2022 Annual VIA: Nianna Allison
Nianna Allison joined Asante just two years ago, and already has earned 39 VIA cards — more than one for every two weeks of her employment. Considering she is also the youngest person on the radiation therapy team at Spears Cancer Center, that’s quite an accomplishment.
As a radiation therapist, Allison has quickly become the department’s “go-to” person for her energetic positivity, willingness to help and natural communication skills.
“Within the Radiation Oncology department, there are three sections: front office, nursing, and the technical staff,” said radiation physicist Dwayne Riley, who nominated Allison for the Annual VIA, Asante’s highest honor. “Nianna is constantly working to bridge the communication gap between these three groups.”
While her co-workers increasingly rely on her, it’s her relationship with patients that inspires. Cancer is a brutal disease and treatment can be difficult, causing some patients to be understandably short-tempered.
“Anyone can be nice to wonderful people,” Riley said. “Where she excels is with our more ‘difficult’ patients. We are dealing with patients who are going through the lowest points in their lives. By the end of treatment, even our angrier patients have fallen in love with our team. Part of that is because Asante has assembled a great team at Spears, but the other part is because we have Nianna taking care of them.”
That care extends beyond her patients’ treatment. Allison sends letters to patients who have completed their therapy just to check in on them.
“I have worked in 127 cancer centers, and I have never seen this,” Riley said. “She has our whole group doing it now.”
Supporting Allison during the Nov. 1 virtual ceremony were her mother, sisters and grandmother, all of whom she credited for wanting to make an impact on the world. Older sister Nacole Light said Allison wanted to fight cancer since she was a little girl.
“From the moment Nianna interviewed to join [Asante] I remember her enthusiasm for its Values and Mission,” Light said. “She really wanted to embody that compassion.”
In appreciation, Allison was given a charcuterie box, flowers, badge backer, gift card and personalized crystal award.
“I love having a job,” she said, “where I can kill cancer but also be the best part of these patients’ worst day.”
Current role: Radiation therapist
Location: Spears Cancer Center, ATRMC campus
With Asante: 2 years
Total VIAs: 39
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