12 posts tagged “award”

Compassion for all: Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C – Schwartz Center NCCY Award finalist

Posted November 16th, 2015 by

Today, we’re happy to introduce the fourth of six nominees for the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, presented by our friends at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. We’ve already featured Rick Boyte, MD, Melody J. Cunningham, MD and Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN. 

Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Providence Cancer Center (Portland, Oregon)

“She finds power and strength in her patients. She works with them to maximize their strengths so they may achieve their hopes and dreams.” – A social worker colleague

Although caring for patients who face challenging diagnoses can be emotionally demanding for caregivers, oncology social worker Krista Nelson has discovered that finding laughter and joy in each experience ensures that everyone involved approaches challenges with more compassion and understanding. Krista reminds caregivers and patients to celebrate any “win,” big or small, and works hard to bring a positive, joyful attitude into each interaction.

“I fell in love with my job because it allows me to fight social injustice and inequalities, and it also allows me to get to know each patient personally and support them through their journey,” says Krista.

The foundation of Krista’s work can be summarized into one word: connection. Connection with patients, their families and her colleagues is what brings her joy and sustains her efforts. In her role, she provides individuals counseling, facilitates support groups and organizes retreats. After experiencing the effects of cancer on patients’ families, Krista helped with the development and coordination of a program for children who have a parent with cancer.

Outside of work, Krista’s time is dedicated to serving others on a global scale. Krista and her team have shared the model they developed for supporting children of cancer patients with doctors from Japan, who now use the model to heal tsunami victims. Each year Krista travels to a clinic in Haiti and conducts the Schwartz Center Rounds® program, providing emotional support for caregivers from both Haiti and the U.S. Krista is also active in several professional organizations, and has previously served as the president of the Association of Oncology Social Work and as an invited director of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. Currently, Krista serves as an invited director on the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and as a director of the American Clinical Social Work Association, where she advocates for compassionate care.

“I love big picture thinking with passionate colleagues around the world in order to enhance the care for those we serve daily,” says Krista.

Krista gives the same type of support to her colleagues as she gives to her patients, and feels honored to support the caregivers who are her teammates. Through her counsel, Krista’s team processes their often complex experiences and emotions so they can continue to provide the best possible quality care to the next patient they encounter.

“I have many moments of joy and laughter, and have the opportunity to learn how to live from these stories and those I serve,” says Krista. “I am reminded of the courage and strength of all of the individuals I have met, and live my life to the fullest due to them.”

The winner of the NCCY Award will be named at the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston on November 18.


Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.

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Compassion for all: Jayne O’Malley, BSN, RN, OCN – Schwartz Center NCCY Award finalist

Posted November 16th, 2015 by

Tomorrow, the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, from our partners at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, will be presented to one of six nominees at the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston.

So far, we’ve featured four of the six nominees here on the blog: Rick Boyte, MD, Melody J. Cunningham, MD and Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN and Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C. Today, meet the fifth nominee, Jayne O’Malley.

Jayne O’Malley, BSN, RN, OCN
Orange Regional Medical Center (Middletown, New York)

“It was obvious how much Jayne cared for my mom. She treated her with kindness, respect and love; her compassion was unending.” – A patient’s daughter

It can be very disorienting for patients who receive a devastating cancer diagnosis, or experience treatment side effects that impact their appearance, ability to eat, speak, see or hear. This is where Jayne O’Malley steps in.

“Everybody is deserving of compassion. Nobody ‘deserves’ a cancer diagnosis,” says Jayne, a nurse and lung cancer navigator at Orange Regional Medical Center. “My goal is to be there and offer support through the peaks and valleys that my patients face. When illness strikes, not only is the patient impacted, family and friends also need compassion and care.”

When Jayne sees a need, she takes it upon herself to research and propose a solution. She has been instrumental in introducing patient support groups and implementing a lung cancer screening program, which has helped countless participants.

“Jayne brings professionalism, confidence, empathy, passion, warmth, and energy to work every day, which not only assists and motivates her colleagues, but acts as a beacon of hope for her patients,” says a physician colleague.

She is also known to spend a lot of her personal time and resources to help her patients. She has bought a pre-paid cell phone so a patient could communicate about his treatment; helped a homeless patient deal with issues with his feeding tube; taken a patient to experience a beautiful waterfall; and has brought dinner to the homes of family members to ensure they were nourished.

A patient’s daughter notes that “upon meeting Jayne, there was an instant feeling of relief knowing there was someone guiding us along this very frightening and uncertain path. Jayne brought a sense of calm and reassurance that we were in the best hands possible.”

Jayne often creates strong and lasting bonds with her patients. She once had a cancer patient who met the love of her life and got engaged. “Jayne gave this patient hope, smiles, warm touches and encouragement in planning the wedding,” says a colleague. “Her prognosis was poor, but never did Jayne allow this patient to be discouraged and she helped her pull of their fairytale wedding, which they planned during her weekly chemotherapy sessions.”

Jayne was there on that special day, just as she was there in the patient’s home on the day she passed away. The patient’s husband donated artwork to the infusion center in honor of his wife, knowing she’d want to provide a relaxing scene for other patients to enjoy and help them feel at ease.

“There are great rewards that result from compassion,” says Jayne. “The lifelong relationships forged with patients and family members is something to be cherished.


Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.

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