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Five members of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital team were recognized at the 2019 UNC Oncology Excellence Awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 3.

Lisa Carey, MD, introducing an award recipient

The awards honor oncology nurses, allied health professionals, and administrative staff for exceptional care of and devotion to individuals with cancer and their families and to the oncology profession.

Celebrated annually since 2002, the colleague-nominated awards were presented in the light-filled Tony Williams Lobby of the N.C. Cancer Hospital. A reception featuring a festive buffet of sweet and savory food followed the ceremony.

The awards are given in memory of Charmayne Gray, an exemplary oncology nurse practitioner who died in an auto accident in 2002. “She was emblematic of what we look for in the people here,” said Lisa Carey, MD, FASCO, physician-in-chief of the N.C. Cancer Hospital and the Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research, who emceed the award ceremony. “Her spirit lives on.”

A special thank you to the Oncology Excellence Awards Committee, including Pam Baker, Marianne Baskaron, Sharon Bigelow, RN, MSN, Loretta Muss, Tina Shaban, RN, BSN, OCN and a team of volunteers, for their hard work to make the ceremony a wonderful celebration.

2019 Oncology Nursing Excellence Awards recipients

Colleen Davis, RN, MSN, CPHON – Davis is a nurse in the Outpatient Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. During her 16 years of experience working with children and families at UNC, she has earned a reputation as a diligent team player. Davis is known for her welcoming presence with families and caregivers, and for her smile and positive attitude.

2019 Oncology Excellence Awards recipients
2019 Oncology Excellence Awards recipients: Michelle Gardiner, PharmD, BCOP, CPP; Colleen Davis, RN, MSN, CPHON; Joan Martinho, RN, BSN, CURN, OCN; Mary Knowles, MSN, APRN; Bridgette Pineiro

Mary Knowles, MSN, APRN – Knowles goes above the call of duty as a nurse practitioner working with patients with head and neck cancer in Radiation Oncology. She is known for her personability with patients, and her impact is immeasurable. With 11 years of service in UNC Oncology and 23 total years part of the UNC family, Knowles has built special, long-lasting relationships with patients and colleagues alike.

Joan Martinho, RN, BSN, CURN, OCN – During her 10 years at UNC, Martinho’s extraordinary service has created a positive impact on all those around her. In her role as an oncology nurse navigator in Genitourinary Oncology and GU Surgery, she is recognized for her compassion while communicating on sensitive subjects with patients.

Oncology Service Excellence Awards recipients

Michelle Gardiner, PharmD, BCOP, CPP – Gardiner is the clinical pharmacist practitioner in the adult oncology infusion center.  She is dedicated to making sure that complex care information is communicated in a digestible way for newly-diagnosed patients. She joined UNC Oncology 10 years ago, and has been counted on for her level head, willingness to help, and sense of humor.

Bridgette Pineiro – Pineiro’s leadership and initiative has guided Radiation Oncology’s operational success. As an administrative support supervisor, she has demonstrated a remarkable ability to lead and teach in transformative ways during her six years at UNC. Her thoughtful input and positive contributions have made her an indispensable member of the department’s operational leadership team.


After paying tribute to Charmayne Gray at the start of the ceremony, David Ollila, MD, FACS, the James H. and Jesse E. Millis Distinguished Professor in the UNC School of Medicine Division of Surgical Oncology, extended congratulations to all of the nominees. “This award is a celebration of the people of the N.C. Cancer Hospital,” he said. “To be nominated is an honor.”

The five recipients were among 26 nominees for the Oncology Excellence Awards.

David Ollila, MD honors Charmayne Gray

2019 Qualifying Nominees in Oncology Excellence Nursing Category

SuLin Anthony, RN, BSN, OCN – MOP Navigation/Lymphoma/Leukemia

Betsy Blanton, RN, BSN, OCN – MOP Navigation/Breast

Karen Jean Daguerre, RN, BA-BSN, MPH, OCN – MOP Navigation/Leukemia/Lymphoma

Colleen Davis, RN, MSN, CPHON – Outpatient Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic

Kelly Devine, RN, OCN, CNIII – Adult Outpatient Infusion Center

Miranda Gerber, RN, BSN, OCN – 4 Oncology

Diana Gordon, RN, CPNP, CPON – Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Hazel Hampton, RN, BSN, CMSRN, OCN – MOP Navigation/Head and Neck

Katie Harrell, RN, BSN, ANP – Surgical Oncology

Beth Jones, RN, CNII – Outpatient Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic

Mary Knowles, MSN, APRN – Radiation Oncology

Joan Martinho, RN, BSN, CURN, OCN – MOP Navigation/GU

Melissa Matson, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, AOCNP – Outpatient Adult Leukemia Program

Rebecca Sawchak, AGPCNP-C, MSN, OCN – Outpatient Multiple Myeloma/Leukemia Program

Megan Ubik, RN, BSN, OCN, CNIV – Adult Oncology Infusion Center

Annie Welsh, RN – GYN Oncology

Cheri Young, MSN, RN, OCN, CPN | PSMIII – Adult Oncology Clinics/Nurse Navigation Program

2019 Qualifying Nominees in Oncology Excellence Service Category

Danielle Anderson, CST II – 4 Oncology

Michelle Gardiner, PharmD, BCOP, CPP – Adult Oncology Infusion Center

Alexis Jones, PharmD, BCOP, CPP – GYN Oncology Pharmacy

Sondra Peloquin, Intake Specialist – MOP Intake/GU

Bridgette Pineiro, Administrative Support Supervisor – Radiation Oncology

Julia Rodriguez-O’Donnell, LCSW – Outpatient Oncology Social Work

Jeff Scronce, Administrative Associate – Cancer Communications Center

Megan Sterlina, PA-C – Outpatient Malignant Hematology Clinic

Tory Truesdale, Administrative Specialist – Surgical Oncology