Section: News

Queen of the Valley Medical Center Rallies Teams for Relay for Life


Napa, CA – Queen of the Valley Medical Center plans to seriously step up its participation in Relay for Life this year, as the fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society marks its 25 year. The hospital has signed up enough participants from among staff to constitute 11 teams totaling 130 team members. The 24-hour event, which starts at 9 a.m. on July 25 and ends at 9 a.m. on July 26, will be held at Napa Valley College.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity and raises funds for the organization’s mission to fight cancer. In each community where it is held, teams of people camp out at a school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path over an extended period, up to 24 hours. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. 

"Queen of the Valley Medical Center’s cancer program was recently granted a three-year approval with commendation by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), a designation held by only 25 percent of U.S. hospitals. Given the scope of services offered through our Cancer Center for cancer patients, it is natural for us to find ways to support the great work the Cancer Society is accomplishing in the areas of research and education. Our employees have proudly raised over $16,000 for this cause." says Walt Mickens, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Queen of the Valley. "This event is a significant opportunity for us to show that support."

Relay for Life raises funds through solicitation of pledges by participating teams and also through sponsorships of luminaria — paper bags filled with sand and illuminated by a small light or candle - that are placed around the track where participants are walking. Each luminaria bears the name of a person who has faced cancer, or who has lost his or her battle to cancer. 

"In addition to raising funds, Relay For Life is intended to CELEBRATE the lives of those who have battled cancer, REMEMBER loved ones who have been lost to the disease and FIGHT BACK by encouraging the community to learn more about the risk factors for cancer," says Denny Cone, Area Director for the greater Bay Area Region. "Because of the prevalence of cancer — one in three people will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime — everyone within a community has been touched at some point in their life, either by experiencing it themselves or knowing someone who has experienced it." 

Relay for Life also has its lighter side, too, with selection of an event-specific theme on which to base team names, costume designs, tent decorations or activities and games during the event. This year, the local event has encouraged participating teams to reflect some aspect of the theme "music." "Our staff inspired by the theme and their department specialty named their teams accordingly.  For instance, Rehab Services are the ‘Rockers, Not Walkers, Synergy is ‘Well Tuned’ and Imaging Services are the ‘Band of Rays’" says Liz Alessio, Queen of the Valley’s community benefit coordinator, one of the staff members helping create awareness of the event at the hospital. 

For more information about the event, please contact the Napa Unit of the American Cancer Society, please go to:

About Queen of the Valley Medical Center

Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 191-bed, acute-care facility founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The Queen is the largest health care facility and one of the largest employers in Napa County. Services provided include: a Regional Heart Center, a Regional Orthopedic Center, a Regional Cancer Center approved with commendations by the American College of Surgeons, a Women’s Center, maternity and infant care, inpatient and outpatient minimally invasive surgery, occupational health, imaging center and full-service emergency department, among many other specialty services. More information about Queen of the Valley Medical Center can be found at

For a free physician referral call 1-877-QUEEN LINE (1-877-783-3654) or click here.

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