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
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
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.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center celebrates its sixth annual Boot Walk to End Cancer® on Saturday, Nov. 6. Due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, the 1.2-mile walk will be held virtually to keep participants, their families and their communities safe. Participants are encouraged to walk a personalized route in their own neighborhoods, whether it be on a trail, track or sidewalk. Registration is open at mdanderson.org/bootwalk.
“The enthusiasm and passion of our Boot Walk to End Cancer community is unparalleled,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Our incredible teams and sponsors continue to fuel our mission through their commitment to raise awareness and funds for MD Anderson’s life-saving research and patient programs. We couldn’t be more grateful for the collective push to give cancer the boot.”
Since 2016, more than 26,500 people have participated in the Boot Walk, raising nearly $7.5 million to support innovative cancer research, prevention, education and patient care programs at MD Anderson, including the Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support (VEPS) program, the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program, the Pancreatic Cancer Moon Shot®, Radiation Oncology, and the Advanced Breast Cancer Clinic, among others. LyondellBasell is proud to serve as the Boot Walk’s presenting sponsor for the fifth year.
“As someone who has been personally impacted by cancer, the Boot Walk to End Cancer serves as a reminder to patients, survivors and their families that we are with you, supporting the research and treatments needed to eliminate cancer,” said Torkel Rhenman, executive vice president, Intermediates and Derivatives and Refining for LyondellBasell. “LyondellBasell’s global team is grateful for the advancements in medical treatments and early detection that are improving the outlook for cancer patients. We sincerely believe that a future without cancer is possible.”
Give cancer the boot, online and in your neighborhood
On Nov. 6, participants are encouraged to pull on their boots – no matter what kind! – and gather with their household in preparation for the Boot Walk. A virtual opening ceremony will go live at 9 a.m. CST, uniting Boot Walk participants across the country to begin the day. The opening ceremony will feature special guests including George Lindsey, Morning Show co-host on 100.3 The Bull and Boot Walk co-chair; Deanna Lindsey, George’s wife and Boot Walk co-chair; Peter WT Pisters, M.D.; the Champion Sisters, a.k.a. Molly Bobrow, Brenda Pattillo and Sandra Torres; and more.
“We are excited to connect virtually with cancer survivors and supporters from across the nation,” said George Lindsey, who has participated in the Boot Walk since the start. “As a caregiver and someone who has lost loved ones to this devastating disease, it is inspiring to see so many dedicated to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer, once and for all.”
After the opening ceremony, participants will set off on their own, personally-charted 1.2-mile routes. Walkers can stay connected with family, friends and cancer survivors across the nation by sharing their Boot Walk experiences online and on social media with #EndCancer.
There is no registration fee. Participants are encouraged to fundraise with no minimum fundraising requirement.
The Boot Walk is for people of all ages and abilities. Whether walking or fundraising individually or as a team, every step counts. For more information about the Boot Walk and pre-event activities, please visit mdanderson.org/bootwalk.
Boot Walk Sponsors
Thanks to the generosity of MD Anderson’s Boot Walk sponsors, 100% of funds raised directly support MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer in Texas, across the nation and around the world. Special thanks to:
- Cavender’s – Western Wear & Cowboy Boots
- The Houston Dynamo Football Club
- 100.3 The Bull
- Clear Channel
- Community Impact
- Houston Community Newspapers
Due to our response to COVID-19, all blood donations at MD Anderson
Blood Donor Center locations are being held by appointment only.