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American Cancer Society honors exemplary cancer caregivers

ATLANTA February 13, 2008 Eight outstanding cancer care providers from a variety of backgrounds and regions have been chosen to receive the 2008 American Cancer Society Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award, a prestigious national prize for cancer caring. The Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award recognizes individuals who have made a difference through innovation, leadership, and consistent excellence in providing compassionate, skilled care, and counsel to persons living with cancer and their families. They will be presented in a ceremony in Los Angeles on Friday, May 9, 2008.

This year, the Society honors:

  • Blue Walcer, founder and director, CARE program and health education coordinator, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, Calif. Ms. Walcer is described as understanding more than most the obstacles faced by poor or even homeless cancer patients. She has provided participants of the CARE program with comprehensive cancer-related education, thereby enhancing patients understanding of their diagnosis and encouraging these cancer patients to gain a sense of control over their lives.

  • Dolores Moorehead, program director, Womens Cancer Resource Center, Oakland, Calif. Ms. Morehead was a ten year employee of the American Cancer Society in San Francisco who now dedicates her time and energy to empowering women with cancer and to educating the general community about cancer. Through her passion for her work Ms. Morehead has worked to implement numerous cancer patient programs to encourage cancer awareness and break down barriers to treatment.

  • Robert Parker, MD, director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York. Dr. Parker, a highly respected clinician and expert in the field of pediatrics, began the Division of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology at Stony Brook University Medical Center in 1991. Since that time, 60 percent of children diagnosed with cancer in Suffolk County, New York receive their treatment there. Dr. Parker has received numerous honors and awards for his dedication to children facing cancer, and has made it his practice to have the child and family live as normal of a life as possible while undergoing therapy.

  • Karen Allison, CPNP, nurse practitioner, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York. Ms. Allison has worked in pediatric oncology for four decades. As a nurse practitioner in pediatrics at Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center, she has served as a mentor to generations of nursing students, nurses, and nurse practitioners. She has been a coach, cheerleader, foster mother, and friend to every patient she has helped.

  • Kathy Lopeman, RN, oncology nurse, Central Peninsula Hospital, Soldotna, Alaska. Ms. Lopeman served as chair of the very first and very successful Relay for Life on the Kenai Peninsula. By forming support groups for cancer patients to share their fears, she has provided inspiration and friendship to all who walk the cancer path.

  • Mace Rothenberg, MD, professor of medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Rothenberg is a medical oncologist who has made significant contributions to the development and FDA approval of drug treatments for colorectal and pancreatic cancer. He is known for his caring and compassionate treatment and dedication to cancer patients and their families.

  • Kris Sargent, RN, nurse educator, Mercy Regional Cancer Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ms. Sargent has helped implement numerous patient support groups for prostate and breast cancers through the use of American Cancer Society materials, information and guidelines. Through these support groups, she has provided compassion, knowledge, patience, and humor to thousands of patients facing this life-changing disease.

  • Karleen Habin, RN, nurse manager/administrator, Breast Cancer Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass. The Breast Cancer Research Program is a nationally and internationally recognized breast cancer clinical research program, and Ms. Habin has used her personal breast cancer journey to empower and provide guidance to those facing a similar diagnosis. In her role as a patient advocate, she spearheaded the creation of the first-ever Breast Cancer Resource Guide of Massachusetts, which was distributed free of charge to a multitude of patients, families, and organizations.

Going above and beyond the call of duty to extend the warm hand of service to cancer patients is a top priority for these dedicated individuals, said Elmer Huerta, MD, MPH, national volunteer president of the American Cancer Society. These awards exemplify the exceptional hope, inspiration, and support these exceptional people provide daily to cancer patients and their families. These extraordinary awardees deserve to be recognized for their inspirational efforts to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

The American Cancer Society has recognized cancer caregivers through the Lane Adams Quality of Life Award since 1988. The awards committee includes long-time national Society volunteers, including Vicki Adams Quan, the daughter of Lane W. Adams, the former executive vice president of the Society who coined the term the warm hand of service and made attention to compassionate care a legacy of his service.


Contact: David Sampson
American Cancer Society

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