SAN ANTONIO—In conjunction with the Second Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference, the Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators (AONN) presented the Second Annual Excellence in Navigation and Survivorship Awards. Recognizing excellence in patient navigation and survivorship care, 5 recipients were selected from more than 60 nominations in a variety of categories. “All of these award winners represent a great example for those just starting in this profession to emulate, whether they are navigators or administrators responsible for developing these patient services at their center,” said Sean T. Walsh, executive director of AONN.
Gastrointestinal Cancer Navigator of the Year
Coralyn Martinez, RN, of the Lack Can cer Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides coordinated care for patients dealing with the chaos of cancer. In her position, she is responsible for coordinating the Multidisciplinary Clinic, which consists of the many specialists responsible for a patient’s care, including surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, social work, and other areas. Coralyn provides quality patient-centered care, and her compassion is something all healthcare professionals should strive to attain.
Lung Cancer Navigator of the Year
This year’s Lung Cancer Navigator of the Year, Cynthia Smart, RN, OCN, of the Derrick L. Davis Forsyth Regional Cancer Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been a lung cancer navigator for 7 years. Her compassion and dedication for the patients she guides, as well as their families, has had a tremendous impact in a community of patients faced with a disease often in its later stages. In addition, Cynthia has taken time to mentor other navigators, work in the community on various events, advocate for and empower her patients, as well as develop support groups for patients and their families dealing with the reality of a lung cancer diagnosis.
Breast Cancer Navigator of the Year
Although not in attendance, Carol G. Boyer, MSN, APN-C, CBPN-IC, of Summit Medical Group in Summit, New Jersey, was awarded the Breast Cancer Navigator of the Year award. Nominated by several colleagues, Carol helped to establish the breast cancer navigator program, as well as many other extended patient services, such as targeted support groups and exercise classes. Carol also was key in Summit Medical Group earning a designation of Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence through the National Consortium of Breast Centers.
Multisite Tumor Navigator of the Year
Recognizing that many navigators are responsible for guiding patients with a variety of diagnoses, AONN created the Multisite Tumor Navigator of the Year award. Cindy Krasnecky, BSN, OCN, of Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts, is a great example of the importance of navigation as the glue of the many professionals and departments required for optimal patient care across the cancer continuum. Through her efforts, the navigator program has instituted several clinical and patient services, including increased nutrition and psychosocial support, the growth of a genetic counseling program for high-risk patients, and survivorship plans and services. Cindy strikes the important balance of advocacy, empathy, and perseverance, with the end result of greatly improved communication and patient care.
Administrator of the Year
The inaugural Administrator of the Year award was presented to a group of 8 navigators from the Derrick L. Davis Forsyth Regional Cancer Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on behalf of Sharon K. Murphy, MBA, MHA, a pioneer, true believer, and early adopter of the navigation profession. Under her guidance, the program has grown from a single breast cancer navigator to 6 disease site–specific programs. By encouraging the strengths of each navigator, Sharon has been able to make an enormous impact on the community, one patient at a time, by ensuring that each patient’s voice is heard.
In-depth coverage of the material presented will be available in the November issue of the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship and at www.AONN online.org