Meneses Left Legacy of Contributions to Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life

August 06, 2018 by Chris Pirschel ONS Staff Writer/Producer
Remembering ONS Member Meneses’ Contributions to Oncology Nursing
Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN

Long-time ONS member and oncology nurse scientist Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and associate dean for Research at the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) passed away unexpectedly ( on August 1, 2018.

Meneses’ contributions to oncology nursing were vast, spanning more than 40 years as a healthcare professional and oncology nurse researcher. Her research, education, and publications focused on breast cancer, survivorship disparities, and improving quality of life for patients with cancer.

Achievements in Oncology Nursing

In 2016, Meneses was named the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer at UAB (—the university’s highest honor awarded to faculty. She was only the second nurse to ever receive the award.

On being designated UAB’s Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, Meneses said, “Although I am named the recipient, I give all the credit to our patients and families, my colleagues and students who I have had the honor to work with for many years. I think too, being recognized for our work in cancer survivorship is especially meaningful and heartfelt. I thank all of my wonderful colleagues and friends for their enduring support, insights, and friendship.”

In 2015, Meneses received the Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial Lecture Award ( at the 40th Annual ONS Congress in Orlando, FL, sharing a presentation titled “Celebrating Survivorship: Reflections of 34 Years of Mara’s Legacy.” She also served on the ONS Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 1999–2002, chaired the 2017–2018 Research Review Committee, and was a long-time research grant reviewer for incoming ONS Foundation research proposals. From 1992–1998, Meneses was editor of the ONS Nursing SCAN in Oncology, as well as the second editor for ONS News from 1988–1989.

“Karen Meneses’ role as an oncology nurse, researcher, and educator touched the lives of countless patients and healthcare professionals alike,” ONS Chief Executive Officer Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, said. “Her work and list of achievements speak to her commitment to innovation, excellence, and advocacy, and serves as a reminder of the power and capacity of oncology nurses everywhere. As a cherished member of the oncology nursing community, we remember her fondly as a friend, researcher, and committed caregiver to people impacted by cancer.”

In 2006, former President George W. Bush appointed Meneses to a six-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board. Her role guided federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Cancer Institute on issues including cancer prevention, early detection, and surveillance.

Recognition for Oncology Excellence

Meneses’ awards for her contributions to oncology nursing research and education were numerous and include the following:

The funeral will be held on August 7, 2018 (, at Davis Seawinds Funeral Home Chapel in Melbourne, FL.

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