×

Pink ribbons celebrate CDH’s new Breast Center

  • Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz reads a proclamation at the start of a celebration for the opening of The Breast Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital as Joanne Marqusee, who is the president and CEO of CDH, listens Monday at City Hall. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • State Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose ties a pink ribbon around a lamp post Monday during a walk from City Hall to Cooley Dickinson Hospital to celebrate the opening of The Breast Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • People of all ages walk from Northampton City Hall to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Monday, to celebrate the opening of The Breast Center at CDH. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • People begin a walk from Northampton City Hall to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Monday, to celebrate the opening of The Breast Center at CDH. Below left, state Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, D-Amherst, ties a pink ribbon around a lamppost during the walk. Below right, Titan, a puggle owned by Casey Fowler of Northampton, is decked out for the walk. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS PHOTOS

  • Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz and Cooley Dickinson Hospital President and CEO Joanne Marqusee tie a pink ribbon around a lamp post Monday during a walk from City Hall to the hospital to celebrate the opening of The Breast Center at CDH. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Casey Fowler, left, her son, Jared Fowler, and their dog, Titan, of Northampton, walk from City Hall to Cooley Dickinson Hospital to celebrate the opening of The Breast Center at CDH, Monday. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Titan, a puggle, owned by Casey Fowler, of Northampton, is decked out for a walk from City Hall to Cooley Dickinson Hospital to celebrate the opening of The Breast Center at CDH, Monday. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS



@LaurelDemkovich
Monday, July 31, 2017

NORTHAMPTON — About 30 people “painted the path pink” Monday, tying baby pink ribbons around posts along Elm Street. Wearing everything from pink tie-dye shirts and socks to hats with pink ribbons, the group braved the heat and walked 1.4 miles from City Hall to Cooley Dickinson Hospital to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The “Paint the Path Pink” walk, now in its fifth year, kicked off a day of celebrating the hospital’s new breast center. The Breast Center opened to patients July 17, consolidating all breast-related services in a single location.

Janine Kozlakowski, 40, of Leeds, was among those making the trek to the hospital. She said she was walking for her parents, who were both cancer survivors, and her godfather, who died from pancreatic cancer at age 50.

“I’m doing this for them,” Kozlakowski said. “This is a gift to my parents.”

She added that women need to go to the center and get a mammogram, despite how scary it may seem.

“It’s going to save your life,” she said. “You have to get out there and get a mammogram.”

Leading the walk was Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz. He said breast cancer is something most people in the community have been affected by, whether being diagnosed themselves or having a loved one who was. Narkewicz lost a sister to breast cancer in 2015 and his mom is a survivor.

“Breast cancer has directly touched a lot of people’s lives,” Narkewicz said. “The walk is a great way for the city and Cooley to collaborate and raise awareness for such an important issue.”

Narkewicz received a tour of the facility while it was still under construction. One of the things he was most impressed with was how well-designed the center was to fit patients’ needs.

“It’s designed with the patient in mind,” Narkewicz said. “It really speaks to Cooley’s goal of being a patient-centered hospital.”

The hospital raised $650,000 from private donors to help pay for the new 6,000-square-foot breast center. The rest of the center’s $2.5 million cost came from the hospital’s capital budget.

Chantal Dupuis, 70, ad Elizabeth Cahn, 59, walked as part of the Mass General Cancer Center. Cahn said awareness events are sometimes the only way to get people thinking about their health care.

“I know people who’ve had screenings done because of events like this, and they’ve found they had cancer,” Cahn said. “Because they went early, though, it was treatable.”

When the group arrived at the hospital, they were greeted with balloons, refreshments and a self-guided tour through the new facility.

The best part of the center, said general surgeon Dr. Michelle Helms, is how collaborative it is within all departments in the hospital. The center offers breast screening, breast exams, 2-D and 3-D mammography/tomosynthesis, biopsy, ultrasound and bone density screening.

It gives patients one central place to go for all breast-related services, Helms said. They can get tested, find their results and speak with specialists all in the same area. Beginning in the fall, Helms will help fully staff the center.

“Our main goal is to make this place a one-stop shop for all breast services,” Helms said.

Another benefit of the center is the privacy and space that it offers patients. Patients no longer have to walk through the hospital in a gown to go to different departments. It’s all in one place.

“Going through breast screenings is very stressful,” Joanne Marqusee, president and CEO of the hospital, said. “We want to make it as comfortable as possible, so patients can come here and have less to worry about.”

The space also offers new technology, including 3-D mammography technology. Every woman who gets a mammogram at the center will now receive a 3-D mammogram, said Deborah Grandmont, the women’s imaging supervisor at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. These mammograms use 40 percent less radiation than a 2-D mammogram but still offer a clear image.

Grandmont and her team have been trying to create a new space for breast services for two years. She wanted a center to focus on what best serves the Cooley Dickinson community and its patients.

“This is a dream come true,” Grandmont said.

For Marqusee, the day’s events were all about making more people aware of the services that are available to them. Getting tested and staying aware is one of the most important things someone can do, she said.

“If doing an event like this can make sure even just one more person gets a mammogram, I’m all for it,” Marqusee said.