Newswise — Monday, May 11, 2020 – As we celebrate National Nurses Week, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and The Robbins Family Foundation recognize seven distinguished nursing staff members for their exemplary service. Each member of this select group is being honored with the inaugural 2020 Robbins Family Award for Nursing Excellence.

This is the first year that The Robbins Family Foundation is sponsoring these awards which honor extraordinary achievements by MSK nurses in patient care, research, clinical trials, teaching, and other areas annually. The award winners are nominated by fellow nurses, administrators, physicians, and patients.

“We are blessed that long time MSK Board member, Clifton S. Robbins and his family have generously pledged their support of our annual Excellence in Nursing Award program, traditionally the highlight of our Nurses Week celebrations,” said Elizabeth McCormick, Chief Nursing Officer of MSK. “We thank The Robbins Family Foundation for their generous leadership and we salute the honorees for their exemplary service.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering nurses play an indispensable role in giving the finest care to their patients. This dedication never wavers, even in the most challenging times,” said Clifton S. Robbins. “The Robbins Family Foundation is proud to support this recognition program and honor the very best of the best at MSK.”

MSK’s nursing excellence has been recognized by the prestigious Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Ms. McCormick credits “unwavering support from leadership that consistently empowers us to deliver high quality nursing services and to achieve our professional aspirations.”  

2020 Robbins Family Award for Nursing Excellence honorees:

Excellence in Nursing Leadership

Andrea Smith


Nurse Leader, Outpatient, Breast and Imaging Center


Excellence in Advanced Nursing Practice

Leon Chen


Nurse Practitioner, Critical Care-Intensive Care Unit


Excellence in Nursing Practice

Jessica Agostini


Clinical Nurse III, Perioperative-Josie Robertson Surgery Center


Excellence in Nursing Education

Jennifer Fox


Clinical Nurse IV, Outpatient-David H. Koch Center 


Excellence in Clinical Trials Nursing

Meghan Salcedo


Clinical Trials Nurse III, Outpatient-Myeloma Service


Excellence in Nursing Research

Kristen Fessele


Senior Nurse Scientist, Nursing Research


Excellence in Patient Care Support

Joseph Kesselbrenner


Senior Systems Analyst, Nursing Quality Management


About Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK): 

As the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, Memorial Sloan Kettering has devoted more than 135 years to exceptional patient care, influential educational programs and innovative research to discover more effective strategies to prevent, control and, ultimately, cure cancer. MSK is home to more than 20,000 physicians, scientists, nurses and staff united by a relentless dedication to conquering cancer. Today, we are one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, with state-of-the-art science and technology supporting groundbreaking clinical studies, personalized treatment, and compassionate care for our patients. We also train the next generation of clinical and scientific leaders in oncology through our continually evolving educational programs, here and around the world. Year after year, we are ranked among the top two cancer hospitals in the country, consistently recognized for our expertise in adult and pediatric oncology specialties.