may have claimed Sue Campoy’s life in 2009, but it could not steal her rich legacy: her family and countless friends, her beloved restaurant, Julienne, in San Marino, Calif., and the kitchen she founded within a Los Angeles homeless shelter to teach women cooking skills so they could find jobs and restart their lives.
|Julie Campoy, right, knows how dedicated nurses can make a difference to cancer patients. (Photo by Thomas Brown)|
Campoy’s four daughters wanted to accomplish even more. In her memory, they hosted a fundraiser in 2010 in support of the City of Hope nurses who cared for Campoy during her final battle with cancer. The event raised $130,000 to establish an endowment for nurses’ continuing education.
Only a day later, Campoy’s daughter Julie heard familiar news: She had developed breast cancer, too.
Her experiences have underscored the importance of quality care and the role of nurses in providing it, a message she carried with her to a recent event honoring City of Hope staff members who received the first awards bearing her mother’s name.
Julie Campoy spoke to nursing staff at City of Hope’s first Professional Practice and Scholarly Achievement Recognition Ceremony on July 27, which honored the professional accomplishments of more than 200 nurses. At the event, Dolores “Dolly” Golez, R.N., received the Susan Campoy Award for Nursing Excellence, and Carlos Sanchez, patient care assistant, received the Susan Campoy Award for Patient Care Excellence.
Golez and Sanchez each received $1,000 toward educational classes, certificates of appreciation and baskets of gardening supplies.
In thanking the audience at the Visitor Center, Julie Campoy shared her personal struggle after diagnosis. “I immediately was swept up into this whole process again and was so comfortable with the way everything was handled because I had already gone through it with her,” she said, referring to her mother.
“The same care you extended my mom was extended to me,” Campoy said.
Golez, who has worked at City of Hope for 35 years, has been charge nurse on 4 West for the past decade. Her patients and colleagues praise her work ethic and compassion. “Every time I work with Dolly, I learn something new about the art of nursing,” said one co-worker.
Fellow honoree Carlos Sanchez has worked at City of Hope for three years and is known as a calming influence, whether on Unit B or in other areas. In one commendation letter, a patient described Sanchez as “sensitive and caring … He saw I was upset and missing my family. He was very comforting and shared personal stories which showed me he could relate to my situation. He raised my spirits and helped me get though a very upsetting situation.”
During the awards presentation, Campoy’s physician, Stephen J. Forman, M.D., Francis and Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation said, “The real reason Sue came here was the nurses.”
When Campoy passed away, Forman said, her daughters Cynthia, Julie, Lesley and Jennifer talked with him about a way to honor their mother and the nurses with whom she deeply bonded. “It seemed natural to give an award that memorialized her name and focused on nurses,” said Forman, chair of the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. “A physician may spend 10 minutes a day with a patient, and the other 23 hours and 50 minutes are spent by nurses.”
The awards will help patient-care staff like Golez and Sanchez bring even more to their patients and help perpetuate Sue Campoy’s legacy of service.
“On behalf of all patients, thank you,” Julie Campoy told the audience. “My mom would be thrilled. I know she’s up in heaven watching down on everything that you do.”