Darla Havlicek Spirit of Collaboration Awards recipients honored at 2014 Cancer Summit

The Minnesota Cancer Alliance singled out three individuals and one innovative public health program for special recognition during the 2014 Cancer Summit, held November 6 at the Hilton Minneapolis/ Bloomington. The Spirit of Collaboration Awards are named for Darla Havlicek in honor of her many contributions to the Alliance and tobacco control in Minnesota. Darla passed away from cancer in April 2012.

DeAnn Lazovich, an associate professor and cancer epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and co-leader of the Masonic Cancer Center’s program in Prevention and Etiology, was honored as a Policy Champion whose research and advocacy skills led the Alliance to make indoor tanning use and the risk of melanoma priority policy issues nearly 4 years ago. That work paid off this earlier this year with passage of a bill that prohibits anyone younger than 18 from tanning at an indoor tanning salon. New this year, the Policy Champion award recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding commitment to reducing the burden of cancer in Minnesota through work on policy, systems, and environmental change.

Key Collaborator Awards went to Gay Lynn Richards of the Minnesota Department of Health and Dr. Ann Vogel, a family practice physician in New Ulm. Gay Lynn Richards is a clinical nurse specialist who serves as regional coordinator for the Sage Screening Program, which helps low income women get free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic tests at 430 clinics throughout Minnesota. Dr. Ann Vogel, who for years served as the only full-time physician at the Open Door Clinic in Mankato and is now affiliated with the Allina Clinic in New Ulm, was honored for her lifelong commitment to collaborative cancer control efforts.

The See, Test & Treat Project Team from North Point Health and Wellness Clinic was awarded the Darla Havlicek Spirit of Collaboration Award for their efforts to make getting recommended cancer screening exams easy for women who might otherwise forego them. The See, Test & Treat approach, refined by the North Point team over the past 8 years, is to offer Pap tests and mammograms on the same day and provide test results promptly so that women who may require follow-up care get connected before leaving the clinic. The program is offered over a three-day period, with one day reserved for African American women, one day for Spanish-speaking women, and a third day for Hmong/Laotian women.


As pictured, from left to right: DeAnn Lazovich, Patricia Ruiz de Somocurcio of the See, Test & Treat team, Dr. Ann Vogel, Trena Allbritton and Bonita Robinson; both of the See, Test & Treat team, and Gay Lynn Richards.