Terri Walters, a registered nurse in the Western Baptist radiation therapy department, and other department employees dance during the filming of the hospital's Pink Glove Dance video.
The Pink Glove Dance, a YouTube phenomenon launched in Oregon two years ago for breast cancer awareness, has spread to Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. More than 225 local employees star in their own Pink Glove Dance video to help spread the word about breast cancer awareness and early detection.
The video is posted on http://pinkglove.co/5, along with videos from other participants. Viewers can vote on their favorite simply by clicking “like” next to the video.
Western Baptist is asking people to “like” their video because the top three vote-getters in the nation will receive a donation, up to $10,000, in their name to the breast cancer charity of their choice. The winners will be announced Oct. 28 on pinkglovedance.com.
“When we saw the original video two years ago, we felt a real connection — not only because we care for families affected by breast cancer, but also because we have so many employees touched by breast cancer themselves,” said Dona Rains, director of marketing and planning.
Several of the hospital’s employed breast cancer survivors, led by pharmacy tech Jane Viterisi, starred in the video, along with doctors, nurses, volunteers and staff from many departments ranging from food service, housekeeping and engineering to administration. “We were amazed at the response from throughout the hospital,” Rains said. “Everyone got excited about sharing this message to encourage early detection to save lives. And no matter who they were, when they put on those pink gloves, they turned into video stars!”
Western Baptist employees danced to “Firework” by Katy Perry, who gave permission to use the song specifically for the Pink Glove Dance competition. Rains said the lyrics offered a message of spirit and hope, especially the verse: “You’re original, cannot be replaced. If you only knew what the future holds…After a hurricane comes a rainbow.”
The original Pink Glove Dance video premiered in November 2009, featuring 200 Portland, Ore., hospital workers. Today the video has more than 13 million views on YouTube® and has spawned hundreds of pink glove dance videos and breast cancer awareness events across the country. A sequel produced last October featured 4,000 healthcare workers and breast cancer survivors throughout North America.
The competition is sponsored by pink glove manufacturer Medline Industries Inc. Because gloves are the first point of contact between the healthcare worker and the patient, Medline manufactured gloves in pink to “…get people talking about breast cancer,” said president Andy Mills.
Medline donates a portion of each sale of pink gloves to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. To date, Medline has donated more than $800,000 to the NBCF to fund mammograms for individuals who cannot afford them.
As a result of the original Pink Glove Dance video and the sequels, Medline received hundreds of calls from groups inquiring about participating in another video.
“We were flooded with calls, e-mails and letters about the joy the videos have brought, and people were asking if they could participate in another video,” said Sue MacInnes, Medline’s chief marketing officer. “We didn’t want to leave anyone out, so we thought a competition could include everyone. All these videos will help bring attention to breast cancer awareness and prevention.”
As a regional medical and referral center, Western Baptist serves about 200,000 patients a year from four states. With more than 1,700 employees and 240 physicians, it offers a full range of services, including cardiac and cancer care, diagnostic imaging, women’s and children’s services, surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and more. It is part of Baptist Healthcare System, one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in Kentucky. For information, see westernbaptist.com.