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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Cut, Curl, and Mammogram

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Friday, July 08, 2005

North Adams – Patrons of 11 Northern Berkshire beauty salons may get a little more than a wash-and-set at their next hair care appointment.

Little Pink Cards

The salons have teamed up with the REACH for Breast Health organization in an effort to encourage women to make and keep annual mammogram screening appointments. Salon patrons will receive pink mammogram reminder cards while at the participating salons, and credit will be given to each shop for any woman who undergoes a mammogram because of the salon action. The cards are being distributed through this month and August; the shop with the most documented mammogram referrals will win a free lunch in September, according to information provided by REACH.

Partner salons are CG’s Hair Design, Colonial Cuts, Contemporary Hair, Kim’s Kuts, L.A. Trends, Newaves Unisex, Orchid Beauty Salon, The Styling Studio, The Clip Shop, The Cutting Edge, and Village Coiffs Hair Shop. The shops are located in North Adams, Adams, and Williamstown.

A Little Help From Their Friends

The strategy is a good one, said Village Coiffs owner Pauline Guntlow.

“Women talk about these things in a salon,” Guntlow said during a July 8 interview. “I know so many women who’ve had breast cancer and I know that it’s very important to catch it early. I make sure that I go for a mammogram, although I am a little lax about going to the doctor in general.”

Cutting Edge salon owner Arlene Schneider noted that the campaign is likely to reach many women, and offer a little extra nudge toward a mammogram.

“I’m interested in doing anything I can to help,” she said. “There’s plenty of breast cancer out there, and I was surprised to find out that many women do not go for a mammogram.”

The program is an excellent mechanism to raise awareness, said L.A. Trends salon owner Lori Anton.

“REACH is reaching out,” she said. “This is a very good way to get this out there. I’ve had three or four customers who’ve had breast cancer, and I know too many people who have had cancer and lost a breast. I’m handing out the cards and telling people to tell a friend. I’m using the cards and word-of-mouth.”

A Little Added Incentive

Women who make –and keep- mammogram appointments because of the awareness campaign should turn in the pink card to the Medical Imaging Department at the North Adams Regional Hospital or the REACH offices so that the salon can receive credit, according to REACH information. There is another built-in bonus; any woman who has not had a mammogram in two years or more and has the screening exam as a result of the salon partnership will be given a $10 gift card to a local supermarket.

“We were looking for an outlet that could reach hundreds of women,” said REACH Health Advocate Sharon Leary in a prepared statement. “We decided a good opportunity was to bring it where all women go: their hairdresser.”

The program is funded with a $20,000 Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Fund grant. The REACH for Breast Health program serves Northern Berkshire region women and is a member of the National Consortium of Breast Centers. Carol Guernsey, a registered nurse and certified breast health specialist, manages the program. Grants from the Avon Foundation and the Massachusetts affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation fund the program.

Additional information about the REACH for Breast Health program is available by calling Guernsey at 413-664-5170 or Leary at 413-664-5404.

Susan Bush may be reached by e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or 1-802-823-9367.
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