2013 Greenebaum Awards Celebrate Compassionate Care

For immediate release: January 06, 2014

Two staff members at University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, Lisa Mayo and Michelle (Shelle) Besche, BSN, OCN, CCRP, were honored with the 2013 Greenebaum Compassion Award at the cancer center's recent all-staff meeting.

The Greenebaum Compassion Award was established by Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum to honor cancer center staff members who go "above and beyond their normal duties to provide not only excellent patient care, but also compassion, hope and dignity at a time when a patient is so vulnerable."


(Left to right) Presenters Nancy Gambill, director of oncology nursing, and Galina Tucker, clinical research office director; award sponsors Michael and Stewart Greenebaum; award recipients Lisa Mayo and Michelle Besche; and cancer center director Dr. Kevin Cullen

Mayo is discharge coordinator for the Greenebaum Cancer Center. She was presented with the award by Nancy Gambill, MS, RN, CRNP, OCN, director of oncology nursing, who noted, "Lisa gets to know our patients on a very personal level. Even when the prognosis may not be a good one, she values the bond and the relationship she can form and is not afraid to let her own heart break in tough situations. She follows the patients, reaches out to the patients, and is always ready to let them and their families know they have a new friend. To work with Lisa is to have a constant reminder of why we are here, and how to do it the right way."

Besche is research nurse coordinator for the cancer center. In presenting her with the compassion award, Galina Tucker, MD, director of the cancer center’s Clinical Research Office, said, "Shelle has a compassionate and caring approach to every patient she works with, reminding them (and us when needed) that they’re much more than numbers on a data sheet. She keeps them hopeful and she keeps us organized. Patients signing up for clinical trials are often sick, always scared, and at times confused and intimidated by the technical jargon and paperwork they find themselves confronted with in their new role as trial subjects. Shelle is a constant, comforting and humanizing presence and guide."

The Greenebaum Compassion Award is open to all employees of the cancer center who are involved with patient care. Nominations may be submitted throughout the year, and are reviewed by the selection committee on a bi-annual basis. Each award recipient receives a $2,500 cash award, a crystal award plaque and a commemorative pin, and has his or her name added to a permanent display of Greenebaum Compassion Award winners, located in the Stoler Pavilion patient waiting area.

"We are extremely grateful to the Greenebaums for their generosity in making this award possible," said Kevin Cullen, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Greenebaum Cancer Center.

See past winners