Sellers named 2018 Health Care Hero

Triangle Business Journal recognizes Jean Sellers, RN, MSN, for her work to improve access to high quality cancer care in North Carolina.

Sellers named 2018 Health Care Hero click to enlarge Jean Sellers, RN, MSN, clinical administrative director at UNC Cancer Network was named a 2018 Health Care Hero by Triangle Business Journal.

Jean Sellers, RN, MSN, clinical administrative director at UNC Cancer Network, was named one of 24 winners of Triangle Business Journal’s 2018 Health Care Heroes Awards.

Sellers, who has nearly 25 years of experience in oncology nursing leadership, is leading efforts at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center – and across North Carolina – to implement lay patient navigation programs that assist patients in accessing critical components of support throughout their cancer journey.

Lay patient navigators are trained volunteers, which includes retired health care providers, pre-med students, cancer survivors and caregivers, who work with health care teams to provide non-clinical support while linking oncology patients to available resources as they move through the health care system.  

“This is a wonderful recognition of Jean and all that she does for our patients at UNC Lineberger and for cancer patients across North Carolina,” said Shelton Earp, MD, director of UNC Lineberger and the Lineberger Professor of Cancer Research. “Jean’s been a tireless advocate for improving access to high-quality cancer care by identifying and addressing the resources patients need to overcome challenges. The burden of cancer is substantial but Jean and her programs look to find those things that prevent patients and families from receiving optimal care, such as inadequate financial resources, transportation issues and lack of social support.”

Sellers was recognized in 2000 as one of North Carolina’s Great 100 Nurses.  In 2002, North Carolina Nurses Association awarded her the Harriot Flint Oncology Nurse of the Year. She was appointed by Governor Easley to the NC Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control in 2004 and served representing the voice of oncology nurses across the state until 2010. She received a $600,000 Duke Endowment grant in 2017 to expand UNC Lineberger’s lay patient navigator program to 11 other cancer hospitals and centers across North Carolina. She intends to have these programs in place by the end of 2018.

The 2018 Health Care Heroes Awards winners were chosen from a pool of nominees whose applications were submitted online. An awards dinner will be held in their honor on March 8 at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.