1. Pink Well Challenge Finalist Profile: St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation-Breast Center


    St. Joseph Medical Center’s commitment to human dignity compels us to provide compassionate, quality health care for body, mind and spirit, with a special concern for the poor.

    The Breast Center at St. Joseph Medical Center is committed to fulfilling our mission by extending its services beyond simply caring for patients while they are at our hospital. The Breast Center is deeply involved in educating the community about breast cancer and offering support to survivors and their families through health fairs, monthly support groups, an education resource center and the WELL (Women Embracing and Loving Life) program.

    The WELL program was started in October 2010 by a certified nurse navigator and a survivor who is passionate about encouraging other survivors to make healthy lifestyle choices. The WELL program was submitted in an abstract to the 2011 National Consortium of Breast Centers Conference and was selected for presentation during the conference poster reception. It was selected as one of the top scoring abstracts and was published in the October 2011 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology. In addition, an oral presentation on how to start a program similar to WELL will be given during a breakout session at the 2012 National Consortium of Breast Centers Conference.

    We are planning to expand the WELL program to our “sister” campus, St. Mary’s  Medical Center.  This will give an opportunity to more breast cancer survivors to learn how to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into their daily life.

    We would also like to organize a WELL weekend retreat for breast cancer survivors. This will include nutrition education, exercise sessions with both Zumba and The Pink Ribbon Pilates program and activities for self expression through therapeutic art and music sessions. It will also provide an opportunity for survivors to connect and encourage one another in a relaxed setting.

    We would like to offer a massage to participants of WELL to be used during the 8-week program.

    Pink Well funds will be used to sustain and expand the WELL program. The funds will cover program expenses including fees for the instructors, purchase the notebooks that are used by participants during the program and develop and purchase educational materials. In addition, each participant will receive a t-shirt with the WELL logo and the Pink Well Foundation logo (if allowed), a water bottle, stability ball and a Pink Ribbon Pilates book. The cost of the 30-minute massage would also be provided to each participant.

    While our WELL program focuses on healthy lifestyle choices, one of the greatest benefits to participants is the opportunity to meet other breast cancer survivors going through similar experiences. The women connect, making lasting friendships as they share their experiences and offer encouragement to one another. One participant, Kelly, shared with us how much this program has meant to her. “My family has been very supportive, but sharing stories with other women who have experienced many of the same things I have has given me a newfound sense of caring and understanding.”