Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and MedStar Health opened a breast health clinic for disadvantaged women in Southeast Washington, D.C. last week with the help of a $1 million grant from the AVON foundation.

Jeanne Mandelblatt, professor of medicine and director of the clinic, said that such a center is overdue and emphasized the importance of such a resource in a neighborhood whose population is composed largely of minorities.

“Washington has the worst breast cancer incidence and mortality rate in the nation, and African-American women are disproportionately affected,” Mandelblatt said. “[By] opening our doors to a neighborhood desperate for accessible care, we have a great potential to improve breast health care services for all of Washington’s women.”

The center plans to see about 30 women each day and will provide services that include instruction on self-examination, family history reviews and individual meetings with health educators.

Mammograms will be given at the Washington Hospital Center, but in the future, the clinic plans to have on-site mammography capability.

The clinic also employs health “navigators” for women who are believed to need further treatment according to the results of their mammograms. These “navigators” help women get access to specialists, clinical trials and any other services needed.

Uninsured women will be immediately enrolled in Project Wish, which will cover mammogram costs. All women, regardless of their economic standing, will be able to receive proper breast cancer screenings as a result of the clinic’s opening.

The center is located at 650 Pennsylvania Ave. and will be open weekdays, and one Saturday a month. It will operate on a walk-in basis with optional appointments.

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