Newswise — Chicago (Sep. 23, 2019): The Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) has presented Dr. Deborah A. Lafond, DNP PPCNP-BC CHPPN CPON®, with the 2019 Dr. Casey Hooke Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Lafond’s achievement was officially announced at the 43rd APHON Annual Conference and Exhibit, held September 5-7 in San Jose, CA. This award is presented to an APHON member who has demonstrated excellence to service and to leadership of APHON.

Dr. Lafond has over 28 years of experience as an Oncology nurse practitioner, focusing on neuro-oncology and pediatric palliative care. She is a founding member and current co-director of the PANDA Palliative Care Team at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., where she was been a staff member since 1991.

Within APHON, Dr. Lafond holds many roles: she is the past Chair of the Evidence-Based Practice/Research committee, while still serving as a member of the Neuro-Oncology and End-of-Life Palliative Care committees, among others. In 2018, she was awarded the Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurse of the Year award and the APHON Excellence in Evidence-Based Practice award. Dr. Lafond is a published author, having written on topics such as pediatric hospice care for military families and integrating pediatric palliative care with cardiac intensive care. Since 2015, she has been a Sojourns Scholar with the Cambia Health Foundation.

Casey Hooke, PhD APRN CNS CPON®, APHON Past President, stated that Dr. Lafond “has helped advance the care of children with cancer as an advanced practice nurse in neuro-oncology and pediatric palliative care… She has served our specialty well by advancing the science and care of children suffering with cancer and its treatment. As a pediatric specialist, she has been a strong voice for the unique needs of children in palliative care at the national summit sponsored by the [American Nursing Association] and the Hospice and Palliative Care Association. And this year, our winner is really on a roll with her induction as a Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing in March 2019 and upcoming induction as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.”

The Dr. Casey Hooke Distinguished Service Award was established in Hooke’s name to celebrate the fine leadership Dr. Hooke displayed as President during a difficult period in the organization’s history.

APHON is the professional organization for pediatric hematology/oncology nurses and other pediatric hematology/oncology healthcare professionals. Its members are dedicated to promoting optimal nursing care for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and blood disorders, and their families. APHON provides the leadership and expertise to pediatric hematology/oncology nurses by defining and promoting the highest standards of practice and care to the pediatric, adolescent and young adult communities.