The dance moves of volunteers and employees at Altoona Regional Health System could score $10,000 for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Altoona Regional has joined a nationwide "Pink Glove Dance" competition sponsored by Medline, a medical distribution company.
Altoona Regional is one of roughly 270 hospitals, nursing homes, schools, firefighters and community organizations competing for the prize of $10,000 to be donated to a breast cancer-related charity of choice.
Altoona Regional Health System employees (front row, from left) Kim Snyder, Jolene Young, Bryan Black, Becky Diehl, Nancy Glass, Mandy Lasinsky and Heidi Keller and (back row, from left) Nancy Sell, Claudia Sheehan,?Dr. Barry Allen, Jennifer Feathers, Erin Chandler, Christa Mock, Sheila Ewing, Dana Kopera and Brenda Smithmyer are among those participating in the national Pink Glove Dance.
Winners are chosen by public online voting at www.pinkglovedance.com.
The "Pink Glove Dance" first appeared on YouTube in 2009, through the collaboration of Medline and a medical center in Portland, Ore.
"That was the first year we had come out with the pink gloves as far as corporate campaigning for breast cancer awareness and prevention," said John Marks, director of public relations for Medline. "We were pleasantly surprised when it took off from there."
After the first video, Medline was overwhelmed with calls from medical centers across the country that wanted to be involved. The following year, Medline filmed another video involving 11 medical facilities. Last year, Medline launched the competition, donating pink gloves for everyone participating in the videos to wear.
This is the first year for Altoona Regional to participate.
"We wanted to get involved to promote breast cancer awareness throughout the community and the hospital," said Ro Gibson, clinical recruiter for Altoona Regional.
The Employer of Choice Team at Altoona Regional recruited more than 250 employees, volunteers, patients and members of the community to dance in the four-minute video.
Choreographed to "You Won't Dance Alone" by Best Day Ever, Altoona Regional's video tells the story of a breast cancer survivor from diagnosis to recovery. Each department in the hospital performed a routine or skit in the video.
"I think it's an important project because it gets employees working together for something we all believed in. It created a great atmosphere," Gibson said.
In the video, black balloons represent cancer, and pink balloons symbolize good health after recovery. At the start of the video a patient, who is an actual breast cancer survivor but did not want to be identified, is taken into Altoona Regional. The video depicts different stages of the patient's treatment and finally her recovery. Black balloons being swept away symbolize the patient winning the battle against breast cancer.
At the end of the video, hundreds of doctors, nurses, employees, patients and volunteers cheer among a sea of pink balloons.
"The pink balloons seen throughout the video symbolize hope for a cure for breast cancer," Laura Cresswell, patient access manager for Altoona Regional, said.
"And by seeking proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the cancer can be successfully eradicated," Gibson explained. "We wanted to show how important all aspects of the hospital are in treating and even helping prevent the disease: from prevention efforts in community health education and nutrition counseling, early diagnosis and testing to housekeeping to undergoing treatment. Everyone cares."
To vote for Altoona Regional, or another health organization, visit www.pinkglovedance.com. Voters must have a Facebook account and be logged into that account to vote.