Sutter Health’s Cynthia Cantril Recognized by Biden Cancer Initiative
First-Ever FIERCE Awards Highlight Exemplary Work Supporting Cancer Patients
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cynthia Cantril, R.N., MPH, OCN, CBCN, director of Cancer Support Services and Patient Navigation for not-for-profit Sutter Health’s Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, has been recognized by the Biden Cancer Initiative as one of 10 individuals or organizations nationwide making a transformative impact on the lives of cancer patients.
Today Cantril received a first-ever FIERCE Award at a ceremony held at the Biden Cancer Summit for her work establishing patient navigation systems that help cancer patients and their caregivers find their way through the complicated and confusing maze that is the cancer journey.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden hosted the summit to promote new solutions and bring together problem solvers epitomizing what it means to be cancer FIERCE. As part of the initiative, more than 350 communities throughout the country organized their own cancer summits focusing on improving the cancer journey for patients, their families and caregivers.
In her 46-year nursing career, Cantril has advocated for the needs of cancer survivors in communities across the country. She established the oncology navigator program at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation and set up extensive cancer support services including programs for peer counseling, survivorship, support groups and connections to exercise, nutrition and integrated therapies – through Sutter Health’s Institute for Health and Healing and others.
As co-chair of Sutter Health’s Patient Navigator Charter Committee, Cantril helps set standards for navigation programs throughout Sutter Health’s network of 24 hospitals in Northern California.
Cantril began focusing on patient navigation and helping people make informed cancer treatment decisions in 2001 while she lived and worked in Montana. There she developed a unique retreat for cancer survivors with the theme of “Mending in the Mountains.” When Cantril returned to the Bay Area in 2004 she brought the retreat concept to Sonoma County – developing a retreat called “Mending Under the Moon” which will celebrate its 20th gathering in March 2019. Her passion for psychosocial support – which addresses emotional and mental well-being – has led Cindi to create an equine therapy program for cancer survivors called Horses as Healers and she is currently coordinating a healing retreat exclusively for men recovering from cancer.
Cantril has won several honors including a Distinguished Service Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oncology Nursing Society, a national organization which represents more than 39,000 registered nurses and other oncology providers. Cantril also received CURE Magazine’s Extraordinary Healer Award in 2014.
In addition to her nursing degree from Meramec Community College, Cantril holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lindenwood College and a master’s of public health from University of California, Berkeley.
Greg Simon, president of the Biden Cancer Initiative said: “We learned about so many brave and committed leaders devoted to helping people with cancer from the hundreds of nominations we received. It is our privilege to recognize and spotlight the individuals and organizations who epitomize what it means to be FIERCE in the face of cancer, and allow us to make hope real.”
Cantril was the founding Board member and first Vice-President of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and was nominated for the FIERCE Award by current ONS Chief Executive Officer, Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN.
About the Biden Cancer Initiative
The Biden Cancer Initiative is an independent nonprofit organization committed to developing and driving the implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research, and care, and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes.
About Sutter Health
Sutter Health is more than 60,000 people strong thanks to its integrated network of physicians, employees and volunteers. Rooted in Sutter Health’s not-for-profit mission, these team members partner to deliver exceptional care that feels personal. From physician offices to hospitals to outpatient care centers and home services, they proudly support and learn from the more than 3 million people in their care—nearly 1 percent of the U.S. population, in one of the most diverse and innovative regions in the world. Sutter team members adopt new technologies, make novel discoveries and embrace creative thinking to help patients and communities achieve their best health. From its street nurse program that provides check-ups for homeless people, to telemedicine-aided specialist consultations, to walk-in care clinics, to smart glass technology, the Sutter Health team goes beyond traditional models to make care more convenient and to nurture and empower people throughout their medical journey.