The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson’s Janiel Cragun, MD, was honored with the Arizona Friends of Nursing – Direct Care Award for 2021 by the March of Dimes Arizona during their Heroes in Action awards ceremony. Dr. Cragun is an associate professor, obstetrics and gynecology, and director of quality for gynecology. She has been with the College of Medicine – Tucson since 2008 and specializes in gynecologic oncology at Banner – University Medicine.
The Arizona Friends of Nursing – Direct Care award honors nonregistered nurses who collaborate with nurses to produce excellent patient outcomes.
“I have had the unique opportunity to have worked with a consistent core of nurses for many years, some for over a decade. This has allowed for comradery and shared goals where we've been able to pursue quality projects of mutual interest,” said Dr. Cragun. “The award, for me, is a manifestation of that collaboration.”
Susie Bohnenkamp, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CCM, a clinical nurse specialist at Banner – University Medicine, who nominated Dr. Cragun for the award said, “It is an honor to work with Dr. Cragun and it is pure joy to see her be awarded the Friends Nursing Award. She truly works collaboratively with nursing and treats nurses with respect. She is so deserving!”
In her nomination letter, Bohnenkamp wrote, “Dr. Cragun includes nursing in every aspect of care. She cares for very sick, complex patients, and models compassion and expertise for nurses as well as other physicians.” Bohnenkamp gave an example of how Dr. Cragun worked collaboratively with the nursing staff to decrease hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP) by convening an interdisciplinary team which ultimately decreased HAP by over 85 percent and decreased the overall mortality index to zero.
“She knows the way to her nurses’ hearts and minds is through their tummies, so she routinely provides snacks and meals during her discussion groups and project planning,” wrote Bohnenkamp. “She even coordinated a staff retreat with nurses and resident physicians to improve communication issues. She is a mentor to all and maintains a climate of respect and shared values.”
As an instructor, Dr. Cragun models the collaborative relationship with the nursing staff that she knows is vital for successful patient outcomes. “Nursing partners have been an integral part of providing quality patient care,” explained Dr. Cragun. “We often have one of our specialty nurses “round” with us on the wards so medical students get to participate in collaboration and coordination of care. Fostering professional interactions with nursing colleagues is paramount to a medical student's mentoring process.”
Dr. Cragun earned her medical degree at the University of Utah School of Medicine and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center. She completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and a gynecologic oncology fellowship program at the University of South Florida. Dr. Cragun’s current research interests involve investigating cancer therapies through clinical trials in addition to projects aimed at improving quality for patient care.