Monica Johnson receives Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence

$15,000 prize honors educator dedicated to highest standards of patient experience

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has awarded Monica Johnson, M.H.A., C.P.X.P., the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Education. Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson; Tadd Pullin, senior vice president for Institutional Affairs; and Regina Rogers, a Life Member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, led a virtual awards ceremony today announcing Johnson as the 2020 recipient of the award, which includes a $15,000 prize and a framed certificate of merit.

The annual award recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate excellence in their work and dedication to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer. Areas of focus rotate annually among patient care, research, education, prevention and administration. This year’s four finalists received a $2,500 prize as well as a certificate of merit:

  • Stella Dike, M.S.N., R.N., O.C.N., nursing educator, Nursing Education
  • Diane Hecht, Pharm.D., R.Ph., M.Ed., C.H.C.P., manager, Clinical Pharmacy Services, Pharmacy Continuing Education Program
  • Manju Joy, M.S.N., B.S.N., R.N., C.M.S.R.N., nurse manager, Supportive Care Center
  • Gottumukkala Subba Raju, M.D., F.A.C.G., F.A.S.G.E., professor, Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition

A powerhouse for patients

Colleagues describe Johnson, program director for Patient Experience, as humble, a visionary and a powerhouse who can “move mountains with a single idea and bring about exponential change.” Since joining MD Anderson in 2013, she has enjoyed collaborating with cross-functional teams to develop, implement and sustain the Service Excellence Program at MD Anderson. She has trained more than 250 Service Excellence facilitators to lead sessions, which has led to more than 1,500 sessions and more than 60% completion of the core curriculum across the institution. She was instrumental in developing a virtual education platform to accommodate COVID-19 precautions and has since educated hundreds of Service Excellence participants in Zoom sessions.

“I am proud to be a pivotal piece of our Service Excellence culture,” said Johnson. “I believe the foundation for its success is the leadership that has supported the program and reinforced the importance of relationships as we practice our service standards of safety, courtesy, accountability, efficiency and innovation.”

A family commitment to Making Cancer History®

Regina Rogers established the award in 1987 in honor of her parents, the late Julie and Ben Rogers. Ben Rogers served on the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors from 1978 until his death in 1994. The Rogers family’s relationship with the institution dates to 1960, when Regina’s brother, Arvey Rogers, M.D., was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. A lengthy and successful surgery performed by Edgar C. White, M.D., and R. Lee Clark, M.D., enabled him to continue to lead a normal life.

In 1987, Regina’s mother, Julie Rogers, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through the surgical expertise of Richard Martin, M.D., and Fred Ames, M.D., she recovered and served to reinforce the Rogers family’s dedication to MD Anderson, remaining an active supporter until her death in February 1998.

“Every year I look forward to meeting the finalists and recipients of this award,” said Regina, a passionate ambassador of the institution since joining the Board of Visitors in 1990. “I am always humbled when I learn of the lifesaving work and innovative discoveries that take place at MD Anderson. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Monica and to all the finalists, with gratitude for the extraordinary work they do every day.”