— DANVILLE – Geisinger Health System has once again brought national attention to Danville by winning the Third Annual National Pink Glove Dance Video Competition.
The announcement was made Friday morning on Fox and Friends national TV. Two-hundred-plus Geisinger employees and community members were shown dancing and cheering wildly on the show with filming done in front of The Pine Barn Inn and the medical center. The crowd, all in pink and wearing pink gloves, gathered at 6 a.m. to practice moves with the announcement of the win at about 8 a.m.
The health system captured a record number of 95,623 votes for its video, resulting in Geisigner receiving $25,000 from competition sponsor Medline Industries Inc. for its breast cancer charity of choice – the American Cancer Societies of Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania. Geisinger also donated $2,500 to The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition as part of its participation in the competition.
“This was my baby,” said video organizer and Geisinger nurse Cindy Bird. “I look at this as the capstone of my nursing career – to bring something national to the hospital family and patients. I am so proud to be a part of it,” she said.
More than 100 videos were entered with nearly 600,000 votes cast. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was second and Mary Greeley Medical Center in Iowa was third. This was the second year Geisinger entered.
Geisinger’s 90-second video featured nearly 1,000 employees and community members from across the health care system including cancer survivors, high school cheerleaders, college students and Bloomsburg University mascot Roongo dancing in pink gloves to “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. The video was dedicated to Yvonne Dawson, Geisinger patient who lost her 15-year battle with cancer earlier this year. She danced in the 2012 Geisinger video which placed 19th among more than 250 videos.
Medline is a health care supply company and the maker of pink gloves. Gloves are the first point of contact between a health care worker and the patient.
Sue MacInnes, Medline chief marketing officer, and Robin Adams, of Geisinger special events and who helped choreograph the video, led the dance moves in the chilly weather.
Inside The Pine Barn Inn, an oversized check was presented to Michael Neal, executive vice president of the East Central Division of the American Cancer Society.
“We celebrate all of you and thank you for all your efforts. This is also an opportunity to celebrate the care you provide to patients,” said Susan Hallick, executive vice president and chief nursing officer at Geisinger.
Asking why people should get excited over a 90-second video, she said, “We all know somebody with cancer. Cancer has touched all our lives.”
“This is a very special cause and another landmark in bringing Danville on national TV,” she said.
MacInnes said this year’s videos included more than 80,000 participants from across the world. She called the Geisinger video “super- creative and really inspiring.”
“It’s all about the marketing and the votes – you’re going to have great recruiting – people are going to want to move to Danville,” she said, speaking from a stage lined with four columns of pink balloons and pink breast cancer symbol balloons.
“Sometimes you have to get crazy and do something different. Sometimes you dance on a football field or just get silly. When enough people move that creates a movement,” she said of Pink Glove videos which have been watched by 20 million.
“We have gotten out the message of the importance of early detection,” she said, adding one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Thomas Graves, vice president of the cancer service line at Geisinger, praised Friday’s overwhelming pink turnout. “Every year we see almost 4,000 new cancer patients in the Geisinger system,” he said.