UNC Lineberger Presents 2009 Oncology Nursing and Service Awards

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center recognized four staff members with the 2009 Oncology Nursing Excellence Awards and the Clinical Services Excellence Awards.

Susan Hayden, Susan Mason, and Heather Rompel each received a 2009 Oncology Nursing Excellence Award. Timothy Cullip was recognized with a Clinical Services Excellence Award.

Dr. Richard Goldberg, physician-in-chief of N.C. Cancer Hospital and associate director of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, said, “These awards reward a few of the many people who work in our cancer care programs who devote exceptional effort beyond what is necessary to do their jobs because they care. Every year it is hard to decide which of the many nominees to recognize. So many people who work here take their responsibilities to our patients and their families as a calling and that's what makes UNC cancer caregivers special.”

Cullip, MS, a clinical physicist, has been a computer programmer in the department of radiation oncology for 19 years. He is described as a “gifted problem solver with the passion to do whatever it takes to support patient care.” Another nominator cited one strength of Tim’s work as “ his ability to interact with clinicians who actually use the software, so while you often think of a programmer as someone who spends all his time in the office in front of a computer, that is not true of Tim.”

Hayden, RN, BSN, is the nurse navigator for the Head and Neck Oncology Program. A 16-year UNC Hospitals employee, Hayden previously worked in the medical intensive care unit and the emergency department.  Her nominators categorized care of the head and neck cancer patient as “among the most complicated in all of medicine,” and praised Sue’s role as her patients’ “advocate and their guide. She is their expert caregiver and their comfort as they fight and win against cancer.”

Mason, RN, MSN, and OCN, is clinical nurse education specialist for oncology services. She has eight years of experience at UNC and has served as an inpatient staff nurse, assistant manager and now educator. Mason has developed and oversees a training program for all new UNC oncology services nurses and has been vital to the development of all ongoing education for nursing staff. One nominator said, “Susie sees obstacles as projects to work through and takes a positive approach in all her work.”

Rompel, RN, BSN, is a nurse in the pediatric oncology clinic. Although she has been in her position only two years, her nominator, Dr. Stuart Gold, chief of the division of pediatric hematology and oncology, said, “her impact has already been one that will last a lifetime.” He cites her most important and unique contribution as her establishment of a system to create awareness among all adolescent patients of college scholarships available to them as cancer survivors, seeking out resources and working with patients and families to make them aware of these opportunities.

Winners of the Excellence Awards receive a $1,500 stipend for professional education activities. The Oncology Nursing Excellence Award is presented in memory of Charmayne S. Gray, an outstanding oncology nurse practitioner who died in an auto accident in 2002. The Clinical Services Excellence Awards have been presented for the past six years.

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