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Nationally Renown Genetics Nurse at Fox Chase Cancer Center Receives Excellence in Cancer Education Award

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 28, 2005) -- The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has awarded Agnes Masny, RN, MPH, MSN, CRNP, nurse practitioner and genetics nursing educator at Fox Chase Cancer Center with the Mary Nowotny Excellence in Cancer Nursing Education Award. Masny was honored today at the 30th annual ONS Congress in Orlando, Fla. for her continued commitment to nursing excellence.

Masny is well recognized for her contributions to cancer education at the local and national level, just one of the many criteria for this award. Masny is currently responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating nurses' training programs in cancer risk assessment and counseling, a standard of excellence practice she helped develop over 10 years ago.

"I saw that oncology nurses, with their background in patient education and counseling, were well suited to take on the advances in cancer genetics," explained Masny. "With a grant from the Oncology Nursing Foundation/Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, I was able to shape the role for nurses in cancer risk assessment and counseling at the generalist, advanced and specialty levels. That was the beginning of a journey that is still very much alive."

In conjunction with various organizations, particularly the Oncology Nursing Society, Masny co-authored the first nursing publication dedicated to genetics in oncology in 2003, Genetics in Oncology Practice: Cancer Risk Assessment. She has also produced several educational tools for fellow oncology nurses and academic professionals, including Genetics and Cancer: A Guide for Oncology Nurses.

Masny is dedicated to helping nurses incorporate the advances of cancer genetics into their practice, such as pharmacogenomics and targeted therapies as well as illustrating how genetic nursing standards and competencies can be integrated into current curricula. In addition, she serves as an adjunct professor at Temple University.

Masny is also committed to working with community-based nurses to establish procedures and policies for risk assessment clinics. She often serves a mentor for high school students seeking to learn more about nursing and science, for nurses wishing to publish and for visiting international nurses seeking to learn more about cancer risk assessment.

"Patients rely on nurses for information, support, resources, referrals and most of all care," said Masny. "Educating nurses is a way to extend the latest advances about oncology and cancer genetics to a wider and wider group of patients. It is similar to the 'ripple effect,' with the nurses as the ripples that extend to patients the hope that together we can face the cancer experience."

The award, supported by Ross Products division of Abbott Laboratories, is in memory of Dr. Mary Nowotny, a past chair of the ONS education committee and well-know oncology nurse educator and leader.

The candidate must also establish a positive teacher-learner relationship, promote and support cancer education, contribute to the development of professional oncology nursing practice and act as an educator whose teaching is consistent with the ONS/American Nurses Association Statement on the Scope and Standards of Oncology Nursing Practice and has basis in the ONS Standards of Oncology Nursing Education.

The Oncology Nursing Society's mission is to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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