ATLANTA — October 11, 2011— Judy Lentz, R.N., M.S.N, chief executive officer of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, is the 2011 recipient of the American Cancer Society Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated innovation and ingenuity in their contributions to the advancement of the field of palliative care. The American Cancer Society is committed to advancing the field of palliative care, and the award will be presented today at the Kathleen Foley Palliative Care Research Retreat that is part of the Society’s partnership with the National Palliative Care Research Center.
“Ms. Lentz has been an extraordinary advocate for palliative care in this country,” said Edward E. Partridge, M.D., national volunteer president of the American Cancer Society. “Her trailblazing contributions exemplify this recognition for innovation and ingenuity in the field of palliative care.”
During her long career as a national advocate for palliative care, Ms. Lentz has created new funding resources to support research, and led coalition efforts to help establish standards of quality practice and a unified voice for advocating important health policy advances for palliative care. In addition, she has been a tireless mentor to many nurses over the course of her career.
Prior to her tenure as chief executive officer of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, Ms. Lentz worked as an oncology nurse, rising to the level of nurse administrator in her community hospital. She began her career with the earnest belief that collaboration between the fields of oncology and palliative care was critical to fully meet the needs of patients and families facing a diagnosis of cancer. As the chief executive officer of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation, one of three nursing organizations that comprise the Alliance for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Nursing, she has been instrumental in growing the funding resources to support research. This funding has been used to support emerging research investigators, including annual scholarships to the Kathleen Foley Palliative Care Retreat and Research Symposium.
The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the state of the disease. The American Cancer Society recognizes the serious shortage of researchers in this field, and the Society’s Extramural Research Department has partnered with the National Palliative Care Research Center to stimulate research in palliative care by establishing a special program to support innovative research in palliative care. ACS CAN is also a driving force behind federal legislation that would improve pain care research, education, training, and access, and also works in partnerships at the state level to enact laws that expand access to the full range of palliative care services.
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.