Another successful "Ride"


Click here for a slideshow of our Ride

Just over 80 bicyclists, runners and walkers took part in the sixth annual Ride to Survive Saturday to benefit cancer care, education and research at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH).

Tom Keim, SGCMH CEO gave a brief welcome and emphasized that the money raised stays at the hospital.

“Your money stays right here,” said Keim. “It stays here to go to the patients to improve care; it goes to the equipment that it takes to identify and diagnose cancer, and this year proceeds from this event will go to upgrade our 3D mammography. We really have become a regional center for breast care in the Ste. Genevieve, Farmington, Perryville and even parts of St. Louis. We see people that come to us because they know they not only get great diagnostic care, but they get compassionate care by people who really want to make a difference and deliver care the way it should be, not just institutional and for profit. It’s taking care of the patients and doing the right thing day in and day out that make the patient experience the best it can be.

Keim had high praise for Dr. Alan Lyss who has been medical director of oncology care at SGCMH for nearly 25 years.

“We have been so blessed to have a man who cares so deeply and is doing incredible things to ensure that we are taking care of cancer patients in our community. Those of you who have had an opportunity to work with Dr. Lyss know he is one special guy, and we are so proud to have him be a part of our community and a part of our hospital.”

Dr. Lyss, a bicyclist himself, said Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital is committed to providing great patient care.

“I have been coming down to Ste. Genevieve along with my colleague Dr. Shafqat for over 24 years,” said Dr. Lyss. “During that time, in Festus there have been 4 or 5 medical oncologists who have come and gone; in Perryville, there have been 8 or 10; there’s not a single medical oncologist in Cape Girardeau who is still seeing patients in Cape, but you’ve had consistency and commitment from your oncology staff here for a really long time and that’s important. It’s also consistent with your administration, your board of directors, your medical staff, your nursing staff and this entire community to support cancer care in Ste. Genevieve County to make it the best it could possibly be.”

Dr. Lyss also talked about today’s buzz word in oncology.

“One of the buzz words in oncology today is precision medicine or personalized oncology. You’re very fortunate because Sandy Schilli and her excellent staff of Jennifer Nees, Dorothy Cossey and Maggie Giesler have been delivering personalized care to cancer patients here for as long as we’ve had a cancer center. So you’re very fortunate, and as Mr. Keim said we’re lucky that we have cancer research trials right here in Ste. Genevieve so people can get the newest and best treatments without having to travel to distant sites. As the sign says on the way into town, Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital is miles ahead, not miles away.

“People here are first in line when it really matters. They have the opportunity to have the newest and the best of “tomorrow’s” treatment’s today. I’d like to thank you for what each of you have done to make cancer care in Ste. Genevieve something of which we’re all proud.”

Sandy Schilli, BSN, RN, OCN and director of the oncology department, is a familiar face to all who come to SGCMH for cancer care.

“I’m on this kick lately of counting my blessings,” she said. “I believe that being gracious is something that is very important to our health and at the top of my list is my family and my hospital family. I am so grateful for the staff that I work with and we couldn’t do it without diagnostic imaging, and lab, surgery--it’s a great group to be a part of and I’m so proud of that. Also on that list is you. Without your help and support we wouldn’t be able to what we do for our patients. We’re able to provide them more than they could usually get at any other cancer center. So for that I am very grateful.”

Schilli introduced Vern Bader, who spawned the idea for the Ride five years ago.

“I do really appreciate everyone being loyal the way they are,” he said. “The little things we do for a person who’s going through cancer treatment has big results in the end, and we truly appreciate your loyalty and support of this event.”

Special thanks were given to Mississippi Lime Company for being a corporate sponsor, as well as to Bloomsdale Bank, the Ste. Genevieve Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, Ste. Genevieve Ambulance District, Highway patrol, Zell Fire Department, Sav-A-Lot and Road ID.

Shawn Long, Friends Foundation Director, said this year’s Ride to Survive raised $13,000. For more information on Friends events, call 573-883-7725.

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