Get out the pink, it's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Women's health providers are putting on the pink, literally, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"We are wearing pink every day, but on Wednesdays my staff will be wearing wild pink--everything form feather boas to sequined shoes," said Vicki Jones, owner of the Women's Health Boutique in Dallas.

The provider also planned to give away pink gifts every day and host special in-store events as part of her "passion for pink" theme.

"I wanted October to be a fun, celebratory month for women with cancer and their family members," she said. "I want to bring a smile to these women's faces."

The extra attention shined on breast cancer and mastectomy in October also offers providers an opportunity to get in front of referral sources. Provider Michael George said his sales reps hand out special pins created by breast form manufacturer Amoena (this year's version is called Hope Dawns).

"Any time you have something new to say or to give them that's relevant to their patients, it helps," said George, president of Nashua, N.H.-based Charron Medical Services. "It's better than just walking in the door and saying, 'Hey, how's it going.'"

Amen to that, says provider Tracey Dettmer.

"Sometimes you walk in and they are rolling their eyes," said Dettmer, director of sales and marketing for Warren, Mich.-based Binson's, which has Lady Binson's Boutique in all of its stores. "Having something different (to talk about) makes it easier to get through the door."

Awareness months, in general, are a great excuse to remind referral sources that you are committed to helping their patients, says industry consultant Eric Kline.

"If you are dropping off goodies, dress them up in pink," said Kline, CEO of HME SalesPro in Pensacola, Fla. "Let them know that you do take care of those patients, and show that you sincerely care about them."

Providers can also show their support for patients--and raise their community profile--by participating in women's health fairs. Cheryl Pritchard had a booth at a local hospital's kick-off for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Oct. 2.

"They didn't have as big of a turnout as the organizers hoped for, (but) it's not the numbers that we reach when we do these events," said Pritchard, CEO of Portland, Maine-based A Special Place. "It's providing the opportunity for these people to come when they need us. If we made a difference and helped one person, I'm happy."