CURE magazine, the nation’s largest magazine for people with cancer, has announced the three finalists for the 2012 Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing. The contest, made possible with financial support from Amgen Oncology and Breakaway from Cancer®, invited patients and their families to submit a 700-1,000 word essay describing the compassion, expertise and helpfulness a special oncology nurse exhibited toward them during their cancer journey.
This year’s finalists include Sheila Dropcho, RN, BSN, CCRP, from the Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Ind., nominated by Greg Schilling of Greenwood, Ind., Mary Heery, APRON, AOCNS from the Smilow Family Breast Health Center at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Conn., nominated by Wendy Crowther of Westport, Conn, and Andrea Solano, RNC, BSN from the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M., nominated by Cesar Quesada, also of Albuquerque, N.M.
“I’m always impressed by nurses who go to extraordinary lengths every day to support the patients they care for,” says Susan McClure, cancer survivor and publisher of CURE. “One of this year’s finalists helped a man with stage IV cancer find hope and a will to live, even though he had recently lost his wife of 30 years to cancer. Another braved a blizzard just two days before Christmas to hand deliver a packet of patient education materials to a newly diagnosed patient. The essayist had decided to postpone telling her family of her diagnosis until after the holiday but was desperate to learn as much as possible in the meantime. Our third finalist has gone to great lengths to help a child with cancer understand that his disease doesn’t define him. She has helped him feel normal even though he’s been battling cancer for 11 of his 17 years.”
The three nurse finalists and their essayists (plus one guest) will receive round-trip airfare and two-night accommodations in New Orleans, where they will be honored at a reception held in conjunction with the Oncology Nursing Society’s 37th Annual Congress on May 3, 2012. This year’s reception is expected to draw more than 700 oncology nurses. The finalists, as well as the ultimate winner, were selected by the staff of CURE Media Group based on how each essay best portrayed the inspirational and exceptional qualities of the oncology nurses, including compassion, expertise, helpfulness, and insight as well as originality and creativity of the essay itself.
Golden Globe® and Tony-award® winning actress and breast cancer survivor, Diahann Carroll, will act as the Mistress of Ceremonies. During the reception, the essayists will read their essay on-stage with their nurse standing beside them. Afterward, one of the finalist nurses will be presented with the 2012 Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing and will also receive an all-expenses-paid spa trip for two.
“Going into my sixth year of judging this contest I knew how difficult it would be for all of us to manage the emotions that these essays invoke,” says Kathy LaTour, cancer survivor and editor-at-large of CURE. “Narrowing it down to three finalists is never easy, especially because we know that the nurses nominated spend their days taking extraordinary care of our readers. And we also know that the readers who nominated their nurse poured their heart and soul into their entries. Each year proves to be a bittersweet yet incredibly fulfilling experience.”
2012 marks the second year that Amgen Oncology and the Breakaway from Cancer initiative have sponsored the Extraordinary Healer Award. Founded in 2005 by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer is a national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention through survivorship.
“Nurses are the gatekeepers to empowering patients with essential information, support, and care through a confusing and overwhelming period,” said Stuart A. Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology. “We are incredibly proud to sponsor the Extraordinary Healer Award and support CURE in honoring individuals who are inspiring examples of the difference one person can make for a patient and their loved ones.”
This year’s winning essay will appear in the Summer 2012 issue of CURE, and all three finalist essays will be featured on CURE’s website, www.curetoday.com, beginning June 25, 2012. Additional information on the Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing, including past finalist essays, pictures from last year’s reception and more, can be found online at www.curetoday.com/healeraward.
About CURE Magazine
CURE magazine is a free, award-winning publication from Dallas-based CURE Media Group-the national source for cancer patient education. By combining science and humanity, CURE helps patients, survivors and caregivers navigate the cancer journey and understand their diagnosis and treatment, while providing tools to cope during and after cancer-ultimately helping them to live the life they aspire to live. Through the magazine, an annual resource guide for the newly diagnosed, books, and a new and interactive website, CURE provides a wealth of resources for everyone on the cancer journey. For more information, visit www.curetoday.com. CURE Media Group is affiliated with McKesson Specialty Health, a division of McKesson Corporation.
About Breakaway from Cancer®
Founded in 2005, Breakaway from Cancer is designed to help empower people affected by cancer. Breakaway from Cancer supports the services of four nonprofit organizations: Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community (formerly known as The Wellness Community), Patient Advocate Foundation, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. For more information, please visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science’s promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from lab to manufacturing plant to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people’s lives. www.amgen.com