Still time to vote for El Camino Hospital staffers in Pink Glove Dance contest

With a hip swivel here and a twist there, hundreds of staff at Mountain View’s El Camino Hospital, wearing pink gloves, pink tees and all things pink, danced – from the operating room to the Breast Health Center – in an effort to land the $10,000 top prize for most-voted Pink Glove Dance.

The Pink Glove Dance idea originated at Medline Industries Inc., an Illinois-based health-care supply company, as a means to promote breast cancer awareness and prevention.

The first video, produced in 2009, featured 200 pink-gloved hospital workers from Portland, Ore. It has become a YouTube sensation, with a reported 13 million hits. In 2010, 4,000 health-care workers and survivors from San Francisco to New York participated in a sequel.

According to Medline’s website, more than 15,000 people from 40 states, vying for monetary prizes for their local breast cancer charities, participated in the current video competition.

At El Camino Hospital’s campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos, they danced: physicians and nurses, facilities workers and volunteers, radiologists and foundation members.

They shimmied around the operating room to the tune of Jay Sean’s “Down.” Nurses grabbed IV poles and danced through the oncology department hallways; labor and delivery nurses swung their pink-gloved hands in a rocking-baby motion; cafeteria workers shuffled through the kitchen, swaying pots and utensils side to side; and conga lines formed near one lobby.

Pink was everywhere – cowboy hats, boas, wigs, sunglasses, a snuggie, T-shirts and gloves.

Dr. Rakesh Patel, radiation oncologist and director of the Breast Brachytherapy Program, wore a pink wig and dazzling sunglasses as he did the twist. Dr. Kenneth Liu, a popular 71-year-old obstetrician who reportedly takes weekly dancing lessons, freestyle-danced with a pink boa around his neck. Dr. Jessie Jacob, radiologist and director of the Breast Health Center, joined in.

Heidi Garland, owner of Guild West Agency, approached the hospital with the Pink Glove Dance video idea and became its co-producer and choreographer. The 50-year-old San Jose mother of two, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and had her surgeries performed at El Camino Hospital, led the charge. Why?

“Because they saved my life,” Garland said. “Why not celebrate with them? It’s a celebration of life.”

For the doctors, nurses and staff who deal day-to-day with the life and death aspects of cancer, participating in the video was a joyful way to get the word out.

“I’m so excited about this Pink Glove Dance video,” said labor and delivery nurse Maria Ord, noting that people voting have a chance to help their own community. “I want people to vote for us.”

To view El Camino Hospital’s Pink Glove Dance video and to vote for ECH, visit pinkglove.co/121. Voting continues through Oct. 21, with winners announced Oct. 28.

To view all Pink Glove Dance videos in the competition, visit www.pinkglovedance.com.

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