OCN® of the Year

Matthew Ortiz, MSN, RN, OCN®

Oncology Program Manager, Providence Healthcare, Spokane, Washington

Matthew Ortiz has been a strong advocate for oncology nursing certification since getting certified in 2015. He has gone to area hospitals and ONS chapter meetings on multiple occasions to promote certification. In his workplace, he acquired funding to conduct a review course, purchase review course books, and recognize newly and currently certified nurses. In addition, he has led various projects to enhance patient experience. For instance, Matthew helped a team decrease the time from admission to first chemotherapy administration by 75%, which led to a increased patient quality of life. He has made an effort to ease the impact of compassion fatigue by implementing several interventions. In his community, Matthew has volunteered as a festival to teach children about the dangers of smoking and engage parents in tobacco cessation conversations. As the founding vice president of Outlive, a nonprofit, he helps to serve cancer survivors as they transition from treatment to recovery. 


CPHON® of the Year

Maria Cristina Pinero, BSN, RN, CPHON®

Clinical Nurse IV-Operational Coordinator, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Maria Cristina Pinero (Cris Pinero) has been a pediatric oncology nurse for over 22 years. She has been a longtime voice and advocates for pediatric nursing at her institution. She goes beyond bedside care, as illustrated in her efforts with the Unit Based Peer Review Committee she created and Professional Development Committee. With the help of the unit nurse educator, Cris develops weekly study groups for the certification exam. She is also an APHON course teacher. Outside of work, she advices and supports a community-based organization called YOLO, which raises money to support a local pre-school that caters to the needs of oncology patients. She is an active member of APHON, ONS and Society of Pediatric Nursing and has published numerous articles and presented five posters.

Pamela Paplham


Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse of the Year

Pamela Paplham, DNP, AOCNP®, FNP-BC, FAANP

Clinical Professor of Nursing and BMT Annual Clinic/Survivorship Nurse Practitioner, SUNY Buffalo and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (RPCCC), Buffalo, New York

Pam has made numerous media appearances to discuss oncology nursing and BMT nursing with the community. Through her work, she helped pioneer a survivorship clinic at RPCCC. She is very involved in professional organizations, including the Oncology Nursing Society and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. As a volunteer for the National Marrow Donor Program, she acts as a recruiter at donor drives. In addition to this honor, Pam has received awards from ONS and ASBMT, and is a designated fellow from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Pamela Paplham


Employer of the Year (>25 RNs)

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, Washington

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) is a strong supporter of oncology nursing certification. Certification is included as a preference in job descriptions and certification is considered as part of employee evaluations. SCCA provides financial support for certified nurses in many ways, including increased hourly wage, reimbursement, paid time off for educational events, and an annual continuing education budget. Recognition of certification is widespread throughout the organization. Certifications are included on name badges and certified nurses are celebrated on an annual basis at an event.