2023 nursing award recipients

Hastings Center News

Three Nurses Recognized for Outstanding End-of-Life Care

The Hastings Center and The Cunniff-Dixon Foundation are pleased to announce the 2023 recipients of The Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Nursing Awards, which honor nurses for outstanding care provided to patients nearing the end of life.

The Cunniff-Dixon Foundation, whose mission is to enrich the relationship of health care providers and patients who are near the end of life, created and funds the awards of $25,000 each. The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute that has done groundbreaking work on end-of-life decision-making, cosponsors the awards.

The three recipients are:

Patrick J. Coyne, MSN, ACNS-BC, ACHPN, FAAN, FPCN. Coyne is an assistant professor of palliative care at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and, for nearly eight years until his retirement last month, was the director of this program. Previously, he was clinical director of the Virginia Commonwealth University/ Massey Cancer Palliative Care Service, where he developed an inpatient unit and worked on statewide initiatives to improve palliative care. A clinical nurse specialist, he is co-PI on several grants to educate rural and community health providers on primary palliative care. He is on the national and international faculty of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Curriculum and has served on the board of the Hospice and Palliative Care Credentialling Center and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. Coyne was named one of the 30 visionaries in the field by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2013.

Christina Holt, MSN, APRN (BC), ACHPN, OCN. Holt is lead nurse practitioner for the palliative care team at Yale School of Medicine. She began her career as a staff nurse for inpatient gynecology-oncology at Yale-New Haven Health, where she often served as charge nurse. She joined the Yale palliative care team in 2013. She is co-author, with Leslie Blatt, of a chapter in the Core Curriculum for the Hospice & Palliative APRN. She received her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees from Fairfield University, where she trained as a family nurse practitioner. She holds certifications as an advanced certified hospice and palliative nurse and an oncology certified nurse.

Frances T. McCarthy, MS, RNC-NIC, CPLC. McCarthy is a clinical coordinator of the Neonatal Comfort Care Program at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of Columbia University. The primary focus of the program is to provide support to women who are pregnant with a baby with a life-limiting diagnosis and who wish to continue their pregnancy. McCarthy has been a bedside NICU nurse for most of her 40-year nursing career. She has lectured internationally about perinatal palliative nursing care. She is the winner of the 2023 Ilene Beal Courageous Provider Award, which honors a pediatric provider who gives exceptional family-centered care in circumstances of serious childhood illness. She is certified in Perinatal Loss Care by the Hospice and Palliative Care Credentialing Center. She is co-author, with Dr. Elvira Parravicini, of a chapter in Handbook of Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care.

The awards selection committee is comprised of Dr. Betty Ferrell, director of nursing research and education and a professor at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. (chair); Dr. Ashley Leak Bryant, associate professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Nessa Coyle, consultant in palliative, end of life care, and clinical ethics for oncology patients; Dr. Lynn F. Reinke, endowed professor in palliative care at University of Utah; and Dr. Billy Rosa, chief research fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

[Photo, left to right: Frances T. McCarthy, Christina Holt, Patrick J. Coyne]