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Pink glove magic: One hospital’s dance of joy for mammograms and breast cancer awareness

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Pay attention, because I’ve never done this before. Writers don’t send readers away from their stories, you know? It’s not the thing to do. But seriously. Don’t read me until you’ve gone to watch this video:


Did you watch it? Did you? Are you grinning ear to ear?

No? Wait. You didn’t watch it? Go! Now! I’ll wait!


If you watched it, I’ve done my job for the day. You shared in the crazy little joy of the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center staff in Portland, Oregon as they work to increase awareness of breast cancer. If you didn’t come back to this article because you’re still watching it, I can live with that, too. The video is that wonderful (and it’s got close to 2 million views on YouTube already).

Doctors dance with their stethoscopes, maintenance workers with their brooms. Scrub nurses and kitchen workers and surgeons and lab techs dance together in the halls, in examining rooms, in the lobby, all wearing pink exam gloves. Jay Sean’s “Down” inspires their moves. Administrators do the wave in the lobby; cooks balance plates to the beat.

How did it come to be?

From the Portland Tribune:

“Hospital spokesman Jonathan Modie said all it took was an e-mail to staff inviting them to take part in the dance off and more than 200 employees of all ages, departments and skill levels answered the call.

“For us it was a chance to showcase the enthusiasm of our employees in getting the word out about breast cancer awareness,” he said. “The end goal is to encourage women to get mammograms, be aware of breast cancer and get screened early. That’s what we’re all about.”

The pink synthetic gloves are called Generation Pink and are manufactured by Medline Industries Inc, which also produced the video. A portion of the sales of the gloves (to other hospitals and medical professionals) will be used to provide mammograms for uninsured women.

“Breast cancer is an important cause for the employees at our hospital, as well as the entire community,” said Martie Moore, chief nursing officer for the hospital.

Add a Comment3 Comments

Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Wow - USA Today says today - The video, posted on Nov. 13, has been viewed more than 2.3 million times - and it's climbing. Incredible!

December 3, 2009 - 12:33pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Diane - Yes, the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center staff members in Portland, Oregon are absolutely awesome!! A friend sent me this video on Facebook and I just had to watch it several times. What a beautiful way to increase awareness about breast cancer! I was curious about how this came about, and it was good to find your article. I HIGHLY recommend not only that people click on this for themselves, but that they also share this with friends. As for me, I'm going to share your article from EmpowHer with the same Facebook friends that got the video from me a couple of days ago. Thanks so much for the information!
Take good care,

December 1, 2009 - 5:57pm
(reply to Pat Elliott)


Thank you so much for sharing! I just loved this video, as you can tell. I loved the fact that out of one small thing -- which may have started out as one person's idea at this medical manufacturing company -- can grow such a joyous expression of support and fun. And I love the fact that cancer survivors and families of people who have had cancer are responding the way they are. It's gone "viral" in the best possible way!!

December 2, 2009 - 10:32am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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