For the second consecutive year Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center has partnered with the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition (WIBCC) and other coalitions from across the south shore to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness month and remember those who fought and continue to fight the disease.
Throughout October, rows of pink flags will fly outside the hospital in West Islip and local residents may purchase a ribbon on a flag to remember a loved one who has battled breast cancer. Those interested in purchasing a ribbon should visit the WIBCC website for more information.
In addition, Good Samaritan has placed two eight-foot tall pink ribbons atop the hospital above the main entrance that will be illuminated from dusk until dawn throughout October.
During a ceremony at the hospital on Sunday, officials from the WIBCC and Good Samaritan were joined by representatives from several other coalitions to mark the official unveiling of the flags.
“When I first drove up my heart (fluttered) again like last year,” said Margaret Campise, president of the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition. “The whole community can see (the display) and tell what it means for a community to come together and help people in their time of need. This is our way of saying we care and also invite everyone to join in by purchasing a ribbon and honoring a friend or neighbor.”
Melinda Staiger, MD, director of Good Samaritan’s Women’s Imaging Center, recalled a time 18 years ago when local women pushed the hospital to open what would become Long Island’s first comprehensive breast center.
“This was based on a concept that the women of the community needed and deserved university-level breast cancer treatment locally,” she said. “They succeeded in that goal for the women of Long Island.”
Staiger noted that in addition to the many breast cancer treatment options offered by Good Samaritan, the hospital over the years has increasingly become more involved in research as part of its effort to help women successful fight the disease.