Oct. 1, 2012
Naval Hospital Beaufort Brings Awareness to Domestic Violence and Breast Health
BEAUFORT, S.C. – October is the month to raise awareness for two important causes, Domestic Violence and Breast Health Awareness, and Naval Hospital Beaufort marked each of them with two different ceremonies Monday, Oct. 1.
The day began by creating awareness about domestic violence with a purple ribbon tying ceremony at the hospital’s north entrance, the primary patient entrance. This event was held in partnership with Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) Behavioral Health Branch, who provides prevention programs for the Tri-Command community in South Carolina, which includes Naval Hospital Beaufort, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
“Our mission is to eradicate domestic violence and child abuse in the military community,” said Yucel Henderson, the education services specialist with the MCCS Behavioral Health Family Advocacy Program. “We coordinate prevention programs, workshops, trainings, and special events such as this for the entire Tri-Command.”
Additionally, MCCS has a victim advocate who can provide information, guidance, and support to victims of domestic violence in the Tri-Command. The victim advocate is on call 24 hours a day, and can be reached at 592-0646.
“Domestic violence statistics are staggering,” said Cmdr. Gregory Thier, Naval Hospital Beaufort’s director for medical services and a family practice physician, who delivered remarks. “One third of women are assaulted by a male partner during their lifetime and the majority of women killed in the United States die at the hands of someone they know.”
According to Thier, primary care providers are in a unique position to respond to victims of domestic violence. “The ongoing care we provide for our patients , the relationship we build over time with them, allows us to identify risk factors, signs of abuse, and then work to prevent and break the cycle of violence.”
Before lunch, staff at the naval hospital gathered to mark the start of Breast Health Awareness Month with a cake cutting ceremony and remarks from Capt. Joan Queen, the commanding officer of Naval Hospital Beaufort.
“Any woman, of any age, can be diagnosed with breast cancer,” Queen told staff and guests who gathered for the ceremony. “Not even men are immune from this disease. That is why it is so important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and make sure you are following your health care provider’s advice and being screened appropriately to include an annual mammogram beginning at the age of forty.”
A display containing breast health information was set up on the hospital’s quarterdeck by the breast health coordinator, Amy Luce, to educate patients and staff. Throughout the month, the Tri-Command will be hosting a variety of activities designed to keep breast health issues in the spotlight including a “Pink Walk” at the naval hospital on Oct. 25, starting at 11 a.m.
“While these two issues are vastly different, the one thing they have in common is the ability to diminish the readiness of our Sailors and Marines,” said Queen. “As a community, we need to educate ourselves about what can be done to prevent domestic violence and support its victims. As a community, we need to raise awareness about breast cancer and the need for early detection. Working together, we can keep our military families strong and healthy, physically and emotionally.”
Open since 1949, Naval Hospital Beaufort provides general medical, surgical, and emergency services to all active duty personnel, as well as retired military and family members residing in the Beaufort area, a total population of approximately 29,000 beneficiaries.