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The Cancer Nursing Today CARE Award

Thank you to everyone who cast a vote for our inaugural Cancer Nursing Today CARE Award! The results are in! After months of nominations and votes, we are excited to finally announce our first-ever CARE Award recipient!

Please join us in congratulating…

Elly Sangermano, BSN, RN

Elly Sangermano

Elly has been a registered nurse at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, for more than 30 years. She earned her BSN from Northeastern University and started her nursing career as a staff nurse in the Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. During her years at Tufts, she has worked in a variety of nursing roles, all within the oncology setting: inpatient staff nurse, ambulatory infusion nurse, nurse educator. She is currently working in the outpatient setting as an oncology nurse navigator. Elly is passionate about providing patient-centered, quality care while being mindful of her patients’ individual needs.

On receiving the Award, Elly said, “After 30 years of caring for oncology patients, this award validates the reason I became an oncology nurse and my continued commitment to my patients and their families through their cancer journey. I hope I’m able provide them a little bit of comfort and reassurance that they are not alone.”

Kathleen Coughlin, ANP-BC, BMTCN, also of Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, nominated Elly for Award consideration. Upon learning Elly had won the award, she added, “I have worked with Elly for over 20 years. She has a way with patients to make them feel supported and cared for. This award is all about who she is as a professional and a colleague. Well deserved.”

Cancer Nursing Today established the CARE Award to remind and affirm for these nurses that resilience and role modeling are not only necessary but essential to providing high-level patient care.

“It is important for us to recognize the essential work oncology nurses do and the significant contributions they make to patient care and the oncology community,” said JC Landry, CEO of Mashup Media. “The CARE Award is a way for us to show our support for these indispensable members of the health care team.”

The Runners Up

Denise Furtick, MS, BSN, RN

Denise is the Administrative Nurse Manager at OhioHealth for Infusion and Radiation Oncology at the Marian General Cancer Center, located in Marion, OH, not far from Columbus (GO BUCKS). She has been with the organization since January 2021. Denise has more than 35 years of nursing experience, which includes backgrounds in critical care, open heart surgery, and, most recently (past 16 years), oncology. She works in hematology with leukemia and post bone-marrow transplant patients.

Janet Shaffstall, BSN, RN

Janet works in the melanoma clinic at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH. She has more than 15 years of experience in oncology nursing. Janet is an excellent mentor to early career nurses and constantly seeks ways to improve patient care. She developed the method for testing cancer genomics now employed at the OHSU melanoma clinic.

About the CARE Award

Cancer Nursing Today would like to thank and give back to the oncology nurses who provide such important cancer care across the continuum through the inaugural Cancer Nursing Today CARE Award.

The Cancer Nursing Today CARE Award recognizes an oncology nurse who demonstrates:

  • Commitment to professional growth
  • Attention and dedication to role modeling
  • Resilience in uncertain and strenuous times
  • Emotional intelligence in every situation

As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care industry experienced what is now called “The Great Resignation,” wherein 1 in 4 health care workers resigned in 2021. The nature of cancer care and the extreme demands of the job had already caused many oncology nurses to experience burnout, and when coupled with the fallout of The Great Resignation, the loss of nursing staff was and continues to be tremendous. This exodus has put added pressure on those who remain in the oncology field.

Patients rely on their oncology nurses. Engagement and commitment to professional growth are vital to improving outcomes for patients with cancer, as well as to improving career satisfaction and nurse retention. Oncology nurses provide important care to their patients, and Cancer Nursing Today seeks to remind and affirm for these nurses that resilience and role modeling are not only necessary but essential to providing high-level patient care.

The winner of the Cancer Nursing Today CARE Award receives a prize (valued at $1,000) and is recognized by Cancer Nursing Today for their commitment to this incredibly important profession.