Recognizing Nursing Hero Marcia Langhorn

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Honourable Mention:

Marcia Langhorn, RN, Southwest Regional Cancer Program

Marcia has worked at the London Regional Cancer Program (and South West Regional Cancer Program) for over 25 years. Marcia began her career as a chemotherapy unit nurse and worked her way up to clinical manager for the chemotherapy suite. She is now a regional educator providing support to six satellite sites within the South West. Marcia has been instrumental in creating and promoting programs that allow patients to undergo chemotherapy treatment close to home. Care close to home allows patients to be supported by family and friends while receiving cancer treatment in a comfortable, familiar setting.

Marcia was an integral member of the core project team that worked tirelessly to ensure the successful launch the expanded chemotherapy unit at Woodstock Hospital. With her extensive nursing background and intimate knowledge of the cancer system in the South West, Marcia helped to mentor the nurses in the new unit to ensure patients would be receiving safe, high quality care at the facility.

Those of us who are lacking a clinical background always look to Marcia for guidance and support. She never hesitates to explain medical terminology and welcomes the opportunity to share the learnings she has acquired with colleagues and staff. Marcia has a special way of helping colleagues to understand without making them feel inadequate or inferior. She is an incredible teacher and mentor.

Marcia Exemplifies Leadership

In her roles as charge nurse and clinical manager in the chemotherapy unit, Marcia was highly respected and appreciated. She took an active role in orienting new nurses and training or updating others that required recertification. Marcia has an endless amount of patience and skill in teaching nurses and recognizing their individual learning needs. Marcia was always the go‐to nurse in the clinic when it came to questions about a particular treatment or clinical trial. She had an excellent rapport with all Physicians in the clinic and would strive to accommodate urgent requests to get patients started on cancer treatment. Marcia often arranges her schedule to accommodate educational sessions across the region. She leads annual spill review sessions for providers and travels across the LHIN to ensure staff safety is a priority. Marcia’s cheerful attitude when faced with a challenge is an example to others and exemplifies the leadership competencies championed at the London Health Sciences Centre. When Marcia is involved in a project or team, there is never any question that issues and challenges will be resolved.

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Marcia Supports Patients, Families and Caregivers

Earlier this year, Marcia was recognized by Cancer Care Ontario for her commitment and contributions to the Evidence based Care Program. The program completed seven new guidelines, three recommendation reports and updated and endorsed 10 additional guidelines. The documents are making a difference in cancer control in Ontario by providing guidance for clinical care, improving access to new effective drug treatments, and informing administrative and policy decisions aimed at improving the quality and safety of patient care. Marcia’s role on this committee helped ensure physicians and patients in Ontario have the high‐quality tools they need to facilitate and access the best in cancer care practice.

Marcia Mentors & Coaches

Marcia provides timely support, orientation and education to new and experienced nurses when new regimens or programs are introduced. She always makes herself available for consultation and assistance and is skilled in determining the unique learning needs of patients and/or nurses. Marcia continues to organize nursing mentorships for CON(C) certification, regional CCO community of practice workshops for symptom management, and regional South West workshops aimed at improving patient and provider safety. She has worked to incorporate the CCAC program into community of practice meetings. Marcia has also been instrumental in organizing and coordinating many CME courses for nurses, pharmacists, community oncologists, internists and GPOs over the last several years.

Marcia Responds to Patient Needs

Marcia was involved in the expansion of satellite clinics in the South West region. She possesses a leading, supportive and caring personality that translates into her interaction with patients. Marcia works closely with stakeholders and partners in the region to ensure the models of care that are being implemented support the dynamic of the community and the culture of the hospital. Cancer patients who are receiving treatment in Woodstock (among other hospital sites) have commented about how care close to home has eased the cancer burden in insurmountable ways. Marcie is the conductor working behind the scenes to ensure these services are tailored to support patients and their individual needs.

Marcia has visited every emergency department in our LHIN to provide education about the Fever Card that is given to patients receiving chemotherapy. This important patient‐centered initiative, championed and promoted by Marcia, has resulted in more rapid and appropriate care for cancer patients presenting at emergency departments across the region.

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Marcia believes that the interest and safety of the patient is a priority and goes out of her way to ensure regional sites have the educational tools required to meet established targets.

When Marcia worked in the chemotherapy unit, colleagues commented about her compassion for patients. She has a particular fondness for the elderly and would ensure they were comfortable and safe while in her care. Although there was often pressure to work at a faster pace, Marcia never rushed through the process of administering chemotherapy. She made sure that each patient understood their treatment plans, and addressed questions and concerns with empathy and kindness. Marcia always exhibits great professionalism as a nurse and great care as a caring person to those she serves.

Support for Marcia Langhorn:

“It is not exaggerated to say that over the years Marcia has been the glue that keeps our regional systemic therapy providers together and keeps the lines of communication open.” Dr. Ted Vandenberg, Medical Oncologist, London Regional Cancer Program

“Marcia is an amazing nurse, woman, and friend.” Connie Morrison, RN, London Regional Cancer Program

“People are drawn to Marcia from all walks of life for exactly one reason ‐ she truly cares and gives a “human touch” to every situation she encounters.” Lynn Wareing, RN, Woodstock Hospital

“All of our nurses that have trained with Marcia agree that her wealth of experience and compassion is reflected in her teaching methods. She is a great mentor.” Barb Pletch, RN, Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance

As outlined in this letter, I feel that Marcia Langhorn is a deserving candidate for a Nursing Hero Award.

Nominated by: Shari Beaton, South West Regional Cancer Program