2008 Nurses of the Year


Katie O’Connell is a Nurse Clinician for the Outpatient Oncology Clinic at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Her patient’s Mom wrote . . .

“Katie has a gentle touch, always wears a beautiful smile and truly cares about the kids. She brightens the floor, the hospital and everyone’s day. My son speaks of her as if she is his aunt. She has become part of our family. Katie is incredible and we love her!”

Katie’s volunteer activities have included camp counselor at “One Step at a Time” Oncology camp in Lake Geneva Wisconsin and volunteer camp nurse at Paul Newman’s “Barretstown Gang Camp” in Ireland. In addition, she is a national member of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses as well as a member of the Children’s Oncology Group.


Tracy Smiley is a Hematologic Malignancies Nurse Clinician at the outpatient Clinic at John Stroger Jr. Hospital in Chicago. She is currently an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner-Graduate Student at Rush University’s College of Nursing.

In the nearly one dozen nominations we received, the underlying theme was the same. “Tracy makes each patient feel individual and special and she always goes the extra mile.” One patient wrote . . .

“Nurse Tracy truly cares. She’s the kind of nurse you would want to be there for your mother. She helped me with housing and it is because of her that I have a place to lay my head. She is the kind of nurse that every other nurse should try to be!”

Tracy served in the U. S. Navy from 1986-1989 and received an Honorable Discharge. She is the recipient of the Overseas Military Service Ribbon, which recognizes those service members who have performed military tours of duty outside the borders of the United States. Additionally, Tracy is a certified Oncology Nurse and a member of the Oncology Nursing Society. Her volunteer services include “Lincoln Challenge Academy Youth Mentor Certification.”