Clean sweep at the Irish Cancer Society Research Awards

Feb 25 2020 Posted: 18:07 GMT

Jess Walsh, the BCNI clinical trials coordinator won "Best Reseach Support Staff" at the Irish Cancer Society Research Awards on Thursday 24th February 2020.

Jessica is an outstanding nurse and her dedication and skill have been a huge support in getting BCNI clinical trials up and running efficiently. Jess always puts her patients at the centre of her efforts, and goes above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate their needs.  Patients are a fundamental part of BCNI research, and Jess’s work to ease the path of patients as well as providing them with the best of care, ensures they are willing participants in our research efforts.

Jess builds great relationships with patients and they really come to trust her and rely on her knowing that she is only a phone call away. This has a hugely positive impact for our trials and on patients signing up to donate samples to the Biobank and provide their data for the registry. “My lifeline, handpicked for the job, with whom I developed a close and trusting relationship. She always provides communication of all information pertaining to my trial drug, which was honest and clear” (Patient quote from BCNI website).

Jess is a skilled and experienced nurse and uses these skills to try to improve the way we work, questioning procedures if they are not in line with Good Clinical Practice/protocol. She also frequently has great suggestions/ ideas/ initiatives to improve the network and to support the other sites. For example, contributing to, and designing trial related patient facing documentation to ensure they are appropriate and easily understood by patients.  More recently she has taken on the role of clinical trial coordinator, which blends her skills with the design and implementation of new clinical trials to be offered to Irish Blood Cancer Patients.

Jess is very dedicated and motivated and always willing to help out where needed. Jess regularly attends patient education events to promote the clinical activities of the BCNI, leading to further valuable interactions with multiple patient groups.  She has given excellent presentations at professional and patient events showcasing the clinical trial activity within the BCNI being invited to present BCNI hematology trials at the Baltic Conference of Hematology for nurses in Riga, Latvia, as well as the Multiple Myeloma Patient Information Day in Dublin, also regularly participating in the ICS Cancer Survivorship Events.  She also teaches Masters level students in NUIG about the importance of early phase clinical trials carried out by the BCNI, and the impact of the invaluable work that we do.

Overall Jess prides herself on acting as the patient advocate, especially when the clinical trial environment can be daunting and overwhelming for patients.  She is an example of the type of staff member that everyone would wish for and she certainly is a fantastic support for the patients, the BCNI team and BCNI activities.

Jess' victory was covered by Midwest Radio - you can find there article here

Jess at ICS awards

To top off a great evening, John Daly (Prof. Michael O'Dwyer of BCNI's PhD student) won the award for Best PhD student. A fantastic night and the awards so very deserved! More on the event from the Irish Cancer Society here.

John at ICS Awards

Fearon Cassidy


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