At the start of 2014, the Meso Foundation introduced the June Breit and Jocelyn Farrar Outstanding Nurse Award, named in memory of two courageous women and nursing professionals who battled mesothelioma. As members of the Meso Foundation’s Board of Directors, June Breit and Jocelyn Farrar both cherished the meso community and worked diligently to raise awareness and research funds to win the war on mesothelioma. With this award, we honor an individual in the nursing profession who exhibits an optimistic, determined, and generous spirit reflective of both June and Jocelyn. You can learn more about the award, and June Breit and Jocelyn Farrar on our website.
Upon announcing the 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, we narrowed down the pool to six finalists. We then let the community decide on the winner through a voting process. We provided short biographies for each finalist and asked the community to vote for the nurse who they thought should receive the Outstanding Nurse Award. After receiving hundreds of votes, we had our winner: Anne Alessandrini.
Anne began her career in the nursing profession as a full-time nursing assistant in the Thoracic Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while she put herself through nursing school full time on nights and weekends. In December of 2007, she graduated from Lawrence Memorial/Regis College School of Nursing and began her career working in cardiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. After a year and a half, Anne decided to return to the Thoracic ICU at Brigham and Women’s, and this is where she continues her career today. Aside from her work in the Thoracic ICU, Anne works with a Nursing Liaison group conducting follow-up appointments in the homes of mesothelioma patients. Anne enjoys working with this unique patient population and as she states, “I feel privileged to be allowed into peoples’ lives during such a vulnerable time.” Anne’s passion and positive attitude is evident as she continues, “Every day I try to bring a smile to my patients and their families. I enjoy the challenges of each and every day working in the Thoracic ICU. The best part is getting to know who people really are, not just a diagnosis or medical record number, but the actual person.” She also expresses the fulfilment she finds in “watching the patients progress knowing that even when they may doubt themselves, I can help push them to accomplish their goals.”
The June Breit and Jocelyn Farrar Outstanding Nurse Award will be presented at the Meso Foundation’s Awards Dinner on March 6, 2014 as part of the Foundation’s International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma. The Symposium will be held from March 5th through 7th in the Washington, DC metro area. For more details, visit our Symposium page.