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Grant supports area cancer initiatives

  • Category: Health & Wellness, Community
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Deb Sutton, Sweetwater Memorial Public Information Officer
Grant supports area cancer initiatives

Sunscreen dispensers are new to the list of initiatives

HPV education, cancer screenings and sunscreen dispensers are just a few of the programs Wyoming Cancer Resource Services’ Region V Coordinator wants to focus on in the next two years.

This is the second time Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center has been awarded the two-year grant, which begins in July.

The Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center, in conjunction with the Memorial Hospital Foundation, was recently awarded a grant totaling $178,200 to host the Wyoming Cancer Resource Services Regional Coordinator Program through the State of Wyoming’s Department of Health-Public Health Division.

“I am so happy to continue the work that I began two years ago,” said Kelly Sugihara, WCRS Region V Coordinator. “Through WCRS, I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with providers across southwestern Wyoming and grow the programs we now have in place.”

Sugihara, along with Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center, will collaborate with industry employers, school districts, and physician’s offices and clinics across the five-county region which includes Sweetwater, Lincoln, Sublette, Teton and Uinta counties.

Sugihara will continue to lead programs on topics including the Wyoming Breast, Cervical, and Colorectal Cancer screening programs; HPV vaccination education; physical activity and healthy lifestyle initiatives; improving the quality of life for cancer survivors; implementation of a patient navigation resource system to assist the uninsured and other eligible patients to receive free cancer screenings; and to enhance and improve provider engagement and education across the five-county region.

New this year, will be initiatives to implement sunscreen dispensers in various public parks and venues.

Sugihara said the dispensers are another way to keep the residents of southwestern Wyoming educated on the importance of sunscreen. The sunscreen dispensers will allow the community to receive free sunscreen during summer. Sugihara would also like to make the project sustainable and will be seeking sponsorships for summer 2021.

“They also will serve as a reminder to always wear sunscreen,” Sugihara said. “Don’t Fry, Reapply.”

Not only has Sugihara served as the Region V director since July 2018, she received an award last year for her work. On Sept. 17, 2019, she was honored with the P.A.R.T. (Passion, Ability, Reliable, Team) Award as the “Overall Outstanding WYCC Member of the Year.”

She was one of the newer members to the Wyoming Cancer Control Plan 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.

For details on sunscreen dispenser sponsorships, cancer prevention, free screenings, and WCRS programs, contact Sugihara at 307-212-7517. For more information on Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center, call Director Tasha Harris at 307-352-8381.