Dominica Anderson, a nursing assistant at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, received the institution’s Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Patient Care.
Anderson was chosen from about 60 nominations.
“Dominica doesn’t just enter the room to take vitals, or to help a patient to the restroom,” clinical nurse Beverly Giraldi wrote in her nomination letter. “She spends time with patients and their families. She cries with them, laughs with them. They become family to her.”
Anderson, a certified nursing assistant on the P4 post-anesthesia care unit, helps patients with moving and walking, personal hygiene and daily activities. She also serves as a Patient Care Partner Champion, Glucometer Champion and clinical coach for newly hired nursing assistants.
In 2001, her then 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and began treatment at MD Anderson. Her daughter went into remission in August 2003.
“I felt the love from her doctors and all the staff … I knew I needed to return to MD Anderson and give back,” Anderson said in a press release. “I love my job, and I take pride in being considered one of the best among the best.”
Anderson received $15,000 and a framed certificate of merit.
Four other finalists received $1,500 and a certificate of merit. They were:
- Thomas Aloia, MD, associate professor of surgery in the department of surgical oncology, associate director of the Gastrointestinal Center Program, and director of hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery and international surgical oncology fellowships;
- Maria Cielo Foudray, RN, senior research nurse in the department of leukemia;
- Ellen Manzullo, MD, professor and deputy division head in the department of internal medicine, deputy chair of the department of general internal medicine, and chief of the section of general internal medicine;
- Nancy Perrier, MD, Walter and Ruth Sterling endowed professor; professor of surgical oncology; chief of the section of surgical endocrinology; director of the surgical endocrinology fellowship training program; and associate director of the Multidisciplinary Endocrine Center.