Honorary Mistress of Ceremonies Cynthia Nixon
At the ONS 36th Annual Congress, Honorary Mistress of Ceremonies Cynthia Nixon kicked off the festivities for the 2011 Cure
magazine Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing with a rousing tribute.
“Nurses are the foot soldiers in the battle against cancer, but sometimes, as in the case of our honorees today, they can also be generals disguised as foot soldiers—strategizing, making battle plans, boosting morale, and making sure the home front is receiving the support they need,” Nixon said.
The Extraordinary Healer contest invites patients, survivors, caregivers, and peers to submit essays nominating oncology nurses for their outstanding dedication, knowledge, and compassion in treating a patient with cancer. Amgen Oncology and its Breakaway from Cancer
initiative sponsored this year’s award.Cure
received almost 200 essays, which it narrowed down to 3 finalists. At the ceremony, the authors of the 3 recognized submissions appeared with the nominated nurses and read their essays.
Following an emotional program, Marie Hayek, RN, Columbus Community Hospital, Texas, was awarded the first-place prize. Martha Hastedt, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2002, wrote the award-winning essay, “My Marie,” about the remarkable care Hayek provided in the community-based setting.
“Her compassion, expertise, and helpfulness, are especially remarkable because she must wear so many hats at a 40-bed acute care rural medical and surgical facility,” said Hastedt. “Treatments are always given in an accurate and professional manner, but she somehow manages to make me smile and be comfortable, no matter what the procedure,” she added.
The 2 runners up were Robert Martinez, LPN, Bon Secours Cancer Institute at Memorial Regional Medical Center, Mechanicsville, Virginia, and Rebecca Wojtecki, RN, BSN, Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center, New York.CURE
magazine will feature the winning essay in its summer 2011 issue. Additionally, an interview with Hayek will appear on CURE
’s website (www.curetoday.com
) at the end of June.