Eastern Sierra’s community healthcare partners want to see Inyo County awash in pink this Friday, Oct. 20, as part of Community Pink Day. Northern Inyo Healthcare District, Southern Inyo Healthcare District, and Toiyabe Indian Health Project teamed up with the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance (ESCA) to join other communities nationwide to recognize this day, also known as National Mammography Day.
“We’re hoping to see Inyo County glowing in pink on Friday to show its support, not just in the name of breast cancer awareness, but in the name of all cancer awareness and prevention,” said
ESCA President Cheryl Underhill. “Many of our neighbors are battling various cancers right now, and our hearts are with each one. We hope this effort will remind people of the importance of
annual screenings as early detection can help save lives.”
Participating in Community Pink Day requires the simple act of wearing pink on Friday. In doing so, the community honors the cancer prevention and treatment work done in Inyo and Mono
counties. The gesture also pays tribute to cancer patients and survivors and, of course, to those the community has lost to the disease.
In addition to Community Pink Day, each healthcare facility will raise awareness in its own way, amid its own community, with one visible exception. With permission from Caltrans, ESCA and
other community groups hung pink ribbons along every Main Street in Inyo County. Each ribbon serves as a visual reminder to those passing by to schedule those vital screenings, be it a
mammogram, a colonoscopy, or other cancer-related exams.
ESCA offers its thanks to the Northern Inyo Hospital Foundation for, once again, purchasing the ribbons for this county-wide effort.
For NIHD, October is an opportunity to unite its team behind a good cause. For the past several years, NIHD lent its support to ESCA’s 5K Walk and Run and provided ESCA with a home for its Resource Center at the Healthcare District’s Birch Street Annex. The Resource Center is home to ESCA’s Angel Mentoring Program and serves as a location for ESCA volunteers to meet with
cancer patients seeking support and education.
Occurring during a challenging time for NIHD, the annual breast cancer screening program – Moonlight Mammograms – did return for two events, filling all available openings in short order.
By getting a yearly mammogram starting at age 40, those who may have breast cancer can have it detected while it is in its earliest, most treatable stages. NIHD continues to recognize that for
some, the biggest challenge to getting a mammogram is time constraints.
“Every year, NIHD is inspired by seeing the overall impact the awareness initiative plays in our community,” says Allison Partridge, NIHD’s Chief Nursing Officer and Interim Chief Operations
Officer. “While Moonlight Mammograms is full, we are doing our best to accommodate everyone with a convenient appointment schedule. We encourage those needing a mammogram to call us
at (760) 873-2155.”
In addition, NIHD again illuminated the Main Hospital building and the Diagnostic Imaging Center in pink light for the month. Pink ribbon flags adorn the grass area in front of the hospital. NIHD
employees and providers are wearing pink shirts frequently. NIHD also hosted screening days for Toiyabe’s patients and employee screening days for SIHD, Toiyabe, and NIHD teams.