Conquering Hurdles in Oncology

Extraordinary Healer®, CURE® Extraordinary Healer® Vol. 16, Volume 16,

An oncology nurse strives to educate patients and providers to ensure safe cancer treatment.

It is with great pleasure that I write this nomination in support of Anne Delengowski, M.S.N., RN, AOCN, CCCTM, for the 2022 Extraordinary Healer® Award. I have known Anne since 1984, and now I am the nursing vice president at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH) and Anne is the director of oncology education. We work together for all inpatient and outpatient oncology units, and Anne has expanded to supporting an addi- tional three sites.

Anne believes in oncology nurses having the most up-to-date education to provide excellent and safe practice for innovative therapies. Anne is accessible to all staff, always, and often is called on weekends and nights by staff in all areas for safe practice to be supported. Providers will consult Anne when developing new protocols or a complex patient diagnosis and when patients and families are struggling with difficult news or when help is needed to navigate the next challenge for the family.

Anne’s drive to promote oncology nursing has continued to grow as our TJUH health care system has expanded to 14 sites. TJUH Center City is a 900-plus bed academic medical center and serves as a framework for the other oncology acute care hubs. As director of oncology education, Anne has developed and led nursing standardization of care for all sites with the patient and family experience in mind. Transition of care is a passion of Anne’s and critical for patients with cancer. Anne has elevated all nursing at the sites to practice with harmonized care that encompasses the patient and family and supports the engagement of many disciplines.

Anne has developed educational programs for the clinical nurse with clear objectives and outstanding evaluations of learned behaviors achieved by participants. Anne’s passion for educational development of nursing has propelled staff through Anne’s mentorship to develop and conduct clinical research at the bedside. Anne consults and implements the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) standards of care with all programs, maintains clear objectives and evaluation of objectives in all programs, and adjusts material to be relevant for everyone from the novice to the expert oncology nurse.

TJUH is a National Cancer Institute site that is nationally known for excellence in therapies, and Anne remains the catalyst to prepare nurses to be ready for innovative therapies that need to be administered.

Anne has educated both nurses and providers on home chemotherapy administration, outpatient autologous bone marrow transplants and now CAR-T cell therapy in the outpatient setting. None of this could be as successful without Anne leading the support in the educational program development and ongoing clinical support of all staff.

Anne has provided programs for TJUH and other sites for nursing and oncology nursing certi- fication. The success rate has increased the department of nursing certification from 11% to 52% over the past four years. Anne’s commitment to excellence in nursing to promote recognition for oncology nursing and improved patient care was demonstrated by her leadership in developing and teaching certification in care coordination and transition of care for the entire department of nursing at TJUH.

The phase 1 clinical trial program is currently being revamped by Anne. She collaborates with clinical research office, provider and nursing staff members across the care continuum to participate in the growing research trials that come at a rapid rate. Anne is committed to having oncology nursing prepared to coordinate and work with clinical trials for the future of oncology care.

The leadership in oncology nursing education Anne provides is recognized locally and nationally. Anne also supports nurses at all levels to submit successful podium presentations, posters to local and national oncology forums, and research proposals to be accepted with national recognition.

Anne has presented on many themes related to oncology care such as rehabilitation needs, care coordination, sepsis, death and dying, and strict attention to culture needs of diverse populations, just to mention a few.

Anne is chair of the sepsis committee and she participates on many TJUH and enterprise committees such as enterprise professional practice, pharmacy and therapeutics, and oncology event reporting. Anne initiated the development of Schwartz rounds and is now leading the American Society of Clinical Oncology initiative for nursing and program recognition for oncology excellence.

Anne led nursing through a very successful preparation and presentation of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for TJUH’s bone marrow program. Anne is the current president of the TJUH Alumni Association and partners with the TJUH School of Nursing on programs and educational events.

Awards received by Anne include the Janet Hindson Lifetime Achievement Award, Nursing Spectrum Nursing Excellence in Teaching, Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (TCT) Meeting Best Abstract Award, and the ONS 2022 Excellence in Cancer Nursing Education Award. For Anne to be considered for this award is most deserving.

Anne’s reputation for oncology nursing excellence has been recognized by hospital leaders. The vice president of patient services specializing in oncology nursing position was created more than five years ago as a catalyst to support the energy and enthusiasm Anne has for nursing education, promoting safe practices and improving care for the oncology patient and family. The former chief nursing officer identified the need for educational support and standardization of nursing practice as the oncology department and innovative therapies were quickly expanding beyond TJUH’s walls.

Anne is known for her ability to educate all staff, promote nursing research for all levels of nursing expertise and be the driving force for developing safe practices for a multidisciplinary group of providers.

I am humbled in all areas of Anne’s practice, from teaching to providing emotional support to the dying patient and family to moving on to the next oncology hurdle to conquer. I am most honored to recommend Anne Delengowski for the 2022 Extraordinary Healer® Award.

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