An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring JESSICA BRANDT, B.S.N., RN, OCN [MELANOMA CLINIC, DEPARTMENT OF ONCOLOGY, MAYO CLINIC, ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA]
BY Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Jessica Brandt, B.S.N., RN, OCN, and Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D. PHOTOS BY MATTHEW C. MEYER
I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE you to Jessica Brandt, our young oncology nurse who, over the past two years, has dramatically changed our practice of advanced melanoma at Mayo Clinic. Jessica joined our team in 2014 after spending several years as a nurse on the inpatient hematology floor, where I first had the privilege of meeting her. In 2014, Jessica decided to take on the new task of serving as staff nurse for our advanced melanoma outpatient practice. As with everything in her life, she took the challenge head-on, fully investing herself in the significant goal ahead: helping treat patients with advanced melanoma in the new era of cancer immunotherapy.
Jessica has been a tireless advocate in ensuring that patients are well cared for and have rapid access to any/all resources necessary for their care — seemingly 24 hours per day, seven days per week. She is never farther away than a phone call, always cheerful and kind, spending countless hours helping patients and their families to cope with this difficult diagnosis and empowering them to face the challenges of novel therapies with not-yet-fully defined toxicities. Jessica’s tireless devotion to her patients and their care has been appreciated by many. Her passion is the education of her patients; she not only performs this task on a daily basis for all of those in her care, but also serves as the inspiration and co-chair of the Mayo Clinic Melanoma Patient Education Symposium, held every other year at our institution.
Jessica truly personifies all of the ideals of an oncology nurse specialist. She is kind, generous, dedicated, seemingly always upbeat and in a good mood, ready to help at any time. She is admired by all of us who have had the chance to work with her, and appreciated by all for whom she cares every day. It is an honor for our entire group of physicians, nurse practitioners and melanoma patient advocates to nominate Jessica for this prestigious award.