Richter and Leutner Receive Oncology Nursing Awards

“On April 24, the Upper Eastern Shore Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society (UESONS) presented the Outstanding Service Award to chapter member Sharon Richter, RN, clinical trials coordinator for Shore Regional Cancer Center. The UESONS also presented the Commitment to Caring Award to Brian Leutner, RT (R) (T), MBA, director of oncology services for Shore Health Systems.

Nominees for the Outstanding Service Award are selected based on the impact they have on the care of oncology patients and their family members. “The candidate we select is an advocate for education in the domains of the patient, family, community and legislature,” explains Robin Ford, RN, UESONS president-elect and chair of the award nominating committee. “The candidate must recognize the significance of continuing education, participate in activities for self-learning and regularly share knowledge with peers. We select a nurse who understands that oncology nursing is more than a science; it is an art that cares for the mind, body and spirit.”

Richter, who was chosen by her peers, was acknowledged for the many ways she serves oncology patients and the nurses who care for them. She coordinates the Us Too prostate cancer support group that meets monthly at Shore Regional Cancer Center. She co-chairs the UESONS program committee responsible for planning chapter programs focused on learning opportunities that enhance everyday nursing practices.

Richter chairs the Shore Health System Interdisciplinary Cancer Committee, which plays a vital role in improving the quality of cancer care by providing a forum for networking and problem solving across medical disciplines. She manages the Clinical Research Affiliates Funding Trials (CRAFT) grant from the Maryland Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The grant is used to educate physicians and potential clinical trials participants about the benefits of clinical trials.

The Commitment to Caring Award presented to Leutner recognizes an individual who is not necessarily a nurse or a member of UESONS but who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to caring for patients with cancer. The candidate must balance advocacy and support with self growth while fostering independence for patients and their families.

Leutner was nominated by a member of the chapter, who acknowledged his progressive leadership style, which attracts healthcare professionals who share his commitment to oncology patients. The nominator added, “”He is always available to offer advice and encourages the professional growth of his staff in a quiet and reassuring manner.””

As an experienced radiation therapist, Leutner blends his technical skills with administrative excellence to develop cancer programs that address the needs of cancer patients. His commitment to the Shore Health System oncology program was also demonstrated by his participation in the chemotherapy biotherapy course offered by the Oncology Nursing Society.

Ford says, “Brian recognizes our patients in a holistic manner. Through his strong leadership, Shore Health System’s oncology patients have access to a multidisciplinary program of care that addresses the many needs people experience when they have a cancer diagnosis.””