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Celebrating Rex Nurses Rex Hospital Open: June 9-12 News from Rex Healthcare Foundation Summer 2011

Angela Brown, R.N., in the Rex Cancer Center

Small Packages, Big Gifts

Nurses are the Heart of Rex Healthcare! They are the healing hands that impact our lives and the lives of our friends and loved ones. When you encounter a Rex nurse, it doesn’t take long to realize there is something extra special about the care they provide; it’s personal. Each May, we celebrate National Nurses Week. In honor of that celebration, we bring you the stories of some very special Rex nurses.

Cancer Hits Close to Home

When she was just 18 years old, Heather Sasser’s (right)

mother passed away from a rare sarcoma tumor after a difficult decline in health. “She died at home. It was a very hard time in my life and still is,” Heather recalled. “Watching her decline and the care, compassion, hope and love that was shown by her caregivers was so inspirational to me. I wanted to make a difference like that in the lives of others who were suffering.”

As an oncology nurse at Rex Cancer Center, Heather makes life

easier for those battling cancer.

“I still see my mother in some of my patients and it is hard

sometimes to hold back the tears,” explains Heather. “I treat everyone as if they were a family member, just the way they should be treated while undergoing such a scary experience (like cancer treatment).”

“It’s incredible the number of nurses here at Rex who have either experienced cancer first hand

or through a close relative. For us, it is more than a job … it’s a calling,” explains Metra Ashworth, R.N., B.S.N., O.C.N. (left). Metra was one of the first nurses to be hired when Rex Hematology Oncology Associates formed six years ago. “I had just accepted this position when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was at work one day and I looked over at my mother, sitting in the chemo-chair. This emotional wave came over me, and I told one of my fellow nurses, ‘I don’t know if I can work here with my mother sitting there.’ She told me to hang in there – it would make me a better nurse. I truly believe it has.”

Support Through the Difficult Times

After caring for her mother, Metra now works hardest at calming the fears of her

patients. “This is what I do best. I make direct eye contact with my patients and I tell them, ‘I understand you are scared, but I can promise you, I will take care of you.’ I explain the entire process and I watch them the whole time.”

“The most difficult time for a patient and their family is right after the initial

diagnosis,” Leslie Middleton, R.N., (right) says. “I always remember how I felt when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago. I know how my patients must feel going through chemotherapy, and I strive to make them feel as comfortable as possible. If the time is right and it’s the right patient, especially if it’s a breast cancer patient, I share my story with them.”

At the time of her diagnosis, Leslie’s son was just eight years old. “I was afraid

I might not see him graduate high school,” Leslie recalls, “and now he is in his first year of college.”

Not a Career but a Calling

Cancer not only changed Leslie’s life; it changed her career. Prior to becoming

a nurse at Rex Cancer Center, Leslie was a stay-at-home mom. After finishing her treatments, she volunteered at Rex for two years before enrolling in nursing school.

Annie Stephenson, R.N., (below left) followed a similar path. “After being a stay-

at-home mom for 19 years, I graduated from nursing school and began my career at Rex in 2005,” explains Annie. “My father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at age 79. His terminal illness and death inspired me to extend my caregiving beyond my family and become a nurse, which I believe was God’s intention.” Annie now spends her days assisting with chemotherapy infusion. She also calls and checks on patients in between their treatments to see how they are doing.

A Special Someone

It takes a special someone to dedicate

their life to others through nursing, especially as a nurse at Rex Cancer Center. “It takes someone who wants to fight a battle; a battle that is very scary,” and, as Heather knows, “sometimes a battle that’s not winnable.” But it’s a battle worth fighting nonetheless. “An oncology nurse must listen carefully to the patients, we must address whatever needs arise,” says Annie. “Sincere compassion is essential and a good sense of humor helps,” reminds Metra. It can be a challenge to stay energized, but, as Metra notes, “You have to laugh some and reflect on the positive.”

Honor Your Rex Nurse In appreciation of their long hours and dedication to the care of others, join us in celebrating National Nurses Week. Send a note of thanks and make a gift to the Rex Healthcare Foundation in honor of a special nurse you’ve encountered at Rex. We will share your kind words with your nurse and your gift amount will remain anonymous. Please use the enclosed envelope to send your gift and note of thanks today! Or go online to Rex Healthcare and select Donate & Volunteer. Your support is critical to providing our nurses with advanced technologies and training in order to improve patient care for all in our community.

Thursday, June 9 start of play!

Join us for an evening business networking function. Swing Time at the Rex Open: ‘Cause Golf Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing will feature the Atomic Rhythm All-Stars band. Interested? Call (919) 784-4471. 

Friday, June 10

network on the course!

The Rex Hospital Open...benefiting the new N.C. Cancer Hospital at Rex!

A premier professional golf tournament and part of the Nationwide

Tour, The Rex Hospital Open returns for the seventh consecutive year to TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, June 6-12, 2011. The tournament raises funds to support programs and services at Rex Healthcare and

Scoot away from your desk early and join the fun at Wakefield TPC. Food vendors and fantastic golf will round out your afternoon.

Saturday, June 11

dad’s day out!   Sponsored by

Bring the family! Championship play and entertainment are in store: • Art from kids in Wake County Public

• Face painting

provides spectators a chance to see up-and-coming professional golfers compete for a chance to play on golf’s greatest stage – the PGA TOUR.

As one of the 26 events on the 2011 Nationwide Tour schedule,

• Freeze frame

• Jumpy bounce houses

sports. Players on the Nationwide Tour compete in a season-long quest on the PGA TOUR. With a $600,000 purse, only eight tournaments on

• Kids Workshop Kits, provided by

• Free snow cones

The Nationwide Tour’s impact is undeniable. Two out of every

three PGA TOUR players have Nationwide Tour roots. Nationwide Tour graduates have gone on to win 287 PGA TOUR events including majors and PLAYERS Championships and have competed in Presidents Cups

The Home Depot • Mobile video games, including Wii

the Nationwide Tour offer a bigger payout than The Rex Hospital Open.

photos • Miniature golf

The Rex Hospital Open is part of some of the most compelling drama in to finish in the top 25 of the Tour’s money list to earn a coveted spot

Schools on display

• Other food and beverage is available on-site • Free fitness assessments by

Be Active North Carolina

and Ryder Cups.

And, don’t forget the

CONCERT! Join us

In addition to providing great golf action, The Rex Hospital Open has played an integral role in fundraising for

on the lawn at TPC

Rex Healthcare. Over the past 23 years, Rex’s

Wakefield Plantation

golf events, including The Rex Hospital Open,

as country music

have raised millions of dollars for patient

sensation Heidi

care improvements. Proceeds from this year’s

Newfield rocks out.

event will support the new N.C. Cancer Hospital at Rex.

Sunday, June 12

service personnel appreciation day!  Sponsored by

Active and former military, police, fire and EMS receive  FREE admission!

Bring the family for more great family-friendly entertainment: • Art from kids in Wake County Public Schools on display • Face painting • Freeze frame photos • Jumpy bounce houses

Happy 70th Birthday to the USO!

available on-site

and more at the Mix 101.5 Lipstick Luncheon March 19. A panel of Triangle Physician Network (TPN)

of Rex Family Practice of Wakefield,

• Mobile video games, including Wii

of shopping, networking, lunch

Special thanks to Grace Tang, M.D.,

• Miniature golf

• Other food and beverage is

across Wake County enjoyed a day

Q&A, sponsored by Rex Healthcare.

The Home Depot

• Free snow cones

More than 600 women from

physicians hosted a Women’s Health

• Kids Workshop Kits, provided by

Lipstick Luncheon Benefits Rex

Christine O’Meara, M.D., of Rex/ First 500 receive a free hat!

Trophy presentation for the 2011 Rex Open Champion at the end of play, around 5 p.m. (subject to change).

UNC Family Practice of Panther Creek and Polly Watson, M.D., of Boylan Healthcare for participating in the expert panel. The Rex Healthcare Foundation proudly accepted a $2,500 check at the event to benefit the new N.C. Cancer Hospital at Rex, breaking ground this fall.

Share Your Story How do you support the Rex Healthcare? Every little bit helps! Share your story with us at rexhealthcarefoundation@

Find Us Online Search for Rex Healthcare Foundation.

Small Packages, Big Gifts The Money Maker’s Club When Kyle Yalch, 9, told his mom that he and his friends had started a Money Maker’s Club, “I just thought

Rex Society Donor Spotlight by Dominick Corbacio

My wife, Vivian, had been in remission from

ovarian cancer for 10 years. When it returned, we knew we had to find the best possible treatment to help her fight this terrible disease. We were fortunate that Jeffrey M. Crane, M.D., of Rex Hematology Oncology Associates was able to become her healthcare provider.

In the two years that my wife fought this cancer,

Dr. Crane and his staff provided excellent care. From the front desk to the nurses and doctors, the atmosphere was always positive. A two-year battle with this disease can be frightful, but Dr. Crane always assured Vivian that they would do everything possible for her. With his help and her determination, she was able to live those two years in relative comfort until the very end.

I give to Rex to remember Vivian and to recognize

and thank Rex Hospital for the top notch care that she received. Secondly, I believe in supporting Rex to keep it a “first in class” cancer center. Hopefully a cure to this disease will be found soon, but until then, we need to support Rex’s expansion and its ability to provide care to an increasing number of patients in our area.

When a member of your family needs support, you

want to be able to help them. After two years of visits to Rex, you feel like a member of their family and they

he was going to save up money for a new toy. I was totally surprised when he wanted to give the money away,” Tammy explained. Kyle wanted to raise money to support kids at Rex, the hospital where he and his brothers were born. Kyle collected money everywhere he went. Every seat cushion, grocery store aisle, or sidewalk was carefully searched for coins to add to his collection. All together Kyle collected $100 for the children at Rex Hospital. Kyle explained that if his friends ever came to Rex, he would want them to have the very best care. “I just did it out of the love in my heart. It feels great!” Kyle explained. When Kyle is not out raising money for Rex, he likes to stay active with Cub Scouts, play basketball and practice karate. His favorite subjects in school are math and reading.

Royalty Visits Rex The Rex Boardroom took a playful turn when the Jumping Joeys Y Princess Tribe came to present a donation to Rex Hospital. In January, fathers and daughters of the Y Princess Tribe were looking for a meaningful service project. Hannah Bateman, a second grader, came up with a bright idea to collect pledges for a

should be supported, especially for what they do.

special bike ride. With the help of their fathers, the girls planned

Not a Rex Society Member Yet?

for donations. The girls also completed chores around their

Consider joining this dedicated group of people

homes and donated all of the money they earned. Then on a cold

and organizations that support Rex Healthcare each

Saturday in February, the girls strapped on their helmets and rode

year with a gift of $1,000 or more. As a member

two laps around the lake, celebrating the accomplishment with

of the Rex Society, you can celebrate the impact of

hot chocolate and brownies.

your gift with others this June at the Rex Society

a five-mile ride at Lake Lynn and called on family and neighbors

The Jumping Joeys collected an incredible $1,564 in donations

Recognition Event to be held at Rex Hospital. For

to benefit the new N.C. Cancer Hospital at Rex, which will break

more information, please contact Carson Gilbert at

ground this fall. “It was wonderful to meet an amazing group of

(919) 784-4718 or Kathy Stokes at (919) 784-4475.

girls with such giving hearts,” said Rex Healthcare President David Strong.

Rex Healthcare Milestones, Activities & Opportunities

Becker’s Hospital Review named Rex Hospital as one of the top 50 best hospitals in the nation – one of only three hospitals in North Carolina to receive this distinction.

Rex Looks to Expand Rex Healthcare submitted three Certificate of Need (CON) applications to the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation on April 15: • 50-bed acute care hospital at Rex’s Holly Springs campus, including a birth center and cancer center. • 40-bed acute care hospital at Rex’s Wakefield campus, including a birth center and existing cancer center. • 11 beds added to Rex Hospital in west Raleigh, and begin Rex’s Vision 2030 plan by moving at least 100 beds to a new bed tower to be constructed on the main campus. If approved, these expansions will help meet the growing health care needs in Wake and neighboring counties. We thank everyone who submitted a letter of support on our behalf. Rex Primary Care of Cary Rex Internal Medicine of Cary is now Rex Primary Care of Cary with two board-certified physicians, Mamatha Ramaswamy, M.D., and Vendana P. Devalapalli, M.D. The practice has a special focus on women’s health, geriatrics and diabetes, and Medicare is accepted. For appointments, please call (919) 387-3176.

We’ve Got Heart! • Rex Heart & Vascular Specialists, the UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care and Wake Heart & Vascular Associates are now formally affiliated. This partnership will expand the scope of cardiovascular services and provide the most comprehensive cardiology care in our region. • In partnership with the UNC School of Medicine, Rex hosted the 22nd Annual Update in Cardiology, providing practicing clinicians with information on new treatment and prevention methods for cardiovascular diseases. • Wake Chapel Church of Raleigh, winners of Rex Healthcare’s Power Gospel choir competition, performed at the 26th Annual Triangle Heart Ball. Rex President David Strong also chaired the American Heart Association’s annual fundraiser. Awards/Honors • Rex Healthcare’s Healthy Way Program received the Boone Merit Award from the Medical Fitness Association (MFA), which recognized Ashley Honeycutt, R.D., L.D.N., and Shelly Wegman, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., for significant contributions in defining benchmarks for the medical fitness industry. • Sterile Recoveries, Inc. (SRI) honored Rex with the Eco Sense Award for reducing its environmental footprint through the purchase of environmentally-friendly surgical products.

Cancer Care • Rex recently hosted the 17th annual Living With and Beyond Breast Cancer conference which was attended by hundreds of Triangle breast cancer survivors. • Rex partnered with Alliance Medical Ministry to increase access to preventive health services by sponsoring a free Pap smear for uninsured women at an annual event in Raleigh. More than 125 uninsured women received the free cancer screening. Join Our Team! Rex is a proud sponsor of the Komen Race for the Cure. If you’re interested in joining the Rex team, contact Latanja Avery at (919) 784-6247. Anyone who wears their race bib to Wakefield TPC will get FREE admission to The Rex Hospital Open! Why My Dad’s Special In honor of Father’s Day and The Rex Hospital Open, Rex is hosting a special event called “Why My Dad’s Special.” Kids under 12 are invited to come out to Crabtree Valley Mall on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to share why they think their dad is top dog on camera in 30 seconds or less. Video entries will be shown at The Rex Hospital Open on Saturday, June 11.

Non-Profit Org. US Postage


4420 Lake Boone Trail Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

Raleigh, NC 27607 Permit No. 1234

chosen for excellence Gifts to Rex Healthcare are made through the Rex Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3). The Rex Healthcare Foundation can be reached at (919) 784-4424.

Gates Open at 8 a.m. Thursday-Sunday Free parking & shuttles at Rex Healthcare of Wakefield 11200 Governor Manly Way, Raleigh

Thursday, June 9 First Round

Friday, June 10 Second Round

Saturday, June 11

Third Round / Dad’s Day Out Sponsored by The Home Depot Activities for kids & families 7 p.m. Heidi Newfield Concert

Sunday, June 12

Final Round / Service Personnel Appreciation Day Sponsored by Golden Corral Active & former military, police, fire & EMS receive free admission


$10 Ground Pass Valid All Week $50 VIP View Box Access includes access to viewing on Holes 9, 11, 15, 16 & 18 and Food & Beverage Kids 16 & Under Admitted Free

Celebrating the USO’s 70th birthday Immediately following play Trophy Presentation Proceeds benefit the new N.C. Cancer Hospital at Rex

Inspire - Spring 2011