Cancer Center nurse receives statewide honor

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BENNINGTON — The group Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer has named Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center's Rebecca Hewson-Steller, RN, as one of its two 2020 Impact Award Honorees, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center announced.

"Rebecca truly has a passion for cancer prevention and screening, community health, outreach, collaboration, and building partnerships," Jean Huntington, Oncology Services director at SVRCC, said in a statement. "She has a unique set of skills and expertise that benefit our community and the Cancer Center."

Hewson-Steller works as a nurse navigator in the Cancer Center and the Breast Health and Imaging Center. In addition to helping recently diagnosed patients cope with their illness and determine their course of action, Hewson-Steller conducts outreach aimed to promote awareness, prevention, and screenings. To people outside the Cancer Center, Rebecca is best known for helping to organize outreach events to increase the number of people who get screened for colon, skin, cervical, breast, and lung cancers.

"Her events are fun and informative, and really help people realize the importance of taking action to reduce their risk," Huntington said.

Amy Deavitt of the American Cancer Society nominated Hewson-Steller for the award. In the nomination, she wrote, "Rebecca works tirelessly on behalf of the patients she serves by going above and beyond to provide the best in cancer care." She continued, "Rebecca has been instrumental in breaking down barriers to increase colorectal and lung cancer screenings. Often, Rebecca is in the field at an event talking a community member through screening logistics or explaining the polyps on display in the inflatable colon She clearly loves her job."

SVRCC is a part of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Southwestern Vermont Health Care.

The Impact Awards began approximately 13 years ago. The VTAAC coalition of 650 members nominates honorees annually. The VTAAC Executive Committee reviews them and selects two individuals to honor each year. This year's other honoree was Amy Pfenning of Community Health Center Rutland.

In addition, Justin Pentenrieder has been part of the VTAAC leadership for 10 years and was honored for his numerous contributions in reducing the cancer burden for Vermonters as well as his service to VTAAC.

The goal of VTAAC is to reduce the burden of cancer for all Vermonters. For more information, visit vtaac.org.

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