Community leaders show support for breast health awareness initiative
October is Breast Health Awareness Month and governmental agencies from the area are showing their public support.
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital has been spreading awareness about breast health and breast cancer screenings through community events, downtown pink ribbon decorations in Belleville and O’Fallon, an online Facebook campaign and much more. Recently, the St. Clair County Board, the City of Belleville and the City of O’Fallon joined the hospital by offering official Proclamations to recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Almost 232,340 new cases of female invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, which mean that there is a 1 in 8 chance in a woman’s life that they may develop breast cancer.
The St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern read the official Proclamation at a recent meeting on Monday, September 30. The following week, both Mayors from Belleville, Mark Eckert, and O’Fallon, Gary Graham, announced their support for Breast Health Awareness and made the Proclamations official at their respective City Council meetings. All three civic leaders urged residents, schools, businesses and other leaders to take time to educate themselves about the risks of breast cancer, and recognize the efforts of the health care professionals at St. Elizabeth’s.
Manager of Radiology, Mammography and Ultrasound Gina Loeffelman accepted two of the Proclamations on behalf of the hospital.
“St. Elizabeth’s is dedicated to educating the public on the risks associated with breast cancer and to stress the importance of regular mammograms. The best chance for surviving breast cancer is early detection,” Loeffelman states. “We are grateful to Mayors Eckert and Graham, and County Board Chairman Kern for supporting our ongoing efforts.”
In addition to the Proclamation, many of the Board and Council members also wore pink clothing items. As part of our Real Men Wear Pink™ campaign, businesses and community members are encouraged to wear pink on Fridays in October in an ongoing community effort to raise awareness about breast health. For the past few years, St. Elizabeth’s has featured community leaders in this campaign and now the hospital is accepting stories from the community. The public is encouraged to visit the hospital’s Facebook page – St. Elizabeth’s Hospital-HSHS –and share stories of real men they may know who encouraged a loved one to get a mammogram or helped them through a breast cancer experience.
Visit www.steliz.org/calendar for a full listing of October Breast Health Awareness Month events and other health programs. St. Elizabeth’s Hospital continuously strives to provide health programs to educate and inform the members of the communities we serve.