In January, we introduced our second annual campaign to choose a recipient of the June Breit and Jocelyn Farrar Outstanding Nurse Award. We began seeking a recipient through a nomination process. Meso Foundation community members submitted nominations for nurses who positively impact their lives. After receiving numerous nominations, five finalists were selected. We then let the community decide on the winner through a voting process. We provided short biographies and photos for each finalist and asked the community to vote for the nurse who they thought should receive the Outstanding Nurse Award. Nearly eight hundred votes later, we had our winner: Joanne Redondo.
Joanne Redondo began her career as a nurse 32 years ago when she graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. She began her career at Presbyterian University Hospital, now known as UMPC Presbyterian Hospital. Her initial surgical career began with organ transplants, primarily liver, kidney, and pancreas. She worked for a team of transplant surgeons headed by Dr. Thomas Starzl, the pioneer of organ transplantation. Although Joanne loved the specialty, she decided to advance her career in the surgical Critical Care setting for the next 20 years. During that time, she took on several administrative roles, but her passion was always at the bedside providing direct patient care.
Joanne went back to graduate school in 2009 while working full time and teaching nursing students part-time at the university to help supplement her tuition. She graduated in May 2012 Summa Cum Laude from Duquesne University as a CRNP with a focus in Family Care. Joanne accepted a job working in the Surgical Oncology Division at the Hillman Cancer Center. Her specialty involved GI, liver, pancreas, melanoma, and mesothelioma type cancers.
While discussing her career in an interview, Joanne states, “As I embarked on a new chapter in my life, I did not realize how many families and lives I would affect on a daily basis. I have not only gained a new career, but I have gained endless new patients and families to love and care for.” Joanne works directly with mesothelioma patients. In discussing this, she states, “From my patients, although I continue to teach and support them about their own disease, I have in turn learned so much from them in regards to hope, perseverance, and living each day to the fullest.”
The June Breit and Jocelyn Farrar Outstanding Nurse Award will be presented at the Meso Foundation’s Awards Dinner on March 2, 2015 as part of the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda in Bethesda, Maryland. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit curemeso.org/symposium.
To learn more about the June Breit and Jocelyn Farrar Outstanding Nurse Award and the two courageous women for whom it is named, visit curemeso.org/nurseaward.