For Immediate Release January 04, 2018

Two University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center staff members – senior clinical nurse Stephanie Everitt, RN, BSN, OCN, and medical assistant Courtney Campbell – were recently honored with the 2017 Greenebaum Compassion Award in recognition of the kindness and humanity they each demonstrate while providing care to patients within the Cancer Center.

Marlene and the late Stewart Greenebaum – for whom the Cancer Center is named – established the award in 2007 to recognize staff members who go well above and beyond their normal duties to serve patients with the utmost compassion, tenderness, empathy and dignity. 

Everitt, a senior clinical nurse on Oncology’s Inpatient Units, was nominated by Kaitlyn Hegarty, RN, BSN, for her devotion to the humanitarian side of nursing. Knowing long stays in the hospital for weeks at a time is both physically and mentally taxing on any patient, Everitt spearheaded a project to create guidelines to allow children to visit their loved ones with cancer. 

“Through this project she not only kept in mind patients’ physical safety but also the mental well-being of the patient,” Hegarty says. “In her leadership role, she created practices that would improve patients’ quality of life while in the hospital. Stephanie listened to the concerns of patients that were having long stays at the hospital without being able to see their little loved ones.” 

Everitt often forms meaningful bonds with patients in their toughest moments. She consistently works to connect with patients and put a smile on their face – even if this means visiting their rooms on days she was not assigned to them to read scripture, hold their hand, or motivate them to get up and walking. Hegarty further describes Everitt as “a compassionate nurse [who] notices what is important to the patient and uses it to create a positive environment in which a patient can thrive.” 

Campbell, a medical assistant in the Stoler Pavilion, was nominated by Drs. Dan Zandberg and Yixing Jiang, Jennifer Cash, RN, Nancy Berry, RN, and Allison Gittens, RN. Campbell was nominated for always keeping every patient’s physical and emotional well-being at the top of mind, and going above and beyond her duties. Patients in the Stoler Pavilion are constantly asking for Campbell because of her gentleness, compassion, accuracy and ability to develop personal connections. 

“She just has it,” Dr. Zandberg says. “She has a tremendous work ethic, is intelligent and interested in learning. She is able to quickly understand the complex flow of oncology care. She has a natural ability that cannot be coached or taught. It is just inherent in her and reflects in how she is always making our team and our cancer center better.”

On several occasions, Campbell has given special attention to patients facing a particularly grueling diagnosis – staying after hours to comfort them or wait for a hospice representative. She regularly checks on patients on inpatient units after they have had surgery, calls them after discharge, and stays by their side if they need a hand to hold or someone to talk to. Berry adds: “Only someone who cares deeply about patients takes the time to do that, even staying after hours to do so.”

The annual Compassion Award winners are selected from a highly competitive pool of individuals nominated by Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center staff members. A committee with representatives from various Cancer Center departments deliberates and selects the winners. As award recipients, Everitt and Campbell each received a cash prize and had their names added to the Compassion Award display in the Stoler Pavilion waiting area.