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The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Director of Cancer Survivorship Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, has been recognized for her commitment to the Oncology Nursing Society and to the community as a whole.


Mayer has been announced as the recipient of the 2015 Oncology Nursing Society Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes her contributions as an oncology nurse researcher, mentor, and educator as well as her service to the Oncology Nursing Society and community. She will receive the award April 23 during the opening ceremony of the society’s 40th Annual Congress in Orlando, Fla., according to a release from the society.

“It is an honor to receive this award,” said Mayer, a UNC Lineberger member and professor in the UNC School of Nursing Adult and Geriatric Health Division, in a statement. “As a member of the Oncology Nursing Society since 1975, I have grown professionally along with the organization and have learned as much from my volunteer activities as I have given. It has been a great way to extend my efforts to improve cancer care.”

Mayer is a charter member of the society. While serving as a director-at-large and then as the president of the organization, she was instrumental in developing its first strategic plan and a strategic planning process that continues today. She was the first oncology nurse to receive a Presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board. She has also served as editor of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing for eight years. She has consulted and lectured on cancer care internationally and has published more than 100 papers to improve cancer care. She has worked tirelessly to mentor other oncology nurses in writing, leadership, practice, and research.

Mayer earned her bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., her master’s of science degree in nursing from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., her nurse practitioner certificate from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and her PhD from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

She is an active member of the society’s North Carolina Triangle Chapter, the ONS Advanced Nursing Research and Breast Care Special Interest Groups and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She is the chair of ASCO’s Survivorship Care Plan Working Group and chair-elect of ASCO’s Survivorship Committee. She will become chair in 2016.

ONS is a professional association of more than 35,000 members committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families. For more information, go to the website