Loretto Hospital normally treats patients with ailments, but last week the hospital treated a select group of women to manicures, pedicures and back massages.

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Loretto Hospital, along with State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th), and Sister’s Embracing Life, sponsored “Spa Days” for women in the community.

Free spa services were given from Oct. 18, through Oct. 27, by appointment only.

Loretto’s lower level was transformed into spa setting, which included floral arrangements of pink roses and individual booths for the various services provided.

Upon entering the area, there were ladies getting manicures, pedicures and eyebrow arching. Another area away from the main entrance was used for full body massages or chair massages.

Ray Deak, Loretto’s director of radiology, was on site to explain the importance of women getting a mammogram.

Men too, he said, should be concerned with breast cancer.

“A few years ago, actor Richard Roundtree (Shaft), a breast cancer survivor himself, was a guest speaker during one of our events. So both women and men can be victims of this disease,” Deak said.

Camille Lilly, Loretto Hospital’s vice president of external affairs toured the spa area, including its “quiet room,” a place where individuals came to mediate, relax, read or just take a moment for themselves. Lilly explained that the quiet room is available throughout the hospital for personnel.

Of the decision to do the spa, Lilly explained, “We here at Loretto see the importance of women taking care of themselves, and women are the backbone to many of the families in our country. Mammograms are a way of preventing the illness of breast cancer. So we wanted women to take a moment in a spot that they could take care of themselves. Treat themselves to a facial, to a massage, to get your nails, eyebrows and feet cared for.

“After they receive their mammograms here on a walk-in day at Loretto, one of the things throughout the city of Chicago, you have to wait 30 days to 60 days to get a mammogram,” Lilly added. “Here at Loretto, we wanted to indicate you don’t have that wait. We wanted to make note of that with the walk-in.

Lilly said the hospital reached out to businesses on the 5600 block of Madison to come in and provide the spa services. She said Loretto would like to do the spa again next year.

“It is our hope to. Some women want us to do it every quarter,” Lilly said. “I told them, “Let me get back to you on that, and let’s see what other issues our women are dealing with. We may need to do it.

“There are other issues, such as pap smears to our mental stability, that a lot of women are dealing with,” Lilly added. “If this is going to get them out here to start addressing these issues, I am more than welcome and proud to be a part of them taking care of themselves.”