As a continuation of the National Cancer Moonshot legacy, the Biden Cancer Initiative (BCI) announced its inaugural roster of FIERCE Award recipients, naming 10 transformative healthcare professionals and institutions who have driven change and positively impacted the lives of their patients with cancer. For her work as an oncology nurse navigator and her accomplishments in patient navigation, ONS member Cynthia Cantril, RN, OCN®, CBCN®, MPH, was named one of the BCI’s FIERCE Award recipients at the Biden Cancer Summit Welcome Reception in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2018.

“It’s a great honor to receive the inaugural Biden Cancer Initiative Fierce award for patient navigation. Throughout my 45-year career, I have worked to progress the role of the oncology nurse in caring for and connecting patients and families with the resources they need,” Cantril said. “Oncology nurse navigation is an essential component of care and coordination throughout the cancer care continuum. I often say that oncology nurse navigators advocate with evidence-based knowledge combined with tenderness and tenacity—a truly Fierce combination.”

Cantril, a co-founder and long-standing contributor to ONS, has focused much of her recent work on driving excellence in oncology nurse navigation. She played a key role in the development of ONS’s Oncology Nurse Navigation Role Delineation Study, as well as helping to define the necessary responsibilities and clinical knowledge required for navigators in ONS’s 2017 Oncology Nurse Navigator Core Competencies. In 2016, ONS awarded Cantril the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to oncology nursing excellence. Previously, she was presented ONS’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010. Cantril previously served as vice president to ONS’s first board of directors.

“Cynthia Cantril’s career exemplifies a fierce commitment to identifying and addressing the needs of people affected by cancer in the community she calls home,” ONS Chief Executive Officer Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN, said in her submission nominating Cantril. “Before the title for navigator emerged, she was navigating people who needed cancer services and developing the resources they needed.”

From more than 700 nominations, the BCI selected only 10 award recipients, comprised of five awards for individual contributions and five awards recognizing the work of healthcare institutions, programs, or foundations. Two awards were given in each of the five categories, including prevention and early detection, reducing cancer disparities, patient navigation, survivorship, and leadership through exemplary and awesome purpose.