Employees from Epic Touch and Southwest Medical Center gathered together recently to kick off the 2010 “Think Pink” campaign. Taking time out for a photo were (back row, left to right) from Epic Touch: Access Coordinator Connie Barnett, Economic Development Director Mike Shannon, and owner Bob Boaldin and (front row, left to right) Marketing and Advertising Coordinator Linda Ward and Co-Owner Dian Boaldin. Southwest Medical Center employees shown (back row, left to right) are: Vice President of Operations Michele Gillespie, Vice President of Physician Services Shelton Brooks, Radiology Tech Mary Anne Caffey and Vice President of Patient Care Services Jo Harrison; (front row, left to right) CEO/President Norm Lambert, RN Tina Wedel, Radiology Tech DeLainy Box, Lab Assistant Donna Lagunas, Assistant CFO Bill Ermann and Radiology Director Kelly Denton. Not shown are Southwest Medical Center Public Relations Director Nancy Kletecka and Epic Touch’s Chris Garrison. Courtesy photo
• Special to the Daily Leader
Because of Southwest Medical Center’s commitment to the month of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visitors to Liberal probably noticed they were “in the pink” when they walked into local businesses and found themselves surrounded by pink decorations. But now, that concept has been taken to a whole new level continuing the effort begun in 2007 when Southwest Medical Center invited local businesses to participate in a decorating contest.
“The campaign in 2010 has been taken a step further. We are partnering with Epic PCS and Epic Touch this year to do a ‘Your Life In Three Words’ video,” Southwest Medical Center Public Relations Director Nancy Kletecka explained. “It is similar to the one done on Good Morning America. We are going around to various businesses and locations and anyone who wishes to participate can bring three words they have that they feel best describes their life written on pieces of paper. They don’t have to say anything – just hold up the three signs.”
Epic’s Chris Garrison will be videoing the project and putting it to music.
“Chris is very talented and we are excited to see the finished project,” Kletecka said, stressing that, “The important part of the entire Think Pink campaign is to bring awareness to breast cancer, provide education and to show support for cancer survivors.”
“We are happy to be able to partner with Southwest Medical Center on this year’s Think Pink campaign and the ‘Your Three Words’ project,” said Bob Boaldin, Epic Touch president and owner. “An important part of Epic Touch and Epic PCS is that we are involved in the communities we serve. Helping save lives through the education and awareness of breast cancer and cancer in general is a worthy purpose.”
Boaldin is joined in his support of the campaign by the staff at Epic Touch.
“Over the past two and one half decades mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined due, in part, to breast cancer awareness campaigns like Think Pink and the hard work of many, especially here in Southwest Kansas to Southwest Medical Center and its efforts,” said Boaldin’s wife and co-owner of Epic, Dian.
The campaign is more personal for Epic PCS and Epic Touch Access Coordinator Connie Barnett, who is a breast cancer survivor.
“In spite of declining breast cancer rates over the past 25 years, statistics show that many women still do not take advantage of early detection and others do not get screening mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals,” Barnett said. “I speak from experience when I say to women – you need to be aware of your intuition and when you have any doubt, have it checked out.”
Another Epic PCS and Epic Touch employee, Economic Development Manager Mike Shannon, also knows the importance of education and early detection.
“Having had treatment for skin cancer myself, I encourage everyone to always wear sun screen,” Shannon said. “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more than 3.5 million cases in two million people diagnosed annually.”
The filming for the video has already begun at Southwest Medical Center with two more sessions planned for June 8 and 10.
“As of today, we have filming times set up for El-Kan Drug, the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Liberal Air Museum, Golden Plains Credit Union and Southwest Medical Center,” said SWMC Radiology Director and Think Pink Chairman Kelly Denton. “We have other locations that we are awaiting word from.”
Once the initial video is complete, the tape will be submitted to Good Morning America in hopes that they will play it during their show.
There is more, however.
“We will continue to add more to this tape up until October and plan to play the final tape during our Think Pink Seminar,” Denton said.
Anyone who would like more information on the Think Pink program or who would like to participate may call Kelly Denton at 629-6285 or Nancy Kletecka at 629-6335.
Southwest Medical Center is a 101-bed, non profit hospital governed by a board of trustees that has been serving Seward and the surrounding communities since 1964. A county-owned hospital, the facility has never utilized tax dollars in the operation or maintenance of its facility.
EPIC Touch Co. is a voice, video and data provider in Southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle that began more than a half century ago in Elkhart. Owned by Bob and Dian Boaldin, EPIC Touch Co. includes the cable, telephone and Internet company in Elkhart, a wireless PCS network with partners nationwide and communications product retail stores in Guymon, Okla., and Liberal and Elkhart.