Adjunct, Alumna Honored with National Cancer Service Award
A longtime adjunct faculty member and college alumna was recently honored with a national American Cancer Society award for her work with cancer patients and their families.
June Kilgus Zimmerman, an oncology social worker at UPMC Susquehanna’s Cancer Center, received the ACS Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award at a ceremony last month in Atlanta. The prestigious national honor recognizes leadership in serving the complex needs of cancer patients and their families.
Kilgus Zimmerman has taught sociology and psychology in a part-time capacity at Pennsylvania College of Technology (and its predecessor Williamsport Area Community College) for 28 years.
She holds an associate degree from WACC in liberal arts (now referred to as general studies). Kilgus Zimmerman is also a graduate of Lycoming College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in psychology and sociology and a minor in anthropology.
She has been a medical social worker since 1974. Her career began in mental health and acute care social work. For the past 23 years, she has served in the Cancer Center, where she has proved to be a strong advocate for cancer patients and their families. Kilgus Zimmernan facilitates three cancer-related support groups for patients and families, chairs the survivorship dinner for the local ACS chapter, and serves on the Relay for Life of River Valley committee. She organizes staff contributions of clothing and household items for patients and families in need; this has led to a space at the Cancer Center known as “June’s Nook.” She also organized and facilitates a program called Shine the Light on Lung Cancer, held in conjunction with Lung Cancer Alliance.
Kilgus Zimmerman also dedicates time to the Patient Navigation Training Program for Rural and Appalachian Populations sponsored through Kentucky University, Appalachian Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Penn State Cancer Institute.
The Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award recognizes individuals who consistently exhibit excellence and compassion in providing care to cancer patients, going beyond their duties to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families. This award also represents the concept of the “warm hand of service,” which is an integral part of the ACS’ commitment to excellence in cancer care and specifically emphasized by Adams when he served as executive vice president of the American Cancer Society. Lane’s definition of the warm hand of service was to “serve others and enrich the purpose of one’s existence.”
Kilgus Zimmerman is one of six outstanding oncology professionals in the nation to be honored last month with the Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award.