnostics. Cutting edge treatment. Yoga. Massage.

Wait. Yoga and massage? Yes, those too.

All of these services and more are easily accessible and provided in a comfortable, serene environment, thanks to the Women's Center, which serves all women in the community, and the Outpatient Imaging Center, serving all patients referred for imaging studies.

For Medical Director of the Women's Center William Dugoni, M.D., seeing the center continue to expand its services and the women in the community it reaches has been the culmination of years of work, even before the center officially opened in 2007.

"The team effort to make the Center what it is today has been immense," he says. "Everyone involved in the Women's Center's success, from our physicians and nurses to the support staff, has been 100 percent committed to making sure that women receive the best possible care, education and guidance when they come through our doors."

Kathy Hesser, R.N., the Women's Center's clinical coordinator, adds that women benefit from the Center's ability to bring all aspects of care-from physical to emotional-under one roof.

"It's nice because all of these services come together," Hesser says. "The hospital has a Better Breathers support group upstairs and for those with trouble breathing and arthritis, our proximity works really well for them. We've also opened the afternoon section of our arthritis class to men.

"Some of our cancer survivors are older and they have arthritis and the arthritis class is great for them. That was our goal: to have a good program for breast cancer and other women's cancers, but we also wanted something all women could come to and benefit from. I think often cancer survivors just want to be individuals and they want to be able to participate in things that aren't always focused on the label of being a survivor."

As a result, the Women's Center focuses on making everyone feel as healthy and whole as possible.

"I think the breast diagnosis and cancer navigation both have been very successful programs in that the patient receives a phone call rather than just a letter in the mailbox announcing results," she says. "There is a personal touch. It decreases your stress level to have someone to explain why you need to come back for additional diagnostics. Having a nurse to do all that really distinguishes us from going to any other imaging center. I've been very proud of all the work we've put into our nurse navigation program and that we are certified as a Breast Center by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers The community can be assured that they have a top notch center right in their neighborhood. I think it will only keep growing forward."

Hesser adds that it's difficult to choose just one aspect of the Center that she's most pleased with so far.

"I'm pretty proud of all our different programs and all have grown into themselves," she says. "They have all developed a maturity and are definitely going to stick around. My goal as the coordinator is to make sure they do grow roots and we have experienced instructors to maintain their quality."

While the journey is far from over, Dr. Dugoni is pleased that the Women's Center has come so far so fast.

"We started out with the vision of becoming a one-stop shop for women's services in the community and I think we have achieved that with great success," he says. "From here, we only hope to improve awareness and access to women in our community."

Learn More

The Washington Women's Center combines advanced diagnostic services and an expert clinical staff with a host of wellness and support programs for local women. To learn more about the services and classes available through the Washington Women's Center, visit or call (510) 608-1301 for more information. The Washington Women's Center is located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (1st floor, Washington West) in Fremont.

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