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Healing Arts Exhibit aims to increase colon cancer awareness
Photo caption: Discharge call nurse Denise Miska looks over some information she received March 7 at the official kick-off of a new Healing Arts Exhibit at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital to raise awareness of colon cancer.

Hinsdale – A new art exhibit on display at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital during March is designed to bring greater awareness to colon cancer.

The Healing Arts Exhibit features works by Diane Rath, who died in 2011 at the age of 57 while battling colon cancer. Nine paintings done by Rath will be on display in a hallway located in the northeast portion of the hospital, on its first floor.

Rath never had a colonoscopy leading up to her diagnosis, said Sue Kett, who leads the Healing Arts program run by Adventist Midwest Health. Kett was one of Rath’s students.

“Her children share these paintings for this exhibit knowing that Diane would be delighted to have her art and her story used to encourage screening,” Kett said.

The hospital held an official exhibit kickoff on March 7, distributing colon cancer information and healthy snacks to hospital visitors as well as staff.

Colon cancer survivor Mary Youngman of Clarendon Hills assisted in the kickoff event. Youngman was chairwoman for a recent fashion show run by a local Relay for Life team raising money for the American Cancer Society.

Youngman was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2005, at the age of 41. Her father died of colon cancer when he was 64, and Youngman knew she had to be screened for the disease herself. Her doctors discovered she had colon cancer three years after she had pre-cancerous polyps removed following her first colonoscopy.

As part of her treatment, Youngman underwent chemotherapy at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. She was on hand March 7 to talk to people about prevention and to share her own experience.

“There is hope,” Youngman said. “You can survive cancer.”

More people need to be aware of basic health care, such as colon cancer screening, said Sandy Mueller, associate director of oncology outreach and manager at the Hinsdale Imaging Center. Illinois ranks as one of the worst states in the country for colon cancer screening compliance, Mueller said. Both of her parents died from colon cancer.

“People do not understand the importance of it,” Mueller said. “If my parents had gotten screened, they wouldn’t have died.”

This is the second Healing Arts Exhibit hosted by Adventist Midwest Health. The first was on display in Hinsdale this past fall and was co-sponsored by Adventist Midwest Health and The National Arts Program® Foundation.

Adventist Midwest Health’s Healing Arts program also includes monthly musical performances in Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s atrium and visits to patients at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital from a certified music practitioner harpist.

Other programs being launched include rotating art galleries and a portable art cart with art supplies for patients to use at the bedside. It has been proven that engaging in art related activities can ease a patient’s anxiety and, potentially, their perception of pain.

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354



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