This year the Ross Medical Education Center Ann Arbor, Michigan campus was very busy during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ann Arbor instructors, students, and staff under the leadership of Career Services Student Support Representative Byron Ruffin participated in Ann Arbor’s Annual Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk this fall. The Ann Arbor Ross team joined over 139 other teams to raise over $80,000 in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor community. The walk has become an annual event for the campus, which partnered this year with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. But this year there was a special twist: the evening Medical Assistant program students decided to walk in order to promote their own health!
Instructor Dan Glatter and Medical Assistant student Caitlyn Julien spearheaded the evening class’ efforts to work on a healthy lifestyle. Students began to make a habit of walking, making healthy snack choices, and weighing in! Students have even enjoyed line dancing during their break! When Medical Assistant Instructor Kathleen Bennett suggested students join the walk, everyone was excited to help and get healthy, and even Assistant Campus Director of Education Patrice Ross was in on the action!
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks are the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation, uniting communities with a shared determination to help free the world from the pain and suffering of breast cancer, according to the Making Strides website. Passionate walk participants raise critical funds that enable the American Cancer Society to fund innovative research, provide free information and support to anyone touched by breast cancer, and help people reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable. Monika Martinez, a student in the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program, said she walked because “this situation can happen to any of us.” April Smith, one of her fellow students, shared that she walked “to show my support for those going through treatments and to those who survived. Also, to show we remember those who lost the fight.” Medical Assistant student Julie Reinhart said “it was fun to get out of school and do something together for a worthwhile cause.”
The campus also supported Breast Cancer Awareness Month with attendance at Hats and High Tea. Assistant Campus Director of Education Patrice Ross, Career Services Representative Kim Jones and Campus Director Susan Mall attended the elegant event at the Kensington Hotel. The event featured Dr. Jennifer Griggs, a University of Michigan Oncologist, Dr. Bonita Neighbors, Director of the University of Michigan Community Dental Center, as well as others discussing several topics relating to women and breast health.
Mrs. Ross indicated the most important idea she took away from the Tea was that “just losing five pounds decreases your chance of getting breast cancer.” Ms. Jones commented that “the direct relationship between obesity and breast cancer was very impactful.” Hats and High Tea was sponsored by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Susan G. Komen Michigan, and LINKS, a professional women’s service organization serving Washtenaw County since 1979. LINKS volunteers coordinated and hosted the event.