Middlesboro ARH Hospital and Discover Downtown Middlesboro to paint downtown pink


September 27, 2013, Middlesboro, Ky. – With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Middlesboro ARH Hospital and Discover Downtown Middlesboro are partnering to paint downtown pink to raise awareness and money to find a cure.

“Early detection and treatment increases survival rates, and we’re in the business to save lives,” said Michael Slusher, Middlesboro ARH Community CEO.

Every October the ARH staff organizes events to promote breast cancer awareness. This year ARH wants to encourage downtown businesses to join them by allowing staff and Auxiliary members to paint pink ribbons and balloons on store front windows.

“The pink ribbon symbolizes hope for a cure,” shared Slusher. “When I discussed with the Discover Downtown Middlesboro team about painting pink ribbons in downtown, they were eager to partner with us.”

According to the Discover Downtown Middlesboro (DDM) team, there are several businesses already on board.

“What a great opportunity for us to join together and bring awareness to such a worthy cause,” said Keith Nagle, DDM Chairman. “Several business owners are already on board, and we’re hoping others will join our breast cancer awareness campaign.”

The ARH and DDM Breast Cancer Awareness campaign will offer the entire community an opportunity to show their support too. The ARH team will paint pink balloons alongside the pink ribbons, and anyone interested in honoring a loved one who has survived breast cancer or died from the disease can have her name written on a balloon for a $5 donation. All donations will be jointly submitted to the American Cancer Society by ARH and DDM in early November.

Breast cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most frequently diagnosed cancer in American women. A woman’s chance of surviving breast cancer is greatly improved with early detection and treatment.

“The women in this community deserve our support,” said Slusher. “Let’s join together in this breast cancer awareness campaign, and fight for a cure.”

Downtown business owners wanting to participate in the campaign are asked to contact DDM Executive Director Isaac Kremer at 606-248-6155 or downtownmiddlesboro@gmail.com. Anyone wanting to make a $5 donation to honor a loved one by having her name written on a pink balloon is asked to contact Middlesboro ARH Community and Patient Advocate Elaine Smith at 606-242-1103 or elsmith@arh.org. The ARH and DDM Breast Cancer campaign will run through the month of October, and all donations received during this time will be given to the American Cancer Society in early November.


Middlesboro ARH Hospital is among the hospitals recognized as the nation’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America.

Middlesboro ARH Hospital is a member of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) system. ARH is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating 10 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

The ARH system employs nearly 5,000 people and has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties. Firmly committed to its mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of all people in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, in the past 12 months alone, ARH provided nearly $133 million in uncompensated care for the uninsured and underinsured.

Discover Downtown Middlesboro (DDM) was founded in 2006. Concerned business owners, building owners, and residents came together to start this organization as a response to the perception of decline downtown. Very early on the organization chose the Four-Point Approach® established by the National Main Street Center. This approach emphasizes grassroots community action in areas including: Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring.

Revitalization efforts gained greater intensity and focus in 2012. The organization acquired a major 27,000 square foot building downtown to renovate. The project is in the pre-development stage now and the desired outcome is to include residential housing on the upper floors and civic/community use on the ground floor. Groundwork is being laid to restore the historic canal that passes through town, as well as to create a walking and biking trail that connects the downtown with the nearby Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

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