The Goldberg Prize: Recognizing the Unsung Heroes of Caregiving

At The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), caregivers are an important part of the healthcare team. Thanks to a gift from Lynda and Richard Goldberg, MD, exceptional caregivers are now being honored for their achievements through the Dr. Richard and Lynda Goldberg Family Prize.

“We talk about our high-tech approaches, our robots and our special research, which are all extremely important, but making people feel cared for is just as important,” says Richard, physician-in-chief at the OSUCCC – James and the Klotz Family Chair of Cancer Research. “That’s what we are trying to incent and reward with this.”

Lynda, program director for policies and research at the OSUCCC – James, adds that the “unsung heroes” who provide exemplary care are the reason the prize was created.

Each year, the prize will be awarded to a physician, a nurse and a staff member at the OSUCCC – James. The inaugural recipients were recently announced and include:

  • Payal Desai, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, director of sickle cell research, Division of Hematology. “Dr. Desai’s impact on sickle cell disease management at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the OSUCCC – James cannot be overstated,” wrote nominator Eric H. Kraut, MD. “She has contributed in both inpatient and outpatient care and achieved this in the face of both political hurdles and the prejudices seen against difficult patient populations.”
  • Amber Thompson, BSN, RN, Neuroendocrine Tumor Clinic. Nominator Manisha Shah, MD, wrote, “Due to these [neuroendocrine] cancers typically being slow growing, Amber has developed good, positive relationships with these patients over the past 10 years. They in turn trust Amber tremendously and speak positively on her compassion, her care, her knowledge, and her commitment to them and their cancer journey.”
  • Deborah Hurley, NMTCB, ARRT(N), lead imaging technologist, PET/CT imaging, nuclear medicine, Department of Radiology. Wrote co-nominator Stephen Povoski, MD, “Deb always puts the patient first, makes sure that all patients are managed in a very expedient fashion, and goes out of her way to make the impossible happen when a PET/CT is needed ASAP. Deb never says ‘no,’ and instead says, ‘We’ll get it done for you.’ Simply outstanding!” Award winners were formally acknowledged at a reception held June 22, 2015. Winners also received a cash prize to connect them with continuing educational opportunities to support their outstanding work.

Pointing out that an award for caregiving is unique, Dr. Goldberg says, “The Goldberg Prize recognizes people for doing exactly what they went into health care to do to begin with: caring for patients and their families. And what’s better than that?”

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