Pictured from left to right are: Laura Hearson, inpatient nurse manager, award recipient Melanell Labador, Stewart and Marlene Greenebaum, and Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., cancer center director.
Melanell (Mel) Labador, a Patient Care Technician (PCT) on the inpatient unit in the cancer center, is the 2009 recipient of the Greenebaum Compassion Award.
The award is presented by Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum to a member of the Greenebaum Cancer Center staff who exemplifies the qualities of compassion and humanitarianism while providing care. It recognizes those individuals who go above and beyond their normal duties to provide not only excellent medical care, but also compassion and genuine concern for patients.
The award was presented at the September meeting of all cancer center staff. The following is an excerpt from the citation read at the award presentation:
Mel is well known for her kindness and attentiveness to her patients' needs. Patients express pleasure when realizing Mel is assigned to them on a given day, and often still ask for her after her shift is over. Mel is tuned in to her patients' needs and helps with their pain medication needs by not hesitating to remind nurses of patients' request, or seeking another available medical professional to help. She follows through with the nurse to make sure treatment has been effective and anticipates when additional interventions may be necessary with which she can assist.
Mel is also known for her IV skills. Patients trust her and often request her when they need a new IV placed. She uses a gentle touch and helps patients relax during and after procedures by providing explanations and offering support whenever patients need it. Even when busy with her own patient assignments, Mel willingly assists nurses with other patients, or answers call bells to see if there is something she can do.
Mel recognizes the importance of being comfortable in a hospital setting, and strives to make sure that all of her patients are clean, dry, and comfortable in any way that she can. She is careful to turn and reposition patients when needed to relieve pressure. She makes sure that her patients are not hungry or thirsty, and that they have any extra needs met with which she can help.
One recent example of Mel's compassion and caring for her patients occurred when a patient who was known to be at the end of life became restless and agitated. Although it was the end of the shift, Mel went to see what she could do to help and make the patient comfortable. The patient was alone, and Mel noted a Bible in the patient's native language at her bedside. Mel picked it up and began reading out loud. The patient appeared to relax, and was calm. Twenty minutes later, the patient passed away peacefully with Mel in her company.
The staff and patients at N9W know Mel is special, and welcome this recognition of the compassionate care she provides.
Mr. Stewart Greenebaum established this award in 2007 to recognize the special compassionate care that has become the hallmark of the cancer center that bears his family's name. The award is open to all employees of the Cancer Center who are involved with patient care. Nominations may be submitted throughout the year, and are reviewed by the selection committee on a bi-annual basis.
Each award recipient receives a $2,500 cash award, a crystal award plaque and a commemorative pin, and will have his or her name added to a permanent display of Greenebaum Compassion Award winners located in the cancer center.
The staff of the Greenebaum Cancer Center is extremely grateful to the Greenebaums for their generosity in making this award possible.
See past winners