UW News

January 12, 2011

Dr. Donna Berry honored for nursing research to improve lives of cancer patients

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Profile of Dr. Donna Berry

Learn about the Oncology Nursing Society

Oncology nurse Donna Berry will be honored for improving the lives of cancer patients.

Oncology nurse Donna Berry will be honored for improving the lives of cancer patients.

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

She is the second professor from the UW to receive this honor. Dr. Frances Lewis, professor of family and child nursing in the UW School of Nursing, accepted the award in 1998. The UW is the first and only institution with two recipients of the prestigious award.

Berry earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Baylor University and her masters degree in nursing from the University of Texas. She is also an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

She developed a passion for research while pursuing a Ph.D. in nursing science at the UW.

“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.”

Berrys 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 UW Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, said that although 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 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.

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.