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3 Outstanding Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, October 24, 2012

Thanks to a massive push for breast cancer awareness month in recent years, pink is almost as ubiquitous in October as orange. All month, hospitals and health systems across the country have been doing their part to promote early detection by publicizing mammograms, handing out breast-exam shower cards, and sponsoring breast cancer organization walks.

And every year a few truly stand out from the pink pack. These are the three most innovative breast cancer awareness efforts I've seen this month.

Dragon Boat Race for a Cure

For the past four years, St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Henderson, NV, have sponsored the "Rose Regatta," a now famous dragon boat race on Lake Nevada to raise money for breast cancer research, as well as promoting awareness and the importance of early detection.

If you, like me, aren't familiar with dragon boat racing, it's an ancient tradition that began in China hundreds of years ago. Today, the boats are vividly colorful 40- to 50-foot long racing canoes, decorated with elaborate Chinese designs and carved dragon mastheads.

Each dragon canoe has a crew of 20 paddlers, a drummer to coordinate strokes, and a coxswain to maintain course. Be sure to check out the photos from this year's race.

This year, the event was held on October 13 and drew more than 3,500 attendees and participants, including 68 teams from Nevada, California, Colorado, and Canada.

All proceeds support Dominican's R.E.D. Rose Program that provides clinical breast exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, surgical consultations, biopsies, patient navigation and financial assistance for uninsured and underserved women and men.

With this unique race, Dominican Hospitals has turned a breast cancer awareness fundraiser into a beloved community event that people mark their calendars for. In the world of healthcare events, you can't beat that.

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1 comments on "3 Outstanding Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns"


Kate Grey (10/24/2012 at 7:39 PM)
Marianne, thank you for recognizing St. Rose Dominican Hospitals as one of the nation's outstanding breast cancer awareness programs. I am new to St. Rose, and this year was my first Regatta. It was held two Saturdays ago - just three days after my own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Given that, it was especially moving for me to watch breast cancer survivors participating in the Flowers on the Water ceremony, as well as to see teams of survivors paddling away aiming to win, and other teams from around the world paddling in support. It's a special thrill to see your recognition of our program.