UM Greenebaum Cancer Center Nurses Honored for Excellence

For immediate release: May 13, 2015

Eight nurses recognized for excellence in patient care and advancements in the field; two units recognized for top performance in key quality indicators

Several nurses and nursing units within the University of Maryland Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center were honored at the 2015 Nursing Excellence Awards, an annual ceremony held by the University of Maryland Medical Center to recognize nurses who provide exemplary care to patients and whose work advances the field. In addition to honoring UMMC nurses for special achievements, the ceremony also shone a spotlight on those who were recognized by regional or national nursing organizations or received special accolades from the media during the year.

Special Achievements Abound

Arlene Davis, BSN, RN, OCN,

Arlene Davis

Three Greenebaum Cancer Center nurses were honored with special achievement awards, which are given to nurses who excel in a particular area of their practice.

Arlene Davis, BSN, RN, OCN, who works in the Stoler Pavilion, the Cancer Center’s outpatient facility, was honored with the Excellence in Nursing Practice award, which is presented in recognition of a direct care nurse who advances clinical practice, care delivery and the nursing profession through expert nursing practice, collaboration with the multidisciplinary team and commitment to patient and family centered care.

“Arlene epitomizes excellence in nursing on many levels,” says Greenebaum Cancer Center Director Kevin Cullen, MD, who has worked side-by-side with Arlene for five years. “She is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of cancer care and uses this to ensure that her patients receive the most compassionate, efficient and effective therapies. In my mind, she is the very model of excellence in nursing practice.”

David Glenn, MS, RN,

David Glenn

David Glenn, MS, RN, a nurse on the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit, was presented the Excellence in Publication or Presentation award in recognition of his innovative and creative contributions that have improved patient care through scholarly publication. David serves as an associate editor of a regularly-featured safety column within the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, the flagship publication of the Oncology Nursing Society. In this role, he has tremendous influence on the safe care of oncology patients everywhere.

Christina Boord, BSN, RN,

Christina Boord

Great nurses needn’t have years of experience in clinical practice. As such, the Rising Star award recognizes a nurse with less than two years of total experience who demonstrates exceptional promise to advance the practice of nursing through enthusiasm, commitment, passion and innovation. This year, the Rising Star award went to Christina Boord, BSN, RN, within the Hematology and Oncology unit. Among her accomplishments was procuring pastoral support for nursing staff to help them cope with the loss of patients.

“Christina is a rising star on the inpatient oncology unit,” says Lisa Malick, MS, RN, OCN. “Her patient care is outstanding, and she demonstrates true devotion and caring. Christina is a true asset to her patients, her team and to the nursing profession.”

2015 Living Excellence Awards: Greenebaum Cancer Center

The Living Excellence Award is presented to one nurse on every unit in every diagnostic/procedure area, in recognition of excellence in service through compassion, respect, integrity and professionalism in the delivery of care to patients and families. Three UMGCC nurses were honored with the Living Excellence Award: Christine Cascio, BSN, RN, OCN, was the recipient of this award for the Hematology and Oncology unit; Mylene DeVera, BSN, RN, OCN, BMTCN, was selected from the BMT unit; and Shannon O’Brien, RN, was honored from Radiation Oncology.

Christine “Chrissy” Cascio is known among her colleagues for her work ethic and devotion to patient care both inside and outside the Cancer Center. She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty, showing the utmost compassion and integrity in her dealings with patients and families. Christine holds leadership positions within the Cancer Center to help improve patient care quality and, outside of work, has been involved in Team Inspiration, an international organization that is dedicated to the continual health and well-being of cancer survivors through the promotion of exercise.

Mylene DeVera is an education leader on the BMT unit who actively encourages certification and a broadening of the knowledge base for all staff. “Mylene is compassionate in her care and mentoring of every patient and staff member on the unit,” says her supervisor, Laura Hearson, BSN, RN, OCN. “She pushes each one of us to be the best clinician we can be and empowers us to find a way to do that.”

Within Radiation Oncology, Shannon O’Brien is known for doing the best for her patients while maintaining an excellent working environment for her professional colleagues. She looks for ways to improve the nursing process in the clinic and takes every measure to ensure patient education information is updated and available.

UMGCC Nursing Units Recognized for Team Excellence in Quality

In addition to these individual awards, two nursing teams were recognized for top performance in three areas of care that are tied to nursing quality within a unit. The category is called “Team Excellence in Nurse Sensitive Quality Indicators.”

The Blood and Marrow Transplant unit was recognized for having the highest HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) score within the entire hospital. HCAHPS is a national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives on the care they receive. Patients are asked 27 questions about a variety of factors that impact the care experience, including responsiveness of the hospital staff, communication with the medical team, quality of the environment, pain management, among other factors.

“I am extremely proud that our BMT unit received the best HCAHPS scores in the hospital, and it’s a direct reflection of the excellent nursing staff,” says Dr. Cullen. “This ranking is based solely on the experience of our BMT patients, and I can’t think of a more meaningful endorsement of the team’s dedication to providing compassionate and comprehensive care.”

Two nursing units, BMT and Hematology and Oncology, were recognized for two other Team Excellence in Nurse Sensitive Quality Indicators—Lowest Pressure Ulcer Prevalence and Lowest Restraint Use Prevalence, which are among the top quality indicators that hospitals nationwide track as part of their quality standards. The winners were among nine acute care units throughout the hospital to receive these award.

Excellence within the Industry and Community

Renee Kwok

Renee Kwok

Two UMGCC nurses have been recognized by industry organizations and mainstream media throughout the last year, and these individuals were acknowledged by their peers during the awards presentation.

Two nurses were honored this month by Baltimore magazine in its first-ever “Excellence in Nursing” issue. Radiation Oncology nurse Renee Kwok, BSN, RN, OCN, and Todd Milliron were recognized within the Oncology specialty and are among six University of Maryland Medical Center nurses chosen by the magazine.

“To have been nominated and then selected from a long list of the city's top nurses speaks to the impact Todd and Renee have made on their patients and fellow staff,” says Dr. Cullen. “They epitomize the compassionate care and professionalism that the Cancer Center strives to provide, and we are lucky to have them on our team.”

Todd Milliron

Todd Milliron

Todd Milliron is also a regional finalist for a GEM (Giving Excellence Meaning) Award, a prestigious industry award presented annually by Todd was nominated in the Home, Community and Ambulatory Care category.  The program utilizes a nurse-led nomination, selection and award process to honor outstanding nurses across the country. Todd was nominated for his leadership, positive attitude and superior patient care within the infusion center. He is relentless in identifying new methods to improve patient care and is participating in performance innovation program aimed at optimizing patient flow and improving satisfaction. The regional GEM winner will be announced on June 10.