(Baton Rouge) – Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center has named Suzanne Hotard, RN, BSN, OCN, survivorship navigator, and Sherika Lewis, a certified pharmacy technician, as the 2017 Sister Linda Constantin Courage and Compassion Award winners. The annual award is named in honor of a longtime nurse and member of the senior administrative team at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center who passed away in 2005 after battling colon cancer. Each year, the award is presented to a Cancer Center team member who exemplifies Constantin’s deeply held values and beliefs.
Linda Lee, Cancer Center administrator, said this year marked the first time in the award’s history that more than one winner was chosen. “We had many wonderful nominations and it came down to two recipients and they both reflected Sister Linda’s legacy in their own unique way, so the selection committee felt they both deserved to be recognized for their extraordinary service to the organization.”
Sister Barbara Arceneaux, regional minister, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady North American Region, presented the award to Hotard and Lewis in front of an audience of Mary Bird Perkins and Our Lady of the Lake team members gathered to pay homage to the award winners and Constantin.
“Sister Linda believed in giving to others through the gifts she was given, and that is how she lived her life. She had a joyfulness of spirit that was contagious and made every day fun—a little more special,” said Sr. Barbara Arceneaux. “All that she did was dedicated to the service of others. Her legacy continues through the compassionate spirits of our team members and Suzanne and Sherika honor Sister Linda and all those we serve by putting so much love into all they do.”
Sr. Barbara Arceneaux added that throughout Sr. Linda Constantin’s life, she was a model of strength and courage, standing up for those in the community needing a voice and believing everyone should always be treated with the same compassion they themselves would expect.
Kellie Schmeeckle, MD, a medical oncologist at the Cancer Center who works closely with Hotard and Lewis, read excerpts from the recipients’ nominations. She also served on the award’s selection committee.
“Being a part of the Sr. Linda Award selection committee is so meaningful and one of the best things I get to do all year,” said Dr. Schmeeckle. “And recognizing these two ladies for their outstanding contributions and working side by side with them is truly a privilege.”
About Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center
As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advanced technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. The Cancer Center provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program, extensive supportive care services and is the only facility in the Gulf South with the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife®Icon™. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on the Cancer Center, and how you can become involved, please visit marybirdlake.org.