Congratulations to the 2015 National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award finalists! The Award recipient will be announced on Nov. 18, 2015 at the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner, with award-winning author Atul Gawande as the honorary speaker.

Rick Boyte, MD, Award Recipient

The University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, Mississippi

Rick Boyte is a pediatric palliative and critical care physician who provides unwavering care for chronically ill children. “Dr. Boyte is the most selfless and caring person I’ve met,” said a resident. “He cares more about patients than protocols and more about residents than research. Here was someone I could learn from—here was a man worth emulating. Many doctors can claim to have saved a life—very few can say they healed another’s spirit.”


Melody J. Cunningham, MD

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
Memphis, Tennessee

Melody Cunningham is a pediatric palliative care and hematology/oncology physician and Medical Director of Threads of Care at the hospital’s palliative care program. “Melody’s character shines through her every action and her kindness is immeasurable,” said a former patient’s parent. “Her compassion for treating the whole family can not be put into words.”


Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
Boston, Massachusetts

Cheryl Kane is the Director of Nursing at the Barbara McInnis House, where she cares for homeless men and women in the greater Boston area. “Strong relationships of trust are a hallmark of the care Cheryl provides,” said a colleague. “It is Cheryl to whom we turn to instill and nurture that same sense of compassion in the next generation of nurses in our program.”


Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Providence Cancer Center
Portland, Oregon

Krista Nelson is an oncology social worker dedicated to instilling hope in her patients, their families and her colleagues. “She finds power and strength in her patients,” said a colleague. “She works with them to maximize their strengths so they may achieve their hopes and dreams.”


Jayne O’Malley, BSN, RN, OCN

Orange Regional Medical Center
Middletown, New York

Jayne O’Malley is a lung, head and neck cancer navigator who works to meet the needs of patients with serious diagnoses and find ways to ease the burden of their treatment process. “It was obvious how much Jayne cared for my mom. She treated her with kindness, respect and love; her compassion was unending,” said a patient’s daughter.


Terry Yoas, CNA

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital
Santa Rosa, California

Terry Yoas is a care partner who works hard to create a welcoming and caring “second home” for the organization’s patients. “He ensures the dignity of our patients by going the extra step to make a connection with each person at an individual level,” said a colleague.