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    Stony Brook University Cancer Center Support Group Nurses Receive National Recognition

    Lung Cancer Alliance honors two Stony Brook nurses for their dedication

    STONY BROOK, N.Y., January 23, 2013 – Stony Brook University Cancer Center’s support group facilitators, April Plank, DNP, and Kathy Shurpin, PhD, RN, received the 4th Annual Lung Cancer Support Group Award from the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) in a ceremony on January 22 at the Cancer Center. The award was presented to Plank and Shurpin by Amy Copeland, MPH, Associate Director of Support Services for the LCA.

    Based in Washington, D.C., the LCA created the award to recognize excellent support group facilitators and to inspire and encourage the creation of more lung cancer support groups throughout the U.S. Award winners have shown great dedication to those affected by lung cancer in spite of the challenges that often come with sustaining these support groups. 

    “Anyone fighting this disease needs their family members and loved ones to rally around them,” said Yusuf Hannun, MD, Director, Stony Brook University Cancer Center, Vice Dean, Cancer Medicine, and the Joel Kenny Professor of Medicine. “We are extremely proud of April and Kathy for their outstanding contribution to the Cancer Center and this wonderful recognition from the Lung Cancer Alliance.” 

    “April and Kathy are truly committed to making their group a safe and supportive place,” Copeland said. “They are warm, compassionate and enthusiastic about the group and think creatively about how to provide support even when someone is not well enough to attend.” 

    At Stony Brook, the Lung Cancer Support Group provides a place for patients to gather each month to share information and provide mutual support to others who are on the same journey. The group is one of dozens of support services provided to patients and community members at the Cancer Center. In keeping with the Cancer Center’s mission, these programs offer a wide variety of respite, advocacy and hope – not only to the patient, but to family members and caregivers as well.  

    “It is truly an honor for Stony Brook University Cancer Center to be given this award from such a prestigious organization,” Plank said. “There are few words to express the sheer joy one receives in observing the process that often takes place in those who become regular group attendees. Co-facilitating this group of patients and their loved ones along their journey with lung cancer has been one of my greatest career rewards.” 

    “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve patients and families experiencing lung cancer in this support group,” Shurpin said. “These patients and their family members provide not only support for each other but insights into the cancer experience that inform my teaching, research and practice.”

    For more information, call (631) 638-1000. 

    PHOTO CAPTION: At right, Amy Copeland, MPH, Associate Director of Support Services for the Lung Cancer Alliance, congratulates Kathy Shurpin, PhD, RN, Professor, School of Nursing and Co-facilitator of the Lung Cancer Support Group at Stony Brook University Cancer Center, and April Plank, DNP, Nurse Practitioner for the LCEC and Co-facilitator of the Lung Cancer Support Group, on receiving the LCA’s 4th Annual Lung Cancer Support Group Award. Looking on, left to right, are Thomas Bilfinger, MD, Co-Director of the Lung Cancer Evaluation Center (LCEC); Rose Cardin, RN, MSN, Associate Director of Nursing, Oncology, and Administrator, Cancer Services; Yusuf Hannun, MD, Director, Stony Brook University Cancer Center and Vice Dean, Cancer Medicine; and Sajive Aleyas, MD, Co-Director of the LCEC.  


    About Stony Brook University Cancer Center:
    Stony Brook University Cancer Center is Suffolk County’s cancer care leader and a leader in education and research. With more than 20,000 inpatient and outpatient visits annually, the Cancer Center includes 12 multidisciplinary teams: Breast Cancer; Colorectal Cancer; Gynecologic Oncology; Head, Neck and Thyroid Oncology; Lung Cancer; Melanoma; Neurologic Oncology; Orthopaedic Oncology and Sarcoma; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Stem Cell Transplantation and Hematologic Malignancy; Upper Gastrointestinal Oncology; and Urologic Oncology. The cancer program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a Teaching Hospital Cancer Program and received the Commission’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center is the first center in New York State to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. To learn more, visit

    About the Lung Cancer Alliance:
    Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) is committed to ending injustice and saving lives through an alliance of advocacy, education, and support. LCA provides live, professional support, referral and information services for patients, their loved ones and those at risk for lung cancer; advocates for multiple millions in public health dollars for lung cancer research; and conducts national awareness campaigns. To learn more, visit