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From left, nurses Leslie Rogers, Pam Lowry, Stephane Bourassa and Michael Brunner celebrate the Pam Lowry Compassion in Action Award. Bourassa was honored as this year’s recipient.

When asked what it takes to be a nurse, several answers may come to mind. Many may say it takes being a leader, knowing how to advocate for others or being a problem solver. While all of these answers are true, at the heart of every response is compassion.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, compassion is a core value for the nursing team. It’s also the reason why the Pam Lowry Compassion in Action Award was established.

Pam Lowry and the first recipient of the Compassion in Actions Award Stephane Bourassa

Pam Lowry recognizes radiology nurse Stephane Bourassa with the Compassion in Action Award for his emotional strength, empathy and small acts of kindness for patients.

In 2019, the Kingery family created the award to honor the exemplary and compassionate care provided to their loved one Debbie by her nurse, Pam Lowry. The goal of the award is to recognize compassion and acknowledge the little things that make nurses extraordinary, such as being present and never rushing a patient during their most vulnerable moments.

Given out yearly, nurses are nominated for the award by their peers. The Pam Lowry Compassion in Action Award winners receive a lotus pin and a monetary gift.  

Encompassing all of the qualities of a compassionate nurse is what led Stephane Bourassa to be the first recipient of the inaugural award. He was nominated for his emotional strength, empathy and his small acts of kindness for patients, in addition to other commendable qualities. 

A Moffitt nurse for more than 16 years, Bourassa says he chose the profession for many reasons, but the most important aspect of his career choice is having the ability to help others and make a difference. For him, winning the Pam Lowry Compassion in Action Award was a great honor, in which he says he wouldn’t have been nominated without having an amazing team. 

Chief Nursing Officer Jane Fusilero and Pam Lowry

Moffitt’s Chief Nursing Officer Jane Fusilero and Pam Lowry recognize the most compassionate nurses.

“This award was made possible by Pam Lowry. Her story, the care, devotion, and the positive impact she had on a patient and the patient’s family are amazing,” Bourassa said. “What Pam was able to accomplish will continue to be the reason why being a nurse is much more than a job.”

“The reputation of the amazing team and the quality of care that is provided through evidence-based best practices here is simply the best,” he said. “As a nurse having the opportunity to work at a top oncology center where you are supported by an amazing leadership team is why I chose Moffitt Cancer Center.”

As a veteran of the nursing field, he says he has learned much from his patients and their families over the years. Bourassa believes that always being positive and encouraging others is important for a team to have success. He states that positivity resonates throughout a nursing unit, and this helps them provide the best care to patients.

For advice for his fellow nurses, Bourassa says, “Working together and having the same objective, providing the best of care to our patients is of most importance. In addition, remember Pam Lowry’s amazing story; she made a difference and so can all of us. Treat others the way you would like others to take care of you.”