There are really two ideas driving our “Everyday Amazing” theme. The first – that every single day is truly a gift and that even the seemingly mundane tasks of daily life can take on extra significance if we slow down and appreciate them. The second – that every single day here at the Mass General Cancer Center we all (from patients to healthcare professionals to staff) have the chance, together, to do something pretty amazing.
Sometimes that amazing thing is innovative technology like the proton beam or targeted therapies … but sometimes that amazing thing is as simple as a warm word or a helping hand. Ultimately, that’s why we are all here: to make sure that amazing happens every day.
Everyday Amazing in Action
The people who bring Everyday Amazing to life come in all shapes and sizes – patients, nurses, physicians, administrators, family members, and individuals who simply care and are motivated to act. They make Everyday Amazing real in all our disciplines from, medical to radiation to surgical oncology. They come from the Mass General Cancer Center’s main campus in Boston, as well as from our community partners in places like Concord and Danvers. These Everyday Amazing people ARE the Cancer Center.
There is a tradition of recognizing amazing people with the Cancer Center’s “the one hundred” celebration. Every year honorees are selected from extraordinary nominees to be recognized for their dedication and compassion and, importantly, their willingness to make ‘amazing’ real every day through their actions.
To find out more about this year’s ‘the one hundred,’ go to theonehundred.org, and see how you can get involved.
Featured Past "the one hundred" Honorees
Jason Efstathiou, MD, DPhil
As both a clinician and researcher, Mass General radiation oncologist Jason Efstathiou, MD, DPhil, is harnessing new technologies to improve the outcomes of patients with prostate and other urologic cancers.Dr. Efstathiou’s clinical research examines quality of life issues, including investigations of the adverse effects of hormone therapy for prostate cancer, improving radiation therapy for seminoma, and assessing long-term outcomes and late toxicities with bladder-sparing chemoradiation. He also looks at the comparative effectiveness of emerging technologies for the treatment of prostate cancer. He leads an effort to develop the infrastructure for a National Radiation Oncology Registry by leveraging health information technologies and piloting this approach in prostate cancer. While striving to relieve the suffering of patients, Dr. Efstathiou also strives to empower them. He creates web-based decision aids and support tools for patients and is evaluating the multidisciplinary approach to prostate cancer care. On an international level, Dr. Efstathiou leads a global outreach initiative in Botswana to provide collaboration and assistance to the country’s oncology community and its patients.
Project Coordinator, Administrative Management Team
Project coordinator Lisa Goggin works behind the scenes at the Mass General Cancer Center, but the impact of her work benefits the entire community — patients, clinicians and staff.A member of the Cancer Center’s administrative management team, Lisa deftly manages a variety of programs that are vital to daily operations and patient care. As pleasant as she is tireless, Lisa is the go-to person for many initiatives that engage patients and employees — from the Support Staff Development Program to the Cancer Center Staff Orientation.While keeping many important activities on track, Lisa willingly takes on special projects, such as coordinating a recent tide of relocations and renovations in the Cancer Center. Lisa’s colleagues appreciate her quiet, can-do approach and her collaborative way of working. Honored as a 2010 Employee of the Year, Lisa makes the Cancer Center a better place for both patients and employees.
Andrea I. McClatchey, PhD
Researcher, Center for Cancer Research
As the Patricia and Scott Eston Research Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital, Andrea McClatchey, PhD, was one of five faculty members selected from more than 120 researchers for the newly created prestigious Research Scholar Award. A Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. McClatchey is the first woman faculty member to achieve the rank of Professor in the Center for Cancer Research. Her work has focused on the molecular basis of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a familial cancer syndrome caused by mutation of the NF2 tumor suppressor gene. Patients with this gene are genetically
predisposed to developing tumors that grow within the cranial and spinal nerves, particularly those of the ear, causing hearing loss and progressive neurological complications. Dr. McClatchey’s research uncovered fundamental rules by which contact between adjacent cells governs their proliferation and revealed that these rules are broken by many types of tumors. This may ultimately lead to new therapeutic approaches for individuals suffering from this disease and other human cancers, as well as a better appreciation of the link between normal development and cancer.
Margaret R. Carvan
Cancer Center Volunteer and Member Patient and Family Advisory Council
In 1997, when Carol McCracken discovered she had breast cancer, her friend Maggie Carvan, who was also undergoing cancer treatment, was a source of steadfast support and encouragement. “Maggie knew exactly what to say and what to do to ease my fears and boost my hope,” says Carol. “She brought me wigs, hats, soup and love.”Now a volunteer at the Mass General Cancer Center, Maggie continues to help patients who are going through cancer treatment. Maggie participates in The Network for Families and Patients, the Patient and Family Advisory Council and Survivor’s Day. Patients appreciate Maggie’s quiet and steady presence as well as her warmth, compassion and sense of humor. She freely gives of her great talents and helps people cope with the fear and frustration that heighten the physical and emotional toll of treatment. Maggie enables others to find the courage within themselves to battle cancer.
Jon S. DuBois, MD
Jon DuBois, MD, is a medical oncologist at Mass General Cancer Center at Emerson Hospital-Bethke in Concord, Mass., where he also serves as the chair of the cancer committee, medical director of the cancer center, the physician leader of the Schwartz Center Rounds, and board member and active participant in several cancer support organizations in the Boston area. A revered clinician, Dr. DuBois always treats each of his patients and their family members as though their well-being was his sole responsibility in the world. Dr. Dubois ministers to his patients with his warmth, kindness and positive attitude as well as his depth of medical knowledge and wisdom. “When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Dr. DuBois spent close to two hours with my husband and me,” writes one of his patients, Ann Little. “And at each subsequent appointment, I’ve never felt rushed or like I’m one of many. Dr. DuBois is everything a cancer patient could ever want in a physician. I feel blessed to have this amazing man as my doctor, and many other patients I’ve talked with feel the same way.”
Judianne Henderson, APRN, BC
Oncology Nurse Practitioner
Judianne Henderson, APRN, BC, joined the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology at the Mass General Cancer Center seven years ago and quickly became its clinical backbone. “Judianne is relentless in her pursuit of excellent patient care and brings out the best in her colleagues,” says medical oncologist Edwin Choy, MD, PhD. “While fulfilling her role with rigor, speed and extreme care, Judianne goes far beyond the challenging expectations of her position.”Judianne coordinates complex therapies on behalf of patients, including many with rare cancers. She often gives patients her cell phone number so they can reach her in a moment of urgent need or anxiety. One patient’s treatment options were exhausted, and she wanted to spend her last days at home in Puerto Rico. Judianne meticulously orchestrated her medical transport. The patient arrived safely and died five days later surrounded by her family. “Judianne cares deeply for our patients, who sing her praises,” says Dr. Choy. “They have a much better experience because of her.”
Previous Featured Honorees
Richard J. Lee, MD, PhD
Medical Oncologist, Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers
Mass General medical oncologist Richard Lee, MD, PhD, is a cutting-edge researcher, but to his patients, Dr. Lee’s humanity is as large as his scientific expertise.
Dr. Lee is applying circulating tumor cell (CTC) technology to study prostate cancer under a Stand Up 2 Cancer Dream Team research grant. He also treats men with genitourinary cancers. His reseach is supported by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (through a Young Investigator Award), and the Department of Defense.
Patient, Tim Quinn, writes, “Dr. Lee diagnosed my cancer and proposed aggressive treatment. I was scared to death, but he made me feel that I was going to be fine.”
A renowned makeup artist, Tim wanted to color his hair and go tanning before starting chemotherapy. “Noting that I’d lose my hair, Dr. Lee advised me to instead, ‘embrace interesting hats and bold fashion statements for a few months,’ reminding me that a sense of humor was going to carry me forward.
Dr. Lee helped me face cancer head on with strength, knowledge and a bit of irreverence.”
The Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center in Danvers, MA has its very own ice cream man. Once a month, to the delight of patients and staff, Tom Gould visits bearing treats from his renowned shop, Treadwell’s Ice Cream, in nearby Peabody.
In 1999, after two decades as a manager at GE Aviation in Lynn, Tom retired and bought Treadwell’s, a beloved ice cream destination for North Shore residents since 1946. His monthly visits to the Cancer Center are gifts of companionship as well as ice cream, says nurse manager Rosemary Henchey, RN. “Tom brings cheer to the patients, and when they complete treatment, some keep visiting him in his store.”
Rose Watson, a patient services coordinator, adds, “Everyone gets to enjoy a hot fudge or strawberry sundae thanks to Tom’s generosity. He makes everyone smile. Some patients book their appointments when he is coming in so they don’t miss him. On top of that, Tom is one of the nicest guys ever. All the patients and staff love him.”
Lorrie Kubicek, MT-BC
Lorrie Kubicek, MT-BC, is a board-certified music therapist in the Cancer Center’s HOPES Program, which offers patients and their family members free wellness, education and support services that vary from massage and acupuncture to art and music workshops.
Gifted as both a musician and a therapist, Lorrie has a magical effect on her young patients. She can quickly transform a frightened child into a smiling musician. One patient was reluctant to leave the clinic, and Lorrie, like a pied piper, led the child out the door to her waiting parents by singing and dancing — to the delight of adult patients watching in the corridor. Some parents synchronize their children’s treatments with Lorrie’s schedule because she puts their anxious youngsters at ease.
Patient Service Coordinator
As a patient service coordinator at the Mass General Cancer Center, Jill Clarke-Alexis quickly earned the gratitude and affection of patients and colleagues. Jill excels at meeting the many needs of patients and staff in a very busy clinical environment and she does so with extraordinary pleasantness. Patients and their families love her.
Jill arranges appointments with various clinicians on behalf of patients, and she is often the person they turn to with questions and problems of all kinds. Jill treats each patient with great warmth and competence. With her attentiveness and skill, patients feel that their arrangements and concerns are in the most capable and caring hands.
When a patient came to Jill after receiving sad news, Jill offered her quiet encouragement. The woman left feeling cared for and a little less alone with her pain. Patients appreciate Jill’s gracious and sensitive manner as well as her efficiency. Jill enhances the daily life of her unit.
Shyamala Maheswaran, PhD
Scientific Director, Center for Cancer Risk Assessment
Devoted to research on breast cancer, Dr. Maheswaran worked in both the academic and biotech worlds before joining Mass General’s Division of Surgical Oncology and the Center for Cancer Research. Her laboratory is investigating molecular mechanisms that govern the growth and tumorigenesis (production of new tumors) of the mammary gland.
As the biomedical leader of a multidisciplinary team that includes bioengineers and clinicians as well as molecular biologists, Dr. Maheswaran is co-directing a project to isolate extraordinarily rare circulating tumor cells from the blood of patients with cancer. These cells hold clues to understanding the process of cancer metastasis and monitoring the effectiveness of targeted cancer therapies.
Francis J. McGovern, MD
Mass General urologist Francis (Frank) McGovern, MD, is revered by patients and colleagues alike for his command of his field, his skills as a surgeon and his life-saving attention to detail. A specialist in the treatment of cancer and related research, Dr. McGovern has a warm and congenial manner that is as reassuring to patients as his expertise. They find that Dr. McGovern offers an ideal blend of state-of-the-art science and timeless patience and kindness.
“Dr. McGovern has been there for me from diagnosis through recovery, regardless of the day or hour,” writes Martin Blustine. “On more than one occasion, after operating all day, Dr. McGovern saw me during the evening at his office. I never felt rushed, and he addressed and fully answered my every concern and question. He always encouraged me with his positive attitude, wit and charm and extraordinary bedside manner.”