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Hospital workers receive Healthy U certification

Hospital workers receive Healthy U certification

Two of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s staff are now Healthy U coordinators.

Eva Wasseen, a nurse in the Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center’s Radiation Oncology Department, and Kelly Sugihara, Wyoming Cancer Resource Services Region V Coordinator, along with 17 others from around the state recently received certification through a series of workshops sponsored by the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Department of Health to become leaders of the Healthy U program.

The training was offered through the Wyoming Center on Aging on the UW campus.

Healthy U workshops are available to anyone with a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, pain, anxiety or depression. It is also available to anyone who cares for someone with a chronic health condition or who simply wants to learn more about improving their health. The program is provided in communities all over Wyoming and occurs over the course of six weeks. Participants learn valuable skills to help them take control of their condition and live happier, healthier lives.

“Surviving cancer can leave patients with a host of chronic conditions which are often not addressed as part of their treatment,” Wasseen said. “I wanted to be more involved and instrumental in helping patients deal with those conditions and other comorbidities they may have by empowering them with tools to be more proactive and healthy.

“I hope that patients will find a way to think of and effectively manage chronic conditions so that they can live life to the fullest, away from doctor’s offices,” she said.

Sugihara said she is honored “to say that I am now a leader for the Healthy U program.”

“I look forward to sharing this amazing program with the patients at the Cancer Center and our community,” she said. “This training will help anyone continue on a healthy path while bringing awareness and accountability to our everyday actions.”

Patty O’Lexey, a care transition nurse at Sweetwater Memorial, also is a Healthy U leader.

Through these workshops, I have learned about our community, healthcare system, support systems, and available resources,” O’Lexey said. “I have met some interesting people, heard some heart-breaking stories and some truly miraculous ones, as well.

“These workshops are designed from evidence-based studies that truly allow the participants to learn from each other and share their experiences,” she said. “Everyone has life experiences, and often those experiences are what help others.

“Most people want to learn more about their chronic disease; it sometimes can be very daunting. The Healthy U workshops allow everyone to gain knowledge and learn coping mechanisms that work for them.”

Other Sweetwater County residents recently gaining certification include Kara Beech of Rock Springs and Jackie Grubb of Green River. Other area leaders include Tina Crandall of Rock Springs and Margene Chew of Green River.

Leaders are instructed by Healthy U Master Trainers Catherine Carrico and Dominick Duhamel, who manage and coordinate the program at the University of Wyoming Center on Aging. Those interested in becoming a Healthy U Leader can contact Duhamel at or (307)766-2765.