May 20, 2010

UNM Cancer Center Health Professionals Recognized for Making a Difference in the Lives of People Living With Cancer


University of New Mexico Cancer Center employees Thomas Pier, senior oncology social worker; Tamala Keen, patient services representatives; Jan de la Garza, clinical nurse specialist; and Roberta Valdez, medical biller, were nominated by former and current cancer patients for their excellence in cancer care for the 16th Annual People’s Caring Awards.

The People’s Caring Awards recognize and honor health care professionals that make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and are presented by Cancer Support Community New Mexico, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, education and hope to people affected by cancer.

“We are honored that several staff members from the UNM Cancer Center have been nominated by patients to receive the 16th Annual People’s Caring Awards,” said Dr. Cheryl Willman, director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center. “At the UNM Cancer Center we strive to make positive difference in patients’ lives and improve cancer diagnosis and treatment for all New Mexicans affected by the disease.”

Cancer patients and survivors submitted nominations for individuals in five different categories including physicians, nurses, other health care providers, individuals and volunteers they felt had made a substantial impact in their lives. Thirty-nine people from throughout New Mexico received nominations in the five different categories. The 16th Annual People’s Caring Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 6 at 1:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites, located at 1000 Woodward Place NE.

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.

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Contact information:

Dorothy Hornbeck, JKPR, (505) 797-6673,
Rae Ann Paden, UNM Cancer Center, (505) 925-0480

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