Two RNs are among six finalists from across the U.S. for the inaugural Schwartz Center National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year award, to be awarded Nov. 18 at the 20th annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston.
“These six exceptional caregivers were selected as the 2015 NCCY Award finalists because they epitomize compassionate care through their dedication in providing patients and families with emotional support, mutual trust, respect and compassion,” Julie Rosen, executive eirector of the Schwartz Center, said in a news release. “We look to honor these special caregivers for the difference they are making in countless lives and for serving as national champions in building a culture of compassion in healthcare.”
The RN finalists are Jayne O’Malley, BSN, RN, OCN, of Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, N.Y., and Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN, of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in Boston.
O’Malley is the lung, head and neck cancer patient navigator at Orange Regional. She has worked in cancer care for nearly 16 years and strives to meet the needs of patients with serious diagnoses and find ways to ease the burden of their treatment process, according to the release.
“It was obvious how much Jayne cared for my mom. She treated her with kindness, respect and love; her compassion was unending,” said a patient’s daughter.
Kane is the director of nursing at the Barbara McInnis House, where she cares for homeless men and women in the greater Boston area. “Strong relationships of trust are a hallmark of the care Cheryl provides,” a colleague said in the release. “It is Cheryl to whom we turn to instill and nurture that same sense of compassion in the next generation of nurses in our program.”
Other nominees are Rick Boyte, MD, of The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., Melody J. Cunningham, MD, of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, of Providence Cancer Center in Portland, Ore., and Terry Yoas, CNA, of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Award-winning author Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, will present the inaugural NCCY Award as the event’s honorary speaker. The award recipient will receive a $5,000 monetary prize, and the other five finalists will receive $1,000 each.
The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a national nonprofit leading the movement to bring compassion to every patient-caregiver interaction, is in its 20th anniversary year.
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