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CancerLynx - we prowl the net
October 22, 2001

Breast Health Access for Women with Disabilities (BHAWD)
Cleo Berkun

Breast Health Access for Women with Disabilities (BHAWD), is a community partnership of women with disabilities, breast cancer survivors, medical professionals and disability rights organizations. It is located on the Herrick campus of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, CA. BHAWD, founded in 1995, was the first program of its kind to provided breast screening services to meet the special needs of women with physical, vision and other disabilities.

BHAWD provides:

A multi-positioning exam table allows most women in wheelchairs to transfer to the table without assistance. This table also makes it easier for attendants to assist in transferring a woman to the exam table more comfortably. The clinic is staffed by nurses who are trained in doing clinical breast exams (CBE) and in teaching breast self examination (BSE). The CBE and BSE are modified to accommodate to the physical abilities of each woman. Parking is provided. There is limited funding for help with transportation and attendant services.

Women with disabilities are generally not identified as an under served population for purposes of breast screening and early detection services although they have less access to breast health services than any other group of women. When women with disabilities want to have mammograms or clinical breast exams, the majority cannot do so because of numerous barriers unique to their functional limitations -- Barriers that do not limit accessibility for other women.

Mammograms are usually done at 5730 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland, CA. The mammography facility uses a Mammography machine which is easily accessible for most women in wheelchairs and allows those who might have difficulty standing to get a mammogram while seated.

In addition to the clinical program, BHAWD has an education program for community health providers and the public, and an advocacy program.BHAWD can provide educational materials and speakers upon request. BHAWD also participates, through presentations and exhibits, in numerous local, state and national health conference and health fairs.

BHAWD is a first of its kind program to provide breast health services to women whose needs have been overlooked. It has been recognized locally and nationally for its unique services and now serves as a national model.

The clinic is located at 2001 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA.
For more information or to schedule an appointment call (510) 204-4866.
Additional information is available at the website:
Manager: Florita Maiki

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