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American Cancer Society honors cancer caregivers with Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award

January 22, 2016

The American Cancer Society recognized ten outstanding individuals with the American Cancer Society Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award, a prestigious national honor for cancer care and commitment.

The Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award recognizes individuals who consistently exhibit excellence and compassion in providing care to cancer patients, going beyond their duties to make a difference in the life of cancer patients and their families. This award also represents the concept of the "warm hand of service," which is an integral part of the Society's commitment to excellence in cancer care and specifically emphasized by Lane W. Adams when he served as executive vice president of the American Cancer Society. Lane's definition of the warm hand of service was to "serve others and enrich the purpose of one's existence."

The awards were presented during a ceremony in Atlanta on Jan. 13, 2016. This year's recipients include Elizabeth Bibiloni, Denver, CO; Kimberly Bielecki, RN, BSN, MBA, Stratford, CT; Kim Cappelloni, MSW, San Jose, CA; Cathy Cole, RNC, NP, MPH, CHES, CBPN-IC, Thousand Oaks, CA; Sister Mary Elaine Goodell, PBVM, DMA, BCC, New York, NY; Mark Hermann, MD, Dubuque, IA; Peggy Kupres, RN, BSN, MA, CN-BN, Hazel Crest, IL; Robert Langdon, MD, Omaha, NE; Theresa Lever, Berlin, VT; and Terry Mahoney, LICSW, OSW-C, Duluth, MN.

"These extraordinary awardees deserve to be recognized for their efforts to improve the quality of care for cancer patients and their families," said Susan D. Henry, LCSW, chair, Lane Adams Quality of Life Award Workgroup. "These individuals represent personal and professional excellence and they provide critical leadership in the American Cancer Society's mission to serve those who are touched by cancer."

Elizabeth Bibiloni is a health education specialist at the Denver Health and Hospital Authority. Bibiloni initiated the Community Cancer Resource Center (CCRC) which utilizes integrated therapies including dance, art, cosmetic services, financial workshops, legal advice, support group, and other patient services to help families during this tough time. CCRC is completely volunteer driven and has become a community cancer resource center for all cancer patients throughout the Denver area. Bibiloni is well known for her compassion and caring attitude and belief that every person should have the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

Kimberly Bielecki has been a nurse for over 38 years and is an oncology nurse navigator at Bridgeport Hospital in Stratford, CT. Bielecki's guidance, compassion, and diligence to her cancer patients is comprehensive making sure they each not only get to their treatments, but that they get continued support in their homes. Bielecki is seen as a "mother" to many families and patients throughout the Bridgeport community. She is a breast cancer survivor, and an integral part of community outreach and survivorship in lower Connecticut. Most recently, Bielecki joined the Connecticut Colorectal Cancer Roundtable planning committee and was appointed to Chairman of the Board of the Stratford Visiting Nurses Association.

Kim Cappelloni is a social worker in oncology at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA. Cappelloni has 14 years of experience working with underserved communities and currently provides service to over 1,600 patients per year. She understands the Covered California and Medi-Cal systems and strives to advocate for every patient ensuring they have access to every resource available. Cappelloni works closely with homeless cancer patients and goes beyond her duty to ensure they have the care they need by assisting them with housing and other life needs. Cappelloni recently won the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Excellence in Healthcare Award, one of five winners who go beyond the call of duty to serve their patients.

Cathy Cole is an oncology nurse navigator at the Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, CA. Cole has been a volunteer with the American Cancer Society for over 25 years, and continues to make quality of life for cancer patients a priority throughout the community. She is currently a member of the Ventura Leadership Council, chair of the City of Thousand Oaks Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a member of Relay For Life, and a coordinator for the Look Good Feel Better program. She strives to create programs and provide services for patients to help them throughout their treatment process. Her passion for helping others is evident every time she interacts with patients, peers, and community members.

Sister Mary Elaine Goodell decided to become a certified chaplain at age 60 when looking for something to do in retirement. She has spent the last 30 years bringing much needed calm and support to patients facing surgery as an employee of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network assigned to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Sr. Elaine strives to visit and offer prayer and comfort to the nearly 40 to 60 patients per day, no matter the patient's faith or religious affiliation. She never leaves for the day as long as there is a patient waiting to be seen. She is highly respected for her chaplaincy skills and much loved by her patients and colleagues. She continues to make patients her daily priority.

Dr. Mark Hermann is the oncology/hospice medical director at the Hospice of Dubuque in Iowa. Dr. Hermann is not only a leader but a highly respected physician who provides innovative cancer support, advancing the practice of hospice and palliative care. He continues to go above and beyond to make sure that his patients and their families are receiving excellent quality of life care. Even with a busy practice and active family, Dr. Hermann gives back to his community by volunteering with Relay For Life and the Pink Ribbon Open Golf Outing.

Peggy Kupres is a research nurse coordinator and compassionate leader inside the Advocate Hospital system in metro-Chicago and throughout the community. Kupres' compassion for patients with breast cancer is a direct result of both personal and professional experience. Each day, she navigates patients through their cancer journey from diagnosis to survivorship. She creates survivorship care plans for patients after they have completed treatment and walks them through the process of living life after cancer. Kupres is also a dedicated American Cancer Society volunteer, and is a member of the Regional Leadership Board.

Dr. Robert Langdon is a medical oncologist at Nebraska Methodist Hospital in Omaha, NE. Dr. Langdon is known for doing everything he can to support the quality of life for cancer patients. Dr. Langdon played an instrumental role in developing the multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic, ensuring that the clinic offered various programs and services to support patients with behavioral health counseling and smoking cessation classes. He strives to provide patients with the most innovative and collaborative treatment options. Dr. Langdon continues to encourage each patient's healthcare team to do as much as possible to support the cancer patient and positively impact their lives.

Theresa Lever is a patient navigator for the Cancer Center at the Central Vermont Medical Center at the University of Vermont Health Network in Berlin, VT. Lever has been serving cancer patients at the National Life Cancer Treatment in Central Vermont for the last six years. She has been instrumental in serving the needs of patients and developing cancer programs and services such as transportation to hospital appointments through Road to Recovery. Lever brings together community partners to help provide the best services to cancer survivors in Central Vermont. She is also a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and serves on the Executive Leadership Team for the Relay For Life event in Central Vermont.

Terry Mahoney is the only certified oncology social worker at Essentia Health Cancer Center in Duluth, MN. Mahoney strives to provide the care and support that truly improves the quality of her patients' lives. The impact of the counsel and support she provides is never more evident than when she meets with parents dealing with a child's cancer diagnosis. Essentia's pediatric oncologists have come to rely on her high-level of care and attention for every family. She has also been a dedicated volunteer with the American Cancer Society for nearly 20 years.

The Society has recognized cancer caregivers through the Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award since 1988.
About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress; 14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit".

American Cancer Society

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