Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Highlights from the 2013 AONN Navigation and Survivorship Conference

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CONTACT: Trisha Sullivan, Executive Director, Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators, Inc.
Phone: 914-643-1726; E-mail:

For Immediate Release:
More than 650 oncology nurse navigators, patient navigators, oncology social workers, case managers, oncology nurses, nurse practitioners, and practice managers gathered in Memphis, Tennessee, this past weekend, networking and exchanging ideas with colleagues from all over the country. The Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators (AONN) Fourth Annual Conference took place at The Peabody Hotel, and this conference served as an opportunity for navigators to learn more about and share their experiences in the evolving world of cancer care.

This year’s meeting featured 14 educational sessions, 9 breakouts, multiple networking opportunities, and 55 poster presentations. Key sessions and roundtables focused on some of the hottest topics in cancer care today, which include best practices in cancer patient navigation, navigation program assessment, evidence-based guidelines in cancer care, personalized medicine survivorship, and psychosocial care.

The AONN Conference was led by Co-Chairs Sharon Gentry, RN, MSN, AOCN, CBCN (Breast Nurse Navigator, Derrick L. Davis Forsyth Regional Cancer Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina) and Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS (Administrative Director, The Johns Hopkins Breast Center, Administrative Director, Johns Hopkins Cancer Survivorship Programs, Baltimore, Maryland). During one of the talks, Lillie Shockney summarized 2013 accomplishments of the organization, including an expanding membership of more than 4000, enhanced educational benefits, webinars, and an updated website. “The future of AONN looks bright with the development of oncology navigation practice standards, national and international collaboration, and expanded educational programming,” Lillie stated.

Throughout the conference, AONN recognized many award winners, including a group of 6 travel grant winners and the 3rd Annual ONE (“Oncology Nursing Excellence”) Award winner, Libby Daniels, RN, OCN, from Lexington Medical Center. Additionally, 6 poster award winners were recognized in 6 different categories. Each of the following individuals received a plaque of recognition for their outstanding submission: Deanna Xistris, APRN, AOCN, from Stamford Hospital/Bennett Cancer Center in the Patient Education category; Carol Gunsch, RN, BScN, CON(c), from Grand River Hospital in the Psychological Support category; Sharon Barteldt, RN, MSN, MBA, OCN, CPHQ, CSBB, from Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Center in the Tracking Processes Across the Continuum of Care category; the Oncology Nursing Society Nurse Navigator Project Team in the Original Research category; Robin Atkinson, RN, BSN, OCN, GYN, from Novant Health Derrick L. Davis Forsyth Regional Cancer Center in the Screening Programs for the Underserved category; and Margaret Siebeneichen, BA, BSN, RN, from Frederick Memorial Hospital in the Community Outreach category.

Highlights and interviews from the conference will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship (JONS), the official, peer-reviewed publication of AONN. The journal promotes reliance on evidence-based practices in navigating patients with cancer and their caregivers through diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. JONS also seeks to strengthen the role of nurse and patient navigators in cancer care by serving as a platform for these professionals to disseminate original research findings, exchange best practices, and find support for their growing community.

Next year’s Fifth Annual AONN Conference will be held September 18-21, 2014, at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

About Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS
Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, has been deeply entrenched in improving the care of patients with cancer for the past 30 years and is a 2-time cancer survivor. She practices at Johns Hopkins and serves as the Administrative Director of The Johns Hopkins Breast Center as well as the Administrative Director of Cancer Survivorship Programs. She is nationally recognized for her expertise in breast cancer care, overall cancer survivorship care, quality outcomes measurement, and patient advocacy. She received the prestigious title of University Distinguished Service Associate Professor of Breast Cancer by the Board of Trustees and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Medical Board several years ago. Her faculty appointments within the JHU School of Medicine are in the departments of surgery, oncology and gynecology, and obstetrics.

About Sharon Gentry, RN, MSN, AOCN, CBCN
Sharon Gentry, RN, MSN, AOCN, CBCN, is a Breast Nurse Navigator from Novant Health Derrick L. Davis Forsyth Regional Cancer Center and has served on the AONN Leadership Council since its inception in 2009.

About the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship (
The Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship (JONS) was introduced in February 2011, a publication designed to meet the needs of oncology nurse and patient navigators. Each issue features topics related to patient navigation and survivorship care, offering original research, best practices, interviews, case reports, study highlights, and more.

Our goal is to enhance the value of the AONN membership by providing additional tools to improve care for their patients at every stage. JONS also offers a platform for navigators to share research and views on navigation and survivorship issues with colleagues.

About the Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators (
The Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators, Inc. (AONN) is the largest national specialty organization dedicated to improving patient care and quality of life by defining, enhancing, and promoting the role of oncology nurse and patient navigators. Our organization currently consists of over 4000 members, and was founded in 2009 to provide a network for all professionals involved and interested in patient navigation and survivorship care services to better manage the complexities of the cancer care treatment continuum for their patients. We view our organization as one consisting of “professional patient advocates,” and to that end we support and serve our members.

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