Never-Ending Generosity: An Extraordinary Pediatric Oncology Nurse, Patient Advocate and Spiritual Healer
May 06, 2019 – James LaBelle, M.D., Ph.D.
Always Ready to Volunteer
April 15, 2019 – Dianne Rohald
Going the Extra Mile
April 16, 2019 – Cora Beth Hartfield
Part of the Family
April 17, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
Making a Dream Come True
April 18, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
Currently Viewing
The Embodiment of Caring and Support
April 24, 2019 – Shelley Fess, M.S., RN-BC, AOCN, CRNI, VA-BC
Healing With Compassion and Grace
April 20, 2019 – Carolina Fasola, M.D., M.P.H.
Forming Lifelong Bonds
April 18, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
Making a Dream Come True
April 18, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
A Great Nurse and Friend
May 04, 2019 – Lois Adelman
Making Wishes Come True: Fairy Godmothers of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
May 05, 2019 – Andrea Kabacinski, M.S., RN
A Beautiful Soul: An Oncology Nurse with Love, Compassion and Knowledge
May 11, 2019 – Teresa Corso
Two Lost People and an Angel
May 19, 2019 – Maria Campos
Taking Things One Day at a Time
May 18, 2019 – Alvin David, B.S.N., RN-BC
Healing Close to Home
May 25, 2019 – Carol Schumacher
A Calming Spirit
May 27, 2019 – Stephanie Fraser, M.S.W.
Healing Close to Home
May 25, 2019 – Carol Schumacher
Encouraging Fitness and Fellowship
June 23, 2019 – Honora R. Miller
A Dynamic Problem Solver
June 22, 2019 – Karen Leary
An Oncology Nurse at Heart
June 16, 2019 – Jeanine Gordon and Jaclyn Andronico
Dedicated to Oncology
June 15, 2019 – Tracey M. Hopkins
Unshakable Loyalty
June 02, 2019 – Peggy Hufty
Making Everyone Better
June 08, 2019 – Meaghan Connors
The Compassion Gene
June 01, 2019 – Sandy Allten, RN, OCN, CCRP
Sharing Her Gifts and Talents: A Breast Cancer Survivor and Registered Nurse
July 04, 2019 – Patricia Campbell, B.S.N., RN
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Always Thinking of 'Her Kids'
July 14, 2019 – Alice Cockerel, M.S.N., M.S.M./HM, RN, ONC, CNL
Tirelessly Committed to Nursing: An Extraordinary Oncology Nurse
July 14, 2019 – Margaret M. Coursen, RN, OCN
A Dedicated, Energetic Healer and Pediatric Oncology Nurse
July 21, 2019 – Kristi Frenken, B.S.N., RN
Healing Patients with Cancer on Small and Large Scales
July 20, 2019 – Eleanor Miller, M.S.N., RN, OCN, CBCN
My Personal Cancer Champion
August 10, 2019 – Anne Heimel
Hope Personified: My Tour Guide on My Path to Being a Cancer Survivor
August 11, 2019 – Lori Jaffe

The Embodiment of Caring and Support

"By supporting her employees, Mary Fran (as she is known to patients and colleagues) encourages and allows us to provide high-quality care that both enhances the patient’s quality of life and maintains standards of practice and patient satisfaction," wrote Shelley Fess, M.S., RN-BC, AOCN, CRNI, VA-BC, Rochester Regional Health Lipson Cancer Institute.
BY Shelley Fess, M.S., RN-BC, AOCN, CRNI, VA-BC
PUBLISHED April 24, 2019
Mary Frances Kolbuc, B.S.N., RN-BC, OCN, is an ideal candidate for the CURE® Extraordinary Healer® Award. As an oncology nurse for more than 29 years, she embodies all the characteristics of a healer. She is compassionate, caring and involved, as well as supportive of all people she encounters — from her employees to the patients in the practice to those in her neighborhood.

By supporting her employees, Mary Fran (as she is known to patients and colleagues) encourages and allows us to provide high-quality care that both enhances the patient’s quality of life and maintains standards of practice and patient satisfaction. She leads by example, particularly in the areas of compassion and caring. Her support allows us to be the best nurses we can be in the provision of care to the patients we encounter.

Mary Fran is a true patient advocate. She often spends a great deal of time communicating with insurance providers to ensure that the treatment medications planned for a patient will be covered. If there is a lack of coverage, Mary Fran works diligently with other funding sources, such as drug manufacturers and our agency’s foundation, to provide monetary coverage and thus ease this anxiety for our patients. Mary Fran also participates and volunteers in many community activities that support our patients. These include charity golf tournaments, the Cancer Wellness Connections 5K, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, to name a few. Mary Fran will also take time to sit with patients and their families when the infusion nurses are too busy to do this. She is available via email and phone to answer questions or provide psychosocial support for our patients.


From left: Shelley Fess, M.S., RN-BC, AOCN, CRNI, CNE, VA-BC, and Mary Frances Venturelli-Kolbuc, B.S.N., RN-BC, OCN. Photos by Kelly Kester

Mary Fran takes her caring and compassion beyond the workplace and into the local community. She is very involved in her church, serving on many committees and councils. She is also active in neighborhood initiatives and organizations. This involvement is so needed, because the area is one of very low income and incredible diversity. Mary Fran plays trumpet in the neighborhood band. She keeps a basket of personal care items on her front porch so anyone can help themselves to the contents. She assists in providing meals to the needy and homeless. She advocates for area residents at city and county functions.

In her professional community, Mary Fran is a member of the national Oncology Nursing Society and the local Genesee Valley Oncology Nursing Society (GVONS). She received the GVONS annual Nurse of Distinction award in 2011. She is also a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She was recently featured in the Democrat & Chronicle report, “What Are the Next Steps After Hearing ‘You Have Cancer’?” and in this Rochester, New York, daily’s special supplement during Nurses Week in 2018. She was also included in a feature on community leaders in the Rochester Business Journal, a weekly publication.

Mary Fran is a part of the Rochester Regional Health leadership development program. Through it, she is learning about business operations, finance, management, administration and clinical
expertise and applying these principles to her role to keep the organization — and our unit —moving forward and surviving into the 21st century. This is an important avenue for nurses, who are moving from solely caregiving into the entire operation and delivery of high-quality health care.

In conclusion, I truly believe that Mary Fran is deserving of the Extraordinary Healer® Award. She provides her staff and our patients with caring, compassion and support. She collaborates with all to bring patients and their families through the cancer journey, supporting them physically, emotionally and psychosocially. She makes a difference in so many lives in numerous ways.
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