Duke Cancer Institute held its Sixth Annual Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Hosted by DCI executive director Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD, the event, which celebrates the previous year’s milestones, recognized achievements and exceptional service in the form of Superstar Awards, including Lifetime Achievement, Exceptional Care and Exceptional Colleague.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Tracy Gosselin, PhD, RN, who after 23 years in oncology was recently promoted to chief nursing and patient care services officer for Duke University Hospital. The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor given by Duke Cancer Institute and is presented to the individual who daily lives out the institute’s core values, consistently demonstrating a commitment to excellence and compassionate care. “Tracy is a natural born leader,” said Carolyn Carpenter, MHA, FACHE, former administrator of Duke Cancer Institute and now chief operating officer for Duke University Hospital. “She is a role model for professional excellence through her accomplishments as a clinician and an educator.”
The Exceptional Care Award was presented to Bonnie Toaso, clinical research nurse coordinator for Hematologic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplant. “As a research nurse, Bonnie never fails to show her tremendous support and concern for the patients she cares for,” said her nominator, who highlighted a recent case in which Toaso went above and beyond in supporting a patient from start to finish, ensuring the patient and his wife had the resources they needed to journey through two clinical trials.
The Exceptional Colleague Award was given to Julia “Julie” Rasmussen, clinical research nurse coordinator and senior nursing team lead for Genitourinary Cancer program. “She calls when we are in clinic to ask if we need additional help or she just shows up to help,” said her nominator. “When Julie is out, she sends us pizza to support our busy day. She also constantly thinks about how to improve our workflow practices and reduce complexity.”
The event, held in the lobby of Duke Cancer Center, featured the acoustic music of Daniel Nickels, RN, an ICU nurse at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Nickels, a rising singer-songwriter, launched a fundraising campaign in September, dedicating the proceeds from his debut album, The Answer, to breast cancer research at Duke. The anniversary celebration included heavy hors d'oeuvres, a drawing for prizes and a red carpet photobooth. Guests also received parting gifts.