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Charlotte Maxwell Clinic

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Causes: Cancer, Community Clinics, Emergency Assistance, Health, Human Services

Mission: The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic (CMC) is a state licensed public health clinic, founded in 1991 to provide access to complementary integrative medical treatments (CIM) and safety net social services for underserved, low-income women with cancer. By providing these services we hope to empower women to have control over their lives and health care choices. Our clinic was also founded specifically to treat women because of the particular social, economic, and political realities women face in our society and in relation to the health care system. Through this work we also educate the community at large about cancer and about health care as a human right. Our services include acupuncture, Chinese and Western herbs, homeopathy, therapeutic massage, and guided imagery. We also offer social work assistance, transportation to and from clinic appointments, fresh organic produce and bread, and educational workshops. In addition, we offer The In-Home Comfort Care Program which provides CIM treatments for those clients with end-stage cancer who are too weak to come to the Clinic, and The Post Treatment Program which extends our CIM treatments, exercise classes led by cancer exercise specialists, stress reduction classes, emotional support, and educational workshops to women living with cancer who have finished their allopathic treatment and have no signs of recurrence. CMC periodically holds informational meetings and workshops for clients, volunteers, and members of the public to present issues related to cancer, integrative medicine, lymphedema, pain management, and other cancer related concerns. We also sponsor courses in Traditional Chinese Medicine to train acupuncturists and herbalists in the treatment of women with cancer.

Target demographics: Underserved, low-income, culturally diverse and mostly mono-lingual women with cancer

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 800 underserved women with cancer

Geographic areas served: Two clinics: Downtown Oakland and San Francisco Mission District serving the Greater Bay Area

Programs: CMC is open by appointment every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. More than 350 volunteers offer complementary alternative treatments to low-income women with cancer. First priority is given to women who are currently receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation. CMC firmly believes that everyone is entitled to the healing benefits of complementary medicine, not just those who can afford it. CMC conducts workshops for clients and the public on topics related to complementary medicine and cancer. CMC also provides continuing education on role of Traditional Chinese Medicine in addressing the physical and emotional needs of women with cancer.

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