Cody Medical Foundation’s Friday night event, “Living up Country – Kicking out Cancer,” will raise funds to refurbish the infusion room at the Big Horn Basin Cancer Center.

The main event at Cassie’s Supper Club is sold out, but people can attend the after-party (beginning at 8:30 p.m. for $20 at the door). Activities will include a marshmallow roast and line dancing.

After West Park Hospital and St. Vincent Healthcare took over the former Frontier Oncology office in the basement of the cancer treatment center in June, they began a campaign to expand available treatment services.

This includes hiring a full-time radiation oncologist, installing an on-site pharmacy and the ongoing recruitment of a full-time medical oncologist, WPH CEO Doug McMillan said.

To complement the expansion of services, the Cody Medical Foundation plans to fund the redecorating of the infusion room in the basement, executive secretary Marty Coe says.

“The building was great when it was new, but that was quite a few years ago,” Coe added. “We want to give it a face-lift.”

“Cancer hits home with many people in the community,” said Jennifer Ball, RN, WPH Outpatient Supervisor. “It’s great that we are seeing people interested in making donations to make this a better place for cancer patients going through a difficult time.”

Coe describes the current space as “dreary,” explaining that its lack of windows or proper lighting, along with dated decor and technology don’t make for the best healing environment.

The “face-lift” – with an estimated cost of about $33,000 for eight new infusion treatment chairs, artwork, paint and iPads – should change that.

“This is where we are asking people to get better,” Coe said. “So we want to do a better job with the space. We will work with staff there to create the best possible working and patient environment.”

For more information about the medical foundation’s annual event, call Pam Feeley, 587-4523.

Chapman, Jackson, Strow honored

The Cody Medical Foundation will honor Pat Chapman, the late John Jackson and Peg Strow at Friday’s fundraising event at Cassie’s.

“These people have rolled up their sleeves, taken hold of many hands and reached out to help countless people in so many beautiful ways,” executive secretary Marty Coe said.

Pat Chapman

When Pat Chapman is not organizing entertainment at Spirit Mountain Hospice House, she’s volunteering at the WPH Long Term Care Center.

“Besides being a hospice volunteer, she can be found at the LTCC giving manicures, delivering meals and generally findings things to be done before anyone else realizes they need doing,” foundation volunteer Kate Williams said. “Chapman has lips that apparently don’t ever form the word ‘no.’”

For living in Cody just six months each year, “this hurricane force named Pat fills every bit of her time here doing for other people,” WPH hospice chaplain Rev. Randy Leisey says. “It’s hard to keep up with her, but it sure is fun.”

John Jackson

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2008, John Jackson spent time urging other men to get prostate tests and offered to pay for their test if necessary, Williams said.

Other activities he boosted included helping to feed participants in the Relay for Life, co-chairing the Community Thanksgiving Dinner and driving a support wagon for the 2011 Peaks to Conga bicycle ride.

“He went way beyond the call of duty,” ride organizer Laurie Parker said.

John Jackson died July 21 at the Hospice House.

“John’s influence in Cody is far reaching and knows few limits,” Williams added.

Peg Strow

Mental health advocate Peg Strow says her motto is, “Whatever I can do to make any situation better, that’s what I’m all about.”

Her daughter Sammi Strow vouches for that, saying her mother impressed on her the need to help others by making situations better.

“With love, and lots and lots of laughter, these two women make every situation better,” Williams says.

A volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness for more than 30 years, Strow works at WPH in environmental services, but likes to say the “cleaning lady” gig is a disguise, Williams said.

“She told a guest there she really gets to talk about mental illness with people everywhere she goes while on duty,” Williams added.

(Heidi Hansen can be reached at heidi@codyenterprise.com.)

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