Seven individuals and two organizations received awards recognizing their passion and leadership in cancer control on Monday, Nov. 6 at the Nevada Cancer Control Summit Awards Luncheon. Awardees included an oncology nurse, a breast surgeon, a cancer advocate, and more.
“So much of the work done in cancer control is behind the scenes, and the annual Summit Awards gives us the opportunity to recognize these amazing partners and highlight some of the fantastic work being accomplished right here in Nevada,” said Cari Herington, executive director of Nevada Cancer Coalition which distributes the awards. “Lately we’ve been hearing the phrase ‘not all heroes wear capes’ quite often, and for these honorees that’s definitely the case.”
Awards distributed at the 2017 Summit Awards Luncheon were:
- Two Community Champion Awards, to Cassie Goodman, medical exercise supervisor at Saint Mary’s Fitness Center whose work enhancing the center’s Cancer Rehab Program and building partnerships to increase access to the program is cited as a model for other facilities across the nation, and to Courtney Parento, RN, who took her passion for preventing skin cancer beyond the confines of her job by participating in numerous presentations and outreach events in northern Nevada.
- The Community Program Award given to Saint Mary’s Low Dose CT Lung Screening Program which has worked to increase access to high-quality lung cancer screening, even for those without insurance coverage, and speed time from diagnosis into treatment.
- The Advocacy Award presented to Tom McCoy, Nevada government relations director for American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network. McCoy has been instrumental in many cancer-related legislative success including increasing access to palliative care, expanding access to medications, prohibiting minors from using indoor tanning devices, increasing the state tobacco tax, and encouraging the state to fund breast and cervical cancer screening for uninsured women.
- Healthcare Partner of the Year was awarded to an organization, a nurse, and a physician. Desert Radiology in Las Vegas received the award for their collaboration with Nevada Health Centers to transition the Mammovan to a fully digital process, speeding the turnaround time from screening to results. Amy Thompson, breast nurse navigator at Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer was honored for her years of partnership with the Nevada Cancer Coalition serving as a committee and task force member, all while going above and beyond for the many breast cancer survivors she works with on a daily basis. And, Dr. Karin Klove received the final Healthcare Partner of the Year award for her long-term support of the Nevada Cancer Coalition and its work, ranging from assisting with the development of the state’s five-year cancer plan to bringing partners together to discuss screening recommendations.
- The Sun Smart Superstar award was given to Jennifer Tyndall, chief health nurse for Douglas County School District, for championing expansion of the Nevada Cancer Coalition’s Sun Smart Schools program from one school in her district to all 13 for the 2016-2017 school year. Tyndall’s commitment to the program not only impacted her own school district, but encouraged three other districts to bring Sun Smart Schools to their students.
- The final award, the Nevada Cancer Registrars Award, was given posthumously to April Fritz who passed away in September 2017 after living with cancer for a number of years. A northern Nevada resident, Fritz was known nationally by cancer data experts and registry professionals as a leading expert in the field of cancer surveillance and data collection. Nevada Cancer Coalition and cancer registry professionals from throughout the state honored Fritz through a donation to a memorial scholarship fund which was presented to her husband, Col. Robert Fritz, US Army, Retired.
The Nevada Cancer Coalition’s Summit Awards are given annually during the nonprofit’s annual Nevada Cancer Control Summit, which alternates between Reno and Las Vegas. Nominations for the awards open in June and anyone working in cancer control in Nevada is eligible for nomination. This year’s awards luncheon was sponsored by Hometown Health and hosted at Whitney Peak Hotel, selected for its 100 percent smoke-free environment.
For more information on the Nevada Cancer Control Summit and Summit Awards visit www.nevadacancercoalition.org/summit.