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Cancer prevention coordinator honored

HPV cervical cancer survivor now educates others

Rock Springs — She once received cancer treatment at Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center. Two years later, Kelly Sugihara has received a statewide award for her cancer prevention efforts.Kelly Sugihara

Sugihara is the Wyoming Cancer Resource Services Region V coordinator, based at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County. She covers a five-county area, that also includes Uinta, Lincoln, Sublette and Teton.

On Sept. 17, she was honored with the P.A.R.T. (Passion, Ability, Reliable, Team) Award as the “Overall Outstanding WYCC Member of the Year.”

“She has gone above and beyond the call of duty to advance projects and/or interventions consistent with priorities of the Wyoming Cancer Control Plan,” according to WYCC.

Sugihara is a newer member to the WYCC team, “but hit the ground running,” according to her nomination. She has been instrumental in HPV-related projects in her area, and statewide. Her unique approach with projects at her local schools, public health and with school nurses has led to an increase in HPV vaccination rates.

Sugihara said she was completely caught off guard by the award and recognition.

“I think it’s really nice that I left that impression with someone,” she said. “It means a lot. I was truly surprised, humbled and honored to win this award.”

Being an HPV cervical cancer survivor is what drives her.

“Cancer prevention and education is my passion,” she said. “Cervical cancer could be nearly eliminated if everyone were vaccinated.”

For more information on cancer prevention and free screenings, contact Sugihara at (307) 212-7517.