Phyllis Kaldor: Leaving Hope as Her Legacy

Phyllis Kaldor brought care and comfort to the many patients she served and to the colleagues she mentored during her 35 years as an oncology nurse at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

Though her own three-year battle with cancer ended peacefully in October 2013, Phyllis’ legacy of caring survives. Friends, families and colleagues who loved and admired Phyllis are keeping her memory alive through the Phyllis Kaldor Hope and Inspiration Tribute Fund. To date, the fund has raised almost $40,000 from more than 2,000 generous donations.

Phyllis began her career in 1976 at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center as a senior nursing assistant in the hematology outpatient clinic; she was named assistant nurse manager in 1983 and was charged with clinical and operational planning for a new Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, which opened with one bed in 1984. In 1990, Phyllis oversaw the creation of the combined inpatient and outpatient Bone Marrow Transplant unit in the OSUCCC – James. As the first director of oncology nursing at the OSUCCC – James, she served in diverse administrative roles from 1994 to the end of her career.

Phyllis’ colleagues, many of whom provided outstanding care for her during her illness, were devastated by the loss. “Phyllis, from the day the doors opened at The James, served our patients and families as a caregiver and leader,” says Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of the OSUCCC and CEO of The James. “She always demonstrated a steadfast devotion to our vision of creating a cancer-free world, one person, one discovery at a time.”

The fund that bears Phyllis’ name will fulfill both a short and long-term vision. In the short term, it will enable the relocation of the Hope statue that currently stands outside the OSUCCC – James. Dedicated in 1993 and created by famed artist Alfred Tibor, Hope provides inspiration to patients, their families and caregivers. Later this year, the statue will be moved in front of the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in the surrounding Jones Legacy Park that will serve as a respite for patients, families, visitors and staff.

In the long term, the Phyllis Kaldor Hope and Inspiration Tribute Fund will support professional development opportunities for staff at the OSUCCC – James, a fitting tribute to Phyllis’ long service as a staff member and to her strong commitment to colleagues and the nursing profession.

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