With the specific health care needs of women, there has long been a demand for a comprehensive medical facility where women can go to have their various health-related needs addressed. The Valley is one region where its women have the option of seeking treatment at such a location. The Women’s Center at Northridge Hospital Medical Center offers a woman-sensitive approach to healthcare, integrating comprehensive services and technology into a single source for wellness, diagnosis and treatment. All services are provided under one roof. This innovative concept was clearly driven by the need for such a place to exist. Hopefully, in the future, there will be more like it. Spokespeople for the Women’s Center list the some of the ideal criteria for a comprehensive women’s health center: A Full Range of Diagnostic Services From mammography and ultrasound to stereotactic biopsy and osteoporosis screening, the diagnostic services at a women’s center must be tailored to the unique needs of women. Northridge’s dedicated interdisciplinary approach to breast services ensures you receive the most accurate and responsive care possible. A Relaxing, Comfortable and Supportive Environment We know that comfort and convenience are important to the overall quality of your healthcare experience. That’s why women’s centers must take extra care to create a warm, inviting environment. From soothing colors and comfortable chairs to friendly, caring staff and state-of-the-art facilities, patients should be made to feel right at home. Osteoporosis Screening Osteoporosis is a serious concern for millions of women. The Northridge Women’s Center’s new bone densitometer and sonometer allows evaluations of patients’ osteoporosis risk and helps physicians develop treatment strategies when necessary. Women’s Continence Program Urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine, can seriously affect your quality of life if left untreated. The good news is that several treatment options are available. The urogynecolgist and urologist in The Women’s Center will conduct a thorough assessment and tailor treatment plans to meet individual needs. Perinatology Program An important feature for top-of-the-line women’s centers is a Perinatology Program, developed to improve the outcome of complicated pregnancies serves the high-risk mother and her growing fetus. At Northridge, specialists, associated with the UCLA School of Medicine, bring extensive experience in pre-natal diagnosis, genetic counseling and management of mothers with complicated pregnancies. In addition to scheduled appointments, consult coverage is provided around-the-clock, 24 hours/7 days a week. The Program for the Healing Arts Many benefits can be found by taking a holistic approach to your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. The Women’s Center at Northridge kept this in mind when it established its series of classes, workshops and seminars offered through the Program for the Healing Arts. Topics include yoga, healthy cooking, aromatherapy, meditation, self-hypnosis, tai chi, mid-life health issues and more. This new program is a collaborative effort of The Women’s Center, the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Cancer Center and the Heart Center at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Intimate Image The effects of surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy often influence the way a woman feels about her appearance. The Women’s Center’s “Intimate Image” offers a sensitive variety of products designed specifically for women undergoing cancer treatment. Products include wigs, hats, wraps, turbans, clothing, prostheses and intimate apparel. The individuals who staff the boutique are specially trained and sensitive to the unique needs of cancer patients, and work closely with healthcare providers. Intimate Image is accessible by appointment. Breast Cancer Research Studies Participation in the future is crucial if a center focused on care for women plans to play an active role in the full scope of women’s health. Northridge Hospital Medical Center proudly participates in numerous research studies with patients that help in the development of new, more effective treatments. The STAR study, which compares the effectiveness of the drugs Tamoxifen and Raloxifene, is a nationwide study currently under way. This study is seeking 22,000 postmenopausal women at increased risk of breast cancer. For more information call (818) 885-8500, ext. 5458. This article was provided by Northridge Hospital Medical Center.