The American Cancer Society recently presented Eileen Duffey-Lind, MSN, CPNP, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children’s Hospital, with a Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award. The award is the most honored accolade by the Society in New England, and it recognizes Duffey-Lind’s remarkable accomplishments in support of the Society’s mission to celebrate lives, to save lives and to lead the fight for a world without cancer.
Duffey-Lind has served as chair of the HPV/Cervical Workgroup, initially formed as part of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Coalition. More recently, she has contributed to the formation of the HPV/Oral Health Task Force, an outgrowth of the original workgroup. She has secured grant funding and published the results of research on interventions, such as an educational survey (tablet) for pediatric practice waiting rooms and an HPV toolkit for dental providers. A founder of Team Maureen, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting and preventing cervical cancers, Duffey-Lind has also freely shared Team Maureen’s materials with individual providers, practices and other coalitions to enable others to use the tools to support improvements in HPV vaccination rates.
Duffey-Lind has engaged physicians and researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center and experts from other local institutions to educate health care professionals on HPV vaccination through presentations at conferences, webinars and in various practices. Engaging a broad group of professionals has helped to elevate HPV vaccination as a priority with other professional groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, Massachusetts Medical Society and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. Duffey-Lind has also enlisted dentists and dental hygienists as HPV vaccination supporters. She supported the creation of an HPV/Oral Health Task Force as a subgroup of the HPV/Cervical Cancer Workgroup. As prevalence of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers has recently surpassed other HPV-related cancers, key dental professional groups such as Massachusetts Dental Society are already on board, educating their membership on HPV-related cancers and HPV vaccination. In Massachusetts, since the HPV/Cervical Cancer Workgroup began meeting in 2015, the HPV vaccination series completion for boys and girls combined has risen from 44% in 2015 to 53.2% in 2017. While the improvement in the rates is attributable to the work of many individuals and organizations, Duffey-Lind has been spearheading new efforts and welcoming new partners into the effort.
“Since founding Team Maureen in 2007 in memory of her sister Maureen (Duffey) Russo, Eileen has worked tirelessly to decrease the impact of cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers,” Lynn Basilio, Senior Manager, Primary Care Systems, American Cancer Society. “Because of her open-minded approach to collaboration, the Society was able to engage providers in learning about the important role they can play in increasing HPV vaccination in their community health center, which in turn can reduce the incidence of HPV-related cancers.”
Duffey-Lind was also presented with Dana-Farber’s 2020 Community Service Award at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on January 16, 2020. The Community Service Award recognizes and rewards extraordinary dedication to and excellence in community service and outreach.
The Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award is named in honor of the late Sandra C. Labaree, a longtime American Cancer Society volunteer from Maine. Despite her death from breast cancer in 2000, Labaree’s spirit and values live on through this award. Each year, the local area Board selects the most inspired and passionate individuals to receive this prestigious honor whose service best exemplifies the Society’s organizational values of mission, stewardship, diversity, data-driven, and respect.