BOSTON, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --For the fifth consecutive year, CURE magazine announced the winner of the 2011 Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing during a special award ceremony at the Oncology Nursing Society's (ONS) 36th Annual Congress. Nearly 200 cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and peers submitted essays to this year's contest nominating oncology nurses who demonstrated exceptional compassion, expertise and commitment in their patients' fights against cancer.
In front of more than 800 of her peers, Marie Hayek, RN, Columbus Community Hospital, Columbus, Texas, was awarded this year's Extraordinary Healer Award. Hayek's extraordinary nursing ability was featured in an essay written by Martha Hastedt, also of Columbus. Hastedt, a multiple myeloma patient diagnosed in 2002, described her relationship with Hayek as particularly special given the fact that Columbus is a small, rural town where being "hours away from large treatment centers has never become the travesty it could have because Marie has always been so heavily involved in my care."
"While this essay was wonderfully written and highlighted a close connection between a patient and nurse, it seems evident that Marie is most likely this close to each of her patients," said Susan McClure, Publisher, CURE magazine. "Marie doesn't work for a large cancer center or hospital; She is in a 40-bed acute care facility where she exemplifies extraordinary nursing each and every day. Whether that means raising money to buy a chair designated for the hospital's cancer patients, dropping lab reports off at patients' homes or making sure she calls Martha when the hospital cafeteria is serving fried chicken or turkey—this woman does it all."
This year's Honorary Mistress of Ceremonies, Emmy, Grammy and Tony award-winning actress and breast cancer survivor, Cynthia Nixon, star of "Sex and the City," spoke to the crowd about her experience with cancer after being diagnosed in 2006. Nixon thanked the nurses in attendance for all that they do on behalf of their patients and spent time with the attendees after the award presentation taking pictures and signing autographs.
"We were so grateful to have Cynthia join us for tonight's reception," said Kathy LaTour, Editor-at-Large, CURE magazine. "She is an active advocate for the cancer community, and her presence and openness with the nurses here this evening took this event to a whole new level."
In addition to Hayek, two other pairs of nurse finalists and essayists were honored at the reception. Robert Martinez, LPN, Bon Secours Cancer Institute at Memorial Regional Medical Center, Mechanicsville, Va., was nominated by Corinne Gray after Robert showed extraordinary nursing ability while caring for Gray's husband, Leigh. Oncology nursing is Martinez's second career, one that he began after retiring from his first career of 33 years. Rebecca Wojtecki, RN, BSN, Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center, Albany, N.Y., was nominated by Rita Stoddard after Rebecca befriended Stoddard's son, Keith, throughout his battle with cancer during his college years. Wojtecki not only went above and beyond as Keith's nurse, but she was also a source of comfort for Stoddard in the days and months after Keith passed.
Also present at this year's event was Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager for Amgen Oncology. Amgen Oncology and its Breakaway from Cancer initiative sponsored this year's Extraordinary Healer Award after realizing the countless synergies between the two organizations' missions and the overarching goal of the award.
"Amgen founded Breakaway from Cancer with the belief that it takes a team to beat cancer - the Extraordinary Healer Award recognizes a key member of that team, the oncology nurse," said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology. "We congratulate Marie Hayek on her outstanding work to care for patients and salute the Extraordinary Healer Award for providing this important forum to recognize the contributions made by oncology nurses everywhere."
The winning essay will be featured in the summer 2011 issue of CURE, a free, quarterly magazine for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. All three of the finalist essays, photos and videos from the event, and a Q&A with winner Marie Hayek, will be featured onwww.curetoday.combeginning June 28, 2011. Additionally, the essays, photos and more will be available on CURE's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/CURE-magazine/49288984808.
About CURE Magazine
CURE magazine, a member of the US Oncology family—a division of McKesson Corporation, is a free, award-winning publication from Dallas-based CURE Media Group—the national source for cancer patient education. By combining science and humanity, CURE helps patients, survivors and caregivers navigate the cancer journey and understand their diagnosis and treatment, while providing tools to cope during and after cancer—ultimately helping them to live the life they aspire to live. US Oncology is a leading integrated oncology company uniting one of the largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks in America. Through the magazine, an annual resource guide for the newly diagnosed, books, and a new and interactive website, CURE provides a wealth of resources for everyone on the cancer journey. For more information, visit www.curetoday.com.
About Breakaway from Cancer®
Founded in 2005 by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer® is Amgen's national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer—from prevention through survivorship. Through Breakaway from Cancer, Amgen has joined forces with four nonprofit partner organizations: Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community (formerly known as The Wellness Community), Patient Advocate Foundation, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. These organizations offer a broad range of support services complementing those provided by a patient's team of healthcare professionals. For more information, please visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.