09:09 AM

The pink payoff

As you may know, October is breast cancer awareness month and pink is the color of choice to help spread awareness and education. By the time November rolls around each year, many of us have worn all the pink clothes in our closet and are ready to take down the pink decorations in our offices.

Donning our pink duds is a way to honor survivors of breast cancer and those currently battling their way through the treatment process. However, it’s also about prevention and reminding everyone – sisters, dads, brothers, children, co-workers – that the women in their lives are special and we need to encourage them to get an annual screening.

Although we have shed the pink, we also wanted to report back on the power of pink. Our 2017 resulted in some touching stories that demonstrate that decking the halls with pink really does pay off.

Screening success story

Big Sky Family Medicine recently saw a patient who hadn’t had a mammogram in the last four years. She mentioned this when she visited the clinic in October during breast cancer awareness month for a completely different medical reason. But because of all the pink decorations, she thought it was a good idea to schedule a mammogram. She attended her screening and breast cancer was detected. Thankfully, she underwent all treatment and is now cancer-free. The patient acknowledged that she may not have scheduled her mammogram if not for all the pink décor and wanted to say thank you. Kudos to Big Sky Family Medicine for your pink encouragement! Mammograms DO work.

Mamm-O-Gram telegrams

In October, Kalispell Regional Healthcare employees had the option to send a Mamm-O-Gram to the special women in their lives. These were letters employees could send as a reminder to other co-workers, friends or family, encouraging them to get a mammogram. We heard about at least two women who scheduled and received their mammograms this year after receiving a Mamm-O-Gram from a colleague. More than 100 of these “grams” were taken home to be mailed or shared outside of KRH as well. We look forward to sharing more Mamm-O-Grams next year with the wonderful women in our lives.


Mammo-Gram-a-Rama is a unique day set aside for specified businesses and their employees to schedule and receive a mammogram. This year the Kalispell Regional Healthcare imaging team hosted various Mammo-Gram-a-Rama days on the Kalispell Regional Medical Center and North Valley Hospital campuses and around the Flathead community. In certain locations, such as Harvest Foods in Bigfork and Kalispell Center Mall, we brought the technology directly to you with the mobile mammography unit, also known as the Winkley Women’s Center. Encouraging women to use their lunch break or other scheduled opportunity during the day was a great success, with 96 total screenings tallied from these efforts. Impressive. Way to stay healthy, ladies!

Thank you, Halt Cancer at X

Halt Cancer at X, founded by Sarah Broussard of Rebecca Farm, was started in 2012 in honor of Sarah’s mother, Rebecca Broussard, who passed away in 2010 from breast cancer. This is a local fundraising initiative that doles out tens of thousands of dollars to support local breast cancer support services and national research. For 2017, Cancer Support Community and Save a Sister Montana were the fortunate recipients of grant funds totaling approximately $34,000. Those funds will be put to great use right here in the Flathead Valley. Thank you, Halt Cancer at X, for your ongoing support and generosity.

Community events – Save a Sister Montana

Save a Sister is a partner organization with Kalispell Regional Healthcare, North Valley Hospital and the Flathead City-County Health Department. Save a Sister provides support for patients who may not have the means to pay for their annual mammogram. Several businesses in the area also contributed to this important cause, including Casey’s, Conlin’s Furniture and PrimeView Dental. These local entities donated raised funds for Save a Sister. Thank you for the team spirit and for looking after the amazing women in our community!

Although October is the time of year to be pretty in pink, getting an annual screening mammogram can happen any time of the year. So how about celebrating the New Year with a mammogram?

To schedule your annual screening, contact your primary care provider to send in an order and then call your preferred location to set up an appointment: The Women’s Center in Kalispell, (406) 751-9729, or North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, (406) 863-3576.

Happy New Year and cheers to prevention and good health!