How Breast Cancer Awareness Month led to a Thankful November

21 11 2014

This post is part of a blog hop by the amazing women of Midlife Boulevard. A blog hop is when a group of bloggers write on the same topic. This month’s topic is What I’m Thankful For. You can find the link to the other blogs at the end of this story. 

I think of my life as a creative journey and I recently came upon an intersection that I had not foreseen. October was breast cancer awareness month. I’m keenly aware of this because it’s my job to help promote it. I work for a woman’s specialty hospital in marketing.

While working on an ad campaign for mammography, a lump was found during my annual mammogram. I’m also working on the Cancer Annual Report and this year’s focus is breast cancer. I became the patient I was creating ads for and a possible statistic in the technical report that I help to design. When I got a call after my mammogram from the head of Imaging, I knew that she wasn’t calling me about advertising.

This year’s Thanksgiving card. Woman’s is one of the largest OB hospitals in the country and is known locally as the Birthplace of Baton Rouge.

This year’s Thanksgiving card. Woman’s is one of the largest OB hospitals in the country and is known locally as the Birthplace of Baton Rouge.

November is a month when we give thanks. While designing Woman’s Thanksgiving card, I didn’t yet know that I would be so personally thankful for the organization I work for. From the beginning, I was told that there was a 90% chance the lump was benign. I listened to the experts and had the biopsy to prove that I wasn’t in the 10% category. Because of their kind and professional assurances, I knew that I was going to be OK. This is why you get those yearly mammograms, to stop cancer early.

The only thing I remember coming out of the fog of anesthesia was the direction to not do any housework and no heavy lifting. I also remember telling my nurse/friend that we needed to go out for bloody marys. I’m sticking with the no housework rule and still need to get that drink with my friend.

I’m fine, no cancer.

During this time, I worked on the ad campaign to tell the public about the new 3D mammography technology that Woman’s now has. Just as I was told to do no heavy lifting, the marketing team worked together and the creative effort was shared. No one had to do the heavy lifting alone. This campaign actually launched an explosion of creative energy within the team. This team has all been touched in some way by breast cancer and I’m not the only one in the group who has had a biopsy. There was a sincere enthusiasm on how best to tell the public about the new technology.

The creative approach we chose to use to explain 3D mammography is origami. Traditional mammograms give a 2D image, like a flat piece of paper. The 3D technology is dimensional. It is like the folded origami. We chose to use the crane as our model, this origami bird is also the symbol of good luck. The campaign launches during this month of Thanksgiving.

Below is the campaign the Marketing team created. If you want to learn about the new 3D technology, just click. 

Campaign billboard

outdoor blog

Campaign print ad

3Dad blog

Campaign web banner


I say a daily prayer to be given the wisdom to see the gifts the universe sends me. I was given the gift of living Woman’s mission: to improve the health of women and infants. That mission includes my own health.

To all the women and men I work with day after day and to the community we serve, I am thankful.

Shout out to the marketing team: Lynne, Bridget, Margaret, Rachel, Laurel, Tracie, Brian, Amiee and Dana. And to my sweetie, Steve, who held my hand and took care of me during it all.

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Click here to read to the other stories in the blog hop.

An Olympian Task

12 08 2012

Woman’s Hospital 1968

Woman’s Hospital has just completed an Olympic-size event. Woman’s built and moved into a brand new facility 6 miles down the track. The move happened during the Olympics and the parallels were strong. The years of prep, especially the last four years, hard work, pushing yourself, setbacks and finally making it to the finish line. I’m part of the marketing team and my main job has been about the branding of it all. But there are so many details about something this vast that it is remarkable that it happened as smoothly as it did. It feels great to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Four Years Ago

Four years ago marketing did a logo inventory

Marketing started four years ago to refresh our brand. Our brand had become diluted over the years. Imagine our department was an ad agency and every other department was our client. It required a shift in focus and to convince our clients that the public saw us as one entity. We created brand guidelines and started shifting to our new look for every job/campaign/patient handout and on and on.  Woman’s had to reprint everything because of the move.   Our refreshed look is now accepted internally and recognized by the public externally. The biggest logo change was to become just Woman’s, which is what the hospital was already called in the community. Our corporate colors were updated from 80’s mauve and gray to magenta and black. Any time you see magenta these days in the Baton Rouge market, you know it’s for Woman’s.   In a rather conservative healthcare market, magenta is a bold marketing move.

Old logo and new refreshed logo

Outdoor campaign

We partnered with MESH to help with the advertising connected with the move. An outdoor campaign was created that has dominated the market for nearly a year. And Digital FX was added to the team to create a commercial that reflected who Woman’s is and not just be about looking at a new shiny facility. Woman’s really is a warm and fuzzy place. It’s about to pass the 300,000 marker for babies born since it’s 1968 opening, we truly are the Birthplace of Baton Rouge.

Requiring Different Strengths

Everyone in the organization has done different things and done whatever was needed to get the job done. There were things we didn’t know that we needed to know. Someone had to make the decision what caliber of bulletproof glass to use in the pharmacy (a scary realization). And that on move day, after each patient transfer, each ambulance had to be sterilized.

Mock move simulations with complicated patient stories were created to test all systems. When staff was asked to be actors for the roles, I said, “Sure.”   They didn’t tell me that they were making me a 475 lb. bariatric patient!  My actor  “husband” was a nurse’s 16-year-old son (who was drafted as he was home with nothing to do). As admitting was checking me in, I told them I was a big ole cougar!

I also signed up for the labor pool to move equipment. The real movers kept asking me why I was there because I’m so obviously not a manual laborer. But I rolled equipment from the loading dock to the department that it belonged to and even sanitized the wheels of equipment before it was wheeled into sterilized areas.

The Big Event

Ambulances staged and ready for the move

Interviewing patients and documenting move day

We hired an award-winning, cinematographer with years of experience to help us document the event. YES, we hired my fella, Steve (and it was great to learn how well we work together).  I was the interviewer and interviewed patients and staff. We had been practicing the actual move for months and it went off without a hitch. The patients, who were our top concern, came in with big smiles on their faces and there was a real excitement and energy in the air. Patients and staff were all aware of being a part of something historic.

Like a gymnast, I fell too

The day after the move, we had a ribbon tying, That’s right, not a ribbon cutting, a tying to symbolize bringing the community together. The only glitch was me falling down bringing some VIPs to get their photo taken. Yea, can’t have a big event without me falling down. (My falling down at ADDYs was months ago).

The New Woman’s

The Finish Line

Team Woman’s crossed the finish line in top form and it did feel like winning the gold. It’s time to start thinking about that next Olympian goal. But for now, I see a drink with an umbrella in my immediate future.