CPEN Awards

CPEN recognizes outstanding individuals, teams and programs in cancer patient education.

  • CPEN and non-CPEN members may submit nominations.
  • Self nominations are accepted and encouraged.
  • You may nominate an individual, team or program.

Nominations were due Friday, August 12, 2022.

Excellence in Cancer Patient Education

Recognizes any group or individual who has significantly contributed to cancer patient education. This award recognizes creative approaches to developing and/or disseminating patient education that demonstrates health literacy best practices.

 2021 Recipient co-chairs:

  • Sarah Christensen, MA; MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Carolyn Cutilli, PhD, RN, NPD-BC; Penn Medicine, American International College

Rising Star Award

Recognizes a CPEN member with fewer than 10 years of patient education experience, who demonstrates commitment to advancing the field of cancer patient education and/or is dedicated to supporting the needs of patients and caregivers. The award acknowledges the educator’s efforts in creating and/or sustaining cancer patient education programs. The “Rising Star Award” promotes the visibility and value of patient education within health care institutions, communities, and/or professional organizations.

2021 Recipient:

  • Nicole Liscio, MSc, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

    Founders Distinguished Service Award

    In honor of all the founders of the CPEN organization, this award is CPEN’s highest form of recognition. It is given to a CPEN member for their outstanding contribution to the practice and profession of patient education. This award acknowledges accomplishments and tangible contributions that have promoted excellence in patient education as an integral part of patient care.

     2021 Recipient:

    • Faith Addiss, RN, Roswell Park Cancer Comprehensive Cancer Center

    Award Recipients

    Excellence in Patient Education
    2021 Recipient co-chairs: 
         Sarah Christensen, MA; MD Anderson Cancer Center
         Carolyn Cutillli, PhD, RN, NPD-BC; Penn Medicine, American International College


    The Patient Education Practice Guidelines for Health Care Professionals were created after the Health Care Education Association (HCEA) identified the need for a concise, free of charge patient education overview for frontline health care providers. A health literacy grant was secured and used to fund an extensive literature search which resulted in over 10,000 citations. The search criteria focused on articles that contained components of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation (APIE) as part of the patient education process.

    The citations were imported into Mendeley and divided among 27 volunteers to review each article’s title and abstract. This process reduced the references to 352 citations. Two reviewers then each read the full text article and completed a Qualtrics form to capture a dozen different criteria on every article. After completing the reviews, there were 232 robust citations remaining to support the Guidelines and all are included in the Guidelines for reference.

    An initial draft of the Guidelines was reviewed by workgroup members and over 100 HCEA conference attendees. The final draft was reviewed by 42 frontline health care providers who completed a 6-question survey. All feedback was taken into consideration and incorporated if it supported the goal of creating an evidence-based concise guide.   

    The Guidelines were launched on the HCEA website in November 2020 and received 9,100 views in the first 6 months. Usage continues to be actively tracked and the Guidelines promoted widely. The Guidelines workgroup was led by co-chairs Sarah Christensen, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Carolyn Cutilli, Penn Medicine in addition to 25 volunteers from across the nation. The Guidelines can be accessed as a complete PDF or by each individual section at hcea-info.org. 

    Past Winners 

    2020: Marrow Masters Podcast Series: National Bone Marrow Transplant Link
    2019:  Together, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 
    2018: OncoLink, University of Pennsylvania
    2017: Frankly Speaking About Cancer Clinical Trials, Cancer Support Community
    2016: Mariela Gallo, MPH, CHES
    2015: Family Cancer Retreat - Cancer Services of New Mexico
    2014: Tina Papadakos, MA Ed and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Clinical Trials Database Health Literacy Team
    2013: Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group 
    2012: Be the Match: Super Sam vs. the Marrow Monsters  
    2011: Matthew Ballo, MD for the Road to Wellness 
    2010: Maximizing Your Patient Education Skills (MPES) 
    2009: Caregivers’ Guide to Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant, Myra Jacobs 
    2008: The Learning Center at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 
    2007: Diane Moyer, RN, MS, Ohio State University Medical Center, The Partnership for Health Care Education For Limited English Proficiency Patients 
    2007: Jean Hartford-Todd, CCLS, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center 
    2003: Oncology Interactive Educational Series, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network 
    2001: Leah Mraz, BSN, RN, OCN, My Story: A Diary for People With Cancer, The Cancer Institute of  New Jersey    
    2000: Marilyn McCubbin, PhD, RN, FAAn, Kelly Cotter, BA, Michael Dystra, BS Outlook: Life Beyond Childhood Cancer, University of Wisconsin Cancer Center 
    2000: M.D. Anderson Patient Education Office, University of Texas 
    2000: Carolyn Weaver, RN, MSN, AOCN, Ask the Expert Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center 
    2000: Tanya Smith, BA & Patient and Public Education Departmental Staff, How to Help Your Loved One Stop Smoking, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah  
    1999: Amy Deshler, MSW, Kelli Fee-Schroeder, RN, and Kat Thieman, MBA, Setting Course to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center 
    1999: Dr. Joel Goldwein and Dr. Ivor Benjamin, OncoLink, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center 
    1999: Mary Sumpmann, Nancy Goldstein and Staff, Patient Learning Center, University of Minnesota Cancer Center

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