Three nurses who have dedicated their careers to helping cancer patients, their families and their oncology coworkers have been named finalists for the prestigious Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing, CURE magazine announced today.
PLAINSBORO, N.J. (March 18, 2015) — Three nurses who have dedicated their careers to helping cancer patients, their families and their oncology coworkers have been named finalists for the prestigious Extraordinary Healer™ Award for Oncology Nursing, CURE™ magazine announced today.
A pediatric nurse who helped a family through the agony of their young daughter’s rare brain tumor and a nurse who overcame a language barrier to help her Iranian cancer patient who spoke little English were two of the finalists selected by the staff of CURE, the largest consumer publication in the United States focused entirely on cancer. The third finalist is an oncology manager who cares for patients as well as for their healers. All three nominees, their guests and their essayists will travel to Orlando, Fla., to be recognized at the 40th Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) on April 23.
From among the three finalists—Laura Vasquez of Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, Beverly Moser of Rose Quarter Compass Oncology in Portland, Ore., and Elmeria Teffeteller of The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute–one will be chosen as this year’s Extraordinary Healer. That nurse, as well as the winning essay, will be featured in an upcoming issue of CURE magazine. She will also receive a well-deserved all-expenses-paid spa trip for two.
“We received numerous essays about extraordinary oncology nurses not only from the U.S., but from abroad, and it was difficult to narrow the focus to three outstanding nurses,” said Mike Hennessy Jr., president of CURE Media Group. “We heard from many cancer patients, their families and caregivers about a special oncology nurse who went above and beyond to help them get through the roller coaster ride that is cancer.”
Oncology nursing is a challenging field that requires the blending of specialized medical knowledge with a desire to support patients and families impacted by cancer, Hennessy said. The complexities of evolving cancer treatments compel oncology nurses to remain well-educated, independent thinkers while also providing comfort, education and advocacy for patients undergoing complicated and sometimes long-term treatments for the disease.
A third-generation nurse, Laura Vasquez, R.N., C.P.O.N., of Los Angeles, brings compassion and empathy to her job at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Denise Weiner, whose daughter Alexa battled brain cancer for almost five and a half years, nominated Vasquez for all she did not only for Alexa but for the entire family. “To say that Laura went above and beyond the duties of a pediatric oncology nurse is an enormous understatement,” wrote Weiner.
Vasquez, who lost her father to a malignant brain tumor when she was in her early 20s, credits her father’s oncology nurse for her career. “She made me realize that you don’t just help the patient. You help the entire family in this journey.”
Beverly Moser, R.N., is an oncology nurse at Rose Quarter Compass Oncology in Portland, Ore., where she treated Aghdas Ashtari, a nurse from Iran. Moser didn’t let the language barrier deter her from comforting her new patient. “I speak very little English, but Beverly needed no English and always read my mind. We mostly talked with our eyes,” wrote Ashtari in her translated essay. “She knew I was scared and lonely. She always went above and beyond to make me comfortable.”
From Moser’s perspective, it’s important to understand that “You’re intimately involved in these people’s lives. You meet them at a very raw place. They are looking for a kind of touchstone in the middle of a storm. That’s what oncology nurses provide: kindness, empathy and understanding.”
Elmeria Teffeteller, R.N., M.S.N., A.P.R.N., A.O.C.N., started her oncology nursing career in 1978 at the age of 20. Three years ago she became the nurse manager at the Chemotherapy Infusion Center at The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute, according to Sandra Shelton, who wrote the nominating essay. In managing a busy chemotherapy infusion center, “She keeps morale high and implores us to use our heart, head and hands to make a difference every day,” Shelton wrote. “She often has to help the healer… Her dedication to us and to our patients makes us better nurses and invigorates our devotion to excellence.”
Teffeteller, a resident of Alcoa, Tenn., challenges her staff to be creative as well as caring with their patients. “Think outside the box. If someone says something can’t be done, let's look at it again, especially if it’s something good for the patient.”
More background about each finalist can be found at http://www.curetoday.com/extraordinaryhealer.
Since the inception of the Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing in 2007, more than 1,000 nurses have been nominated. The finalists and essayists honored over the past eight years have included men and women, adults and children, representing a variety of cancer centers and hospitals in 18 different states.
CURE Media Group will cover the flight and hotel costs for all three nurses and their guests, as well as their essayists. It will also cover the costs for the finalists to attend the ONS’s 40th Annual Congress, which is a professional development opportunity for them.
About CURE Magazine and CURE Media Group
CURE Media Group’s flagship product, CURE magazine, is the indispensable guide to every stage of the cancer experience. With nearly 1 million readers, CURE is the largest consumer publication in the United States focused entirely on cancer, with broad distribution to cancer patients, cancer centers, and advocacy groups. Through the magazine, live meetings, a resource guide for the newly diagnosed, the Extraordinary Healer™ Award for Oncology Nursing, and other books and online tools, CURE Media Group combines science and humanity to make cancer understandable. CURE Media Group is part of the Plainsboro, N.J.-based Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc. (MJH) family of businesses, which includes the acclaimed OncLive® (www.onclive.com) platform of resources for the practicing oncologist, as well as Oncology Nursing News for the nurse oncologist (www.nursing.onclive.com). For more information, visit www.curetoday.com or www.mjhassoc.com.
Media contacts for CURE Media Group:
Becky Taylor, 609.240.6886 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Silas Inman, 609.716.7777 or email@example.com