|Barbara Stehr (Photo by p.cunningham)|
Barbara Stehr, R.N., M.S.N., A.C.N.P.-B.C.
Hematology Nurse Practitioner Supervisor
“I spent many years working as an emergency department nurse, and never thought my path would lead me to a cancer center. However, when I came here nearly a decade ago year ago to work with the transplant team, my life changed. I got to see patients through the continuum of their illness and see them return to their families and their lives.
Nurses here give the most compassionate, competent and quality care, and treat all of our patients like VIPs. I have the honor of working with nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are strong, intelligent, and work very hard to take care of the large volume of complicated patients we have in our hematology program.
I also find Dr. [Stephen J.] Forman very inspiring. If it wasn’t for his belief in and commitment to this program and to his patients in developing new clinical trials and chemotherapies, we wouldn’t be recognizing our 10,000th patient. He’s a dedicated physician who spends so much time with his patients, giving them hope and confidence, and helping them through difficult treatment knowing they are receiving the best possible care.
I remember one patient with very young daughters who had been told by another hospital she would not survive beyond three years. She’s now seven years out from her transplant, and she’s healthy and raising her children.
For me, the 10,000th transplant represents people who got a second chance of hope — and life.”
Bernadette “Bernie” Pulone, R.N.
|Bernadette “Bernie” Pulone(Photo by Fred Lee)|
Nurse Coordinator — Hematology Clinical Trials
“I love the people I work with and the patients I get to meet. I enjoy advocating for patients, and suggest they do their own research, highlight consent forms if they have questions and bring more ‘ears’ with them to hospital visits.
I remember City of Hope when there were only one-story buildings. There has been amazing growth on campus and in our program. Technologies are phenomenal, medications are less toxic and patients have shorter hospital stays or get treatment as outpatients.
Certain patients might remind you of a sister, cousin or parent, and you identify more strongly with them, but you take care of all the patients the same and give them your best.”
Alison Sano, R.N.
Hematology Nurse Coordinator
“Completing our 10,000th procedure shows that we’re definitely doing something right.
|Alison Sano (Photo by Fred Lee)|
Thanks to better tissue typing, less toxic regimens, more clinical trials and drugs to fight graft-versus-host disease, we’ve increased the number of unrelated transplants and patients who survive. In the 1990s, we wouldn’t have transplanted anyone older than 55. Now we’re transplanting people in their late 60s.
We do a lot of patient education. Our job is helping clarify information that the doctors have gone through with them.
The best part of my job is helping restore hope and life and seeing patients get out of the hospital and start functioning in the world again. They are so grateful to have received treatment they wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere else.
You really meet some amazing people and see the strength of the human spirit.”
Auayporn Nademanee, M.D.
Director — Matched Unrelated Donor Program
“Over the past three decades, I have witnessed tremendous progress in hematopoietic cell transplantation. We now can select and use stem cells from bone marrow, circulating blood and umbilical cord blood. We have the choice of using a patient’s own stem cells or stem cells from their siblings, family members or unrelated donors. We have improved treatments to suppress or minimize transplant rejection reactions as well as supportive care, so patients can better tolerate transplant procedures and spend less time in the hospital. As a result, we see transplants now being performed in patients for whom we would never have imagined it could be done 35 years ago.
|Auayporn Nademanee (Photo by Walter Urie)|
“With more than a little pride and hope, I have watched as more and more patients emerge from their transplants and return to normal lives with family and loved ones, and it fills my heart knowing they have bright futures ahead of them.”