2013 AAMD Award of Excellence Recipient:

Nishele Lenards, MS, CMD, RT(R)(T), FAAMD


Nishele Lenards, MS, CMD, RT(R)(T), FAAMD

As the 2013 AAMD Award of Excellence recipient, it is appropriate that we briefly examine the career of Nishele Lenards. Nishele began her career in Ohio, where she earned both her RT(R) and RT(T) certificates. She completed her on-the-job training in Medical Dosimetry in 1995 in Minneapolis, where she also served as an instructor for the radiation therapy program. By 1999, she had become a manager of a freestanding radiation oncology center with over 40 staff members. At that point she completed her Bachelor of Science degree and eventually became the Clinical Education Supervisor and Clinic Manager at a center in Minneapolis. Since 2003, Nishele has been the Director of the Medical Dosimetry Program and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin — La Crosse. Nishele completed her Master of Science degree (Education) in 2007 and is currently working on her Doctorate.

That brief bio only relates a small portion of what Nishele has brought to the profession. Nishele has been an ardent advocate and resource for AAMD. While she has tutored and mentored many dosimetrists over the years, it is her AAMD contributions that have touched all of us within the profession. Name a capacity within AAMD and Nishele has served in it: committee member, committee co-chair, liaison, task group...the list goes on and on culminating in her service on the Board of Directors from 2001 through 2010, when she completed a three-year Presidential cycle.

Ultimately, however, Nishele is an educator. She currently serves as a consultant for medical dosimetry education, developing and organizing webinars and online CE modules for companies and organizations, while continuing to volunteer for AAMD by serving as co-chair for the Continuing Education Committee and as a member of the Education Committee. Nishele is justifiably proud of establishing the first wholly online medical dosimetry program.

Regarding AAMD, Nishele considers the organization extremely important for the medical dosimetry profession because it serves as the voice for medical dosimetrists within the radiation oncology community. She cites the numerous opportunities for continuing education provided for medical dosimetrists to help maintain their certification. She also points to the numerous resources AAMD provides to aid medical dosimetry professionals, such as the salary and workforce surveys, job descriptions and scope of practice document.

Not surprisingly, when asked for her advice for young dosimetrists beginning their careers, Nishele responded with an eye toward the profession: "My advice for entry-level medical dosimetrists is to volunteer for AAMD as soon as possible. It is a rewarding experience and a wonderful way to network with other medical dosimetry professionals while building friendships. I would also recommend they mentor other entry-level medical dosimetrists and students. Mentoring is crucial to the future of our profession and is a component of one's professional career that will make a positive impact on other professionals."

It's been quite an exciting couple years for Nishele. 2012 brought Nishele recognition as one of the first AAMD Fellows, while 2013 brings her the AAMD Award of Excellence. These high honors are certainly deserved — Congratulations, Nishele!

History

Varian has long been, and continues to be, a supporter of the AAMD. In 2007 Varian informed the AAMD of a change in their corporate policy. They were no longer making individual monetary awards which did not have a direct educational association. This change in underwriting the honorarium compelled the AAMD Board to change the name of the award to the AAMD Award of Excellence as well as fully fund the standing honorarium.

Historical List of Award Winners

Varian Award of Excellence
1999 Ray Garcia
2000 David Robinson
2001 Mona Weller
2002 Carol Ann Schneider
2003 Carolyn Dicker
2004 Robin Famiglietti
2005 Jan Jensen
2006 Mary Hare
 
AAMD Award of Excellence
2007 Keith Moore
2008 Matt Tobler
2009 Robert Adams
2010 Lon Marsh
2011 Rudi J. Bertrand
2012 Randall Paul Merrill
2013 Nishele Lenards

AAMD Award of Excellence (Process)

The AAMD Award of Excellence and its predecessor, the "Varian/AAMD Award of Excellence", were established to recognize individuals and their significant accomplishments in the field of Medical Dosimetry. One winner each year will be selected from a field of nominees for this award. The award will be presented to the selected individual at the AAMD Annual Meeting. The award is for $2500 and a crystal trophy.

Nomination:
Nominations for this award are to be submitted no later than November 1st for the coming Annual Meeting. Nominations can be made by any member of the AAMD. Nominations are sent to the Selection Committee Chairperson via a written nomination received by email or letter. Nominated individuals will be asked to submit a CV by December 1st of that year. The addresses to submit a nomination are posted on the AAMD website and published in the AAMD Journal. A nominee will remain a candidate for the award for the next 2 years. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Selection Committee for review. The Selection Committee members will communicate their individual selections to the Awards Chairperson for counting by January 15th to select a winner. The Award Chairperson will then notify the award winner which will be followed by a letter from the AAMD President. Nominated individuals who are not selected to receive the award will be notified by the Committee Chairperson by January 30th.

Selection Committee:
The Selection Committee is comprised of all former award winners as well as a MDCB liaison to the AAMD, an AAPM liaison to the AAMD, and a JRCERT representative to the AAMD. Previous award recipients can nominate a candidate but will be disqualified from the Selection Committee that year.

Criteria for Recognition:

AAMD member in good standing for at least the last 10 years. The candidate must be living at the cutoff date for curriculum vitae submission (December 1st) for a nomination to proceed for an award presentation at the next Annual Meeting.

Significant contribution to the field of Medical Dosimetry as demonstrated by any/all of the following:

  • AAMD Committee Service
  • AAMD Board of Director position
  • Publication of articles pertaining to the field
  • Legislative efforts on behalf of the profession
  • Lectures at local/regional/national meetings
  • Research activities within the profession
  • Outstanding years of clinical service — 10 years or more
  • An educator in a recognized Dosimetry Program
  • Significant professional accomplishments in the Radiation Oncology field

Post Selection Process:
Once the recipient is selected, the Award Chairperson will write an announcement for the AAMD Journal. The Award Committee Chairperson and the award recipient will verify this announcement for accuracy. The announcement is due to the publisher by April 10th for publication in the summer issue of the AAMD Journal. In addition, notification will be sent to the Awards Committee (for crystal order and engraving), to the Annual Meeting Chairpersons, and the AAMD President/Treasurer to disperse the award monies.

Award Presentation:
The AAMD Award of Excellence will be presented during the membership luncheon at the AAMD Annual Meeting. The recipient will provide the Award Chairperson/AAMD President with biographical information that will be used during the award presentation. If the recipient is unable to attend, their designated representative will accept the award.

To submit AAMD Award of Excellence nominations or if you have questions or comments, please contact:

Christopher Moore
cjmaamd@comcast.net