Ashley Nichole Morphey honored with Brown Foundation Award for
Excellence in Oncology Nursing
Ashley Nichole Morphey is the recipient of the 2021 Brown Foundation Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Established by The Brown Foundation Inc. in 1982, the award is MD Anderson’s highest nursing honor and includes a $15,000 cash prize.
Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson; Welela Tereffe,
M.D., chief medical executive; Carol Porter, D.N.P., senior vice president and chief nursing officer; and Ann Ziker, Ph.D., executive director of The Brown Foundation, congratulated Morphey today at a virtual award ceremony.. The event also was streamed for colleagues, family and friends. Also recognized were finalists Katrine Berg and Mariana Gallardo, both of whom received a $5,000 cash award.
“Nurses play a pivotal role in the care of every patient that enters our doors,” Porter said. “Our heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude go to the Brown Foundation for its generous support of our nursing team and the
outstanding individuals who have achieved this level of professional dedication over the past nearly 40 years.”
Morphey, the 2021 award recipient, is a supervisor of research nurses specializing in multiple myeloma. Her work with patients often spans several years, encompassing clinical trials and various cancer treatments. Morphey has worked as a nurse at MD Anderson for more than eight
years, beginning her career as a clinical nurse and eventually moving to
research nursing and her current supervisory role.
“At MD Anderson, nursing is about relationships made,” Morphey said. “Throughout the years, I have met many patients who I will always remember and who will remain in my heart.”
Finalist Katrine Berg is a clinical nurse in Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery. She has been with the unit for more than 10 years and specializes in progressive, step-down care. During her time at MD Anderson, Berg has helped develop videos for thoracic surgery patients to streamline discharge teaching – a tool that became particularly helpful for families and patients after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The quality of nurses we have at MD Anderson is truly exceptional,” Berg said. “I have heard it time and again from patients, that when they step into this hospital they feel a palpable difference in the way that every employee interacts with them. It is something I always love hearing because that means we are doing things right.”
Finalist Mariana Gallardo is a senior research nurse in the department of Lymphoma/Myeloma. A member of MD Anderson’s nursing team since 2017, Gallardo’s passion for oncology stems from a family history of cancer. As a research nurse, she’s proud to be part of a team that offers patients alternatives to standard of care.
“I want to be part of a team that continues the search for better treatments and makes treatment accessibility easier for patients,” Gallardo said. “My passion to help patients and their family members through their most
trying times is fulfilled daily at MD Anderson.”
This year’s selection committee of MD Anderson clinical faculty, patient care administration and nursing staff included: Carol Porter, chair; Carin Hagberg, M.D., chief academic officer; Diane Bodurka, M.D., vice president and chief education and training officer; Beth Garcia, vice president, Patient Experience; Sarah Roder, research nurse, Gynecologic
Oncology & Reproductive Medicine; Uniqua Smith, Ph.D., associate director, Nursing Programs; Lavonia Thomas, nursing informatics officer, Nursing Administration; Theresa Johnson-Forman, clinical administrative director, Sarcoma; Delmy Vesho, director, Clinical Nursing; and Kim Duron, senior executive coordinator, Office of the Chief Operating Officer.