Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tell Your Taste Buds: Cookin’ Men Tickets are on Sale!


VIP tickets, general admission tickets, and table reservation for Parkview Foundation’s 16th Annual Cookin’ Men are available for purchase at Parkview.com/CookinMen! Presented by Fifth Third Bank, the event will take place on Saturday, April 27 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Don’t wait— VIP and general admission tickets are going quickly! When you register for VIP tickets, you and your guests will enjoy decadent treats, drinks, and great conversation from 6-7:00pm. Doors will open for general admission at 7:00pm. General admission tickets are $65 in advance and VIP tickets are $150.

Please join us in 2019 as we celebrate 16 years of Cookin' Men tradition on Saturday, April 27. Because of earlier detection and improved treatment, death rates for women with breast cancer have steadily declined since 1990. As we all know, screening mammography can save lives. Breast cancer detected in its earliest stage increases the survival rate to 95 percent. Because of this, the Parkview Foundation is dedicating the 16th annual Cookin’ Men event to raise funds for Francine’s Friends mobile mammography program. Please join us as we support early detection, prevention, screening and management plans to fight breast cancer. Additionally, your support will focus on personalized approaches and improved care for those in need. In other words, we’re working to save lives and we need your support to make that happen.

Click here to register today!

For questions about Cookin’ Men, contact Kelli Kline at Kelli.Kline@parkview.com.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Kroger “Shares the Love” with Donations to Local Charities, Including Francine’s Friends

Kroger’s Central Division celebrated Valentine’s Day in Fort Wayne by donating $91,877 to five charities as part of its division-wide “Share the Love” event. Chris Gomez of Kroger’s Central Division presented checks to local nonprofits that exemplify the company’s own philanthropic goals, specifically Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative and Fight Cancer Days.

“Supporting these organizations, and others, is another way we at Kroger say thank you to our customers,” Gomez said. “These organizations demonstrate the kind of support in this area with services that might not over wise be available.”

“Francine’s Friends is so grateful to Kroger for all they do for our community,” enthused Marita Dwight-Smith, director, Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Program.  “Without this type of community support, we could not do what we do.”

The local charities included Community Harvest Food Bank, Love INC of Huntington County,  Toledo NW Ohio Food Bank, American Cancer Society, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, and Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Program.

The “Share the Love” celebration will continue as Kroger’s Central Division distributes more than $400,000 to nonprofits in five states. Last year, Kroger ranked in the top 20 of America’s largest donors by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, giving back $189 million to the communities it serves.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Time to Get YOUR Indiana IBCAT License Plate!

Francine’s Friends is a 2019 recipient of a grant for breast cancer screening from the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, Inc. (IBCAT). 

In 2019 alone, IBCAT granted $445,000 to 30 organizations dedicated to screening mammography and diagnostic programs. Services are available in nearly every Indiana county. In addition to screening/diagnostic services, IBCAT also funds Support Services grants for patients currently battling breast cancer. For assistance, visit www.breastcancerplate.org to find the program that is closest to you.

IBCAT receives funds through sales of breast cancer awareness special group recognition (SGR) license plates.  Each license plate sold generates a $25 donation to IBCAT. The Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness SGR license plate can be purchased by visiting any Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) branch, online, or on a Connect kiosk. 

“Thank you IBCAT for improving the health of women in our communities,” said Francine’s Friends director Marita Dwight-Smith. “Not only does this grant help in the detection and prevention of breast cancer, it’s imperative to the overall wellbeing of those who might otherwise not have access to this important procedure. IBCAT helps us fund screenings in Adams, Allen, Dekalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties in northeast Indiana. We are so grateful for this support from IBCAT and for making a difference in the lives of our patients and their loved ones,” she concluded.

Since the Breast Cancer Awareness special group recognition license plate was first made available in 2002, over $5 million has been distributed by the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust (IBCAT) through competitively awarded grants to organizations throughout Indiana for innovative projects for breast cancer screening, diagnostic and support services not otherwise available to medically underserved populations in Indiana. In addition, over $560,000 has been awarded in scholarships to incoming and current college students who have lost a parent or who have a parent currently battling the disease.

The mission of the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, Inc. is to increase awareness and improve access to breast cancer screening, diagnosis and support services throughout Indiana. Indiana residents may purchase an Indiana breast cancer awareness special group recognition license plate by visiting any Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch, online at www.IN.gov/BMV, or on a Connect kiosk for an annual $40 fee, $25 of which is a direct tax-­deductible donation (to the extent of the law). The plate may be purchased for display on passenger motor vehicles, motorcycles, trucks with a declared gross weight of not more than 11,000 pounds, and recreational vehicles.

For more information on the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust and the programs it funds, please visit www.breastcancerplate.org or call 866.724.2228.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Happy 2019 to our Friends!

The 14th Annual “Lunch with Friends” was a huge success — raising $99,992 to support the detection and prevention of breast cancer!

“Whatever form it takes, the many gifts and donations of generosity help heal. These kindnesses are profoundly felt by not only those who benefit from Francine’s Friends, but by each and every caregiver who has the privilege of providing care,” said Marita Dwight-Smith, director of Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Program. "Thank you once again for making a difference in the lives of our patients and their loved ones,”

Screening mammography continues to save lives. Breast cancer detected in its earliest stage increases the survival rate to 95 percent. “Through Francine’s Friends, your commitment to enabling women to be proactive in their healthcare has developed into a vital community resource.,” Dwight-Smith concluded.

Since its inception, Francine’s Friends has funded more than 14,500 mammograms, facilitated more than 11,000 first-screen mammograms and provided screening services to more than 41,000 women.

CLICK HERE to see photos from our October 2018 "Lunch with Friends"!

Please mark your calendars and save October 11, 2019  for the 15th Annual “Lunch with Friends”.

And, coming in April.....

The Parkview Foundation is dedicating the 16th Annual Cookin’ Men event to raise funds for the Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography program! Please join us as we support early detection, prevention, screening and management plans to fight breast cancer. Additionally, your support will focus on personalized approaches and improved care for those in need. In other words, we’re working to save lives and we need your support to make that happen.

Parkview Cookin' Men — April 27, 2019
Venue: Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Fort Wayne, IN
Contact: Kelli Kline
Email: Kelli.Kline@parkview.com
Phone: 260.266.7796

Please join us in 2019 as we celebrate 16 years of Cookin' Men tradition on Saturday, April 27. Because of earlier detection and improved treatment, death rates for women with breast cancer have steadily declined since 1990.

2018 was another sold out year for Cookin' Men, so you'll want to get your tickets early! CLICK HERE to give us your name and email address and we will send you an email notification in February when tickets go on sale for the 2019 Parkview Cookin’ Men event.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Third Party Events in October Select Francine's Friends as Charity of Choice

In October, Summit Plastic Surgery and Sky Zone Fort Wayne held events to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month and selected Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography as their charity of choice.
Both events raised monies to help provide screening mammography for women in our community and also helped create awareness of the importance of early detection. Official check presentations took place in late November and early December. This is the second year both organizations have held events in October and raised funds for Francine's Friends. Thank you Summit Plastic Surgery and Sky Zone Fort Wayne!

“Thank you for coming out and showing your community support by playing in or donating to “Fight Like a Girl!” - our co-ed dodgeball tournament! A percentage of the proceeds from the tournament and t-shirt sales for the event in October totaling $750 were donated locally in honor of breast cancer awareness month to Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography to help fund screening mammograms. Sky Zone is excited to support the mission and values of your organization!”
- Carrie, Aysha and the staff of Sky Zone Fort Wayne 


"Thank you for the incredible support from our clients and the community - you helped raise over $3,100 for breast cancer! Funds raised continue to help Francine’s Friends provide mammograms to the women in the greater Fort Wayne area. Thank you to all those who helped make our event a tremendous success for breast cancer awareness.” 
- Dr. Matthew Shambaugh, Dr. Reid Pflueger, and the staff of Summit Plastic Surgery 


Friday, October 19, 2018

2018 14th Annual "LUNCH with FRIENDS"

Nearly 500 women (and men) attended the 14th annual “Lunch with Friends” at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum to help raise funds to support the mission of Francine's Friends — which is to ensure ALL women in northeast Indiana are able to have screening mammography on the Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography coach, regardless of any barriers.

Linda Jackson, Evening Anchor of Fort Wayne’s NBC and long-time FRIEND, was back on stage as the high energy emcee of the luncheon, encouraging the crowd to take selfies and celebrate 1,000 iikes on Facebook, while helping to trend #FrancinesFriends on social media.


Survivor, and “conqueror” Tamyra Kelly offered the invocation and then Rebecca Nelson, Lead Genetic Counselor, Parkview Health, took the podium to share her connection with Francine’s Friends before performing “At the Beginning” from Anastasia while guests enjoyed lunch. Jackson returned to thank this year’s sponsors for their partnership and community support. This year’s event luncheon sponsors included Kroger, Radiation Oncology Associations, Steel Dynamics, Briner, Vera Bradley, Physicians Health Plan, OmniSource, Emley Design Group, and Glo Magazine.  2018 Corporate Tables included BAE Systems, Breast Diagnostic Center, Lake City Bank, MedPro, Parkview Cancer Institute, and PNC Bank. Also acknowledged was this year’s  “Bosom Buddies for Life” — an annual sustaining circle of women who donate $1,000 each year to Francine’s Friends. 2018 Bosom Buddies include Ann Bobilya, Carol Busses, Sharon Eisbart, Glynda Harris, Debbie Hirschfield, Ari Rifkin, Judy Rifkin, Chris Rupp, Debbie Swinford, Kathy Summers, and Irene Walters. More than a quarter of a million dollars have been raised to support screening mammography and the Francine’s Friends mission through this giving circle!

Jackson then welcomed Marita Dwight-Smith, director of Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Program, to the stage for her remarks. Marita asked the former Francine’s Friends board members to join her for a special presentation. “Without their vision and hard work, this program would not be possible,” Dwight-Smith explained. “You all have been mentors to me and I am beyond grateful. Thank you for your trust in me with my new role,” she concluded. Each board member was presented with a warm hug and a limited edition print of this year’s program cover and notecard artwork “Untitled” — created by local artist Terry Ratliff. According to Ratliff, the original artwork represents “downtown Fort Wayne and the impact and role the Francine’s Friends mobile mammography coach has had in the past, and will continue to have in the future.”

Dwight-Smith also acknowledged and thanked two key community partners — Parkview Cancer Institute and Breast Diagnostic Center — for their dedication to the mission and continuous support of the mobile mammography program. “We simply could not do this without you,” Dwight-Smith emphasized.

Every year, third party fundraisers are held and portions of funds raised are donated to Francine’s Friends. Dwight-Smith next brought Toni Metzger and representatives from The Moonshine Cowboys on stage to thank them for the “Ride for the Cause” event, which started in 2013 in memory of Toni’s sister. This year’s “Ride for the Cause” raised $24,122 for Francine’s Friends and the behind-the-scenes video that was shown demonstrated why this is such a popular event for so many.

Jackson then returned to the stage to introduce this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Linda Han, Breast Care Team Director of the Parkview Cancer Institute. Dr. Han’s presentation was both educational and inspiring, and the crowd loved her warmth, intellect, and message of hope to both newly diagnosed women as well as survivors and thrivers.

The luncheon closed with Conqueror Tamyra Kelly retuning to the stage to thank Francine’s Friends for “saving her life” and turning her into a champion for the importance of early detection and screening mammography. Then Linda Jackson and Marita Dwight-Smith closed the event by reminding everyone of why the group was together: “Through YOUR continued generosity, the mobile mammography coach will go out into Fort Wayne and the surrounding communities — to businesses, clinics, health fairs, community sites and rural sites in 11 counties in northeast Indiana — for screenings YOU make possible, and even MORE women will learn that 15 minutes can save a life,” Jackson concluded.

Since its inception, Francine’s Friends has funded 15,612 mammograms and screened almost 44,000 women to date (June 2018) who are insured, under-insured, or have no insurance.

Donations may still be made to Francine's Friends to help provide early detection screenings. The average cost of a mammogram is $140. Checks should be made payable to Francine’s Friends and mailed to

Click here to view the Moonshine Cowboys Video from this year’s “Lunch With Friends”

Click here to view the Facebook photo album from this year’s “Lunch With Friends"

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Meet Dr. Linda Han - Keynote Speaker for the 2018 “Lunch with Friends”!


Linda K. Han, MD, FACS, Director, Breast Care Team, Parkview Cancer Institute earned a medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and completed her residency in general surgery at The Ohio State University. She is certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She has expertise in breast ultrasound and received her certification with commendations in breast ultrasound by the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Additionally, Dr. Han holds several professional memberships, including: American Society of Breast Surgeons, Society of Surgical Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Indiana State Medical Association. Prior to her arrival to Parkview Cancer Institute, Dr. Han served as Chief
of Breast Surgical Oncology and Professor of Clinical Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine and Director of Breast Surgical Oncology at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. While there, she established a breast cancer survivorship program, recognized nationally as best practice by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

She has received numerous recognitions for excellence in resident education and was awarded Mentor of the Year by the American Medical Women Association. She currently serves as the Director of Breast Oncology at Parkview Cancer Institute in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

What attracted you to Parkview?
“Parkview’s vision to develop a regional referral center for comprehensive multidisciplinary oncology care and the opportunity to develop an outstanding breast oncology program. The level of commitment to achieve that goal by recruiting highly qualified cancer specialists who are experts in their field and the emphasis for patient-centered care was a strong factor in my decision to be a part of this exciting new program.”

What services are you providing?
“Through our dedicated breast program, we see patients who have any breast-related concerns, whether it is cancer or simply a concern of cancer risk. Not only do we provide comprehensive personalized treatment plans for breast cancer, we also provide education, counseling and prevention
strategies for women at high risk for breast cancer. So, we offer risk assessment, including genetic counseling for potential mutations that could increase risk of cancer. For patients diagnosed with breast cancer, we perform advanced breast preservation surgery to not only remove tumors but
also reshape the breast for a more aesthetic appearance. Our program also offers opportunity to participate in cutting edge clinical trials, many that include treatment that would not be otherwise available. Each patient’s case is discussed and reviewed in our multidisciplinary tumor board to develop a personalized treatment plan appropriate for that patient. Our nurse navigators are crucial in the role of patient-centered care and are an integral part of the breast cancer care team to improve the experience and outcomes for our patients.”

Dr. Han is the keynote speaker for the upcoming 14th Annual "Lunch With Friends" on Oct. 12, 2018 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.  Contact Marita Dwight-Smith for more information by phone at 260.266.6216 (office) or 260.249.0154 (cell) or by email at marita.dwight@parkview.com.