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Cancer Patient Education Network Honors UPMC Cancer Centers Education Director

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The UPMC Cancer Center’s director of cancer center education, Lynda Tunon, has been awarded the prestigious Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN) Distinguished Service Award – CPEN’s highest form of recognition given for outstanding contribution to the practice and profession of patient education.

Ms. Tunon, R.N., M.S.N., O.C.N., will receive the award on September 8 at the 2011 International Cancer Education Conference in Buffalo, N.Y.

An integral part of UPMC Cancer Centers for almost 20 years, Ms. Tunon has developed a comprehensive patient education program that has been implemented across the more than 40 UPMC Cancer Centers so every UPMC patient can access the same information as those at the Hillman Cancer Center.

“I’ve loved working with cancer patients ever since I began nursing school at Cornell University,” Ms. Tunon said. “It’s incredibly inspiring to work with patients and staff at an institution where the latest cancer care and research is offered. It was very exciting to move into the Hillman Cancer Center in 2002 and develop a first-class Patient and Family Resource Center, as well as ongoing educational classes. I am proud to say the Resource Center has become the home of patient navigation, providing patients with convenient access to supportive care services and referrals to community organizations.”

Each week day, Ms. Tunon teaches a chemotherapy education class at the Hillman Cancer Center. After class, she serves as the go-to nurse for patients with questions about managing side-effects of cancer treatment. When she isn’t working directly with patients, Ms. Tunon updates cancer education materials and is an active member of CPEN’s Learning Resource Center and marketing and membership committees.

Ms. Tunon began as an information specialist in 1993 and then became an oncology educator. Over the course of her tenure, she earned her M.S.N. from Duquesne University and her oncology nursing certification.

“On behalf of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers community, I would like to congratulate Lynda,” said Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., director, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers. “Her dedication to patient education has made an incredible impact on our patients and our staff. Lynda exemplifies the highest standards of leadership, empathy and mentorship and our cancer education program is successful because of her hard work and passion.”

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