Baptist Participates in 901 Rocks! to Raise Awareness of Breast Cancer, Community Health
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Baptist staff worked to spread words of hope and encouragement around the community through 901 Rocks!, a group that encourages people to paint and hide rocks throughout community for others to find. Baptist Medical Group employees were able to get involved by painting rocks that were hidden in the month of October.
“I first heard about 901 Rocks! from a friend who added me to the Facebook page, which now has over 36,000 members,” said Alyssa Throckmorton, a Baptist surgeon specializing in breast cancer. “The concept was to inspire creative activity in our community. My children really enjoyed making rocks and finding rocks, so I thought this would be an easy, simple, cheap and widely accessible way to spread the message about breast cancer screening and Race for the Cure.”
Rocks were hidden at the Baptist Women’s and Children’s hospital campus, along the Race for the Cure route on October 29 and a few other locations around Memphis. The BMG Memphis Breast Care staff created some with messages of support and encouragement to share with the local community, but that’s not the only resource for women looking to find support after a breast cancer diagnosis.
The Baptist Women’s Health Center and Baptist DeSoto’s breast imaging center provide free screening services through grants they’ve received. BMG Memphis Breast Care received a $20,000 grant from the Memphis-MidSouth affiliate for Susan G. Komen to help serve the uninsured and underinsured through genetic counseling, clinical exams, ultrasounds, biopsies, and surgical services.
“That is why I am so passionate about the major fundraiser for our Komen affiliate’s Race for the Cure and recruiting to our Baptist Cancer Center team,” said Dr. Throckmorton. “We also host four of the Look Good, Feel Better programs per year at Baptist Women’s and Children’s Hospital, as well as providing options for a buddy for our newly diagnosed cancer patients and a monthly support group. I also serve as one of several Baptist representatives to the Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium, which is a group of community-wide stakeholders working to improve screening rates and reduce the racial mortality disparity here in Memphis.”
Community support is one of the most important things to offer to breast cancer patients and their families. While there are a variety of support groups available in the Mid-South, it can be difficult for women to take that first step.
“Unfortunately in Memphis, our women need support, encouragement, and sometimes even financial assistance just to get screened or diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Dr. Throckmorton. “Our local Memphis-MidSouth affiliate for Susan G. Komen provides $500,000-$800,000 in grant support per year in our 21-county area, including Shelby County, 13 other west Tennessee counties, and seven north Mississippi counties. These grants fund screening, diagnostic services, support services and even treatment in this region.”
At Baptist, we’re committed to providing breast cancer patients with the support and treatment they need throughout the entire process. We’re dedicated to community health as a whole; if you have questions about the programs we offer to help make a difference outside of our hospital doors, speak with your doctor or give one of our hospitals a call.