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Dr. Donna Berry to Receive Distinguished Researcher Award

For immediate release
Date:    January 10, 2011

Dr. Donna Berry to Receive Distinguished Researcher Award

SEATTLE – Dr. Donna Berry, affiliate professor of the University of Washington School of Nursing, has been selected to receive the 2011 Oncology Nursing Society Distinguished Researcher Award. She will accept this award at the 2011 Annual ONS Congress on April 28 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Massachusetts.

The award recognizes the lifetime contributions of a member who conducts or promotes research that enhances the science and practice of oncology nursing.

Dr. Berry, RN, PhD, AOCN, FAAN, said she is thrilled to join the distinguished group of past recipients, many of whom are colleagues.

“This is the highest honor that an oncology nurse researcher can receive, so that's very special to me that I'm being recognized by people in my specialty,” Dr. Berry said.

She is the second professor from the University of Washington to receive this honor. Dr. Frances Lewis, RN, PhD, FAAN, accepted the award in 1998. The University of Washington is the first and only institution with two recipients of the prestigious award.

Dr. Berry developed a passion for research while pursuing a PhD in nursing science at the University of Washington.

“I already cared about it, but then I became competent in research,” she said. “The mentors and professors I had – these people changed my life. They gave me the competency that I only could have learned at a handful of places in the United States.”

Dr. Berry’s research focuses on patient participation in treatment and electronic self-reporting assessment.

“I care very strongly about this work,” she said. “People with cancer need a reliable way to report their quality of life issues. We owe that to them. If we can make it efficient, that's even better.”

Margaret Heitkemper, chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, said that although Dr. Berry left Seattle to assume a position at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, she continues to actively collaborate with colleagues in the School of Nursing.

“Dr. Berry is not only an innovator in the field of oncology nursing and patient care but also an important mentor for upcoming generations of nursing scientists,” she said.

School of Nursing Dean Marla Salmon said Dr. Berry is a remarkable scholar who collaborates with the broader Seattle health community.

“She has an exceptional ability to foster research and service partnerships that advance both practice and education. We are very proud to have her as a partner and continuing member of our school of nursing and university community,” Salmon said.

Dr. Berry works with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and is a member of the Southwest Oncology Group and the Oncology Nursing Society. She serves as director of the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston, Mass.


The University of Washington School of Nursing is consistently the nation’s No. 1-ranked nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 3 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses society’s most pressing challenges in health care through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service.