Mar 01, 2020 8:00 AM


<strong>Members of HCI’s Community Advisory Board Comprehensive Cancer Programs Working Group</strong><br/>Left to right: Leah Merchant (Montana); Charlene Cariou, MHS (Idaho); Allie Bain, MPH (former member); Brad Belnap, MPP (Utah); and Lily Helzer, MPH (Nevada)
Members of HCI’s Community Advisory Board Comprehensive Cancer Programs Working Group
Left to right: Leah Merchant (Montana); Charlene Cariou, MHS (Idaho); Allie Bain, MPH (former member); Brad Belnap, MPP (Utah); and Lily Helzer, MPH (Nevada)

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The Utah Department of Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) Program is dedicated to the idea that all Utahns deserve equal opportunity and access to achieving good health. The CCC Program brings together people facing cancer, health professionals, hospitals, policy makers, and organizations interested in preventing and controlling cancer.

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) has had a longstanding relationship with Utah’s CCC Program, reflecting a mutual desire to make a meaningful and lasting difference on the cancer burden in our state.

Recently, HCI extended its reach in the Mountain West, inviting members of the comprehensive cancer programs in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming as well as Utah to join HCI’s Community Advisory Board (CAB).

“It is exciting to work with like-minded organizations who all have unique resources to contribute to similar goals of cancer control, prevention, and care,” says Leah Merchant, section supervisor of Montana’s Cancer Control Programs and member of HCI’s CAB. “Through the CAB, I have fostered meaningful relationships with colleagues in Utah and other states to identify ways to support each other. Working collaboratively at a regional level makes big change feel possible.”

A number of new initiatives with HCI are on the horizon. These include projects related to tobacco control, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, colorectal cancer screening, and addressing cancer health disparities in underserved and rural communities.

“Some of the biggest challenges we face in Nevada are identical to neighboring states,” says Lily Helzer, MPH, population health services manager of Nevada’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program and member of HCI’s CAB. “Through this collaboration with HCI, we have identified fantastic opportunities, expanding efforts beyond state borders and impacting cancer survivors everywhere,” Helzer says. “After all, cancer affects us all.”

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Cancer touches all of us.

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