Memorial Sloan Kettering Nurses Receive Honors during National Nurses Week

Pictured: 2014 Samuel and May Rudin Award Winners

2014 Samuel and May Rudin Award Winners -- (From left) Kaman Gilbert, Mary Yanolatos, Jeanine Gordon, Vashti Livingston, Theresa Brunner, Debra Rodrigue

Each year, Memorial Sloan Kettering recognizes nursing excellence at the Samuel and May Rudin Awards ceremony. An annual event held during National Nurses Week, the awards are sponsored by the Rudin Family Foundation and honor excellence in nursing practice, leadership, education, research, and patient care.

This year’s ceremony, held on May 7, honored five distinguished Memorial Sloan Kettering nurses and one patient care technician. The award winners were nominated by fellow nurses, administrators, physicians, and patients.

“The Rudin awardees represent the very best of the best of MSK,” Memorial Sloan Kettering President Craig Thompson said. “Probably more than any other single group, [nurses] are the people who our patients, families, and loved ones deal with on a daily basis, and you work every day to advance our research and education missions.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Physician-in-Chief José Baselga said the annual ceremony is “one of the most joyous events” of the year because it reflects “the spirit of true camaraderie” at Memorial Sloan Kettering and is a genuine celebration of the whole nursing community. “We firmly believe you represent the foundation of what this institution is all about,” he said.

Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Excellence in Advanced Nursing Practice
Vashti Livingston, MSN, RN, CWOCN, Clinical Nurse Specialist

Excellence in Nursing Practice
Mary Yanolatos, BSN, RN, CPAN, Clinical Nurse IV

Excellence in Nursing Leadership
Jeanine Gordon, MSN, RN, OCN®, Nurse Leader

Excellence in Nursing Education
Debra Rodrigue, MSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist

Excellence in Nursing Research
Theresa Brunner, BSN, RN, CPAN, Clinical Nurse IV

Excellence in Patient Care Support
Kaman Gilbert, Patient Care Technician

Additional Honors for Memorial Sloan Kettering Nurses

In addition to the Samuel and May Rudin Awards, Memorial Sloan Kettering congratulates other nurses who were recently honored.

On April 28, ADVANCE for Nurses, a regional print magazine and national website, named Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Developmental Therapeutics Unit the 2014 Best Nursing Team in the Northeast. Nursing teams from across the country submitted essays describing how their team achieved specific outcomes, which a panel of judges evaluated for initiative, adaptability, expertise, and outreach. Read the winning entry submitted by Elaine Llanos, MSN, RN, OCN®.

On April 28, Melissa Carabetta, BSN, RN, CPAN, and Kathleen Lombardo, BSN, RN, CAP, were presented with the 2014 Mary Hanna Memorial Journalism Award for their article, “Implementing Primary Care in the Perianesthesia Setting Using a Relationship-Based Model,” published in the Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing.

On April 29, the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) named Lorraine McEvoy, DNP, MSN, RN, OCN®, the 2014 Oncology Certified Nurse of the Year. Dr. McEvoy was selected based on her contributions to oncology nursing and oncology nursing service, as well as her support and promotion of oncology nursing certification. Reflecting on this honor Dr. McEvoy said, “It is my passion to promote oncology nurse certification as a professional goal because it is directly related to advancing nursing expertise.”

On May 1, CURE magazine, the most widely distributed magazine in the nation for people with cancer, recognized Noelle Paul, RN, OCN®, CAPA as a finalist for the 2014 Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing. Patients, survivors, caregivers, and peers submitted essays about an oncology nurse who went above and beyond to help them heal. The finalists’ essays will be featured on CURE’s website beginning June 12 and included in the next volume of Extraordinary Healers: CURE Readers Honor Oncology Nurses. Read more about the Extraordinary Healer Award.

At the Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) held May 1 to 4, Nancy Houlihan, MA, AOCN®, was presented with the 2014 Connie Henke Yarbro Excellence in Cancer Nursing Mentorship Award in recognition of her excellent mentorship of oncology nurses.

Memorial Sloan Kettering received the ONS Employer Recognition Award for exemplary support of registered nurses working in oncology.

The Westchester Medical Center Advanced Oncology and Infusion Services Team, staffed by Memorial Sloan Kettering nurses, received the ONS Pearl Moore “Making a Difference” Team Achievement Award for outstanding contributions within the workplace, in improving patient care, and making a difference in the community.

Joanne Kelvin, RN, AOCN®, received the ONS Clinical Lectureship Award for excellence in clinical practice.

Virginia Morales, RN, MA, received the ONS Pearl Moore “Making a Difference” Frontline Care Award for demonstrating exceptional patient care through the use of evidence-based practices.

Lorraine McEvoy, RN, MSN, DNP, OCN®, received the ONS Excellence in Care of the Older Adult with Cancer Award for demonstrating age-sensitive health interventions, quality care, and symptom management to older adults with cancer.

Winsome Grant, NP, received the ONS Excellence in Patient/Public Education Award for offering excellent creative patient education.

On May 6, Hudson Valley magazine, an award-winning regional publication, paid tribute to 75 local nurses who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Award winners were nominated by their supervisors. Memorial Sloan Kettering Sleepy Hollow nurses Nancy Hacker, BSN, RN, OCN®, and Deborah Thomas, RN, were honored. Read about the event and view photos.

We encourage everyone to share their congratulations in the comments!


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I wish to acknowledge the nursing and pct staff of the 16th floor at the main hospital for the extraordinary skill, kindness and understanding they provided during my post-op recovery. I cannot exaggerate how important they were in my successful recovery. They are marvelous!