2013 Award of Hope Gala Recap

October 24, 2013

Award of Hope for Philanthropic Leadership

Jewels of Charity

Award of Hope for Leadership in Research

Edmund Lattime, PhD

Award of Hope for Corporate Leadership

inVentiv Health – Paul Mignon  

Pillars of Excellence                                                                           View the 2013 Gala sponsors

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of patient care, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey employees nominated twenty outstanding colleagues who exemplify the core values of the Institute. These individuals were recognized at the Gala.


Linda Tanzer (Barker)
Chief Administrative Officer

“I grew up here and have learned more than I could ever have imagined… 
from some of the greatest minds around. 
I am very lucky.”

Candace E. Botnick, MS
Director of Communications and Public Affairs

“I have had the privilege to watch this institution grow into one of the nation's top cancer centers. While the number of employees has increased tremendously over the years, there is still a strong sense of camaraderie and caring about each other.  I am proud to be part of such an incredible team of physicians, healthcare team members, researchers, and administrative staff.”

Janet Caswell
Administrative Assistant to the Breast Oncology Team

“Each day I witness the respect, care and compassion given to our patients and the enormous amount of time and work dedicated to patient care and research.
It’s amazing!

I am so very lucky and honored to work with such a wonderful group of doctors, nurses and colleagues.”

Susan Christ
Administrative Coordinator – Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

“The Cancer Institute has been home to me for almost 13 years.  During those 13 years, I have always been in awe of the dedication of the faculty and staff to the patients who come to the Cancer Institute for treatment for their life threatening disease.   I can truly say that I work with an amazing group of people, many of whom have become a second family to me.”

Nora Del Rio
Patient Access Representative

“As the 1st point of contact for patients and their families , I try to be informative, reassuring and compassionate, listening and helping to facilitate an appointment as soon as possible. I am very grateful for being giving the opportunity to work among such a fabulous, extraordinary, dedicated people. Everyone here puts all their energy and soul into helping patients and their families. I am blessed to be a part of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.”

Yaroslav Elisseyeff
Deputy Laboratory Manager – Research Administration

“Working with Dr. Bertino at MSK was wonderful, but coming with him to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey felt like coming home. I know how difficult and challenging cancer research is – and also how vital it is.”

David J. Foran, PhD
Executive Director and CIO, Biomedical Informatics & Computational Imaging
Professor, Pathology, Lab Medicine and Radiology

“The Cancer Institute provides a dynamic, cross-disciplinary environment which promotes collaborative research and discovery. I am honored to be part of this amazing team.”

Janet Gordils-Perez, MA, ANP-BC, AOCNP
Director, Oncology Nursing Services

“… by leading such an amazing team of nursing professionals, I am in fact directly impacting more patients and families than ever before.  The team work that the staff nurses at the Cancer Institute exhibit is unparalleled to any that I have experienced.  I truly feel blessed and am grateful and proud to work alongside such an exceptional, dedicated and compassionate group.”

Barbara Hale, MSW, LCSW
Manager of Department of Social Work

“In my role as a social worker at the Cancer Institute, I help patients and families cope with their diagnosis and assist with their access to care. It is gratifying to work with families who thrive during this difficult time. It is an honor to work with my fellow colleagues, patients and families.”

Shawn Hall
Medical Health Technician – Department of Pediatrics

“I try to treat my patients with the warmth and respect I would want if I were in their shoes. Our pediatric patients are very special to me and the team. I have been inspired by working at the Cancer Institute to continue my studies to become a Registered Nurse.”

Michael Kane, RPh, BCOP
Director of Pharmacy Services

“As a Pharmacist, I feel we serve the role of protecting the patient both by implementing various safety check procedures but also by ensuring the proper education and application of the necessary supportive care measures. This is truly a great, fulfilling mission.”

Yibin Kang, PhD
Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology, Princeton University
Member, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

“The scientific ties between Princeton and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey have been growing ever stronger in the past decade as cancer research became increasingly multidisciplinary.   This special honor is a reflection of the collaborative effort of my colleagues at the Cancer Institute and Princeton to translate breakthroughs in basic research to improved cancer care for patients.”

Laurie Kirstein, MD, FACS
Attending breast surgeon, Division of Surgical Oncology
Breast Surgical Fellowship Director

“The emphasis on top quality patient care, the opportunity to enroll patients in clinical trials, and the multidisciplinary approach to the patient makes me so proud to work here. I always envisioned a career that included seeing patients, research and teaching, and I’m able to do all of those things at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.”

Susan Krohn
Acting Lead Medical Health Technician

“My daily goal is to deliver  caring , quality, skilled health care… with a big heartfelt  smile.
I am grateful , and feel fortunate to be a small part of the brilliant, caring, comprehensive care that our patients receive from the time they walk through our doors and throughout their journey.”

Len Mayer, MBA
Business Manager - Finance

“As a member of the finance department, it has always been our goal to keep the institute financially strong.  Giving the Cancer Institute  the opportunity to outreach & educate, improve patient care facilities and keep our research laboratories state-of-the-art, with the ultimate goal being a cure. But without a doubt, the thing that’s most special about the Cancer Institute is the people I’ve met and work with everyday.”

Michelle Orlick, BA, RN, OCN, CCRP
Research Nurse Clinician

“To witness my patients’ grace and courage in the face of mortality has enabled me to work harder to help them achieve the longest, fullest, happiest life possible. The people here - the researchers, pharmacists, doctors, nurses, patients, technicians, administrative assistants - they are all part of my family. We have one goal - to cure cancer.  But the way we do that, the way we care for people and touch lives that in turn inspire us, that’s what makes us special.”

Carla Schaefer, BSN, RN, OCN
Nurse Manager, Adult Oncology

“Nurses are the eyes that see, the ears that listen, the smile that cheers, the hugs that reassure and the shoulders that are cried on.  We impact a patient and their family’s experience from the very second they walk through the door.  As a nurse, we have an outstanding ability to shape the oncology patient experience.  A favorite quote of mine is “People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said-but-they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Barry Shandolow
Systems Administrator

“Even the smallest thing, like a patient not being able to connect to the Internet while undergoing treatment is so important.  If I can help patients with such issues, I know they will be more comfortable during their visit here.  And by making sure faculty and staff have all the working technologies they need, we are ensuring the highest level of comprehensive care."

Roger Strair, MD, PhD
Chief, Hematologic Malignancies/Hematopoietic
Stem Cell Transplantation

“It is an honor to care for patients and their families. To have so many of those patients and families supporting our research is truly a gift.”

Jennifer E. Wilks
CSRII – Clinical Service Representative

“In my position as a scheduler, I have the pleasure of interacting with patients and their families. Cancer Institute employees go above and beyond their normal duties to provide patient satisfaction.  I am glad I am a part of this wonderful team.”


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