Aventura Hospital and Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center host Breast Cancer Awareness Month kick-off event

Aventura Hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Charles Shenker; Harriette Brotman carrying Cali; Aventura Hospital CEO Heather Rohan; Maritza Lewin, survivor; Aventura Mayor Susan Gottlieb; Sunny Isles Beach Comm. Gerry Goodman; Annette Watt, director of radiology services and survivor; Dr. Berta Rios, American Cancer Society

In recognition of the 25-year anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) initiated the month of October with a kick-off celebration that brought together a colorful groups of volunteers, survivors, and community leaders.

On Tuesday, October 5th, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center and the Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center hosted a special reception in the hospital’s main lobby and mezzanine.

AHMC’s CEO Heather Rohan commenced the program by welcoming guests and stressing the importance of early detection. “The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2010, some 207,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer,” she stated. “The good news is that if breast cancer is caught early, the five-year survival rate is 96 percent. The death rate continues to decrease in the U.S. because of improved treatments, preventive measures, and increased mammography screenings rates.”

A brave survivor, Maritza Lewin, shared a testimonial of her own personal triumphs in overcoming breast cancer. “Attitude is everything. It can help you survive. One can never give up,” said Lewin. “Make sure to get out of bed every day and do not forget to appreciate life more.”

“I know breast cancer first hand,” said Annette Watt, director of radiology services at Aventura Hospital. “It became very personal for me six years ago when I was diagnosed. I am now blessed with an ability to empathize with patients, and I hope my story will encourage more women to get their mammography screenings early, as I did.”

Patient care involves comforting the mind and spirit as well as treating the disease. For that reason, therapy dogs from the International Delta Society and the Humane Center made a special appearance during the evening, sporting their own pink outfits in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Aventura Hospital’s therapy dogs are specially trained volunteers who visit with patients with their handlers. These caring animals have undergone special evaluations to be eligible to visit and spread joy to patients and their families.

Aventura Mayor Susan Gottlieb and Sunny Isle Beach Comm. Gerry Goodman, North Miami City Manager Russell Benford each attended the special program and presented proclamations on behalf of their municipalities urging women everywhere to get the facts about breast cancer and to take proactive measures to reduce their risks of developing breast cancer.

At the conclusion of the evening, Heather Rohan, Dr. Charles Shenker, Annette Watt and Maritza Lewin were joined by, North Miami City Manager Russell Benford and Comm. Gerry Goodman for a special ribbon cutting ceremony in front of Aventura Hospital’s main fountain. As the pink ribbon was cut, the fountain sprang to life with pink water. Guests were then invited out to the front of the hospital where they witnessed that the entire building was bathed in pink lights. Aventura Hospital will remain pink for the entire month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For more information,contact Elizabeth Calzadilla-Fiallo at 305- 682-7179 or visit aventurahospital.com

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