In February, the Colorado Cancer Coalition announced that Keefe Memorial Hospital in Cheyenne County was selected as the pilot facility to participate in the Colorado Cancer Coalition in Communities. This selection was made, in part, based on the most recent data collected from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This data shows that Cheyenne County has the second highest number of cancer incidences in the state of Colorado and is nearly double the state average of cancer incidences.
The goal of this collaboration is to provide rural Cheyenne County with increased access to cancer screening services, upgrade equipment, and implement mobile services and traveling providers to members of this community. Effective cancer screening not only finds some cancers early, often before symptoms even are noticed, but it also greatly improves chances at successful treatment. There is also a push to improve cancer outcomes locally and provide resources for these survivors.
Currently, Keefe Memorial Hospital does have many cancer screening services available. Patients of Keefe Memorial Hospital and Prairie View and Kit Carson Clinics have access to blood screening tests (CBC, PSA-prostate specific antigen), stool-based colon cancer screening (occult stool tests, Cologuard), low dose CT scans for lung cancer, and Women’s Clinic/Mammography for cervical cancer and breast screenings. KMH will be hosting Hospital Week on May 3 – 7, 2021. This will provide community members with a chance to receive some of these screenings at a discounted rate.
KMH and CCC are also excited to announce that the Sun Bus will be at the Cheyenne County Tumbleweed Fair on July 22 and 23, 2021. The Sun Bus is a mobile unit that provides skin cancer and sun safety education as well as free skin cancer exams.
Keefe Memorial Hospital is also looking to update the facility’s current mammography unit to a 3D machine. This 3D unit will not only be compliant with quality standards, but will also reduce the risk for missed diagnosis, reduce patient radiation exposure, and it will provide a vital aspect to women’s health services in the community. Prairie View Health Resources has currently launched a campaign to assist with securing funds for this new unit. PVHR is pursuing grants for the new unit and is also actively seeking donations from local individuals and businesses, as well as national foundations and organizations. In the early stages of this campaign, PVHR has already received over $25,000 in donations to go towards the new mammography machine. Donors include: The Kent Family (in Memory of Carmen Kent), BP (British Petroleum) Foundation, Eastern Colorado Bank, Wendy S. Dickey Agency, Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union Charitable Foundation, Andi Dwyer and Russ Elliott, and the Town of Cheyenne Wells.
Prairie View Health Resources is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions to this entity are deductible to the full extent allowed by the law. Members of PVHR are Ray Brown, Devin Dickey, Kathy Dwyer-Keefe, Nick Hevner, Cindy Hoffman, Nancy Larsen, Maggie Oswald, Mary Jo Tallman, and Ryan Uhland.