Moffitt Patients Honor Dedicated Team Members

By Amanda Sangster - January 25, 2021

Moffitt Cancer Center gives out many awards to team members for their dedicated service and commitment to our mission, but there is no higher honor than being recognized by patients and caregivers. For over a decade, Moffitt’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) has honored team members with the PFAC Award of Excellence.

This award is given to Moffitt departments who demonstrate excellence in patient-and family-centered care. The council recognizes these teams for their warm, caring approach to care and their dedication to going the extra mile to connect with patients and caregivers. The winners were also chosen because they had either the highest or the most improved Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores (a survey of patient satisfaction). Finally, teams were recognized for achieving Magnet re-designation – the highest honor in nursing excellence.

The winners of the PFAC Award of Excellence are:

  • Department of Radiation Therapy
  • Department of Transport Services
  • Nursing Leadership
  • The Senior Adult Oncology Program

In 2020, the council began the new tradition of recognizing individuals within these teams that display an engaging approach to care and a continued commitment to improving the patient experience. These team members were given the PFAC Individual Award of Excellence.

The winners of the PFAC Individual Award of Excellence are:

  • Louisa Rattini-Reich, RN
  • Karen P. Rogers, BSN, RN, CNOR
  • Jennifer Trudeau, BSN, RN, OCN
  • Joel Stettler, BSN, RN, OCN
  • R.J. Suarez
  • Amanda Werner, MSN, RN
  • Cassandra Vonnes, DNP, APRN, GNP-BC, AOCNP, CPHQ, FAHA

“Receiving an award from our patient advisors means the world to our team members,” said Anne Bidelman, manager of the Patient Advisory and Executive Patient Programs. “These award recipients truly exemplify Moffitt’s commitment to patient-and family-centered care.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, patient advisors from PFAC began visiting different teams across the cancer center and handing out awards. There isn’t a formal ceremony for the PFAC Award of Excellence, making these special moments of recognition a lovely surprise in the workday. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic our patient couldn’t deliver all the awards to their recipients until later in the year.

Since the cancer center’s founding in 1986, the focus on patient and family centered care has been the cornerstone of Moffitt’s mission. Since day one, Moffitt has encouraged the full involvement of family and friends and recognized them as a valuable piece of a patient’s care team. The Patient and Family Advisory Program was established in 2005 and is dedicated to strengthening collaboration between patients, family members and their care teams.


Team members from the Department of Transport Services accept the PFAC Award of Excellence while wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
Patient advisors Shani Parkin and Zoe Marcus (both far right) present the PFAC Award of Excellence to the Department of Transport Services for going above and beyond in treating patients with dignity and respect.
McDaniel and Extermann accept the PFAC Award of Excellence from PFAC Co-Chair Shani Parkin
Gina McDaniel (left) and Dr. Martine Extermann (middle) accept the PFAC Award of Excellence from PFAC Co-chair and advisor Shani Parkin (right) on behalf of the Senior Adult Oncology Program in early 2020.
Bruce Mackey gives the PFAC Award of Excellence to Cassondra Vonnes while wearing masks.
PFAC family advisor Bruce Mackey presents the PFAC Individual Award of Excellence to Cassandra Vonnes for excellence in partnering with patient and family advisors in the spirit of collaboration.
Team members wear masks while receiving the PFAC Award of Excellence
PFAC co-chair Shani Parkin (far left) presents the PFAC Individual Awards of Excellence to (left to right) Jennifer Trudeau, Karen Rogers, Joel Stettler and Louisa Rattini-Reich. Jane Fusilero, patient advisor Zoe Marcus and Cristina Perez joined the celebration.
Unmasked team members crowd around a presentation screen and receive their PFAC Award of Excellence before the coronavirus pandemic.
PFAC co-chair and patient advisor Patti Halula (far left) awards the Department of Radiation Oncology the PFAC Award of Excellence in Spring 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
RJ Suarez wears a mask and scrubs while standing next to Zoe Marcus who is wearing a red dress, as she hands him the PFAC Award of Excellence
RJ Suarez from the Department of Transport Services receives the PFAC Individual Award of Excellence from PFAC patient advisor Zoe Marcus for taking the time to treat patients with dignity and respect by getting to know them and connecting.
Four masked women stand side by side with the PFAC Award of Excellence plaque.
Jane Fusilero (center right), Chief Nursing Officer, accepts the PFAC Award of Excellence on behalf of Nursing Leadership for the achievement of Magnet re-designation from Shani Parkin (far left). Amanda Werner (center left) and Louisa Rattini-Reich joined her accepting the award.


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