Pink Friday Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Kona Community Hospital’s (KCH) had its first Pink Friday on Friday, October 22. This day represented the hospital’s support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. As a pilot event, hospital staff was encouraged to wear pink to work as a sign of an employee’s recognition of the significance that breast cancer has to our hospital, our families and loved ones and to our community.

Over 100 hospital employees dressed up in pink attire to showcase their support. “We purchased over 75 shirts from local stores and sold out within an hour,” commented Emily Mendez-Bryant, KCH Community Relations Director. “This was the first of its kind at our hospital, and due to its support and success, we will definitely be doing it again next year. We were all pleasantly surprised by how easy, fun and worthwhile it was to do. It was gratifying to see everyone at Kona Community Hospital coming together as a team to bring breast cancer awareness to the forefront.”

Several men also wore pink which was a great example of the hospital’s widespread collaboration. Lance Anderson, Assistant Administrator of Ancillary Services including Radiation Oncology said, “It was the notion of education and awareness that made it easy for me to wear pink. Recently, people have been recognizing that wearing pink means breast cancer awareness, but since it is fairly rare to see men wear pink, people realize just how far the message is being reached. I had no problem showing my support and I hope more people will do the same.”

KCH is also having its cancer program accredited through the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Care (CoC) – an approvals program that has national standards of delivery of cancer care services. The KCH Cancer Registry shows that between January and March of 2010, 29% of new cancer patients were diagnosed and/or treated at KCH for breast cancer. With this data, breast cancer is the primary cancer seen at the hospital.

Founded in 1914, Kona Community Hospital is a 94-bed full-service hospital with 24-hour emergency services that supports the west region of the island of Hawaii. It is a member of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a special agency of the state of Hawaii established in 1996. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Kona Community Hospital is dedicated to providing and enhancing accessible comprehensive healthcare services to the West Hawaii community.