Underserved, uninsured need Project Mammogram

Tenth 'In the Pink of Health' luncheon will be held on October 20

The 2017 "In the Pink of Health" luncheon which benefits Project Mammogram and other Foundation initiatives is turning out to be a truly memorable one.

"Almost ten years ago, Hurricane Ike hit Galveston just before we were to hold our first 'In the Pink of Health' luncheon," recalls Tim Baker, president of the Northeast Hospital Foundation which hosts the luncheon. "I especially remember the strong winds that knocked out electricity for a number of Lake Houston residents, some for more than a week, including my family."

Baker, who also is executive vice-president of Independent Bank of Kingwood, remembers the impact "Ike" had on Project Mammogram, the Foundation program that provides free mammograms to Lake Houston residents who qualify.

"A hurricane doesn't change or minimize the fact that underserved and uninsured women and men in our community continue to need mammograms," Baker says.

Despite Ike, the Foundation and Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital chose to hold the "Pink" luncheon.

And, despite the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Foundation is determined to host the 2017 "In the Pink of Health" luncheon.

"We are all so devastated by Hurricane Harvey's flooding in our community," says Toni Schau, R.N., director of Project Mammogram at the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Northeast. "We suffered damage, lost homes, put on work boots, cleaned out and helped demolish walls, donated items and volunteered in whatever capacity was needed."

Schau reminds us that we can't forget about the women and men whose lives are uncertain because they need a mammogram but can't afford it.

"We can provide free mammograms and peace of mind," Schau says.

Baker is particularly concerned because many of the traditional major supporters of Project Mammogram have been forced to reschedule or cancel fundraising events.

"Those are huge hits for Project Mammogram," Baker says, "and I suspect that the devastation of Harvey will leave more people uninsured and in need of Project Mammogram services."

"In the Pink of Health" will be held Friday, Oct. 20, 11:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Congressman Ted Poe is honorary chair. Local volunteers Lynette Calfee and Nancy Shortsleeve are co-chairs.

FOX 26 Morning News Anchor and Emmy award winner Melissa Wilson will again emcee the luncheon which will honor Neonatologist Angel Munoz, M.D.

The Luncheon speaker is Stephanie Parke, a dentist, wife, and mother of three children who was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2013. While previous luncheon speakers have talked about surviving cancer, Dr. Parke will talk about "surviving survival."

"This past week, I wrote biopsy orders for two local women. Imagine having to find out you need a biopsy during this already incredibly stressful time," says Schau. "Yes, there is an incredible need for Project Mammogram in our community."

Baker is optimistic.

"We survived Ike and were able to create and build a superb luncheon that so benefits women in Lake Houston," says Baker. "Hurricane Harvey can only make us stronger as we work harder to make our tenth "In the Pink of Health" even more successful."

For more information about qualifying for a free mammogram, call 281.540.6443.

Sponsorships, table sales and tickets sales are now available! Email inthepink.nhf@gmail.com or website, www.northeasthospitalfoundation.org.

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Northeast Hospital Foundation - 2017 In the Pick of Health Luncheon - Ted Poe

In the Pink of Health Honorary Chair Congressman Ted Poe

Northeast Hospital Foundation - 2017 In the Pick of Health Luncheon - Tim Baker

Northeast Hospital Foundation President Tim Baker of Independent Bank of Kingwood