2011 Nurses of the Year


Ima N. Garcia, RN, MSN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP, from University of Chicago Medical Center, a resident of Chicago’s Hyde Park, has been a nursing professional for more than 16 years. She is a nurse practitioner who manages the most difficult patients with hematological malignancies: those for whom a stem cell transplant is the best chance for a cure or those for whom standard therapy has failed. These patients have already experienced the rigors of treatment and bring many fears and anxieties with them.

Carol White (LRF 1997 Nurse of the Year), who nominated Garcia said . . .

“Ima puts her patients at ease. Coupled with her outstanding clinical expertise, Ima brings compassion and empathy to her role…not to mention humor and sports talk (especially with her younger patients). The staff nurses look to Ima for her nursing expertise in collaborating with them in the management of their patients.  She is an excellent role model for her holistic approach to the care of these very special patients.  I am proud to call Ima my colleague and friend!”

Ima is a member of the Chicago Chapter Oncology Nursing Society and is the co-editor of its quarterly newsletter.  In 2009 she received the President’s Award from CCONS.


Maureen Haugen, RN, MSN, APN, CPNP, CPON from Children's Memorial Hospital, a resident of Wilmette, Ill., has been a nursing professional for more than 30 years. She is an advanced practice nurse/pediatric nurse practitioner who “epitomizes award-winning care,” said the woman who nominated her.

Haugen was nominated by a family whose son was diagnosed with t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia at 15 months old.  His Mom wrote . . .

“We see the faces of the children light up at clinic when Maureen comes to get them from the waiting room, indicative of their love for her.  Maureen truly cares about the quality of life for her patients, and their caregivers.  I could go on and on and still have more good things to say about Maureen Haugen and how deserving she is of this honor.  She is a true advocate and caregiver for her pediatric patients and a dedicated and trusted partner and guide for their parents. Our simple words could not express how grateful we are that she is in our lives and caring for our son.”

Maureen Haugen is a member of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses and was awarded their Excellence in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Education Award in 2009.