All posts by Alisha Havens

Development Director WMC Foundation

New wig room offers comfortable place for cancer patients

wig room 2
The new wig room at Rocky Mountain Academy of Hair, Skin and Nails will give cancer patients a private, comfortable place to pick out and style their new wigs.

Every month, Wyoming Medical Center Foundation’s Angels Cancer Care Program receives multiple requests from cancer patients needing a wig. With the help of local cosmetologists, the Angels have created a room to make the entire experience more comfortable and intimate for cancer patients.

The Angels have partnered with Kirby Morris – co-owner of Rocky Mountain Academy of Hair, Skin and Nails (RMA) – to create a wig room in the cosmetology school. Morris completely refurbished a room in his school with a washing and styling station, welcoming décor and a variety of wigs lining the walls.

wig room 1
Cancer patients can have students at Rocky Mountain Academy shave their heads and style their wigs, or they can invite their own cosmetologists in to help.

“Opening the wig room at the Rocky Mountain Academy of Hair Skin and Nails is allowing us to pool our resources.  It’s giving patients a place to have privacy while having their head shaved and to choose a wig that fits them,” Morris said. “It’s giving our school a place to teach our students about giving back to our community and to cancer patients while using the skills that they are learning here at RMA.”

In the wig room, cancer patients can have their head shaved, pick out a wig and have it styled either by RMA students or their own cosmetologist. It presents another facet of cosmetology that is not typically covered in the academy curriculum and offers an opportunity for students to learn how to handle sensitive situations with cancer patients, Morris said.

Angels Cancer Care Coordinator Jillian Riddle said the Angels are looking forward to serving hundreds of cancer patients in the new room.  “Our goal is to not only give patients privacy during this difficult time, but make them feel special when choosing their new wig. We are thrilled the wig room has come to life.”

About the Angels

The Wyoming Medical Center Foundation’s Angels Cancer Care program serves hundreds of Wyoming cancer patients every year offering emotional support and financial assistance with wigs, gas cards, transportation and more. To learn more or to make a donation, call (307) 577-4355 or visit our website.

If you are a cancer patient needing a new wig or would like more information about the wig room or the Angels Cancer Care Program, contact Jillian Riddle at

About RMA

 Rocky Mountain Academy of Hair, Skin and Nails is located at 315 E. Fifth St. in Casper. Call them at (307) 237-4247.

Alisha HavensAlisha Havens is development director of the Wyoming Medical Center Foundation. For more information about the foundation or how to give, go to

Go for the H2O!

How much caffeine and sugar is your child consuming on a daily basis? Teens are now more than ever loading up on Starbucks or energy drinks. Surveys suggest that as many as half of young people consume these unregulated beverages, often in search of a hefty dose of caffeine to help them wake up, stay awake or get a “buzz,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average caffeine intake of children and young adults has increased by 70 percent since the 1980s, said the Swiss National Science Foundation. These caffeinated drinks can cause rapid heartbeat, obesity, high blood pressure and other medical problems.

At a recent visit to Safeway over the lunch hour, I saw students grabbing for an energy drink, in the line at Starbucks, or loading up on soda pop. The amount of sugar and caffeine in these drinks will surely keep them awake in the afternoon, provide a few cavities and lead to some extra pounds. Just think of the amount of sugar in each of these beverages. Even Vitamin Water is loaded with sugar. Each sugar cube represented in the diagram below equals 4 grams of sugar.


●Starbucks hot chocolate= 43g(about 10 cubes)   ●No-Carb Monster Drink= 8g (about 2 cubes)
●Mountain Dew= 77g (about 19 cubes)                      ●Red Bull= 27g (about 7 cubes)
●Vitamin Water= 33g (about 8 cubes)
●Coke= 39g (about 10 cubes)

There are many healthy alternatives to high-sugar caffeinated drinks. Obviously the first one is H2O–good old fashioned water. Or if your child wants more flavor provide Propel which has 0 grams of sugar. If they choose to drink soda, Diet 7up and Diet Coke are a great alternative. For younger kids you can dilute the amount of sugar in a juice drink by adding more water or provide chocolate milk with sugar free chocolate syrup.

As parents, we need to start reducing the amount of sugar and caffeinated drinks our kids are consuming and start pushing more water, less sugar and caffeine to lead to healthier outcomes now and later on in life.

Yogurt and berry Christmas parfait recipe

Yogurt Berry Parfait picture

What you need:
Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla flavor)
Fruit preserves
Red raspberries

In a small, clear glass container, spoon in alternate layers of yogurt, then a thin layer of preserves, and berries. Finish with yogurt and top with a slice of Kiwi. Perfect for the holidays and something your kids can make!

Recipe adapted from

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, a project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children of all ages by clicking on For Your Kids’ Health from The Pulse’s homepage.

1,001 cranes: A new view at Wyoming Medical Center

Look up when walking past the information desk at Wyoming Medical Center to see 1,001 origami cranes, on loan from Nicolaysen Art Museum, hanging in the South Link Lobby.
Wyoming Medical Center employees walk beneath the 1,001 origami cranes hanging in our South Link Lobby. A Japanese legend says anyone folding 1,000 cranes will be granted a wish. Folding the last one brings good luck.

Patients and families at Wyoming Medical Center have a new view as they walk into the South Link Lobby from the parking garage – 1,001 origami cranes. In line with WMC’s vision, mission and values, we hope the cranes bring visitors positive wishes such as recovery from illness and a long life of happiness.

Thousand Origami Cranes (Senbazuru) are paper cranes held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend says that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted a wish. The additional crane is for good luck.  In Japan, the crane is a holy creature and is said to live for 1,000 years.

Thousand Origami Cranes became known worldwide through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who developed cancer after being exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II.

At age 12, inspired by the Senbazuru legend, she began making origami cranes with the goal of making 1,000. Some people say that she folded more than 1,000 cranes before she died, but others say she only managed to fold 644 and family and friends finished.

As you walk through the hospital’s South Link Lobby, look up and enjoy the beautiful view the cranes bring. The Wyoming Medical Center Foundation would like to thank the Nicolaysen Art Museum for lending us this display.

We wish for you health, a long life and good luck.

Alisha HavensAlisha Havens is development director of the Wyoming Medical Center Foundation. For more information about the foundation or how to give, go to

WMC Foundation announces leaders in health care

Gala 2013
2013 Community Leader of the Year Bob Barnard accepts his award at the first annual Gift of Health Gala Saturday at the Casper Events Center.

At its first annual Gift of Health Gala on Saturday, the Wyoming Medical Center Foundation named its 2013 physician and community leaders of the year.

Please help us thank Dr. Adrian Fluture and Bob Barnard for their leadership in promoting health care in Casper and Wyoming.

Physician of the Year

Adrian Fluture MDDr. Fluture, a cardiologist at Wyoming Cardiopulmonary Services in Casper since 2008, is the director of Regional Myocardinal Infarction Care at Wyoming Medical Center. He is also a consulting cardiologist for nine other hospitals in the state.

He has been instrumental in forming our STEMI program which is now among the top 10 percent in the country for quickly treating the most serious of heart attacks. In a STEMI heart attack – ST-elevation myocardial infarction – the coronary artery is blocked by a blood clot, causing the heart muscle to begin to die from lack of oxygen. Dr. Fluture has worked closely with EMTs, nurses and emergency room staff to give WMC an average 45 minutes door-to-balloon time – the time it takes to open a patient’s artery after the patient arrives at the ER. The national average is 90 minutes.

Still, Dr. Fluture believes there are still improvements to make before he will be completely satisfied.

“I’d like to extend Dr. Fluture a special thank you for making the critical difference in heart care delivered in Wyoming and the hundreds of patients he impacts every year,” said Alisha Havens, development director of the WMC Foundation.

Community Leader of the Year

Bob Barnard has been a leader of healthcare in the region for 37 years. He Bob Barnard1was born and raised in Casper and attended the University of Colorado where he met the love his life, Ali. They have been married for 61 years.

He served in the Army and worked for Shell Oil in Denver until 1957 when he returned to Casper and joined his dad and brother at Barnard Real Estate Company. He has served on Casper’s Planning Commission, Realtors Professional Association and has been a Rotarian for 56 years.

He has also worked for decades to improve healthcare in our community.

Barnard served on the Natrona County Hospital board from 1960 to 1972 and, in 1976, he helped form the Natrona County Hospital Foundation, now known as Wyoming Medical Center Foundation. He has served on our board for 37 years including three terms as president.

“I recognize the importance of having excellent medical services in the community and in turn that’s why I support the hospital,” he said. “Each of us can help in a small way to make a difference in the community.”

669,267 emails per month and other jaw-dropping numbers

Tate Belden works on system maintenance Wednesday from his desk in Information Services. He is one of 31 IS employees who keep WMC running smoothly -- technologically speaking.
Tate Belden works on system maintenance Wednesday from his desk in Information Services. He is one of 31 IS employees who keep WMC running smoothly — technologically speaking.

As one of the hospital’s directors, I’ve had the privilege to “round” in many different departments here at Wyoming Medical Center. To “round” means to visit our departments, checking in on employee morale, safety and quality issues.

One department in particular has blown my mind and taught me things I did not know about the hospital in which I’ve worked at for over a year– Information Services.

Imagine making sure that 0 viruses infect any of the 1,990 personal computers and supported devices used at WMC. Or ensuring that our Electronic Medical Records program, wireless patient equipment and 117 applications are in working order.

Each month, the hospital receives more than 669,267 incoming emails. Of those, Information Services blocks 93,152 and quarantines 107,467, taking up more than 61 billion bytes of space on our servers.  This high-level of protection ensures our patient’s medical records and emails are kept strictly confidential and are received by the right person.

Information Services rids our systems of unwanted hackers while responding to more 6,356 help desk tickets a year. Can you imagine having to deal with this magnitude of technology on a daily basis? Gives me a headache just thinking about it.

Information Services adds to the hospital’s standard of providing the safest and highest quality of care to our patients and staff. Thank you for keeping our trusty little PCs healthy and ensuring the highest virus protection and confidentiality. And thank you for answering my questions when I call the help desk. Questions like: “So, how do I turn on my computer again?”