Siteman Advocate Wins Policy Award

June 14, 2007 – Maryann Coletti, RN, government relations and patient advocate at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, is the 2007 winner of the Excellence in Oncology Nursing Health Policy and Advocacy Award from the Oncology Nursing Society.

The annual award is given to recognize and support achievements and involvement in oncology nursing health policy and advocacy. Coletti received the award April 27 at the State Health Policy Liaison luncheon at the Oncology Nursing Society's 32nd Annual Congress in Las Vegas.

“Maryann has been instrumental in ensuring that colleagues of the Siteman Cancer Center are aware of legislative issues that impact cancer care, education and research,” says Shirley Johnson, RN, MS, MBA, Siteman's executive director of oncology services. “She is a valuable asset to the work that we do.”

Coletti has been actively engaged in health policy and advocacy in the state of Missouri for many years. For example, in 2006, the Missouri Legislature passed Senate Bill 567 requiring health insurers to cover primary health costs for cancer patients involved in approved phase II clinical trials. Governor Matt Blunt signed the bill into law at a news conference held at Siteman. At the news conference, bill co-sponsor Patrick Daugherty, now retired, credited Coletti for making the legislation a reality.

“We’ve been trying to get this through for a long time, and it wouldn’t have happened without Maryann,” Daugherty said.

Prior to her career as a patient advocate, Coletti was a nurse clinician with the Women’s Cancer Control Program in Columbia, Mo., where she performed cancer early detection exams.