Claudine Jreissaty, RN, says one goal has guided her as a nurse: “to help people through their journeys with cancer.” Such dedication has garnered Jreissaty MD Anderson’s highest nursing honor, the Ethel Fleming Arceneaux Outstanding Nurse-Oncologist Award.
Established by The Brown Foundation, Inc. in 1982, the award includes a cash award of $15,000, a crystal plaque and a commemorative pin, which she received at a June ceremony led by Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson.
“It’s such a privilege to receive an award for something I love to do,” says Jreissaty, a clinical nurse in the surgical breast oncology clinic at MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Sugar Land. “I’m honored to be a nurse at this institution and to receive this prestigious award.”
Jreissaty was born near Beirut, Lebanon, where she graduated from nursing school in 1997. She held various nursing positions in her home country before she moved to the United States in 2004 and received her Texas nursing license. She arrived at the institution’s Nellie B. Connally Breast Center at the Lowry and Peggy Mays Clinic in February 2008.
“I consider MD Anderson my big family,” Jreissaty says. “I want to be part of a great change in this world by impacting those who may have lost hope.”
Her first experience with cancer occurred at age 8; her father was diagnosed with brain cancer and died a few months into his treatment. Eighteen years later, her sister, Josiane, was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was 22 when the disease took her life three weeks after surgery.
“Looking back, I always knew I wanted to help others,” Jreissaty says. “Showing empathy and understanding how patients feel is very important. Nursing helps me focus outside of myself. It’s rewarding when a patient’s family trusts you to care for their loved one.”