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A Calming Spirit
May 27, 2019 – Stephanie Fraser, M.S.W.

A Calming Spirit

A essay nominating Kimberly Spina, B.S.N., RN for CURE®’s Extraordinary Healer® Award, written by Stephanie Fraser, M.S.W., of The University of Vermont Cancer Center.
BY Stephanie Fraser, M.S.W.
PUBLISHED May 27, 2019
I have known Kimberly “Kim” Spina, RN, OCN, for over 20 years as a colleague, working with her as part of the treatment team. She has filled many roles in her current position, often as a lone ranger. In addition, she juggles many responsibilities as the clinical coordinator, and she does it all with grace.

I have found Kim to be compassionate and responsive to patients’ needs, no matter how busy she may be. She makes herself available to address the challenges of making sure patients get what they need and keeping them informed through every step of their cancer journey, easing the worries, anxieties and fears that cancer often brings.


From left: Stephanie Fraser, M.S.W., and Kimberly Spina, RN, OCN. Photos by Karen Pike.

Kim is well-respected by her working team and beyond. As an oncology social worker, I facilitate a gynecologic oncology support group. I receive consistent feedback from women about Kim’s positive, upbeat performance. All the women passionately tell me how Kim has made a difference in their cancer experience by making sure they feel comfortable, supported and well-informed. These are some of the quotes from our support group attendees:

“When my bloodwork started crashing, it was Kim Spina’s voice that brought me calmness and back to a state of peace to rationally deal with my situation. I only needed to hear her voice and I just knew that everything would be OK.” — RF

“Kim makes every patient feel as though she is her only concern. She is always calm, caring and compassionate, whether in person, on a phone call or in an email message. She responds to every inquiry quickly and thoroughly and never seems in a rush to move on to the next thing, though no doubt she may be! She is personable and remembers to ask about family members and shares stories of her own. It is obvious to me that Kim is a highly skilled oncology nurse who also loves what she does.” — VH


“If I had a question, she would find the answer for me or find me someone who could. Since I cope by learning about my disease and treatments, I immediately responded to her as an ally.” — DP

“Kim Spina has been my nurse since my diagnosis 12 years ago and is still helping me navigate my way as I live with recurrence. It means so much having her by my side. She’s my guardian angel nurse.” — PL

“I wholeheartedly agree with nominating Kim Spina, as I had nothing but positive experiences when she was helping me during my cancer treatments. She’s positive, patient (and) kind, and she gets things done.” — JW


“Cancer is overwhelming and frightening. Kim has a calming spirit, the ability to keep you centered, strong, ready to move ahead and feel safe while doing so. Kim provides the glue that holds you and your family together through such a complex journey. She reminded me to exhale.” — DC

In summary, Kim deserves to be recognized for all the good work she does each day!
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