Dr. Penny Cooper Signifies SLV Health's Commitment to Cancer Services

Committed to providing cancer services to the greater San Luis Valley community, San Luis Valley Health brought Dr. Penny Cooper, the organization’s first full-time Oncologist, on board this past March. 

Dr. Cooper came to San Luis Valley Health from Durango, Colorado and had spent 22 years in Indianapolis at Indiana Oncology Hematology Associates.

Over the past six months, Dr. Cooper has continued to see an increase in the number of patients that are being treated at San Luis Valley Health.

“It has been a very positive experience, coming to San Luis Valley Health,” said Dr. Cooper.  “As I have become more acclimated with the systems, our clinic has been able to handle more patients, and that is a good thing because we can treat more Valley residents close to their homes.”

Dr. Cooper also noted that over the past six months, she has seen a wide array of conditions that include several different types of cancer and most of the cases have been able to be treated right here at San Luis Valley Health. 

“We have seen everything from breast and colon cancer to gastric cancer and several types of sarcomas,” Dr. Cooper noted.  “I am very impressed with the services that San Luis Valley Health offers to treat these conditions.  Many of my patients have expressed their appreciation at being able to stay close to home during an already difficult and stressful time.”

Services such as chemotherapy, Infusion services, and PET/CT scans have helped keep patients close to their homes, whereas in the past they may have to leave the San Luis Valley to receive those services.  This has cut down on the travel cost for patients.

“We have treated many lymphoma cases, for instance,” said Dr. Cooper.  “This was something that used to have to be sent to Denver.”

“We take a lot of pride in being able to offer services close to home,” stated Konnie Martin, CEO of San Luis Valley Health.  “We met a previously unfulfilled need when we brought Dr. Cooper on board.  She brings a tremendous amount of expertise to our organization, and we are fortunate to have her on our team.”

Dr. Cooper will be at the 11th Annual Stephanie L. Miner 5K Walk/Run on October 4th here in Alamosa.  Pre-Registration for the event will begin on September 17th and interested participants can contact Foundation Director Kelly Gurule at (719) 587-5707.

This article is part of the series “Introducing our Strategy Map: 2014-15” for San Luis Valley Health.  This article focuses on the first of four strategies, Magnet for Excellent People, that San Luis Valley Health will focus on in the upcoming year.