Art That Made an Impact donated to McLaren Greater Lansing

Author: Sarah Barber

"The artwork represented not just women, but the diversity of women we wanted to reach."



Nearly three decades ago, a piece of artwork was commissioned by an advertising firm that was doing pro bono work for the American Cancer Society. The goal of the artwork was to encourage women in underserved populations to get their mammograms.

The program that the art was attached to was called Tell A Friend. The intent was to get women to motivate their friends and family to get a mammogram,” said Victoria Rakowski, former COO of the American Cancer Society, Great Lakes Division. “The artwork represented not just women, but the diversity of women we wanted to reach.”

The piece of artwork was the face of the program. They turned the artwork into the logo representing the program, and it was included on brochures, billboards, advertisements, and more.

“We increased the number of women overall getting mammograms significantly. We saw roughly a 50% increase over the previous years’ recorded mammograms,” said Rakowski. “We worked with the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) from the state to ensure women who had no insurance or provider would still be able to get their mammograms.”

Now, almost thirty years later, the artwork has found a new home inside McLaren Greater Lansing’s Breast Imaging Center.

“When trying to find a new home for this piece of art, Vicki first thought of McLaren since she has close ties to the hospital after starting her career as a nurse at Lansing General,” said John Patterson, Vice President of Support Services at McLaren Greater Lansing. “We are honored to receive this artwork and have it hung in the lobby of our Breast Imaging Center, where it will continue to inspire women to get screening that saves lives.”

A mammogram is a tool for early detection, and, the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the outcome. McLaren is currently running a “Spread the word. Save a life.” campaign to bring awareness to the importance of getting a mammogram. Click here to learn more about this campaign and to email someone you love a reminder to get their mammogram.

To learn more about scheduling a mammogram at McLaren’s new Breast Imaging Center, click here.