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Black news, entertainment, lifestyle and culture
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    Press release:

    UPTOWN_coolaid_the_movie

    ENTERTAINMENT ICON, SNOOP DOGG, DROPS COOLAID: THE MOVIE ON ITUNES

    The Autobiographical Movie Is The Visual Companion Piece to Recent Album

    Los Angeles – April 28, 2017 – Today, Snoop Dogg officially dropped his autobiographical movie, COOLAID: The Movie, which serves as a visual companion to his recent album, COOLAID. The Snoop Dogg-directed movie chronicles the legendary artist’s transition from a young boy with aspirations of making it as a professional football player, to his tumultuous years entangled in gangs and selling drugs, through his break as a music star who faces a trial for murder while dealing with the pressures of stardom. COOLAID: The Movie is now available on iTunes.

    Poetically woven through the narrative, this story features visuals to songs from the album including: “Don’t Stop” (featuring Too $hort), “Affiliated,” “Supercrip,” “Sidepiece,” “What If,” and “Legend.”

    “This is a piece that is near and dear to me — it’s a personal journey of my life,” said Snoop Dogg.” The videos, dialogue and music were hand selected to depict pivotal moments in my career and look forward to sharing it with my fans. Can’t wait to hear what ya’ll think!”


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    UPTOWN_gabby_douglas_barbie3

    Mattel, the maker of Barbie doll, defines a “shero” as a “a female hero inspiring girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere.” If you don’t live under a rock, then you know that Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas fits that bill. That’s why Mattel released the Gabby Douglas Barbie doll today.

    “Her confidence, work ethic, and belief in herself make her an extraordinary role model to girls,” writes Mattel on The Barbie Collection website.

    UPTOWN_gabby_douglas_barbie1

    Retailing for $24.95 (with free standard shipping until May 7th), the Gabby Douglas Barbie doll is outfitted in Douglas’s signature stars and stripes leotard, which is perfect for somersaulting and cartwheeling, especially since her body is fully posable. The Carlyle Nuera-designed doll completes her medal-winning athletic outfit with a pink and black Nike tracksuit. And her bright white smile, which we all came to know while watching Douglas compete during the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, completes the likeness.

    Douglas has joined quite the esteemed Barbie “shero” club. Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, and Zendaya Coleman are members.

    UPTOWN_gabby_douglas_barbie2

    For some Barbie collectors (like maybe this writer), the Gabby Douglas Barbie doll is an even bigger honor for the gymnast than those Gold Medals … OK, just kidding, but it’s high on the list.


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    UPTOWN_international_church_of-_cannabis

    Do you find yourself taking a ritualistic pull on a joint or blunt regularly? Well, there’s a church for that …

    Opening on 4/20 of this year and in Denver (of course), the International Church of Cannabis has billed itself as place to “ritually take the sacred flower to find inspiration and meaning.”

    Congregants are allowed to smoke in the building, but only during invitation-only events. Originally, the Church planned to allow toking at any time, but the city put the kibosh on allowing the public to take part. Denver, after all, has banned smoking pot in public places.

    At least one Colorado politician isn’t a fan of the Church of Cannabis. State Rep. Dan Pabon pushed an amendment to make it illegal to smoke in churches. Republicans and Pabon’s fellow Democrats, both, blocked the amendment because it restricts religious freedom. However, Pabon is hoping the State Senate picks up the issue.

    Maybe Pabon should attend a service. It sounds out of this world: “It’s really just meditating and finding yourself,” said a churchgoer. “It’s kind of having your own mind and believing and going with it.”

    [Image: Helen H. Richardson via Getty Images]

    Source


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    UPTOWN_sheen_magazine

    “I think it’s great to be an individual, but at the end of the day a relationship is give and take. I think sometimes we get selfish and we want to take and not give.”

    — Karli Harvey-Raymond reveals how she and husband Benjamin Raymond made it down the aisle to say “I do” in the May/June issue of SHEEN Magazine. Harvey-Raymond also explains how they make their love and family work in the accompanying cover story. Learn more here.


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    UPTOWN_jourdan_dunn_serena_williams

    The Met Gala is one of the most star-studded, fashion-themed events of the year, so all attendees must bring it from head to toe. For the 2017 fête, themed “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” both Serena Williams and Jourdan Dunn tapped super-talented Unilever Celebrity Hairstylist Ursula Stephen to coif their tresses. Find out how you can recreate their hairstyles at home using some of our favorite drugstore products by Unilever.

    Instagram Photo

    Stephen was inspired by Williams’s emerald Versace gown to create a classic hairstyle. “Serena was wearing a classic tonight … Versace!” exclaimed Stephen in a press release. “When I saw the sketch, I thought it was so glamorous, and I wanted to make sure her hair didn’t compete with her stunning dress or jewelry. I wanted to push the bar with Serena, but I also wanted her to feel comfortable and gorgeous by giving her a classic, yet chic look to complement her gown.”

    Instagram Photo

    Stephen explains how to get Williams’s look from the 2017 Met Gala:

    1. To prep, I ran my fingers through Serena’s hair using Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Volumizing Weightless Blow Dry Spray ($4.99) and began blow drying using the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($399) (a.k.a. my dream dryer!) to prevent heat damage and protect natural shine.
    2. Once her hair was completely dry, I used a flat iron to make her hair pin-straight, curving the iron to flip it out slightly at the ends.
    3. Next, I brushed her hair back and spritzed it with Dove Style+Care Non-Aerosol Extra Hold Hairspray ($3.99) to enhance her hair’s natural shine. If needed, you can secure the hair behind the ear using bobby pins to avoid any movement.
    4. I finished the look by applying Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Anti-Humidity Spray ($3.99) throughout her hair, along with a light pomade to her ends for long-lasting hold.

    Click the Next button to continue reading …

    Instagram Photo

    For Dunn’s hair, Stephen wanted to create an element of surprise that complemented her Comme des Garçons dress. “I’m so happy Jourdan trusted me with her look for Met Gala. It’s such an important night in both beauty and fashion that pushes artists creatively,” said Stephen in a press release. “When I saw the sketch of Jourdan’s dress, I was immediately inspired by the cut outs and the intentional, geometric shape of the sleeves. When creating Jourdan’s hairstyle, I wanted to pay homage to the element of surprise that comes with every Comme des Garçons piece. Rei can take something as simple as a turtleneck and add a huge bow in the back to take it to another level. Jourdan’s look tonight plays on this as a clean and classic look with a surprise in the back. Simply, Jourdan’s look emphasizes texture and shape with a hint of Japanese inspiration.”

    Instagram Photo

    Stephen explains how to get Dunn’s 2017 Met Gala hairstyle:

    1. I prepped Jourdan’s hair by cleansing with Suave Professionals Avocado + Olive Oil Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner ($2.99 each).
    2. Before styling, I sprayed Dove Absolute Curls Leave-in Detangler ($5.99) throughout hair for nourishment and shine, followed by distributing a quarter size amount of Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Weather Proof Cream ($3.99) to smooth hair and provide heat protection.
    3. Next, I separated hair into 2-inch sections, and passed over each section with a flat iron until pin-straight.
    4. Then, I gathered hair into a ponytail, securing it with an elastic, then hooked on synthetic hair to hide her real ponytail.
    5. For the striking, blunt look, I cut the synthetic hair in a straight line across the back of her head to line up with the top of her shoulders.
    6. I finished the look with Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Anti-Humidity Spray ($3.99).

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    UPTOWN_vw_beetle1

    The Beetle chilling on a Midtown street.

    By Ronda Racha Penrice

    They call it Sandstorm Yellow Metallic, but it just looked like gold to me. And it felt like that too! But, as you might imagine, this 2017 VW Beetle Convertible 1.8T Dune was the cutest bug on the road. But cute only gets you so far. Luckily this Beetle relies on a lot more than its good looks. Thanks to a raised suspension, the Dune packs an extra kick. On top of that, this Beetle, as its name suggests, has a 1.8 liter turbo four-cylinder direct injection engine. All of this makes it feel just a little more mighty on the road.

    The custom interior is just as cute as the outside. I can’t say enough about the solid Sandstorm Yellow Metallic dash. My brother told me, “This is totally a girl’s car!” Since I really adored the “she-mobile,” I truly could not think of a better chariot for a meeting with the queen — Mary J. Blige — days before the release of her latest album, Strength of a Woman.

    To promote the album and its accompanying VH1 documentary, Making of Strength of a Woman, which airs today, May 2nd, Atlanta’s V103 held a private screening at SCAD Show followed by a Q&A of “Tigger with Mary”!!! Throughout the screening, it was more than clear that MJB warriors made up the majority of the crowd. As the doc delved into the emotions and current divorce drama with her estranged husband Kendu Isaacs, there were collective exclamations of “We got you, Mary,” especially when she warned Ne-Yo about mixing her business with Isaac’s co-conspirator.

    UPTOWN_mjb

    Mary J. Blige showing love to her fans.

    Mary came out on stage rocking a parted blond bob and dressed in fashionable spring denim, accessorized with quintessential “hood girl” hoops, and the crowd exploded in appreciative applause. When Tigger asked her about takeaway for those who watched the doc, she was so Mary. “I don’t know what they should take with them except for the fact that life is life and it’s real out here, and sometimes it’s OK not to be OK, and sometimes you can take your big mess in your life and turn into a big message.” But best of all was Mary interacting with her fans afterwards, even posing for selfies!!

    UPTOWN_eats_alcohol_heroes

    Alcohol Heroes & Proof of the Pudding yummy treats

    Not to be completely outdone, the Beetle had a few thrills of its own. We hit a special preview of Modera Midtown, the latest luxury rentals vying for attention. Hospitality was on point as the Alcohol Heroes served up libations almost upon entry. While the Bug and I said, “No,” they were serving up a good time complemented by a tasty spread from Proof of the Pudding, and a tour of course!

    UPTOWN_modera_midtown

    Some living room action at Modera Midtown.

    My time with the Beetle came to a close on a super nice day, so I let the top down. I was surprised at how easy it was. Like literally, it was just a touch of a button and, voila, I was cruising in a convertible. And getting it back up again was just as easy.

    UPTOWN_vw_beetle2

    There are few vehicles as on-the-job as this 2017 VW Beetle Convertible 1.8T Dune. We’re talking a lot of bells and whistles: heated seats, rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, and Bluetooth. Although this model has a regular key and no push button start, it’s no biggie. Fuel economy is pretty stellar at 27 mpg, and $30,215 is more than reasonable for this compact goodness. After all, the VW Beetle is like classic Mary; it never goes out of style.

    [Images: Ronda Racha Penrice]


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    UPTOWN_bizarre_wear

    By Bageot Dia

    Clothing is essential to the social game. But we at UPTOWN have seen our fair share of bizarre wear from intentionally dirty jeans to plastic ones. Fortunately, most of these clothing items haven’t become full-on trends. But we’re still scratching our heads and wondering: What were these clothing manufacturers thinking? Let’s take a look at these seven instances of weird clothing or weirdly-priced clothing to see if we can figure out the appeal.

    Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans

    UPTOWN_mud_jeans

    To begin, we haven’t the slightest clue why Nordstrom believed jeans intentionally stained with mud would take off. According to USAToday, “Nordstrom took the depressed look too far,” resulting in, literally, jeans covered in fake mud and selling for over $400. Obviously, there’s a disconnect here: Jeans more expensive than the prices of most standard video game consoles and other electronics — with it’s only redeeming factor advertised as “a crackled, caked-on muddy coating.”

    Nice job, guys.

    Plastic Jeans

    UPTOWN_clear_jeans

    We’re not sure which is worse, mud-coated jeans or plastic ones. Topshop is making the decision for you, putting on display its new “statement piece,” Clear Plastic Straight Leg Jeans. What’s shocking is that the “jeans” are currently out of stock. What’s even more shocking is that they’ve sold out for $100 a pop.

    Yes, that’s a C-note to look like you’re wearing the emperor’s new clothes.

    Clear-Knee Mom Jeans

    UPTOWN_plastic_knee_jeans

    Going back to the trend-setting company that is Nordstrom: Clear-knee mom jeans. The only remotely plausible explanation for this monstrosity would probably be: Kids will be kids, and moms will fall, so getting the knees dirty is a no-no.

    Japanese Virgin Killer Dress

    UPTOWN_virgin_killer_dress

    What a head-turning name for an item of clothing that became popular in Japan thanks to a meme. The secret to this “dress” is that the extremely low back guarantees the wearer will turn heads as much as the name of it.

    Clear Vinyl Skirt

    UPTOWN_vinyl_skirt

    As Hot Topic states, “Sometimes you just want to add an extra layer. This skirt from Tripp lets you add a layer to any outfit and still have it match! Clear vinyl skirt with black thin waistband and back zipper closure. It’s clear that you need this.”

    It’s clear that you need this — really, though? You sure?

    Melting Paint Tights

    UPTOWN_paint_tights

    Going for $28 on eBay and Etsy, you too can also revel in this tight, painted aesthetic. It looks kinda cool … I think.

    $2,000 Blue Tote

    UPTOWN_balenciaga_bag

    You ever take a trip to the 99-cent store or the supermarket with a large blue plastic bag in tow? It was probably the Ikea bag. Now, there happens to be a similar product to the iconic, blue tote. And it’s going for over $2,145. 

The copy-cat is Balenciaga’s doing. Ikea had a field day, as you can imagine, because the products look almost alike — labels aside.

    UPTOWN_ikea_bag_ad


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    UPTOWN_gregalan_williams_greenleaf

    “Mac McCready is an abuser. Mac McCready is a rapist and he’s real. Real in the sense that there are people in our world, in our community, in our institutions who hurt children. One of the things I’m grateful for, as I encounter Greenleaf viewers … They understand that GregAlan and Mac McCready are different people. They understand that I’m an actor portraying a character and I’m really, really grateful for that.”

    — GregAlan Williams reveals that playing a villain, especially a pedophile, is no easy task during a Greenleaf discussion on the OWN Tonight after-show last night. Fortunately for him, fans of the deliciously dramatic series are able to separate the man from the role. The conversation came fresh off the heels of the jaw-dropping Greenleaf mid-season finale, which left off with a cliffhanger. While Mac is a deplorable person, we just can’t imagine her storyline without her nemesis.

    Greenleaf returns this August on Wednesdays at 10/9c, only on OWN!

    [Image: OWN]


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    UPTOWN_alfa_romeo1

    By Kimatni D. Rawlins

    What an impeccable time I had with the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio recently in my hometown of Silver Spring, MD. Though spring had not fully manifested during my stint with the prestigious ride and April showers slowed me down a bit, the performance enhancer still put on quite a show wherever I ventured, including the illustrious Katies Cars and Coffee in Potomac. What else would you expect from a brand born and bred in 1910 Milan?

    Fundamentally courageous, Automotive Rhythms’ weekly loaner arrived in a Rosso (Red) Competizione Tri-Coat exterior hue ($2,200), staggered 19” Dark 5-hole aluminum rims ($500) wrapped in Pirelli Winter Sottozero 245/35 R19 front tires and 285/30R19 rear tires, and leather and Alcantara performance seats with red stitching that hugged me tighter than my mother. The vehicle also featured an active aero front splitter, Brembo 4-wheel disc high-performance brakes with red calipers, an aggressive rear diffuser, and the dual-mode quad exhaust system that sang like Luciano Pavarotti upon acceleration. I can only imagine a set of the Pirelli P Zero Corsa three-season high-performance tires on the RWD Quadrifoglio! The name by the way translates to four-leaf clover. As the story goes Ugo Sivocci — recruited by friend Enzo Ferrari onto Alfa Romeo’s first ever factory racing team — was tired of placing second for the distinguished automotive company and needed a good luck charm for encouragement. So he aptly decorated his Alfa Romeo RL with the Quadrifoglio Verde (shamrock) symbol and won the 1923 Targa Florio. The rest is history.

    UPTOWN_alfa_romeo4

    From an industry standpoint the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a refreshing performance sedan that quickly converts admirers into fans. Upon approach, the triangular shielded grille stares at you with confidence and hypnotizes inquisitive minds. I must have been confronted by at least 20 strangers during my time with the Italian job. Not one had previously seen this Alfa Romeo model on the streets and was elated to chat with me about its mechanics, heritage, and design. In archetypal Italiano fashion the Giulia Quadrifoglio is ornamented with a profuse amount of Carbon Fiber both inside and out. For example, the roof, hood, rear spoiler, side sill insert, front splitter, drive shaft, interior accents, and the Quadrifoglio performance steering wheel ($400) are all fabricated from Carbon Fiber, which accentuates the vehicle properly.

    UPTOWN_alfa_romeo6

    “The all-new Giulia is the result of our 105 years of passion for Italian style, craftsmanship, and performance,” said Reid Bigland, head of Alfa Romeo. “Crafted in Italy, the Giulia lineup sets an entirely new benchmark for the segment as the world’s fastest four-door production sedan.”

    Click the Next button to continue reading …

    [Images: Alfa Romeo]

    UPTOWN_alfa_romeo3

    Of course the nucleus of the Alfa Romeo is what highlights your every desire. With 505-horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque emanating from the 2.9-liter Bi-Turbo V6 engine, acceleration was always a joy. Cornering was dynamically entertaining due to its Active Suspension and Torque Vectoring Differential. Behind the wheel the four-door sedan just feels right. My vehicle came with the 8-speed automatic transmission with aluminum column-mounted butterfly shifters that lets you know it’s literally ready to fly, especially if you tool around with the performance settings of the 4-mode Alfa DNA Drive-Mode system with Race Mode. However, the Stop/Start System is palpably irritating, and I kept shutting it off each time I jumped into the aeronautical cockpit. A red starter button is positioned on the left of the Formula One inspired steering wheel and aluminum pedals call to the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s racing DNA. Without a racetrack the vehicle is somewhat of a tease since it continuously begs for more. I had to use discretion but when open roads were located best believe it was a “0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds” thrill. Yet, braking could have been a bit more aggressive, unless the Brembos were experiencing brake fade from prior test drives.

    UPTOWN_alfa_romeo5

    Entertainment stems from the 8.8” multimedia system that houses the 3-D Navigation, satellite radio, rear back-up camera, Bluetooth settings, and more. I also had the $900 Harman Kardon premium audio system upgrade and a bevy of safety technology, such as the $1,200 Driver Assistance Dynamic Launch Package with Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning.

    UPTOWN_alfa_romeo2

    As far as size, the Giulia Quadrifoglio looks short in length yet holds four comfortably. My teen kids had no issues regarding their legroom. But of course, this is not an everyday driving vehicle unless you want to feel like a racer when hitting the grocery store or post office. And since it sits low one has to be careful with every move while parking, rolling over speed bumps, and turning in and out of steep driveways. This should be deemed as your trophy vehicle for when its time to show force like gale-force winds.

    The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio starts off with a $72,000 MSRP while our test model tallied to $79,195. Expect 24 highway mpg and 17 city mpg. The Italian performance sedan is inspirational, unique, and hyperactive as its blazing 7:32 Nürburgring lap time is the only testament needed.

    [Images: Alfa Romeo]


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    UPTOWN_women_embracing

    By Dr. Elayne Arterbery

    Recently there have been incredible leaps in the ability to treat breast cancer. With greater understanding of the genetics of breast cancer, we have new tools for combating the disease and for giving women new options for improving their outcomes and survival. But for all the progress in treating breast cancer, some of the biggest challenges in improving outcomes for women lie at the starting point — effectively screening women for the earliest possible diagnosis.

    In my practice as a radiation oncologist, I see this challenge every day, particularly among Black women. In general, too few women are getting screened when they should. Only about 67 percent of women who are eligible for mammograms actually have one. There are multiple reasons for skipping mammograms: fear, insurance issues, and lack of understanding to name a few. For women of color, missing or omitting mammography as part of health screening is a risky proposition.

    Black women with breast cancer are more likely to die of their disease. Why? Missed screening opportunities mean some women will be diagnosed later, when the disease is more advanced and harder to treat and less likely to be cured. Black women are also at higher risk of being diagnosed with more aggressive types of breast cancer. And while half of all women have dense breasts, which can make it easier for cancers to hide on mammograms, it’s more common in Black women to have denser breasts.

    So how do we close the gaps? For one, it’s critically important for every woman to know the importance of screening. While family risk due to genetic abnormalities have captured a great deal of attention, the vast majority of breast cancer is diagnosed in women without a hereditary risk.

    Second, we need to look for ways to make cancer screening easier on women. One recent study makes a clear point about how important this is: It found that women who receive a false positive result are more likely to delay follow-up screening.

    In truth, the imaging tools we use to spot cancer don’t always give us a clear answer. Too many women hear that their mammogram result was suspicious or abnormal, and end up in a difficult “grey zone” of decision-making. For these women, they will either undergo more imaging or biopsy, or ride out a worrisome six-month period of “watch and wait.”

    That’s where the opportunity lies. The same kind of scientific leaps that have brought about new breast cancer treatment options are yielding new opportunities in detecting breast cancer. By understanding more about the unique biologic properties of breast cancer, one company has developed a new blood test that can help spot breast cancer’s unique protein signature and provide more clarity for physicians like me, when images give us fuzzy answers. An abnormal mammogram doesn’t always mean cancer and many women have additional imaging — the blood test in conjunction with the mammogram may indicate who actually needs additional imaging.

    Click the Next button to continue reading …

    UPTOWN_dr_elayne_arterbery

    Dr. Elayne Arterbery

    I learned about this test when it was in development and made an easy decision to join the clinical research study to evaluate the technology. Based on my own experiences in treatment of women, I knew exactly the benefit I was hoping for. I was hoping for a better way to rule out breast cancer in women who had abnormal findings but “probably” didn’t have a reason to worry. I wanted a better way to see past dense breast tissue, so I could be more confident a cancer wasn’t hiding under my nose. I wanted a better way to select the right patients to biopsy, so I could reduce the number of women braving their way through the procedure, only to find out they don’t have cancer. And I wanted better information to help me zero in on the patients who truly need a very careful second look in order to catch a cancer.

    As one of the first physicians in the country to use the test as part of an early access program, I’ve already seen it making a difference in exactly the ways I’d hoped. Until the test makes its way into doctors’ offices around the country, women can take important steps in closing gaps.

    • Ask this question: “Do I have dense breasts?” If you’ve ever had a mammogram, ask your healthcare provider whether you have dense breasts.
    • Recognize your risk: If you do have dense breasts, you have an increased risk of breast cancer, as well as a higher likelihood of cancer going undetected on your mammogram.
    • Don’t let ongoing debate around screening guidelines make things confusing: If you’re not sure when you should start getting a mammogram, talk to your doctor. An emerging recommendation notes that the starting age for screening may vary based on your personal situation.
    • Get clearer answers: Mammography results may be unclear or may not provide the information needed to confidently rule out breast cancer. Connect with your healthcare provider to talk about complementary technologies that can help provide a clear answer.

    I’m encouraged by the fast pace of research and new developments that are helping women survive longer and better with breast cancer. But getting step one right is my passion because I’ve seen the difference it makes. So, to women, I’ll say that in all the “white noise” of health information out there, please don’t lose the simple message about the importance of breast cancer screening. I will hold up my end of the bargain by making sure I use all the tools I have at my disposal to make the screening process as easy, and stress-free as I can for my patients.

    Dr. Elayne Arterbery, MD, MHSA, FACRO: Dr. Arterbery’s illustrious career in cancer treatment and research spans over two decades. Having served her residency at the prestigious Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, Dr. Arterbery has been recognized as a Fellow in the American College of Radiation Oncology for her contributions to the field. She is in private practice.

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