June 13, 2009

UNM Cancer Center Staff to be Honored at the People Living Through Cancer Awards Ceremony


Three staff members from the UNM Cancer Center, Carla Sakiestewa, Shirley Cornett, Ph.D., and Suzanne Kritcher, RN, have been nominated to receive a 2009 People’s Caring Award through the People Living Through Cancer (PLTC) organization. The awards recognize healthcare professionals, volunteers, individuals, and businesses who give their time and effort to help people dealing with cancer—reflecting high standards of respect, understanding, and compassion. The Awards were established in 1995 by cancer survivors, families and friends of People Living Through Cancer.

“It’s an honor to be nominated for this award,” said Sakiestewa, who was nominated for her work with Native American outreach programs as well as her dedication and compassion toward cancer patients. “This nomination is special because it acknowledges the UNM Cancer Center’s outreach efforts to the Native American community and our dedication to educating Native Americans on the importance of early cancer screening.”

The PLTC event includes seven workshops from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and concludes with a keynote speaker presentation from 4:15 P.M-5:00 p.m. which survivors, caregivers and the general public can attend at no charge, including two that focus on childhood cancers, which will be led by Dr. Linda Butros, Pediatric Oncologist at the UNM Cancer Center. The People’s Caring Award ceremony is from 5:00p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Each nominee will be honored with a certificate of appreciation, and the winners will also be announced and recognized.

“I am so honored to be considered for this award,” said Cornett, who was nominated for her dedication to providing outstanding patient care and constant support of her staff. “This acknowledgement is not just for me, but for the entire clinic, especially patient and family support services. Everyone is incredibly dedicated to the care of our patients.”

“The people nominated are always outstanding in their compassion and ability to connect in so many ways with the community of survivors in New Mexico,” said Bernadette Lujan, Executive Director of People Living Through Cancer (PLTC). “We’re always humbled by the commitment they show.”

The PLTC survivorship conference is this Saturday, June 13th, at the Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian Church located at 1801 Montano Rd. NW, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event and workshops are free and open to cancer survivors and all others who wish to support the organization. The People’s Caring Awards Ceremony to honor the nominees and winners is from 5-7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door on Saturday, or by calling 505-242-3263. Proceeds go to the PLTC organization. For more information about the event and the organization, please visit PLTC’s website at http://www.pltc.org/. For more information about the UNM Cancer Center, please visit www.cancer.unm.edu.

The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of the State of New Mexico, and one of only 64 National Cancer Institute designated cancer centers in the nation. It is home to 85 board-certified oncology physicians representing every cancer specialty and more than 120 research scientists hailing from such prestigious institutions as M.D. Anderson, Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic. Last year, the UNM Cancer Center served more than 7,600 cancer patients in more than 90,000 patient visits.

The UNM Cancer Center has developed a statewide cancer care network through collaborative partnerships with community-based healthcare systems and physicians in the cities of Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Farmington and Albuquerque in order to bring world-class cancer diagnosis and treatment to all New Mexicans.

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