Breast Care for Washington, a medical facility located in southwest D.C., is specifically targeting Wards 7 and 8.
Liz Davey, the facility’s vice president of development and communications, said that one of the nonprofit’s main missions is to provide a community of hope and comfortability for those regionally and economically challenged.
“There aren’t too many medical facilities east of the Anacostia River,” Davey said. “At Breast Care for Washington, we provide a resource for women in the community to receive breast imaging. Any woman who needs to undergo a mammogram or other breast care examinations is able to be seen.
“We accept those with insurance and those without as 30 percent of all our patients lack insurance,” she said. “It was important for us to go where the need was the highest.”
Established in 2014 under the direction of Dr. Regina Hampton, a breast surgeon, and Beth Beck, former executive director of Capital Breast Care Center, the center has seen over 3,300 women since its inception, with an average of a little over 1,000 women yearly.
With the nation’s capital currently holding the highest breast cancer mortality rate in the United States, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Davey said the center is right on time.
“Our center is the first and only comprehensive breast cancer screening facility with 3D technology east of the Anacostia River,” she said. “In the three years that we’ve been open, we have already diagnosed 30 cancer patients, which is double the usual rate for that amount of time including seven this year. It is important to to make breast cancer screening readily available and accessible to all women, especially those who receive their care from community health systems.”
In another report issued by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, statistics showed that though African-American women displayed lower rates for breast cancer issues over their white counterparts, incidents of mortality for black women were still higher.
Though all are welcome to the center, Davey said the facility was strategically placed in the heart of D.C.’s urban community in hopes of eliminating fears and stigmas often associated with breast cancer and black citizens.
“I’ve seen a lot of fear associated with mammograms and what happens when things get revealed,” Davey said. “But it is still so important to get screened. We’ve helped a lot of women in the community and during our Sept. 13 ‘Women of Vision’ fundraiser, we hope to raise even more awareness and money for programs that benefit the community.
Davey said this year’s fundraising event will honor women who have had “big visions” for people in their community, including Susan G. Komen Founder Nancy Brinker, Debbi Jarvis of D.C.’s Pepco Holdings and Dorothy Gibbons, co-founder and CEO of The Rose, a Texas breast care facility.