Implementing Standards of Care in Radiation Dermatitis Prevention:

An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring ANNA SKRIPNIK LUCAS, M.S.N., RN, DNC, FNP-BC [MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER, NEW YORK, NEW YORK]
BY MARIO LACOUTURE, M.D. DIRECTOR, ONCODERMATOLOGY PROGRAM, MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER, NEW YORK
PUBLISHED: JULY 02, 2017
Anna Skripnik Lucas, M.S.N., RN, DNC,
FNP-BC, and Mario Lacouture, M.D.
 - PHOTOS BY KESHA LAMBERT
Anna Skripnik Lucas, M.S.N., RN, DNC, FNP-BC, and Mario Lacouture, M.D. - PHOTOS BY KESHA LAMBERT
I am a dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and have worked with Anna in the service for five years. Anna is a conscientious, driven and hardworking individual who continually strives for excellence in patient care and health care process improvement. She is an active leader who always seeks ways to create new opportunities. She recently implemented the first standards of care on radiation and prevention in post-mastectomy breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy and breast cancer patients receiving proton therapy. As chair of the Radiation Dermatitis Prevention Task Force, Anna spearheaded this project to improve skin adverse events related to radiation therapy. These standards are the first of their kind to come out of the Dermatology Department as well as at our institution.

Approximately 87 to 95 percent of patients receiving radiation therapy to the breast will experience some degree of radiation dermatitis, and implementation of these standards of care will improve patients’ quality of life and tolerance of anticancer therapy, and alleviate the psychosocial burden of skin adverse events. Anna is an avid patient advocate; she presented the proposed standards of care to the chief medical officer and chief nursing officer of MSK, and is setting up measuring parameters to ensure that standards of care will be adhered to. Anna is also the principal investigator on a quality improvement project at MSKCC on evaluating the impact of radiation dermatitis on patients’ quality of life.

Among her many accomplishments, she has earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree in nursing practice, holds a national dermatology nursing certification and is a certified family nurse practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Anna is following the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for the future of nursing by achieving the highest level of education in doctorate of nursing practice at Duke University, and is due to graduate this year. She is a prime example of nursing excellence. Working with Anna on a daily basis, I am constantly impressed with her expertise and delivery of gold-standard care.



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