September 2007, Volume 34, Number 5


People & Events

Diane M. Otte, RN, MS, OCN® - Associate Editor



Oncology Nursing Society Collects Gold and Bronze Awards for Publishing Excellence


The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) was honored by the Society of National Association Publications as a winner of esteemed EXCEL Awards in three categories at its recent 27th EXCEL Awards Gala in Washington, DC. The categories were


  Gold Award, Scholarly Journals, Feature Article category: “Understanding the Moral Distress of Nurses Witnessing Medically Futile Care,” by Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, FAAN, published in the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF)

  Bronze Award, Scholarly Journals, Feature Article category: “Look-Alike, Sound-Alike Oncology Medications,” by Lisa Schulmeister, RN, MS, FAAN, published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing

  Bronze Award, Scholarly Journals, Most Improved category, Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.


“We are very proud to have our authors and our editorial staff recognized with these prestigious awards,” said Rose Mary Carroll-Johnson, MN, RN, ONF editor. “ONS is dedicated to publishing resources that promote excellence in oncology nursing, and we are honored to have our publications recognized by the association industry.”


The ONS publishing division produces resources designed to assist nurses and other healthcare professionals to develop a foundation of knowledge about cancer care. Publications include ONF, the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, and ONS Connect, as well as award-winning books, monographs, guidelines, standards, and other resources for the cancer care community. ONS currently carries about 50 active titles and publishes six to eight new books a year.


ONS Member Featured in Fall Issue of Caring 4 Cancer Magazine


Caring 4 Cancer magazine is highlighting ONS member Sherry A. Looker, RN, BSN, OCN®, on its fall 2007 cover. In addition, Looker is the subject of a full-length article discussing the impact of nurses on patients and offering insight to patients seeking to improve their care. Looker, a nurse supervisor in an outpatient treatment unit at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, MN, was the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation’s Oncology Certified Nurse of the Year in 2006.


Looker said, “To be recognized by Caring 4 Cancer as an oncology nurse is a wonderful honor. In the schema of working with patients with cancer, a nurse might feel like she may not make an impact. But in all reality, everything that we do on a daily basis, in our lives and in working with our patients, makes a difference. Working with the Caring 4 Cancer editorial and journal team was an incredible experience.”


Caring 4 Cancer magazine provides information and support to patients with cancer through online and print venues. The magazine is free to patients through their physicians’ offices. Healthcare professionals can order free copies by visiting


ONS Member Named Cameos of Caring Winner


ONS member Ruth Zalonis, RN, wears her white nursing cap with pride. She realizes that she is one of the few nurses today who still don the traditional cap that years ago was a required part of the nursing uniform and a respected symbol of the nursing profession. “When I first became a nurse in 1975 . . . the capping ceremony was a big part of becoming a nurse,” said Zalonis, who works in the oncology unit at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA.


Zalonis was selected by her peers to represent Jefferson Regional at the ninth annual 2007 Cameos of Caring celebration sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. The award honors outstanding nurses dedicated to high-quality patient care.


Zalonis has worked at Jefferson as an acute care and charge nurse since 1992, and she is chemotherapy and oncology certified. From 1988–1992, she was a staff nurse with the medical center’s medical-surgical unit. Before joining the nursing team at Jefferson Regional, she was an LPN charge nurse.


Vince Bryner, patient care manager, nominated Zalonis for the prestigious award that pays tribute to one nurse each year at almost 50 area hospitals and medical centers. “Ruth takes on new challenges on a daily basis, whether it is serving as a charge nurse, preceptor, mentor, or educator. The passion she has for nursing and the kindness and compassion Ruth exhibits when dealing with patients, families, coworkers, and other healthcare professionals should be the standard all nurses strive to achieve.”


Louise Urban, vice president of patient care services, said, “We are very excited that Ruth will be representing Jefferson Regional Medical Center as the 2007 Cameo of Caring. Ruth is truly an advocate for her patients and the nursing profession. Her expert clinical skill and compassionate approach to care exemplify the true art and science of nursing.”


In 2007, 42 hospitals and healthcare facilities and 10 schools of nursing, spanning a nine-county area and one international facility, participated in the Cameos of Caring.


ONF’s 2006 Impact Factor Announced


Impact factor, a quantitative tool of Thomson Scientific for ranking, evaluating, categorizing, and comparing journals, measures the frequency that a journal article has been cited in a particular year or period. In 2006, ONF had the fifth-highest impact factor of the 32 journals in the nursing category. Only Birth Issues in Perinatal Care, Nursing Economics, American Journal of Critical Care, and Nursing Research had higher impact factors.


Rose Mary Carroll-Johnson, MN, RN, ONF editor, said, “Being assigned an impact factor is the culmination of a great deal of work on the part of the ONS Periodicals Publishing Team and a three-year wait after being added to the Thomson Scientific list. Ultimately, however, it reflects the outstanding work of our authors and the esteem in which the work published by the journal is held.”


For more information on impact factors, visit Thomson Scientific’s Web site at


ONS Member Wins Arceneaux Award


Laurie McInnes Hughes, MSN, RN, FNP, an advanced practice nurse in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, received the 2007 Ethel Fleming Arceneaux Outstanding Nurse-Oncologist Award, made possible by the Brown Foundation, Inc., at a ceremony June 19.


“I am honored to have been selected for this award and to be a part of the M.D. Anderson team,” says Hughes. “My colleagues are outstanding and share a compassion for our patients. That’s why I’m here. I love what I do.”


Hughes is clinical nurse practitioner to breast cancer surgeon and professor S. Eva Singletary, MD. “Laurie is known for going above and beyond the call of duty to provide the finest in patient care,” said Singletary.


“I’m [patients’] first call from M.D. Anderson,” said Hughes. “Part of my role is to walk them through and explain that a breast cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. I encourage them to ask questions, to be in charge. I empower them so that they are informed about their diagnoses and surgical options even before they see Dr. Singletary.”


Since 1982, the Brown Foundation, Inc., has recognized nurses at M.D. Anderson who excel in the field of oncology. To learn more, visit


Fox Chase Cancer Center Promotes ONS Member in the Division of Population Science


ONS member Andrea Barsevick, RN, DNSc, AOCN®, has been promoted from associate member to member with tenure in the Division of Population Science at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Barsevick, who is director of nursing research, has worked at Fox Chase since 1991.


“As one of an elite cadre of nurse scientists, I believe that Dr. Barsevick brings to Fox Chase a cutting-edge research program and a role model for future nursing research,” said Mary B. Daly, MD, PhD, senior vice president for population science.


Barsevick recently received the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Nurses Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award, which is awarded to an alumnus who has brought distinction to the college through broadly recognized professional accomplishments.


Fox Chase Cancer Center was founded in 1904 in Philadelphia, PA, as the nation’s first cancer hospital and became one of the first institutions designated as a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit


ONS Members Assume Leadership Roles at the National Cancer Institute


In 2004, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) established the Clinical Trials Working Group (CTWG) to define the vision and plan for restructuring cancer clinical trials. In June 2005, a report of CTWG recommendations was published (http://integratedtrials.nci.nih
.gov/ict/CTWG_report_June2005.pdf), and implementation soon began. Four main initiatives were stressed: to improve coordination and cooperation among the functionally diverse components of the current system, to improve prioritization and scientific quality by developing a transparent process for protocol design and review, to improve the standardization of the tools and procedures for clinical trials conduct and management, and to improve operational efficiency of the conduct of clinical trials.


The CTWG also recommended the establishment of an external clinical trials oversight committee to advise the NCI director. To that end, the Clinical Trials Advisory Committee (CTAC) was formed. Chaired by the NCI director, CTAC provides extramural oversight for the implementation of the CTWG recommendations and initiatives. ONS nominated member Deborah Watkins Bruner, RN, PhD, independence professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, to serve on the committee. Bruner currently is the only nurse to serve on CTAC.


To enhance collaboration among those involved in the design of cancer clinical trials and to improve prioritization and scientific quality, the Symptom Management and Quality-of-Life (QOL) Steering Committee was formed. The role of the steering committee is to develop and prioritize symptom management intervention clinical trials, develop and review studies with secondary QOL end points in cooperative group treatment studies, and develop criteria for review of QOL studies that are eligible for funding. The steering committee has assisted in convening state-of-the-science meetings to identify critical questions and unmet needs and to help prioritize key strategies and future concepts to test.


Bruner and Michael Fisch, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, have been elected as co-chairs of the steering committee. Additional nursing representation on the committee includes ONS members Andrea Barsevick, RN, DNSc, AOCN®, from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and Ann O’Mara, RN, PhD, AOCN®, FAAN, from NCI in Bethesda and two alternates, ONS members Carol Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN, from the University of Illinois in Chicago and Debra Barton, RN, PhD, AOCN®, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.


Joint Commission Announces 2008 National Patient Safety Goals


The Joint Commission announced the 2008 National Patient Safety Goals and requirements that will apply to accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals.


Major changes in the sixth annual issuance of national patient safety goals include a new requirement to take specific actions to reduce the risks of patient harm associated with the use of anticoagulant therapy and a new goal and requirement that address the recognition of and response to unexpected deterioration in a patient’s condition. The changes were approved by the Joint Commission’s board of commissioners.


The new anticoagulant therapy requirement addresses a widely acknowledged patient safety problem and becomes a key element of the goal: Improve the safety of using medications. It applies to hospitals, critical access hospitals, ambulatory care and office-based surgery settings, and home-care and long-term care organizations. The new goal and requirement respecting the deteriorating patient will ask hospitals and critical access hospitals to select a suitable method for enabling caregivers to directly request and obtain assistance from a specially trained individual if and when a patient’s condition worsens. Each of the foregoing new requirements has a one-year phase-in period that includes defined milestones. Full implementation is targeted for January 2009. In addition, the requirement related to hand hygiene has been expanded to permit use of the World Health Organization hand hygiene guidelines as an alternative to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The requirement to limit and standardize drug concentrations that is part of the goal to improve the safety of using medications will be retired, but organization compliance will continue to be evaluated as part of medication management standards compliance.


“The 2008 National Patient Safety Goals seek to focus the efforts of healthcare organizations on the priority areas where opportunities for improving patient safety are greatest,” said Dennis S. O’Leary, MD, president of the Joint Commission. “Consistently putting these requirements into action will benefit millions of patients.”


The development and annual updating of the national patient safety goals and requirements continue to be overseen by an expert panel that includes widely recognized patient safety experts, as well as nurses, physicians, pharmacists, risk managers, and other professionals who have hands-on experience in addressing patient safety issues in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Each year, the Sentinel Event Advisory Group works with the Joint Commission to undertake a systematic review of the literature and available databases to identify candidate new goals and requirements. Following a solicitation of input from practitioners, provider organizations, purchasers, consumer groups, and other parties of interest, the advisory group determines the highest priority goals and requirements and makes its recommendations to the Joint Commission.


The full text of the 2008 goals and requirements for all accreditation programs is posted on the Joint Commission Web site ( Compliance with the requirements is a condition of continuing accreditation or certification for Joint Commission–accredited or certified organizations.


American Cancer Society Names New Chief Medical Officer


The American Cancer Society announced the retirement of Chief Medical Officer Harmon J. Eyre, MD, and named Otis Webb Brawley, MD, as his successor. Brawley, a practicing oncologist, most recently served as professor of hematology and oncology and epidemiology at Emory University, as medical director of the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and as deputy director for cancer control at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University.


Brawley has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the U.S. Public Health Service Crisis Response Service Award, the U.S. Public Health Service Distinguished Service Commendation, and the key to St. Bernard Parish for his work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Brawley currently serves as chair of the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel on the treatment of sickle cell anemia and as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee. He has published extensively and has served in editorial roles for Contemporary Oncology, Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, the British Journal of Urology, and Cure.


“I am both humbled and extremely honored to have this remarkable opportunity to follow in the footsteps of a great leader,” said Brawley. “Dr. Eyre’s tenure was extraordinarily effective, and I am committed to continuing those successful efforts to ensure the American Cancer Society remains a leader in cancer science.”


“It’s a real coup to have secured the commitment of Otis Brawley to join the American Cancer Society as our new chief medical officer,” said John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “Dr. Brawley’s extensive experience in health disparities will help us as we work to eliminate disparities in access to quality cancer care and as we continue to make global progress against this disease.”


The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering, and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. For more information, call toll free 800-ACS-2345 or visit


Mark R. Chassin Announced as New President of the Joint Commission


The Board of Commissioners of the Joint Commission announced the appointment of Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPP, MPH, as its next president effective January 1, 2008.


Chassin is the Edmond A. Guggenheim professor of health policy and chairman of the Department of Health Policy at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY, and executive vice president for excellence in patient care at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He is a board-certified internist and practiced emergency medicine for 12 years.  His background also includes service in the federal government and many years of health services and health policy research.


“Mark Chassin is a leading force in patient safety and quality as demonstrated in his long, distinguished career in the public and private sector,” says David L. Nahrwold, MD, chairman of the Joint Commission Board of Commissioners. “The board of the Joint Commission has the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the Joint Commission with intelligence and vision as the organization continues its mission to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public.”


“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the Joint Commission because of my lifelong passion for quality improvement and patient safety,” said Chassin. “The Joint Commission is transforming health care through its accreditation process and other programs to help healthcare organizations provide safe, high-quality care for all Americans.”


Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of healthcare accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in healthcare organizations. Learn more about the Joint Commission at


Lifetime’s 13th Annual “Stop Breast Cancer for Life” Campaign Unveiled


Mary Ellen Mark (American Photo’s most influential female photographer in America); Linda Kaplan Thaler’s agency, the Kaplan Thaler Group; and Cancer Vixen author Marisa Acocella Marchetto are lending their creativity to Lifetime’s 13th annual award-winning “Stop Breast Cancer for Life” campaign.


Production on the new public service campaign titled “Be My Support, Be My Strength, Be My Bra” launched with Whoopi Goldberg, Fran Drescher, Daisy Fuentes, and breast cancer survivors and advocates taking part in a video and photography shoot that will be developed into groundbreaking spots to air on Lifetime in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As breast cancer survivors, Mark, Thaler, and Marchetto appear in the series.


The new “Be My Bra” creative campaign is a playful but forceful call to action to promote breast health and breast cancer awareness based on the slang term for friend, “bra.” An array of women and men impacted by breast cancer are all posing with their “bras,” the person or people who, for example, urged them to use breast cancer detection tools, attended doctor appointments with them, or gave hope through treatment. The concept is intended to encourage more women and men to become part of a support system. The campaign will be infused into all multimedia platforms of the network’s 2007 “Stop Breast Cancer for Life” initiative from printed educational materials to a new specially themed Lifetime original movie.


“Lifetime is thrilled to soon unveil a campaign conceptualized and executed by three legendary creative geniuses and breast cancer survivors,” said Meredith Wagner, executive vice president of public affairs at Lifetime Television. “We salute [Mark, Thaler, and Marchetto] and all of the bras who give support to survivors every single day.”


Lifetime is the leader in women’s television and is committed to offering the highest-quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families.


Digital Object Identifier: 10.1188/07.ONF.925-927