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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

USI graduate is Leukemia Research Foundation's 2010 Nurse of the Year

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Jennifer Tornatta '05
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Jennifer Tornatta '05, an advanced practice nurse, clinical manager at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, is one of two nurses selected as the 2010 Nurse of the Year by the Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF).

The Nurse of the Year Award, presented annually since 1996, was created to recognize hematology-oncology nurses who give their time, compassion, and heart to those touched by leukemia, lymphoma, and myelodysplastic syndromes. Nominations from dozens of hospitals, doctors' offices and hematology/oncology clinics throughout Illinois and parts of Wisconsin and Indiana are submitted annually by patients and families touched by these diseases, as well colleagues and coworkers.

"The care that hematology/oncology nurses provide each day is truly incredible," said Scott Kroman, chairman of the judging committee. "Each year dozens of highly-skilled and caring nurses are brought to light during the nomination process - people who have critical impact on a patient's treatment and recovery."

The Leukemia Research Foundation recognizes the important contributions of hematology-oncology nurses to the care of patients with leukemia, lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). For patients and families facing these life-threatening diseases, these nurses play a vital role in ensuring their medical care and physical comfort, as well as meeting their needs for information and emotional support.

Tornatta earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from USI and master's degree in nursing at Indiana University, where she was awarded "Outstanding Master's Student." She is credited with numerous publications, presentations, awards, and scholarships throughout her career. She holds membership in several professional organizations and has completed several research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"Jennifer is the embodiment of a successful nurse and colleague," said one of her coworkers. "She has improved the outcome of countless bone marrow transplant patients not only by her stellar care, but also through her innovation."

As a winner, she will receive a $500 grant as well as $500 in funding for a gift or program for her unit. Public recognition and presentation of the Nurse of the Year Awards happened at the LRF's Medical Awards Luncheon in September.



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