Prince Frederick, MD (May 19, 2010) – Dozens of Calvert Memorial Hospital
employees wearing bright pink T-shirts and shoelaces turned out on National
Employee Health and Fitness Day to launch the official kick-off of the CMH
5K Breast Cancer Challenge - a public awareness campaign to help families get
fit and healthy while raising funds for the Center for Breast Care at CMH.
The breast center, which opened in January, brings together a team of breast
health experts - including breast radiologists from Johns Hopkins, with an
experienced navigator, backed by the latest technology in one convenient location.
It offers Southern Maryland women the same level of care they would find in
a major metropolitan area right here in our local community.
World Gym fitness trainer James Sutton led the enthusiastic group in a series
of stretches and warm-up exercises in front of the Calvert Medical Arts Center,
home to the hospital's new breast center, before they took off for a one-mile
lap around the Prince Frederick campus. World Gym Fitness Centers along with
Calvert Medical Imaging Center (CMIC) and the Brandon Greening Foundation for
Breast Cancer Awareness have partnered with the hospital to sponsor the challenge.
Some 140 men, women and children ages seven to 82 have already signed up to
take the 12-week challenge that will continue throughout the summer and wrap
up with a 5K run/walk on Oct. 2 in Solomons. The challenge is open to everyone
- local organizations, businesses, families and individuals. It's free to sign
up for the challenge. To register, call the hospital's KeepWell Center at 410-535-8233
or 301-855-1012, ext. 8233. Participants get a free step-by-step guide to good
health plus weekly email reminders to keep them on track.
"You cannot control some things that put you at risk for breast cancer, such
as your age and being female," said Margaret Fowler, director of community
wellness at CMH, "but there are changes you can make like - exercising more,
eating healthier and getting screenings - that lower your risk for many chronic
diseases." She said the challenge is all about helping local families make
healthier choices that lead to healthier lifestyles.
About 80 hospital employees have already taken the challenge to get involved.
Radiology nurse Dawn Graves signed up with her daughters, 15-year-old Talia
and 13-year-old Tyler. "I think it's a good opportunity for me to educate my
daughters about participating in a bigger cause like our breast center that
is so worthwhile," said Graves. "They were very excited to get their pink T-shirts
and shoelaces to show their support."
Participants who donate $5 to the Center for Breast Care when they sign up
for the challenge get pink shoelaces. A $10 donation entitles you to a 5K Challenge
T-shirt. Donations are tax-deductible as applicable by law.
Breast cancer survivor Rosie Hutchins said, "I'm walking for myself and anyone
else who has to go through this (breast cancer)." The 56-year-old grandmother
has worked in environmental services at CMH for 13 years. "I'm a strong believer
in early detection," she said. " I tell everyone that is why I'm still here
Human resources specialist Barbara LaPorte signed up with her 16-year-old
daughter Kayla. "I think the challenge will be a fun activity that we can do
together," she said. "We joined the World Gym in January and this will help
us stay motivated on our journey to be healthier."
Surgical nurse Colleen Damalouji signed up with her 16-year-old daughter Kelsey. "With
both my best friend and my sister-in-law going through treatment for breast
cancer," she said, "this has become a much more real issue for me."
"I also wanted to show my support for our breast center and the advances it's
bringing to our community," said Damalouji. "At the same time, it has encouraged
us to be a little more physically active." She is now running regularly with
In addition to the free wellness guide, participants can visit the hospital's
website at www.calverthospital.org and click on breast
cancer 5K challenge to find nutritious recipes, exercise video clips and
The 12-week challenge culminates with a 5K run/walk on Oct. 2. The hospital
plans to host a health and wellness expo with free head-to-toe screenings as
part of the event. Challenge participants get a $10 discount on the registration
fee for the Oct. 2 run/walk.