The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 15, 2012

Breast Cancer luncheon Friday

The Daily Southerner

TARBORO — Empowering women to take charge of their health and live long, healthy lives is the goal of the Pink Power Luncheon for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, scheduled Friday at the East Carolina Agriculture and Education Center at 1175 Kingsboro Road. The program is being hosted by Vidant Edgecombe Hospital and will be from 12 p.m. until 1:30 p.m.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Erin Grimsley, director of marketing, business development and gifts for the hospital. “We anticipate most of the attendees wearing pink and coming with their girlfriends, mothers, sisters and daughters for a great, empowering luncheon. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Tina Pruitt, three-time breast cancer survivor, will be the keynote speaker. Grimsley said Pruitt is a humorous, yet motivational speaker whom she believes will inspire the attendees. Dr. Mark Petruzziello from the hospital will educate women at the luncheon about breast cancer risk factors, screenings, treatment option and prevention.

“Power foods” will be served at the luncheon and women will learn the role that healthy eating plays in preventing all types of cancer, said Scott Phillips, oncology patient navigator for the hospital. Attendees will also receive a “Vidant Pink Power Kit.”

“Cancer is one of our focuses throughout the whole Vidant system, so it makes sense for us to have something of this magnitude here in the community,” Grimsley said. She said keeping care local is a primary goal of Vidant.

“We want people to know what services are available here,” said Phillips. “We have a complete community cancer center.”

The cancer center at the hospital is staffed with certified oncology nurses and gives Edgecombe County patients the option of having chemotherapy treatments close to home, Phillips said. Radiation treatments are not available at the hospital, but Phillips said he is available to work with patients to arrange transportation to Rocky Mount or Greenville for radiation. He also said the center does not turn away patients who are uninsured. The goal is to create a network that “prevents anyone from falling through the cracks,” he said.

“A solid source of support” is the way that Grimsley wants the community to view the hospital.

Grimsley’s attendance goal for Friday’s luncheon is 125 people. The luncheon is free, but pre-registration is required. To register, visit or call 1-800-472-8500.

The Pink Power Luncheon is one of several events the hospital has planned for its “Breast Health and Awareness Festival” this month. Another activity is a women’s health and wellness fair, set for Saturday, Oct. 27 in the hospital cafeteria.

The overall goal of the festival is to “bring awareness to the issues about breast cancer in the region,” Phillips said.