New SWMC breast cancer center opens

After receiving $4.1 million in donations from more than 1,000 community residents, Southwest Washington Medical Center's Kearney Breast Center will finally become a reality Monday, with the opening of a 12,000 square-foot state-of-the-art cancer care facility.

Located on the fourth floor of the hospital's Physicians' Pavillion on N.E. Mother Joseph Place, the Kearney Center features three dedicated digital mammography rooms, two rooms for diagnostic ultrasound, space for message and lymphedema treatments and even a tea alcove for patients and their families.

"The women that walk through those doors and sit in the waiting room with sweat running down their sides, or lie on the exam table with a lump in their throat and a pit in their stomach – they will know that this center was built with them in mind," said Kyra John, a breast cancer survivor and Kearney Center donor.

The center is named after local philanthropists Connie and Lee Kearney, who gave $2.5 million toward the total $5.7 in construction and equipment costs.

"I know the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, as well as the emotional impact it has on women and their families," said Connie Kearney, a member of the Southwest Foundation Board and a 13-year breast cancer survivor.

The facility boasts interior design features to help reduce patient anxiety by making the space more personal and inviting while still ensuring patients' privacy.

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