2010 SCCPI Robert T. Angarola Awardee
Pamela Merriam, RN, ANP, BC, OCN
Our final award is the Robert Angarola Award. This award is presented to one individual who has made the most significant contributions to pain management and cancer pain relief over the course of their career. The award is named in honor of Robert Angarola, an attorney in Washington DC who led national efforts to advance pain management and was a friend of SCCPI in our early years.
The criteria for this award includes overall dedication and contributions to cancer pain management; excellence in clinical practice, education, or research in pain management; contributions to SCCPI and other professional organizations; and most importantly, someone who is a role model for others.
There is no doubt that Pamela Merriam is deserving of the 2010 Angarola Award. Pamela Merriam is a nurse practitioner who specializes in pain and symptom management of cancer patients. She takes great pride in being a member of the CARE Team/Palliative Medicine Department with the Department of Anesthesiology at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital and USC University Hospital.
Anyone who knows Pamela, has worked with her or is familiar with her career is witness to her commitment to advancing nursing practice coupled with a vital dedication for excellence in cancer pain management. She has a calling to serve all who suffer from pain.
Pamela is one of the founding members of SCCPI and has served on SCCPI’s board of directors since 2003. As an active and productive member of our board, she consistently promotes SCCPI among colleagues, at her institution, and in the greater Los Angeles community. She has told us that she is “impassioned” about SCCPI and its mission” to promote optimum pain relief for all cancer patients.”
In 1999 SCCPI recognized Pamela for her contributions with an individual Award of Excellence and again in 2003 as part of a Team Award of Excellence with the USC/Norris CARE Team in Pain Management. In recognition for her overall contributions to SCCPI, Pamela was awarded a National Alliance of State Pain Initiatives “State Pain Initiative Champion Award” in 2007.
She is active in other professional organizations that promote excellence in pain management. She is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), and the ONS Special Interest Groups, Pain Management and Nurse Practitioners as well as active in the local Greater Los Angeles ONS chapter (GLAONS). Additionally, she is a member of the American Pain Society, and the American Society of Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) And - she is one of the first nurses to have achieved national certification in Pain Management.
Her colleague’s describe Pamela as an excellent mentor and educator both at the bedside and at professional meetings. They tell us she very clear communicator; someone who never takes excellence for granted and pushes all, including herself, to excel in pain management and care of cancer patients.
Pamela recently said that she believes SCCPI is “one of a kind” and “a great resource” for pain management professionals, patients and their families. Well, that’s how the members and board of SCCPI feel about Pamela. She’s “one of a kind” and we are honored to work with people like her.
Pamela your dedication and commitment has been noticed and appreciated by your coworkers and colleagues. This is a little of what they told us:
· She’s works hard yet finds time to have fun and adventure – Sky diving, exploring lava caves, and enjoying nature’s beauty.
· One of her main priorities is that patients and their families as well as nursing staff understand pain care, the medications and options.
· She is a primary “go to” person for providing pain relief to people who need contracts.
· She is such a “pro” nurse and wonderful mentor.
Pamela you were selected because of your dedication and advocacy in caring for patients in pain, for your educational presentations, for your work in the community and with professional organizations and last, but not least, your tireless efforts on behalf of SCCPI to support our mission “to promote optimum pain relief for all people with cancer.” Pamela we all agree there is no one more deserving of the 2010 Robert T. Angarola Award.
On behalf of the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative, please join us in celebrating the commitment and work of our beloved colleague Pamela Merriam.
Quote: " A wonderful mentor and a true patient advocate and educator. Never takes excellence for granted."