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Women Helping Women

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By Kim Meyer-Webb | Photography by Dero Sanford | Hair & Makeup by Bridget Baltimore with Barbara/Jean | Wardrobe from Barbara/Jean | Shot on location at Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

 width=   Natalie Rockefeller is recognized as one of the Capital City’s most devoted humanitarians. She cares deeply about the welfare of fellow Arkansans with particular interest in women and children. As the mother of twins, Natalie understands the complexity of personal wellness in the equation < juggling act > to balance life, family, civic responsibilities and more. She is also an ardent advocate for the empowHERment of all females. This is at the heart of the new breast center at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Women Helping Women Art Project that Natalie curates with local artists.

   As chief of breast imaging at UAMS and director of the breast center, Dr. Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith recognizes the transformative power of the interdisciplinary approach to treatment that UAMS provides to its patients. When necessary, her patients are referred to the WPRCI Radiation Oncology Center – a key benefit unique to UAMS. Congruent with the integrated approach to healthcare is the scope of services that UAMS provides in a singular location. In addition to this world-class team of experts that inspire patients to believe in bright future, Dr. Bryant-Smith believes the breast center provides an experience that’s equally impressive. “Our vision was to provide comfort to our patients and our team through artwork,” Dr. Bryant-Smith explains. “It helps patients escape the anxiety that can often arise from undergoing breast imaging exams, procedures and awaiting results. This artwork coupled with our same-day results makes the mammography experience a good one for our patients.”

   Natalie had the opportunity to preview the breast center with Dr. Bryant-Smith and remembers, “The new space is so bright, so welcoming and so patient-friendly. With its design and spa-like atmosphere, I had to agree with Dr. Bryant-Smith – the center deserved great artwork and I knew that I wanted to help secure it.” Through her network of resources, Natalie realized the unique opportunity for Arkansas artists, all female, to fill the walls with creations that might ease some of trepidation related to medical procedures. “The idea for the project was just that – Women Helping Women.”

 width=  The Women Helping Women Art Project is an innovative + ingenious initiative that not only graces the walls of the breast center, it also provides meaningful compensation to the artists. “We work directly with the artists and the donors. The price is set for each piece and the artist receives 100% of the money paid by the donor,” Natalie elaborates. Installation, with a plaque recognizing the donor, is coordinated as recognition for this gift of beauty and solace.

   During a year of postponements and uncertainty, Natalie’s commitment to cancer patients and survivors is unwavering. Natalie and her husband Win will host the Be a Part of the Cure telethon again this year. The statewide event, available on all the ABC affiliates, will celebrate the continued mission fulfillment work of UAMS WPRCI and the many lives affected by cancer. “One thing I’ve learned, cancer doesn’t discriminate and all cancer survivors are warriors! If we can help these warriors through the journey and encourage wellness mammograms for all women – we can all be part of the cure.”

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