Rogers Award honors Sheryl Harris, C.N.A., for excellence in patient care

$15,000 prize recognizes nursing assistant who embodies MD Anderson’s core values of caring, integrity and discovery

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has awarded Sheryl Harris, C.N.A., the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Patient Care. The annual award recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate excellence in their work and dedication to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer. The award’s focus rotates annually among the areas of patient care, research, education, prevention and administration.

Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson, and Regina Rogers, a senior member of the
MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, led an awards ceremony today announcing Harris as the 2019 recipient. Harris received a $15,000 prize and a framed certificate of merit.

Finalists, selected among 58 nominees, received a $2,500 prize as well as a certificate of merit:

  • Shanika R. Serial, M.B.A, C.S.S.G.B., manager, Business Services, Endocrine Center and Internal Medicine Center
  • Connie Jacobs, senior patient affairs specialist, Patient Affairs
  • Gabriel Perez, nurse, Outpatient, Radiation Oncology Clinic
  • Stephanie Stewart, coordinator, Patient Access, Stem Cell Transplantation Center

‘We all make a difference’

A nursing assistant in Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson West Houston, Harris embodies the institution’s core values of caring, integrity and discovery. Patients and staff alike refer to her as “Sunshine,” and colleagues who nominated her for the Rogers Award describe her as upbeat, dependable, efficient, compassionate, empathic, professional and respected by all.

Harris believes her interactions with patients and her responsibilities as the welcoming face of
MD Anderson are crucial in advancing the institution’s mission to end cancer.

“We all make a difference, even in the smallest ways," said Harris, who has worked at MD Anderson for six years. "I find that my first interaction with the patient is the beginning of this process. I assure them that we are here to help them. I smile, offer comfort and laugh with them as we go through the journey together.”

Rogers Award rooted in family’s appreciation for patient care

Regina Rogers established the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence 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, 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 commitment to MD Anderson, remaining an active supporter until her death in February 1998.

Continuing the family’s commitment to MD Anderson, Regina Rogers has served on the Board of Visitors since 1990. She is a passionate ambassador of the institution and committed to Making Cancer History®.

“Patient care is at the heart of MD Anderson,” said Rogers. “My family and I have personally witnessed the unparalleled level of compassion, skill and commitment for which the institution is known throughout the world. It is an honor to carry on this annual tradition, in loving memory of my parents, through which we reward excellence and recognize the individuals who make a difference in the lives of patients and their loved ones every day.”


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From left: Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson; Sheryl Harris, Rogers Award recipient; Regina Rogers, MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors member. Image credit: Thomas Campbell