Commemorating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is a fun and festive month as we welcome a changing of seasons, ingest pumpkin everything and revel in all things spooky. October also tends to be a very “pink” month, as it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last month was a very busy one for the Well Woman HealthCheck Program (WWHP) at North Country HealthCare!

Flagstaff High School Volleyball fundraiser
The “Pink Out” volleyball game at Flagstaff High School raised funds for the Well Woman HealthCheck program.

WWHP celebrated the annual awareness month with programs and events both inside and outside the organization. We were so thankful to see several other local businesses and schools join in on raising awareness of breast cancer, and even raising much-needed funds to support our programs.

Our biggest undertaking in October was the launch of the “Fund the Gap” campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to raise $150,000 for the Treatment Link program at North Country HealthCare. The purpose of Treatment Link is to help cover the cost of breast and cervical cancer treatments for women in our region who would otherwise be unable to pay for care. Treatment Link recently lost support from a major funder that had previously supported the program for years. “Fund the Gap” campaign aimed to help cover that drop in funding.

Pink Fridays, which was part of our “Fund the Gap” employee giving campaign, encouraged employees to wear pink and participate in our efforts to help women access health services. Our employees care deeply about our patients, and many are passionate about ensuring that as many women as possible have access to necessary cancer diagnostic and treatment services. Participation in this year’s Pink Fridays was our best year yet!

A month of festivities

Below is a recap of events in which we partnered with some very generous local organizations, including The Flagstaff Unified School District, Karma Sushi in Flagstaff, and Findlay Automotive Group.

  1. Friends of Flagstaff High School and Booster Club organized the “Pink Out” volleyball game, and the club members donated proceeds from ticket sales to WWHP. The volleyball team also hosted a bake sale at the concession stand. Two rival high schools, Coconino High School and Flagstaff High School, came together to design and print pink breast cancer awareness T-shirts to sell to students and the community, donating 100% of the profits to WWHP. Our own staff members also purchased the shirts and wore them every Friday for our “Pink Fridays.”
  2. The Flagstaff Unified School District also helped organize a Chili’s Fundraising competition between the local high schools. On October 20, Coconino High School and Flagstaff High School raised funds by eating at Chili’s and 15% of each purchase was donated to the WWHP.
  3. Findlay Automotive Group in Flagstaff held a donation drive for Breast Cancer Awareness month. The group donated a percentage to our program for every vehicle sold and repaired during October.
  4. Karma Sushi in Flagstaff donated a portion of its proceeds for the month of October to support the Well Woman HealthCheck Program.
  5. The 23rd Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk was held Sunday, October 2, 2021, in Lake Havasu City. The walk was an opportunity to collect funds for breast cancer treatment and research. It also provided an opportunity for participants to learn more about preventing breast cancer.
  6. North Country HealthCare clinic locations hosted an Art Bra Contest and Pink Halloween Costume Contest. These events presented a fun, creative way to raise funds while providing individuals a platform for expression.

Along with these fundraising efforts, we also participated in other fun-oriented events throughout the community to help positively impact our efforts, giving a chance for people to interact and come together for a good cause.

Bake sale at Flagstaff High School volleyball game.
Flagstaff High School students held a bake sale to support WWHP.

October may be over, but our efforts for awareness continue

WWHP Program Manager Kristi Boniella was immensely grateful for the amount of community support they had received.

“WWHP has many long-time supporters of our programs and the work we do for our community members in need. Many of those continued supporters have engaged other community members, programs and businesses during breast cancer awareness month — activities and education grow every year. We are grateful for their involvement, and we couldn’t do what we do every day without their continued support.”

Our wish is to do more and accomplish more to encourage better healthcare for everyone in our community. We believe there’s always more to do to create healthier communities. Contact us to learn more about our efforts, and stay up-to-date on future fundraising events.

About WWHP

The Well Woman HealthCheck Program helps low-income, uninsured and underinsured women gain access to age-appropriate breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services including clinical breast exams, mammograms, Pap & HPV tests and pelvic exams. Diagnostic testing such as ultrasounds, biopsies and other tests are also available if screening results are abnormal. Referrals are made for treatment as necessary.

Since education plays a vital role in avoiding late stage diagnosis, clients are encouraged to be advocates for their own health whenever possible. The Well Woman HealthCheck Program at North Country HealthCare is funded through the Arizona Department of Health Services with a grant from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

About Treatment Link

The Treatment Link program functions as a payer of last resort for women diagnosed with breast cancer through the WWHP. These women must also fall under 250% of the federal poverty level and be ineligible for other safety net programs. Annually, at North Country HealthCare locations alone, the Treatment Link program enables the screening of over 1,000 women and typically supports the treatment of between 3 to 7 women annually who are diagnosed with breast cancer. If you’d like to support our “Fund the Gap” campaign to raise $150,000 for Treatment Link, visit our Donate page, and type “Fund the Gap” in the comments section.

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