Over the past 2 years, there has been momentous recognition of the heroics of healthcare workers throughout the world – and understandably so. The COVID-19 pandemic brought an unfathomable amount of stress and burden upon everyone who worked on the front lines of medicine. Their dedication to patient care, at a significant cost to their own health and wellbeing, was beyond admirable.
But prior to the pandemic, healthcare workers were providing amazing care to their patients every day, without fanfare or worldwide acclaim. In 2017, Beekley Medical established the EMPOWER Award to recognize those individuals who go above and beyond in their roles on a daily basis.
EMPOWER Award winners are nominated by their coworkers for being examples of the best of the best in healthcare. We ask nominators to submit people who are committed to improving patient care, educating their community, supporting family members through a loved one’s health journey, fundraising for a cause, or advancing their expertise.
In 2021, Beekley Medical awarded Danna Fullen, a Radiation Therapist at MD Anderson Cancer Center, EMPOWER Award for Radiation Oncology. You can read all about Danna and her award presentation in our January 2022 blog post that spotlighted her phenomenal achievements.
All nominees are superstars
Danna was one of many finalists who, although not ultimately chosen as the recipient of the award, are winners in our eyes and we want to recognize several of them by sharing some words from their nominations.
Jason K., Radiation Therapist, Presbyterian MD Anderson Radiation Treatment Centers
“Jason gets to know each patient by asking personal questions and follows up conversations with a personal touch. Our patients and staff truly love working with him. My favorite characteristic about Jason is that he embodies our mission to eradicate cancer on both professional and personal levels. Amazingly, he has donated bone marrow twice in 2021, both times traveling great lengths and leaving his family behind to serve a stranger in need. His personal sacrifice does not go unnoticed by me or his coworkers, nor does his willingness to go out of his way to make others feel cared for. I am so glad that Jason is a radiation therapist because he serves our profession so well.” Nominated by Ameenah R.
Madisyn G., Radiation Therapist, Saint Francis Healthcare
“Madisyn goes above and beyond her calling as a Radiation Therapist. Madisyn is not only giving care, treating cancer, and helping those in need inside the walls of our cancer center and continuing her daily duties while giving the best care, Madisyn also contributes after hours by being part of multiple community organizations and national organizations and ways wanting to give back to the cancer care community. I hope and pray that if my family and myself ever has to go through treatment of cancer or any illness, that I have people like Madisyn taking care of my loved ones or myself. It’s people like Madisyn that give healthcare workers a good name. I'm beyond blessed to have her part of our team!” Nominated by Elliot S.
Alisha C., Radiation Therapist Children's Hospital Los Angeles
"Alisha has worked exclusively with pediatrics for the last 11 years, and has not only written an article for ASRT, but has also presented at multiple conferences on motion management, has presented at our local Radiation therapy program at National University on Pediatrics, and has been a contributor to multiple research papers written by our department. She spearheaded raising money for pediatric cancer annually at the Nautica Malibu triathlon, and recently spearheaded a toy drive for our youngest patients. She goes above and beyond in being a team player and is always selfless in her dedication to the children she serves. She sounds too good to be true because she really is.” Nominated by Kristine B.
Kailee B., Radiation Therapist, UW Health
"Kailee is a top-notch therapist and advocate for patients. She has worked at UW in Madison for 10 years and is cross trained on all equipment. Only 2 of the 23 therapists here are cross trained on all the imaging and treatment modalities. Kailee has served also on the RTOW (Radiation therapists of Wisconsin) group for several years helping to advance education for radiation therapists. She is an active member on the UW QA committee as well, always helping to advocate for ways to improve the patient experience and make things even more safe and efficient. Kailee has personal experience as a caregiver to her mother also, who unfortunately passed away from breast cancer a number of years ago.
"She participates in numerous fundraisers for cancer research as well, such as THE RIDE held here in Madison. Kailee was a key member of the APEX accreditation team that accredits radiation oncology departments for excellent care, documentation, procedures, etc. Kailee also served on the Advisory Council for the hospital as the radiation oncology representative for a 2 year term. Kailee is always looking for ways to help! She is kind, caring, compassionate, and an expert in this field. I would highly recommend her for this award.” Nominated by Stephanie B.
Mikal M., Radiation Therapist, Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center
“I have been a Radiation Therapist for over thirty years and have encountered and worked with many therapists in my career. Mikal is one of a kind. She is a very special person with qualities that exude positive energy to her patients. She takes the time to listen to them and the patients seem to genuinely feel comfortable with her and the friendship she gives them. Mikal has done many things over and above what would ever be expected of an employee. Some of the examples are as follows: Mikal took it upon herself to purchase packs of thank you cards. She fills them out and sends them to our patients that give us treats or thank you gifts upon their completion of treatment. She has sent personal condolence cards as well to families that she has made connections with during the patients’ treatments here. She has attended wakes and funerals for patients that she had made special connections with as well.
"Just recently Mikal did something that made me want to submit her for this recognition. We currently have a patient on treatment that has some personal struggles and had asked Mikal if she could have a roll of toilet paper to bring home with her. Mikal did what Mikal does; She went to Target last night and purchased new bath towels, bath soap, toilet paper, hair ties, and a new t shirt for this particular patient. It's this act of kindness that she does for her patients that truly makes me so proud to nominate her for this recognition.” Nominated by Gayle V.
Who will be the next?
We know there are many “unsung heroes” who work day-in and day-out to improve the patient experience and provide amazing care. Beekley Medical applauds their passion in the fight against cancer and will continue to spotlight their efforts with our annual EMPOWER Award.
The 2022 EMPOWER Award in Radiation Oncology will recognize a dosimetrist who is dedicated to improving patient care, displays leadership qualities, educates the community, supports their colleagues, or advances their expertise in their field. We can’t wait to share who the winner is and their accomplishments!