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Episode 3: Raising the Standard of Care Across the Mountain West

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Episode 3: Raising the Standard of Care Across the Mountain West

Jan 02, 2024
Serving patients in rural and frontier counties comes with unique challenges and triumphs. Katie Kerrigan, oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Megan Provost, rural patient outreach advocate, share their experiences.


Heather Simonsen, MA
Public Affairs Senior Manager
Huntsman Cancer Institute


Katie Kerrigan, DO
Oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute
Assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah


Megan Provost
Manager of outreach and network development at Huntsman Cancer Institute

Welcome and introductions (00:51)

Heather Simonsen: Hello, and welcome to a Cancer-Free Frontier podcast, where we ask the question, can we deliver a cancer-free frontier? I'm your host, Heather Simonson.

We're so excited that you're all here with us today. We've got some amazing guests in the studio this morning. First, I would like to welcome Megan Provost. Megan is our manager of outreach and network development for Huntsman Cancer Institute. And Dr. Katie Kerrigan, assistant professor of internal medicine and a medical oncologist. Welcome to both of you.

Katie Kerrigan: Thanks for having us.

Megan Provost: Thank you for having us.

Heather Simonsen: Today, we're talking about raising the standard of care, and how we can do that, especially in rural and frontier counties where, it's so important that they have access and greater access to care. But first, I want to talk to each of you about how you got interested in oncology. Let's start with you, Katie.

A community physician inspires a budding scientist to pursue a career in medicine (01:53)

Katie Kerrigan: My story, I guess, starts back in medical school. The science of cancer biology was interesting to me. I was initially interested just from a scientific and learning perspective. But then as I became a third-year medical student, I had the opportunity to shadow a community oncologist back in Ohio, where I did my medical training. And his relationship with patients was just unlike any I'd ever seen in medicine; they were incredibly close as physician and patient. But he knew so much about the patient, he knew their hobbies, their family, what made life worth living. They were both patient and physician, but also friends. And so, I really enjoyed that relationship and I saw myself leaning into a career where I could have a similar relationship with patients. So that's where oncology perfectly met kind of what I like to do.

Heather Simonsen: I love that! It's almost like the old-fashioned doctor-patient relationship, right? Where you really get to know the patients.

Katie Kerrigan: It truly is a relationship unlike any other in medicine. I love it for that reason.

From ski instructor to passionate advocate for rural patient outreach (03:02)

Heather Simonsen: Well, thanks for sharing that. Megan, what about you?

Megan Provost: So, about 11 -and-a-half years ago, one of our now directors of business operations at Huntsman recruited me. Before that, I was in the ski industry. So, a little bit different. They recruited me to Huntsman, where I started in outpatient clinics. I began, I'd have to say that the Huntsman leadership kind of shaped me in this direction, but as soon as I started working with community hospitals throughout our region, I quickly became passionate about supporting them, and also helping them support their patients and providing resources. I kind of grew to love oncology, and specifically, this kind of rural outreach.

How does care differ in rural areas? (03:47)

Heather Simonsen: I can tell that you're very passionate about what you do as well, and rightly so. Let's talk about how patient care differs. For people who live in rural or frontier counties, I mean, really, how is it different than if you live in a metropolitan area?

Katie Kerrigan: Certainly, I can speak to that on a personal level. I am a medical oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute, so I have patients traveling quite a distance to come see me. But I was also offered the opportunity to travel to Jackson, Wyoming at one of our affiliates, St. John's Health, and I was a medical oncologist there every other week for eight months. I had the unique kind of perspective of doing both working in an extremely rural area as well as in a metropolitan area.

While the staff at St. John's is incredibly world class, there just are challenges when you live in a rural area, specifically kind of a lack of access to surgical subspecialties that are sometimes necessary in oncology. St. John's Health has a relationship with traveling radiation oncologists but there is no in-house radiation so that can be difficult for patients when they need daily treatments as part of their cancer care, and specialized imaging that we sometimes need as part of oncology, we don't have access in many rural areas. So, patients are reliable on a mobile PET scanner to come to them a once a week. If weather is bad, that PET scanner cannot get there that day. It can be truly difficult to both imaging as well as treat cancer in a rural area.

But we are able to do many, many things. It is incredibly unique and special in the way by which the team has to come together to truly make cancer care possible in these places.

Heather Simonsen: It almost sounds like people have to wear many hats.

Katie Kerrigan: That's a perfect way of putting it.

Heather Simonsen: Right? And to be ready for anything that's needed and to jump in. Do you agree, Megan?

Megan Provost: I agree with that. They do have to wear a lot of hats. And I think that Dr. Kerrigan, you explained that so well for patients. I also want to just speak to supporting, because in my role, we support the cancer center, the staff providing resources so they can better take care of their patients as well. I think it's difficult for an infusion nurse to wear four different hats. It's difficult for the cancer center to wear four different hats. Being our partner, we can help them with those resources, specifically, maybe take some of that workload off them. Or when the care becomes specialized with Dr. Kerrigan and team how do we connect them to our specialized providers, and nurse educators, and things like that?

Patient care in rural areas (06:34)

Heather Simonsen: I love it from the staff perspective. Now let's talk about patients. What unique challenges do they face? So, say they get a cancer diagnosis, and they live in this beautiful area in Jackson or wherever, what kind of challenges do they face as opposed to someone who lives in Salt Lake City?

Katie Kerrigan: I would say cancer care is very time intense. It often involves regular three week or so infusions, sometimes daily radiation, many appointments, blood draws, etc. So, they just have a ton of time that they have to spend traveling.

Cancer treatment in and of itself is exhausting. Being in the car for long hours to make these appointments is even more exhausting. Logistically speaking, it's just a lot of time that they spend outside of the place they're most comfortable. They're away from their families. They have to spend money on things like gas and lodging. And while we try to provide vouchers and whatnot, in terms of housing support, it can be expensive. I just feel like they have to truly spend a lot of time away from the place they're most comfortable, which can make getting cancer treatment even more tough.

You're always most comfortable in your own bed, surrounded by your family, in your own space. And when you're uprooted from the place that you call home, it just makes things more difficult.

Heather Simonsen: Oh, for sure. I've heard other patients say that it teaches you patience when you have cancer, because of all the things that that you talk about. And then if you're not there with your family and your community, it's even harder, right, Megan?

Megan Provost: Absolutely. And Dr. Kerrigan, you touched on all of the most important points. Taking off work, you're not just taking off for an appointment for a couple of hours, you have to take off a day or two or a week. Depending on your treatment, it could be a couple of months.

It impacts them significantly and for their family members at home, right? If one of the partners is at our cancer center, away, the home caregiver needs to step up and take that additional workload on as well. Whatever we can do to keep them in their community.

And I mean, our patients feel comfortable with our physicians, the medical oncologist, but there's something about these communities that they feel more connection, more intimate, and more of a family-like connection with receiving care with them.

Heather Simonsen: Well, I would imagine that impacts healing.

Megan Provost: Absolutely.

How is Huntsman Cancer Institute bridging the gap? (08:56)

Heather Simonsen: Right. It's so important, the work that you're doing. How are we bridging the gap in care? Can we start with you, Megan, this time?

Megan Provost: Absolutely. I feel that we're bridging the gap in care by utilizing our entire network. We have six contracted hospitals throughout our five-state region that we work with, and we partner and work on different initiatives and everything we can do to minimize or eliminate distance as a disparity. When we do that, we call on everyone at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Everyone's working above and beyond to provide these resources. I think that it is a team effort from leadership top down, bottom up, and then in our communities. We are doing everything we can to eliminate distance disparity.

Heather Simonsen: Well, and even you and I have been in meetings with like the comms and public affairs teams at these hospitals, partnering even on that level of getting the stories out in these communities, helping people know where they can get care, what's possible, screening, prevention, which is so important. We know that people who live in rural and frontier counties tend to get diagnosed at a later stage. If you get in and get diagnosed early, that is when cancer is most treatable, and when you have the best chance and so what would you add to that, Dr. Kerrigan?

Katie Kerrigan: As a medical oncologist, in terms of kind of providing care, certainly, I went to a rural community and traveled there to help, boots on the ground. But I also tried to certainly give out my contact information to local doctors.

We often communicate about patients that we share so that a patient can come to me, say every three or four months, and then in the interim, they can stay locally. We communicate and work often with physicians in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, etc., to try to keep a lot of the cancer care locally in the community. As you touched on, certainly, people choose to live in rural areas for certain reasons, right? That's where they call home. That's where they're comfortable.

We want to make sure that they have equitable and good access to world-class cancer care. So screening is certainly very important. Once a cancer diagnosis is made, getting them access to the right people who can help them hopefully take care of their cancer is key. So having these networks, these routes all over the West, to get patients funneled to the right subspecialist quickly, so that their cancer can be addressed is certainly of utmost importance. I think patients really appreciate quick referrals and access, both in-person visits, but also sometimes in the telemedicine realm, so that they can kind of quickly get their questions answered and get a treatment plan going. Because certainly, cancer is extremely anxiety provoking and you want a plan as soon as you can get one. I think that is where these community partnerships really help, in terms of getting people connected quickly.

Heather Simonsen: Then you've got the world-class care at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, but in your home and in the comfort of your own home. And then you've got your oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute, communicating with your physician at home directly. And it's not on the patient, as it used to be right, the patient had to try to connect and send records, and all of that. That direct communication, I would imagine has to be so valuable.

Katie Kerrigan: Definitely. I think the patients are so appreciative of the time taken on both ends to communicate, and make sure that the care is seamless, there's good transition, and make sure everything is sealed and taken care of. While it is a lot of work on both ends, I think it makes for the best care for the patient. We're certainly happy to do it. Many of us chose to work in an environment like this, because we do love taking care of rule and frontier patients are part of the draw of coming here. It’s being able to give good cancer care and access to people who may not have it otherwise. So that was a certainly a big draw for me coming out here.

The importance of community (13:13)

Heather Simonsen: I agree. Whenever I travel through like a small town, there's a different feel. There's something special. When I was a TV reporter, those were my favorite assignments, being in small towns, because the people are so friendly and resourceful. Sometimes it's generations of people who have lived in these and built these small communities. Have you found that too, Megan, that it's just special work that you do?

Megan Provost: As far as the community feel? Absolutely. It goes back to the overall patient experience and patient outcomes in their treatment of care. Because they are going to walk out of their infusion with their entire community with their signs. I know this happens at Huntsman but instead of just one friend traveling with them, they have their whole community, congratulating them, and uplifting them and everyone's pulling together to help them.

Heather Simonsen: It's so touching to hear that, and I know exactly what you're saying. I can think of one patient now where the whole town literally, like rallied behind her in her care. At the small-town parades, posters, everyone rooting for her. That makes a difference.

Katie Kerrigan: It definitely makes a difference. It's everything in terms of support. Patients who are well supported, certainly do better. They feel better, and their outcomes are better too. Having that support is everything really in our world.

I'm actually from a small town in Ohio. So, I understand this small-town mentality and I really like living in a small community. Part of the draw to do the Jackson work was to bring me back to that small town feel. I really liked that aspect of Huntsman because patients travel four hours, six hours, eight hours to come see us. We learn about their small communities and what they do there. It's just so interesting. The patients here really unlike any other. They have incredible stories. Many work in mines or on ranches and that is just not something I had been exposed to before. So yeah, taking care of people in a small town is truly special work.

Heather Simonsen: Yeah, almost like a calling, right?

Cancer education and screening (15:32)

Megan Provost: Absolutely. And it just jogged my memory. We were talking about the community feel, but also the marketing, the prevention, education. They all are on the same page, right? They're all talking. They spend their lives together, and aligning our messaging to eliminate some confusion on screening guidelines has been a big impact in working in these communities. Many times, I'm hearing from patients, they typically say, “I don't want to go and get my screening done, because I don't want to know.” But now as a community, we've done some marketing initiatives and education, and helping them understand the why we do this, it's not necessarily just to find it, like it's not going to go away. But teaching them the importance of finding it early has had a big impact as well. And so now they're talking with each other and saying, actually to my sister to my neighbor, “You need to go do this. I did it, it's fine.” And so that's been kind of neat to see too, as a community initiative.

Heather Simonsen: I really appreciate what you're saying there. It's like empowering the patient. There is so much you can do to take control of your health care, get those screenings, if lifestyle changes are needed, that there's so much you can do, right? I'm sure that word of mouth, between sisters and a mother and daughter, and family members really helps in that situation. This isn't something to avoid or be afraid of. But there is help. There is help.

Patient successes (17:06)

Heather Simonsen: Let's talk about some of those successes. What comes to mind when you think of the successes in the work that you do, is there something that stands out?

Katie Kerrigan: I mean, I can think of many patients’ stories, but one in particular. So, I started going up to Jackson, I think in the summer of 2022. There was a young patient, she was a young mother, and a bad diagnosis. She did initially come down to Huntsman for cancer care, surgical management, etc., did all of her treatment down there, but she really wanted to be close to home. She had a small child to take care of. Her support system was there.

Thankfully, because I was going up there, I was able to work with the team at Huntsman to transition her care back to Jackson. And I was able to see her do all of the same things that they were able to do that were necessary to care for her and her diagnosis, and keep her distance of travel and time away from her home much, much more minimal. I think she was extremely appreciative of my ability to connect with the team at Huntsman and able to provide quality care for her much closer to home. I think overall it just made her experience of going through that bad diagnosis much more pleasant, or kind of as good as it can be when you're going through cancer at a young age.

So that is kind of one success story that comes to mind is just keeping people close to home, again, where they're most comfortable, close to their children, their family, so that the stresses of all of the other parts of our life that we have to take care of, in addition to our health are better managed.

Heather Simonsen: Well, especially and you said she's a young mother, yes. Oh my gosh, the most important job in the world and then you add a cancer diagnosis on top of that, I can't even imagine how hard that would be.

Katie Kerrigan: Terribly difficult. Right? So, being away from your young child who needs you in every aspect of their life is so difficult. And so, keeping her close to her child, I think just alleviated so much stress of the process. It is already a stressful process, and this just alleviated something that was difficult for her. I think it just made all the difference to her and she was so thankful.

And it was great because I could also just communicate quickly with the team down there, keep them updated so that if there was a change, or if something else needed to be done, we could quickly get her back down to Huntsman.

I think is the success of these outreach networks. We can bridge the gap, be kind of boots on the ground in the local place, but then if something goes awry or help as needed, get them quickly to sub-specialists who can provide the care that they need. I was extremely grateful to have been involved in that. I just felt so connected to her because I have a small child. And so doing anything to alleviate a mother's stress, I can certainly empathize with. So that was kind of one of my personal success stories in that work.

Heather Simonsen: I agree. I'm a mother too. We also need our kids. And I can't imagine being away from my kids during something like that. What a success. Thank you so much for sharing that. What about you, Megan?

Megan Provost: Dr. Kerrigan, thank you for sharing that. This is why we do what we do for all of those patients. That's a wonderful story. I think we have a lot of success stories right now. I'm going speak to two. One is that specific to our program to improve cancer care. We are now seeing our partners and community hospitals where we've worked together to build a cancer program or improve their cancer program. They have now expanded access to care into rural and frontier communities where we would otherwise not have them come to Huntsman. We are reaching and expanding our, I don't want to say market, but our bandwidth, how we can really get to these patients. I think that's a huge win for the program and our mission overall.

Heather Simonsen: It's that reach.

Megan Provost: Yes, continued outreach. And now that that these cancer centers, housed in community hospitals, are now almost duplicating what our mission is, as well. They're moving now and further and further. So, we really are better together.

In the second story, I actually love because it's part of our partnership is one of the patients came down to Huntsman for surgery. And at the time, we had invited one of our providers that are in the rural communities to come to Huntsman. They sometimes train and shadow and really meet the team so that we can improve that coordination of care. Right before the patient went into surgery, she got to see her provider from her hometown, and the surgeon, and really believe like, “Wow, you guys really do work together!” And that patient was really excited to see that happen and felt comfortable and confident going back to her home community and receiving follow up care. So that was that one stuck with me?

Heather Simonsen: Yeah, that confidence in knowing that you're absolutely in the best hands, wherever you live has to be really profound.

Megan Provost: You have a team taking care of you.

Research advancements in cancer care (22:33)

Heather Simonsen: Exactly. It's so rewarding for me to hear these stories, too, because it's lifesaving work that you're doing. So, I just appreciate you sharing that so much. Let's talk a little bit about advancements in research and care that people who live in these areas absolutely have access to. What kind of advancements are you seeing?

Katie Kerrigan: Yeah, in oncology, in general, I think the biggest push or advancement is this focus on precision care or precision oncology. So, trying to truly identify the root cause of the cancer to treat it in the most precise way to that patient. There are constant advancements in oncology, which is great, overwhelming too, but amazing in that we can truly personalize each person's care to that person.

And it makes all of the difference in terms of the outcome. At Huntsman, we have many clinical trials and kind of almost every cancer, even rare cancers, so that patients who are diagnosed with an extremely rare cause of cancer are afforded an opportunity to get a treatment that might not currently be approved.

We also have access to world class imaging and different techniques so that patients can get the most up-to-date treatments that are kind of hot off the press in terms of FDA approvals. And then through our connection with these local physicians, we can certainly offer input in terms of second opinions, or just a simple phone call – “Hey, this is what I learned at this recent conference, maybe you should try this.” So, advances in trying to truly treat the cause of each patient's cancer is the way forward in oncology. And we're learning more and more about that every day.

If you can keep a patient in their home and give them an oral therapy, if that's an option that is certainly so much better for that patient than having to travel for, say IV treatments, which are usually frequent. So many advancements, it's an incredibly exciting time in oncology. Certainly, overwhelming to be an oncologist as new things are popping up all the time. But we are truly making strides and improving patient experience, helping maintain their quality of life during treatment, and helping them live longer. But more importantly, live well. Because having cancer is difficult and you want them to live as best a life, as full of a life that they can, while they're getting their treatment, I'm always a huge proponent and supporter of travel, go do what makes you happy. I want you to kind of live this life with a diagnosis, not this diagnosis kind of run your life. The movement of cancer care forward in terms of precise and precision oncology has really made all the difference.

Access to multidisciplinary teams (25:25)

Heather Simonsen: Well, Katie, you mentioned precision medicine, that also means like that precise treatment for that patient, that's most likely to work, but also that they're going to tolerate well, as you said, so that they can still live their life, and enjoy life while they're going through treatment. Right?

Katie Kerrigan: Definitely. And one great other aspect of Huntsman Cancer Institute is, as specialists, we have specialists in each type of cancer. And they sit down once a week, in what we call our multidisciplinary tumor board. And so, you get aspects of a surgeon's perspective, a medical oncologist’s perspective, the radiation team. And so, every person can weigh in on each complicated case, or even just general cases, and come up with the best, most evidence-based plan for each patient. And then that can certainly be hopefully delivered closer to home. There are many great aspects to working at a large cancer center, so that outcomes can be as best as they can.

Access to clinical trials (26:27)

Heather Simonsen: And some people don't realize that, that if you live far away from a comprehensive cancer center, you can still participate in clinical trials, you can still have access to that cutting-edge, best treatment.

Katie Kerrigan: Certainly. That's part of our main mission, right? We want to get patients access to new and upcoming therapies that may benefit them. I have, you physicians from local communities emailing me all the time, hey, do you have a clinical trial for this XYZ, right? We are certainly wanting to offer every best available treatment to every human being there is. And so yeah, I think that’s a great aspect of our reach.

Heather Simonsen: Thank you. And, Megan, anything to add with that?

Megan Provost: I definitely cannot speak to advancements. I think Dr. Kerrigan covered that quite well. I can speak to the precision care and clinical trials. We now have two of our six partners offering clinical trials in their community. So, we are going to continue to see that and we're working towards those initiatives, over the next two to three years, is offering those clinical trials close to home. We're continuing to expand that. And I think that's exciting.

Speaking to those in the community (27:38)

Heather Simonsen: It's very exciting! And I would love each of you to think of that person living in Jackson, who maybe has put off a screening, who's terrified for whatever reason, or someone who has a family member who lives in one of these areas. I mean, talk directly to them, what would you say about screening and cancer care? What would you what would you say, Katie?

Katie Kerrigan: I think first of all, I’d say that we're very nice people. You don't need to be scared of us. Oncologists and people who work in cancer hospitals are, I'm biased, but certainly some of the best. We go into this work to truly take care of people. So, we're not scary, please come see us.

But yeah, it's okay to not want to do things. But we are certainly supportive and encourage you to go get testing. And then if a diagnosis of cancer is made, we want to do everything we can to help you, right? We're going to support you through the physical aspects of treatment. But also, we have nutritionists who can help you with your nutrition, social workers to help you with your mental and emotional well-being, we have an incredible Wellness Center where patients can get access to things like massage and acupuncture to make pain or symptoms that they're experiencing through their cancer treatment, just a little more tolerable.

At Huntsman, the mission truly is to take care of the whole patient, not just the cancer or their physical well-being we truly think of them as a multi-layered person with spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical needs. And so, we're going to take care of you through and through, come see us, this is what we're here for. And, if you don't want to, that's okay. But we always encourage cancer screening, certainly, cancer prevention efforts, and then cancer treatment.

Heather Simonsen: I think it is true - Some of the kindest people in the world I've met at Huntsman Cancer Institute. It really is a mission-driven place, from the person cleaning the floors, to serving the food at The Point, to your oncologist. Everyone invested in that effort of ending cancer, treating these beautiful patients. Anything to add Megan?

Megan Provost: I would say, talk, question, communicate. I'm one of those people. I even need to understand, I'm not a clinician, why I need to get a certain screening or colonoscopy. There's so much misinformation out there. Our oncologists and all of our team members are very welcoming. Ask experts. Talk to each other. Educate yourself so that you have the right tools in your belt. I'm not sure I can even use that analogy, since I don't build. The right shoes on your feet just so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family.

Heather Simonsen: It is back to that empowerment because it is easy to say, I’ll get screened next year. I'll think about that down the road, right? It's human nature. But actually, the more empowered you are for you and your family.

Katie Kerrigan: Certainly.

Delivering a cancer-free frontier though cancer prevention, screenings, and treatment for everyone living in the Mountain West (30:44)

Heather Simonsen: Finally, you both been such a delight today, I'd like to ask each of you something we ask all of our guests. And that is, what does a cancer-free frontier mean to you? Katie?

Katie Kerrigan: Oh wow! A cancer-free frontier to me means that every patient, regardless of where they live, their demographic, or socioeconomic status, has access to cancer treatment, cancer prevention, cancer screening, so that the experience of cancer is certainly less scary, more equitable across all human beings, and is world class and where it needs to be. So certainly, I think these outreach programs to get cancer education, cancer resources, and even clinical trials to extremely rural and frontier regions across the Mountain West, is amazing. It's a huge reason as to why many of us work at Huntsman Cancer Institute, because we truly believe in that mission. And I think that's the only way we're going to be able to do it, right is having little tentacles per se, outreaching widely across these vast swaths of land, to get patients the care that they need.

Heather Simonsen: And to have that personal touch. You talked about that really inspired you to get into oncology. Megan, what does a cancer-free frontier mean to you?

Megan Provost: I agree with Dr. Kerrigan's response 110%. In addition, I think a cancer-free frontier means to me, that we offer all of the advanced treatments in the community, and that when a family member or myself or someone else hears they have cancer, they also know that they have the confidence that all of our providers can help minimize that impact, from a research standpoint, from the care of the personal touch that we have those advancements so that we can treat this, maybe not eliminate it, but we can eliminate or minimize the impact on the whole person.

Heather Simonsen: Absolutely. I agree as well. And especially the access to, like you said, the Wellness Center, and massage therapy, music therapy, licensed clinical social workers trained to help you through that specific type of cancer. These are extraordinary resources that help us treat the whole patient, wherever you live in getting that care to the person quickly. And with excellence and with empathy.

Katie Kerrigan: Definitely. It's a total team approach. We could not do it without every single person who's involved. So, I think that is one of the benefits of Huntsman is that we have experts in each and every area to truly treat the patient as a whole person. Every impact that the cancer has on, that we kind of have a person to address. That is truly important when going through such a hard thing.

Heather Simonsen: Well, Dr. Katie Kerrigan, Megan Provost, such a pleasure. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

Megan Provost: Thank you for having us.

Katie Kerrigan: Yeah, thank you.

Thank you! (33:59)

Heather Simonsen: We extend our gratitude to Dr. Katie Kerrigan and Megan Provost for sharing their expertise and experiences with us today.

Huntsman Cancer Institute continues to raise the standard of care for our patients who live in rural areas. If you live in a small town, and you're diagnosed with cancer, know the very best help is available and it's even possible to receive that help in your hometown. Truly, our goal is to export this cancer care to people's front door.

To our dedicated listeners, we appreciate your support. For additional resources, be sure to check out the show notes. And if you want to stay connected with us and be the first to know about upcoming episodes, don't forget to hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform. We truly appreciate it if you could take a moment and leave us a rating or review. Your feedback is so meaningful. We truly are so very grateful. Please tell your friends and family about the podcast and share episodes on social media. We're always eager to hear from you. Whether you have questions, comments, suggestions for future topics or a personal story you'd like to share, please visit our website

I'm your host and executive producer of the Cancer-Free Frontier, Heather Simonson. Avery Shrader is our producer with help from Carley Lehauli, and Jill woods. A special thanks to The Pod Mill and Mix @ 6 for their help with this episode.