Mammograms a Crucial Part of Self-Care

Cornerstone Client Relationship Manager, Stephanie Gerrits, FPQP®, recently talked to staff at Huron Regional Medical Center (HRMC) about their campaign to promote the importance of mammograms to women. A wife and proud mom to three amazing boys, she had her first mammogram at age 40 – a recommendation that all women don’t follow. She believes early detection through regular mammograms is a crucial part of self-care, saying, “I want to be in charge of my health so I can live my life to the fullest and be with my family.”

Her willingness to share her experience to benefit this crucial health advocacy campaign is a testament to Stephanie’s belief in the potentially life-saving health screening and her commitment to the community. And it brilliantly reflects Cornerstone’s core value, Invest In People, which drives us to build genuine connections and make a positive impact.

Here’s Stephanie’s Mammogram Story:

Q: Do you have any friends or family that have been affected by breast cancer?
Stephanie: Yes, including a few who have lost their battle. They have all been diagnosed at different stages of life – 20s, 40s, 60s and beyond. And several of them, like myself, have had no close family history of breast cancer.

Q: Why did you get a mammogram?
Stephanie: During my annual physical in 2022, shortly before I turned 40, my doctor recommended that I schedule my first annual mammogram. I wasn’t looking forward to it, so I kept putting it off. However, in June of 2022, I lost a classmate and friend to metastatic breast cancer. It hit me hard because she was a wife, a mother, and 40 years old just like me. Her passing, combined with close relationships with others who’ve battled this disease, pushed me to get an appointment scheduled.

Q: Was it hard to schedule or get an appointment?
Stephanie: For whatever reason, I felt awkward about calling to schedule an appointment. So, I used Huron Regional Medical Center’s online form to make my first mammography appointment (I’ve had two now.) I provided my information, chose appointment dates and times that would work with my schedule, and then they called me with available options that met my criteria. The day of the mammogram was just as easy, I simply checked in with Admissions and went back to the Radiology department. I would guess I didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes either time I’ve had a mammogram.
Both times I have scheduled a mammogram I’ve been offered an appointment within two weeks of the scheduling phone call. They work with you to find a time that works best for your schedule. I was only gone from work for around 30 minutes for my appointments.

Q: Does having a mammogram hurt?
Stephanie: It isn’t the most comfortable experience, but it isn’t anywhere near as bad as I had imagined. I think that there are a lot of things that women do for the sake of beauty that are far more painful. It is just a little discomfort for the sake of your health once a year.

Q: What would you tell other women about getting a mammogram?
Stephanie: I wholeheartedly recommend getting a mammogram! The brief discomfort of a mammogram is significantly outweighed by the potential benefits of early detection. It can save lives! As moms, we often put everyone else’s needs before our own. But we need to do better, especially when it comes to our health. Making our health a priority gives us the power to be there for our loved ones.

Call HRMC at 605-353-6334 to schedule a mammogram. Or, visit  to learn more or access the online appointment request form.

Cornerstone team at Huron’s Annual 1 Mile Walk for Breast Cancer
Alyssa Kirk, Associate Advisor
Lori Mack, First Impressions Director, CFS, Branch Associate, RJFS
Liz Opfer, Personal Assistant, CFS, Branch Associate, RJFS
Stephanie Gerrits, FPQP® Client Relationship Manager


Stephanie’s “Why”

Husband Trevor and sons
Logan, Evan, and Dilan

Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse Huron Regional Medical Center. 2023.10.17 #312962

Caring For Aging Parents

Thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in modern medicine, the worldwide population over age 65 is growing. In the past decade, the population of Americans aged 65 and older has grown 35%, and is expected to reach 94.7 million in 2060. As our nation ages, many Americans are turning their attention to caring for aging parents.1

For many people, one of the most difficult conversations to have involves talking with an aging parent about extended medical care. The shifting of roles can be challenging, and emotions often prevent important information from being exchanged and critical decisions from being made.

When talking to a parent about future care, it’s best to have a strategy for structuring the conversation. Here are some key concepts to consider.

Cover The Basics

Knowing ahead of time what information you need to find out may help keep the conversation on track. Here is a checklist that can be a good starting point:

  • Primary physician
  • Specialists
  • Medications and supplements
  • Allergies to medication

It is also important to know the location of medical and estate management paperwork, including:2

  • Medicare card
  • Insurance information
  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare
  • Will, living will, trusts and other documents

Be Thorough

Remember that if you can collect all the critical information, you may be able to save your family time and avoid future emotional discussions. While checklists and scripts may help prepare you, remember that this conversation could signal a major change in your parent’s life. The transition from provider to dependent can be difficult for any parent and has the potential to unearth old issues. Be prepared for emotions and the unexpected. Be kind, but do your best to get all the information you need.

Keep The Lines Of Communication Open

This conversation is probably not the only one you will have with your parent about their future healthcare needs. It may be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue. Consider involving other siblings in the discussions. Often one sibling takes a lead role when caring for parents, but all family members should be honest about their feelings, situations, and needs.

Don’t Procrastinate

The earlier you begin to communicate about important issues, the more likely you will be to have all the information you need when a crisis arises. How will you know when a parent needs your help? Look for indicators like fluctuations in weight, failure to take medication, new health concerns, and diminished social interaction. These can all be warning signs that additional care may soon become necessary. Don’t avoid the topic of care just because you are uncomfortable. Chances are that waiting will only make you more so.

Remember, whatever your relationship with your parent has been, this new phase of life will present challenges for both parties. By treating your parent with love and respect—and taking the necessary steps toward open communication—you will be able to provide the help needed during this new phase of life.



1., 2020
2. Note: Power of attorney laws can vary from state to state. An estate strategy that includes trusts may involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations. Consider working with a knowledgeable estate management professional before implementing such strategies.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2022 FMG Suite.