Robbins Family Awards Recognize Nursing Excellence

Collage of people

On May 11, MSK recognized seven distinguished nursing staff members for exemplary service.

Memorial Sloan Kettering nurses play an indispensable role in providing our patients with the very best care. This dedication never wavers.

On May 11, during National Nurses Week, MSK recognized seven distinguished nursing staff members for exemplary service. Each member of this select group was honored with a Robbins Family Award for Nursing Excellence.

This is the first year that the Robbins Family Foundation is sponsoring the awards for nursing excellence. The award winners were nominated by fellow nurses, administrators, doctors, and patients.

“Nurses at MSK have much to be proud of and grateful for,” says Elizabeth McCormick, Chief Nursing Officer. “Beginning this year, we are blessed that longtime MSK Board member Clifton S. Robbins and his family have generously pledged their support of our annual program awarding nursing excellence, which is the highlight of our Nurses Week celebrations.”

Nurses at MSK have much to be proud of and grateful for.
Elizabeth McCormick Chief Nursing Officer

Ms. McCormick praises the superb performance of MSK’s entire nursing staff. At every level, they hold to the highest standards in providing expert, compassionate care to our patients, she remarks. This nursing excellence has been recognized by the prestigious Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The designation is the nation’s highest honor for excellence in nursing.

Ms. McCormick credits “unwavering support from hospital leadership, which consistently empowers us to deliver high-quality nursing services and to achieve our professional aspirations.”

Excellence in Nursing Leadership

Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith, Nurse Leader, Outpatient Nursing Services, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center

Excerpt from the nomination: “Andrea is the quintessential nurse, and her strong set of attributes — nursing expertise, visionary leadership, and collaboration — makes her an outstanding nurse leader. She fosters a culture of recognition, inclusion, collaboration, empowerment, and shared governance that revitalizes teams and boosts morale.”

Excellence in Advanced Nursing Practice

Leon Chen

Leon Chen, Nurse Practitioner, Critical Care, Intensive Care Unit

Excerpt from the nomination: “Leon possesses exceptional skills and professional experience. He is hardworking, goal directed, and motivated to improve the care provided by advanced practice providers. He works collaboratively with all disciplines and is always open to a new challenge or opportunity.”

Excellence in Nursing Practice

Jessica Agostini

Jessica Agostini, Clinical Nurse IV, Perioperative Nursing Services, Josie Robertson Surgery Center

Excerpt from the nomination: “Jessica is a true professional who conveys her commitment to providing compassionate, comprehensive care and maintains an enthusiastic, positive attitude that truly enhances the work environment, putting her patients and colleagues at ease. Her problem-solving, critical thinking, and global awareness are exceptional.”

Excellence in Nursing Education

Jennifer Fox

Jennifer Fox, Clinical Nurse IV, Outpatient Nursing Services, David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Excerpt from the nomination: “Jen is an expert educator who has participated in countless actions to foster lifelong learning in nursing. Her devotion to patient safety and nursing education helped to establish models that eliminate practice drift and establish continuity across the care continuum.” 

Excellence in Clinical Trials Nursing

Meghan Salacedo

Meghan Salcedo, Clinical Trials Nurse IV, Outpatient Nursing Services, Myeloma Service

Excerpt from the nomination: “Meghan is a strong clinical trials nurse with knowledge, foresight, and relentless attention to detail. She navigates complicated and demanding protocols to arrange a plan of care that benefits the patient while also maintaining the integrity of the clinical trial.”

Excellence in Nursing Research

Kristen Fessele

Kristen Fessele, Senior Nurse Scientist, Nursing Research

Excerpt from the nomination: “Kristen is an incredible, highly motivated, and compassionate nurse scientist with a passion for improving patient care. She demonstrates strong leadership skills and is committed to the improvement of patient care and advancement of the science of cancer care.”

Excellence in Patient Care Support

Joseph Kesselbrenner

Joseph Kesselbrenner, Senior Systems Analyst, Nursing Quality Management

Excerpt from the nomination: “Joe approaches his work with a collegial spirit and earnest desire. He works hard to collect, analyze, and disseminate nursing quality data in a meaningful way that is easy to navigate and understand. His drive, determination, and vision greatly impact patient care.”