Celebration of Excellence Awards 2013

Please help us acknowledge and honor the outstanding work of UF Health Shands cancer clinical care givers, researchers and educators! Below are the 2013 award winners.

2013 Award Winners

Golden Glove Award:


Dr. Jon Graham, Golden Glove Award Winner Andrea Penley, R.N., and Dr. John Wingard

Andrea Penley, R.N. was the recipient of the Golden Glove Award. Nominees eligible for the Golden Glove Award are UF&Shands faculty or clinical staff members… such as nurses, technicians, receptionists, and others…. who personify excellence in patient-centered delivery of cancer care. This year’s recipient of the Golden Glove Award was honored for her unwavering and consistent commitment to our cancer patients. She is a nurse in the thoracic oncology program, and one nominator describes her as “the embodiment of excellence.” Comments to describe her, made by her colleagues included she: “is amazing in so many ways. She is invaluable to us, the physicians, in coordinating the care of our lung cancer patients. But more importantly, she is invaluable to our patients… She goes above and beyond in making sure they feel as comfortable as possible… She spends a great deal of time talking to our patients, answering questions… and listening. She is a source of reassurance for them, and an easy-to-access contact person. Without her, our patients would be confused and lost in the sea of appointments and information.” Nurse Penley was recognized with a plaque and $1,000 in professional development and/or program support.

Bench to Bedside Award:


Dr. Jon Graham, Bench to Bedside Winner Dr. Frederic Kaye, and Dr. John Wingard

The Bench to Bedside award honored Dr. Frederic Kaye as a physician-scientist who epitomizes innovative and collaborative efforts to accelerate the transition of scientific discoveries into new cancer therapies. He is the co-director of the thoracic oncology program and has the expertise to translational research to focus on improving the outcome for patients with this disease. His bench-to-bedside work is finding a striking correlation with the ability of two COX-2 inhibitors to block lung tumor growth in cell lines with mutant LKB1/CRTC activated status but not LKB1 wild type samples. These observations have been extended to aspirin and salicylate treatments which are also dependent on LKB/AMPK signaling. This work offers the opportunity to open a new field of diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer treatment and provide a rational strategy for the use of a large family of commercially available COX-2 inhibitors as an effective therapy for lung cancer patients if applied to the correct mutational genotype. His achievement was acknowledged with a plaque and $2,500 for professional development and/or program support.

Top Team Effort Award:


Dr. Jon Graham, Kim Ely, CCLS, Heather Oakley, LCSW, OSW-C, Dr. Daniel Indelicato, and Dr. John Wingard

The Top Team Effort Award is meant to reward workgroups for achieving challenging goals and making significant, positive impact on organizational business, research and/or patient care objectives. Dr. Danny Indelicato’s team was recognized with the Top Team Effort Award because it has demonstrated the highest level of dedication and patient-focused mission in caring for pediatric cancer patients at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute. As one nominator wrote that during treatment, “families are often displaced from familiar surroundings for six to eight weeks during the most stressful time of their lives. The team meets before the patient arrives to coordinate care and cover every aspect of anticipated need for each child and family.” The nominator writes that the whole team — physicians, medical assistants, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, and transport driver — work as a unit to provide a nurturing and safe environment for children, to celebrate treatment milestones, and to provide emotional support for the children and their families. …. The writer continues, “The pediatric team at UFPTI does more than treat the tumor. The cohesive team places continuous effort into bettering the life of the child with cancer.” Led by Dr. Danny Indelicato, team members include Dr. Nancy Mendenhall, Dr. Julie Bradley, Dr. Ronny Rotondo, Amy Sapp, Annie Rini, Erinn Parvin, Gina Newton, Kendra Alipio, Adrianne Mansen, Heather Oakley, Kim Ely, and Mitch Kubacki were recognized with individual plaques and $4,000 in professional development and/or program support.

Mentoring Outside the Box Award:


Dr. Jon Graham, Mentoring Outside the Box Winner Dr. Dietmar Siemann, and Dr. John Wingard

Dr. Dietmar Siemann was the receipient of the 2013 Mentoring Outside the Box Award. Nominees eligible for the Mentoring Outside the Box Award are UF&Shands cancer research or clinical faculty members who have provided extraordinary leadership and mentoring to students, post docs and/or junior colleagues. Dr. Siemann was desribed as, “very hands on during the early phase of my project. He gradually gave me more freedom so that I can be more explorative and involved… Today this project means a lot to me because I have been offered the opportunity to shape it with my own hands! … Overall, he is an ideal mentor that really cares and perseveres towards the progress and development of his students into proficient scientists geared to conquer in the war against cancer.” A junior faculty member said, “he was my mentor on my New Investigator Bankhead Coley Research Grant. I wanted my research to branch into the important area of muscle wasting associated with cancer …He mentored me through the grant submission process, through the three-and-one-half years the grant was active and allowed my post-doc access to his lab and personnel to learn how to work with LLC and C-26 cells… He has been, and continues to be, a fabulous mentor and allowed me to develop my work in cancer cachexia that resulted in my current R01 grant. I could not think of a more deserving person for this award.” Dr. Siemann was recognized with a plaque and $1,000 for professional development and/or program support.

MVP Award:


Dr. Jon Graham, MVP Award Winner Dr. Thomas George, and Dr. John Wingard

Dr. Thomas George was recognized with the MVP Award. UF&Shands faculty and staff from cancer research, clinical and administrative areas are eligible for the MVP Award, which seeks to acknowledge personal and professional excellence that has made a significant positive impact on organizational business, research and/or patient care objectives. Dr. George has done just that. He is described as being “hardworking,” “passionate,” “an excellent oncologist, wonderful person and patient advocate,” and one of the “nicest guys around.” One nominator wrote, “I can mainly speak to his research efforts. The numbers themselves are beyond impressive. Last year the STO had a grand total of 18 accruals to therapeutic clinical trials and we accrued 70 patients with roughly two-thirds of those in studies which the nominee has written and/or supervises.” Another wrote, “He fights for his patient’s… and any patient… to get them the most excellent care our center is able to provide in a quick, consistent and coordinated manner. And, he is recognized as a leader by another, who wrote, “as chairman of the Hospital Cancer Committee, he is making tremendous strides in making this committee one of excellence. Under his leadership, members have become part of a team focused on providing better care to our patients… He is truly an exceptional leader.” Dr. George was recognized with a plaque and $1,500 in professional development and/or program support.

View last year’s winners!