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Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
TVHS nurse raises awareness and joy with art
By Hannah McDuffie, TVHS public affairs
Wednesday, October 2, 2019Sandra Hendricks, licensed practical nurse at Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS), is not only an advocate for women to get screened early and often for breast health, but a passionate artist.
To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hendricks decorated the Women's Clinic to display TVHS's support of women battling breast cancer.
"The Charlotte Ave., third floor Nashville clinic and Alvin C. York building 106 serves women Veterans exclusively and we want women to know they are important and want them aware of mammography services," Hendricks said. "We care about their health. We are creating a safe, welcoming place for women to recieve care here at the women's clinic."
Because of Hendricks' wreaths, many women Veterans feel comfortable and welcomed in the women's clinic.
"In my spare time, I create these wreaths for the women's clinic, but I also donate them to Veterans and friends," she said. "I enjoy providing care to our heroes. I feel a sense of pride when I can put a smile on a Veterans face."
Hendricks explained her hobby began when she made a patriotic-themed wreath for her favorite Veteran - her husband Mark Hendricks.
"The Veterans Affairs is a family affair," Sandra said. "My father, two brothers, and my husband are Veterans. My husband, daughter, and myself all work for VA."
Sandra said she wanted to spread joy and comfort to those she serves, so she began crafting wreaths for various clinics and occasions.
"I have donated a purple wreath to the mental health team in honor of domestic violence awareness, one for the women's clinic for breast cancer awareness, and give some to my co-workers," Sandra said. "It's nothing major. I just enjoy giving them to people."
Sandra emphasized the importance of mammograms and early detection of breast cancer.
"You have a better chance of surviving breast cancer if you have early detection," she said. "As a new nurse, I cared for a woman who decided not to seek treatment for her breast cancer and that stuck with me throughout my career. She was young, in her 50s, and I watched her health decline, and it was heart breaking."
Through all the battles and victories, Sandra wants women Veterans to know, "I am their advocate to make sure they know they matter."
To schedule mammography services at Nashville, call 615-873-8335.
To schedule mammography services at Murfreesboro, call 615-225-4896.