Local hospital honors breast cancer survivors

Local News

CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Northwest Florida Community Hospital decided to honor health care providers at their hospital who are also breast cancer survivors.

24 departments at NWFLCH put their creativity to the test by decorating pumpkins relating to breast cancer awareness.

Kathy Verenes beat breast cancer 11 years ago. She’s also the hospital’s physician practices director and said she was amazed at how her coworkers were able to transform the pumpkins.

“They are so creative,” Verenes said. “I never knew so many people had so much creativity in them you know we see each other every day at work and we’re in a professional atmosphere and we’re in our scrubs going as fast and we can go and we don’t stop to think about what we do in our lives outside of work.”

Verenes was one of three survivors recognized at Friday’s event.

“To have this kind of support from your co-workers who become your family throughout the time it’s really uplifting and heartwarming,” Verenes said.

She encourages everyone to get their mammograms.

“It only takes just a small step in the direction of being proactive and taking care of yourself to know what’s going on with your body,” Verenes said.

The event was also a competition. The hospital’s wound healing institute ended up taking the top prize with Princess Ta-Ta-Tiana.

Program Director, Deborah Hardegree, said they felt like Princess Ta-Ta-Tiana would speak to everyone.

“We wanted that to be a message that even at a young age, to be aware,” Hardegree said. “To go ahead and make sure we’re checking and it’s something that young women don’t do very often.”

The second-place pumpkin went to the billing office and medical records and the lab department took third place in the decorating competition.

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