February 21, 2013

Mercy Cancer Center nurse awarded “Best Mixed Media” in Lilly Oncology On Canvas National Art Competition

Jane Westfall, an oncology nurse at Mercy Medical Center, recently won a national award from the Lilly Oncology On Canvas competition in the "Best Mixed Media by a Family Member, Friend or Caregiver" category. She received a $1,000 donation in her name to the cancer-charity of her choice. She chose Mercy Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center.

Westfall considers herself someone who likes to try her hand in many different kinds of art. She makes unique jewelry, bookmarks for cancer survivors and enjoys drawing. She learned about the art competition from a pharmaceutical representative who worked with Mercy staff to host the art exhibition at Mercy Cancer Center last year. She lost her mother and a close friend to breast cancer, and through her profession, has been touched by many more cancer patients as she shares in their journey.

Inspired, she went home and wrote a haiku poem.

Salt invisible
In teardrops, so too are my
Guardian Angels.

Westfall then weaved her haiku poem into pointillism - a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots are applied in patterns to form an image. She says the poem is meant to subliminally appear in the tear down a woman's cheek. "It represents the fact that we don't always realize our guardian angels are with us," Westfall says.

Westfall says she chose Mercy Cancer Center as the recipient of the monetary donation because of her strong belief in the great work of her co-workers and physicians to care for individuals with cancer throughout their entire journey. Westfall's piece is a part of the Lilly Oncology On Canvas exhibition touring cancer centers, hospitals and patient advocacy events nationwide.

"Jane has experienced cancer as both a caregiver and every day as an oncology nurse," says Karen Coughlin, R.N., MSN, administrative director of Mercy Cancer Services. "We are very proud of her and pleased that she has received this recognition. Jane exemplifies the kind of staff we have at Mercy Cancer Center."

Presented by Lilly Oncology and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), the Lilly Oncology On Canvas art competition and exhibition honors the journeys people face when confronted with a cancer diagnosis. Individuals diagnosed with any type of cancer, as well as their families, friends, caregivers and healthcare providers, are invited to express, through art and narrative, the life-affirming changes that give their cancer journeys meaning. To date, more than 4,100 individuals touched by cancer have submitted artwork and narratives to Oncology On CanvasSM. For further information about Lilly Oncology On Canvas, click here.

Mercy Cancer Center has been accredited since 1986 as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. This excellence in care is further recognized by its selection as an Outstanding Achievement Award recipient by the CoC, a distinction granted to only a small percentage of accredited cancer centers across the country. Mercy Cancer Center provides a holistic approach to cancer care, which includes state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical facilities, innovative treatments and cutting-edge technology, national cancer research trials, designated breast care and lung centers, a complementary medicine program, retail boutique, support services, and community education and prevention programs. Mercy Medical Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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