Getting Candid about Breast Cancer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., October 17, 2016 – Spectrum Health is doing its best to remind women about the importance of regular screening for breast cancer.

Candid Conversations, a community event celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19. The event will be held at Grand Rapids Christian High School’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Arts and Worship, 2300 Plymouth Avenue SE, Grand Rapids.

The keynote speaker this year is Diahann Carroll, Tony Award winner and the first African-American actress to star in her own television series. Carroll will share her personal journey as a breast cancer survivor. Susan Ford Bales will join the event via a pre-recorded video message. Spectrum Health’s breast cancer program honors her mother, the late First Lady Betty Ford, who was the first public figure to openly discuss her personal experience with breast cancer.

There will also be a panel discussion with Spectrum Health breast cancer experts and a breast cancer survivor, Tammy Myers. The free event, which has attracted 1200 guests, is sold out.

In addition, the McKay Tower in downtown Grand Rapids will be lit up in pink ribbons for the week of the event in honor of breast cancer awareness.

This is the fourth Candid Conversations sponsored by the Spectrum Health Cancer Center and Spectrum Health’s Betty Ford Breast Care Services.

“We know that one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Our hope is that those who attend Candid Conversations leave feeling empowered to take charge of their breast health,” said Judy L. Smith, MD, chief of the Spectrum Health Cancer Center. “We want to raise awareness by talking candidly about breast health. Hopefully, we motivate people to explore and understand what options are available to them so that they take action.”

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 3,600 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,500 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan that served 996,000 members in fiscal year 2017. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 26,000 employees. The organization provided $372 million in community benefit during its 2017 fiscal year. Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems—and in the top five among the largest health systems—in 2017 by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM. This is the sixth time the organization has received this recognition.

Susan Krieger
Media Relations
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