VERMILLION, S.D. – Anna Bahnson, a medical student at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, is a 2018 recipient of the Excellence in Public Health Award, presented by the U.S. Public Health Service. Bahnson was recognized for her research and education project about skin cancer risks associated with working in agriculture, and the importance of educating cosmetologists to identify skin cancer symptoms on their clients.
Bahnson’s project, titled “Skin Cancer Education in the Rural Salon”, was approved by the University of South Dakota Institutional Review Board. Its ultimate aim is to educate cosmetologists in rural South Dakota about skin cancer lesions.
Bahnson herself has conducted trainings with eight cosmetologists in five rural cosmetology salons, and her overall goal is to train 40 cosmetologists who practice in rural locations. According to Bahnson, cosmetologists are uniquely positioned to identify suspicious skin lesions and can encourage their customers to see their physicians for evaluation.
Bahnson is a graduate of West Central High School in Hartford, South Dakota and Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.