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Nurse Recognized for Supporting Breast Cancer Survivors

Jeanine Lynch, RN Honored With DAISY Award

A nurse’s push to educate and raise awareness is making a dramatic difference in the lives of breast cancer survivors in the North Country. That is why Jeanine Lynch, BSN, RN, OCN, CBCN has been honored as The University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital’s (CVPH) 17th DAISY Award recipient.

A Breast Care Navigator (BCN) at CVPH since 2017, Lynch works tirelessly with patients to help them through their fight against cancer. She assists with scheduling appointments, refers patients to someone who can help with transportation needs for those appointments, gets answers to their questions, and is ready to lend an ear and listen when they just want someone to talk to. In addition, Lynch works with several teams within the hospital to ensure patients are going through their care plans in a timely manner.

“Jeanine is always thinking of patients first. She just always has their needs foremost in her mind,” wrote Patricia Johnson, BS, RN, OCN, CBCN, ONN-CG, who nominated Lynch for the DAISY Award.

In her nomination, Johnson highlighted one of her colleague’s recent endeavors that has brought smiles and tears of joy to survivors. A Certified Mastectomy Fitter (CMF), who is a health professional specifically educated and trained to fit patients for external breast

Nurses learn about services provided by
CMF Jackie Keto at CVPH.

prostheses and provides other post-surgery products and services, has been coming to CVPH once a month since 2014 to meet a need in the community. Still, Lynch worried that many patients in the region were not taking advantage of these services.

Johnson noted that her co-worker got right to work, organizing educational opportunities for caregivers and providers to meet with CMF Jackie Keto, who owns Albany-based “her underthings.”

Learn more about the services Jackie offers. To ask questions or make an appointment, email Underthings.bras@gmail.com

“While the staff has a peripheral understanding of the post-surgical needs of breast patients, they really need to know what is available so they can be sensitive and responsive to the needs of patients,” Johnson explained in her nomination. “What Jeanine did was perfect for our staff. Because of her work, they were able to learn about an important aspect in the care of the breast cancer patient/survivor.”

During one of the staff education sessions, Lynch and Keto talked about some of the inspiring moments that have taken place as a result of these services being offered, including many instances where patients cried because they were so happy to be feeling good about how they looked again. Lynch continues to point out that in many cases, the products and services Keto provides are covered by insurance, something that many women in the North Country may not be aware of. And with more staff and providers now aware, there are additional opportunities for them to speak with their patients about post-surgical needs.

Johnson offered much praise for Lynch’s work to educate staff and raise awareness in the community about Keto and her availability at CVPH, writing that this is just one example of her commitment and dedication to care for patients any way she can.

“She doesn’t hesitate to speak up when she sees a system that can be improved, and is an advocate for patients and their families.”

During a surprise ceremony with the FitzPatrick Cancer Center team, Lynch was presented with a certificate commending her as an extraordinary nurse. She, like all honorees, also received a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” which is hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

CVPH launched the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2018 as a way to recognize and reward licensed nurses for making a meaningful difference in the lives of their patients. Nomination forms and boxes are located at each of the hospital’s main entrances and on the CVPH website. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. A committee reviews nominations and awards a deserving nurse each quarter.

The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate care licensed nurses provide to patients and families every day. The DAISY Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by members of his family.  Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System). The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. More information is available on the DAISY Foundation website.

DAISY AWARD CEREMONY FOR JEANINE LYNCH