Women’s Health the Focus of 12th Annual In Pink
For 12 years Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s (GLFHC) In Pink Brunch & Comedy Show has raised money to support a very serious cause: women’s health care.
The annual event on October 22 was once again a big success, with all proceeds going toward GLFHC’s programs that help a vastly underserved population.
The Lawrence area has the highest detection of cervical cancer rates in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, said Guy L. Fish, MD, President & CEO of GLFHC. He also added that there is a high no-show rate for mammogram appointments.
“We have to get serious about taking better care of the women in the Merrimack Valley,” Fish said.
Julie Johnston, MD, a family physician at GLFHC, said women and people of color are impacted more heavily with health burdens.
Health care too often falls to the side as women take care of their children and spouses and carry out the numerous day-to-day tasks for their families.
“Women are central to families and communities and without excellent care for these critical members everything can fall apart,” Johnston said. “Preventative care is especially important.”
She said there are success stories among her patients who came in for appointments when they noticed a bump or a lump. For these women, their early cancer diagnosis may have been life-saving.
“No concern is too small for your doctor to hear about,” Johnston said. “This is the medical equivalent of ‘if you see something, say something.’ ”
In Pink also paid tribute to the GLFHC cancer survivors in attendance and presented Zoila M. Gomez-Ruiz, Esq., with the 2022 Rosalyn Kempton Wood Award for Inspirational Leadership. The award honors the memory of Wood, a philanthropist and longtime friend of the health center whose generosity helped ensure women in need throughout the Merrimack Valley received basic and critical health care.
Gomez-Ruiz exemplifies the spirit of the award. A tireless advocate for immigrants, she is passionate about giving back to the community that helped her become an attorney and giving a voice to those in need of help. Gomez-Ruiz came to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1999 and has dedicated her successful career to helping immigrants who would never have been able to afford a good lawyer.
She said it is important for her to make her mark as a member of the community who is helpful and useful.
“I had opportunities when I came to this country,” she said. “And I think every person that comes to this country deserves to have the same dreams and the same opportunities and to go after those dreams.”
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!