2015 Nurses of the Year


Toreend Enecio, RN, MSN, MHA, OCN, from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Linda Rivard, RN, BSN, CPON, from Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., have been selected as the 2015 Nurses of the Year by the Leukemia Research Foundation.

Toreend Enecio has been a nursing professional for more than 20 years and is currently the Nurse Clinical Coordinator for the Multiple Myeloma Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She was nominated by Dr. Agne Paner and Dr. Parameswaran Venugopal, as well as numerous patients, who wrote the following:

“She has gone above and beyond to make sure we are always taken care of. Words cannot describe the appreciation and love my family and I feel towards her."

“Toreend is an exceptionally humane, deeply motivated and compassionate individual whose mission is to improve the lives of patients with blood cancers.”

“Her patience, positive attitude and energy are very much appreciated by patients and colleagues alike.”

Nurse Enecio is an Oncology Certified Nurse. Her professional affiliations include Oncology Nursing Society and Sigma Theta Tau International – Gamma Phi Chapter. She completed a fellowship training through the Coleman Foundation Palliative Medicine Training Program from 2013 - 2015 and recently started on a Junior Mentorship training for this palliative care program. She was inspired by Joseph Tariman, a previous LRF Nurse of the Year.


Linda Rivard has been a nursing professional for more than 20 years and is currently the Survivorship Coordinator for the Pediatric Oncology Survivorship in Transition (P.O.S.T.) Clinic at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. She started this clinic from the ground up. She was nominated by Julie O’Malley Stepenske, a former LRF Nurse of the Year! Rivard’s nomination included the following comment:

“Linda is the definition of nurse of the year. She not only spends every day at work as an advocate for childhood cancer survivors, but is also the mother of a leukemia survivor! It takes a very special person to take a horrible situation and turn it into a life passion. Her experience as a mother of a patient fuels her dedication to the survivors in her clinic. She is in the survivorship trenches every day with her patients and her son and is so deserving of this award.”

Nurse Rivard is Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON). She has been on the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Late Effects Task Force since 2009. In addition, she participated in the development of the COG Long Term Follow-Up Program Resource Guide. She sits on the medical advisory board for Imerman Angels.