Pink & Purple Awareness Month - Hampton VA Medical Center
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Hampton VA Medical Center


Pink & Purple Awareness Month

BraVA Competition Submission

Artistic Interpretation of a woman's bra. Contestants participating in Hampton's 'BraVA' Competition let their creativity rule the day as they put their unique takes on the items to promote breast cancer awareness.

By Kenita Gordon, Hampton VAMC Public Affairs
Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hampton, Va. – Breast cancer survivors, Veterans, staff members and visitors received a wealth of information, warm greetings, and swag during Hampton VAMC’s Breast Cancer and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Awareness event held on October 22.

Attendees shrouded in variations of pink and purple in recognition of the dual-purpose event perused Building 83, stopping by each display table to ask questions, enter drawings and even receive complimentary chair massages. The building was bursting at the seams with attendees seeking to learn more from participants and vendors, and vote on their favorite decorative bras as part of the Bra-VA contest. More than 200 people attended the event which exceeded the expectations of Women’s Health Program Manager Patrice Malena, who called this year’s attendance numbers the largest of her tenure. Bra-Va Winners in order : 1st Place - #1 Ladies of Facilities; 2nd Place - #2 Home Telehealth; 3rd Place - #11 Spark Me Pink Prime 5

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 231,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed by the end of 2015, with over 40,000 of those resulting in death. Per the Centers for Disease Control’s website, than one  in four women and more than one in 10 men have experienced IPV to include contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner and reported significant short- or long-term impacts, such as post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and injury. VA is committed to early detection of Breast Cancer and prevention of IPV with events like these and awareness campaigns throughout the year.

“The focus on Breast Cancer Awareness in October reminds us that early detection and prevention are incredibly important. It is also important to celebrate our Breast Cancer Survivors” said Malena. In addition to Breast Cancer Awareness, Malena and her team added IPV awareness, which is also officially recognized in October. According to Malena, Awareness of IPV, including adding templates for screening and processes for handling positive screenings will be done moving forward in the coming weeks and months. As for next year, Malena and her team expect the event to grow and plan to expand the Bra-VA bra design event throughout Veterans Integrated Service Network 6.  

This year’s event was co-sponsored by Hampton VAMC’s Women’s Health, Mental Health, and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention services. Outside vendors included retailers Dillard’s, which provided bra fittings; Silhouette Mastectomy Boutique of Newport News, Virginia, which provided information and product displays of the latest products for those affected by breast cancer; and Therapeutic Massage of Hampton Virginia. In addition to events like these, Hampton VAMC’s Women’s Health Program also sponsors a monthly Breast Cancer Support Group, on the 2nd Thursday every month, from 6 pm to 7 pm in Building 110A, Room D501. This monthly event is led by Susan Campbell-Skelly, BSN, RN, and Myra Green, MSW, LCSW.


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