Wheat Ridge, CO,
15:15 PM

Medical assistant receives award for cancer care

The Cochran Family Award honors couple who received care at Lutheran Medical Center

Jake_Cochran Family

Jake Oakley, center, accepts the Cochran Family Award from Cochran family members Lisa Piguet, John Cochran, MD, and Lori Nelson. Lisa and Lori are daughters of Judy Cochran.

A medical assistant from the Lutheran Medical Center Medical Oncology Clinic received the annual  Cochran Family Award at an event  Aug. 4. This was the 34th year caregivers from Oncology, Hospice and Palliative Care service lines were honored.

The 2023 award was presented to Jake Oakley, RMA, PBT, medical assistant in the Medical Oncology Clinic at Lutheran. Dr. John Cochran shared Jake’s nomination with the attendees:

“Jake has such compassion for those just starting their cancer journey, understands their anxiety and the need for that ‘extra special’ support during those first visits. 

“As Jake sees potential issues arise for a patient, navigation, nutrition, or social work support are frequently contacted before the notes are sent through EPIC to get the patient needs addressed as quickly as possible. He has no problem trolling the halls to find support for a patient while they are here so we can meet with them in person.

“Concerns over transportation, emotional health, food insecurity, and other issues are always brought to the attention of the support staff. Jake does not ‘assume’ someone will address the problem; he makes sure they do! I frequently hear a ‘Hi Jake!’ from someone sitting in their infusion chair as he passes by, followed by a ‘we love Jake.’

“He understands that robust survivorship and other initiatives are a requirement of cancer accreditations and vital to successful surveys for the Commission on Cancer and National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancer, and the benefits to the patient. Thanks to Jake’s efforts and contributions, we stay on track and in compliance, and patients receive what they need before treatment starts, into survivorship.”

Jake plans to use the award scholarship to continue his journey to becoming a physician assistant with the desire to support the unique healthcare needs of the LGBTQ community.

Other caregivers nominated this year were:

  • Amanda Bustamante, referral representative, medical oncology
  • Kelly Clancy, data specialist, radiation oncology
  • Kathy Goeringer, RN BSN OCN, infusion care nurse
  • Mary Markovetz, RN BSN OCN, triage nurse, medical oncology
  • Shannon Williamson, MSH AGNP-C, palliative care

The Cochran Family Award was established in 1990 in honor of their parents, John and Lois Cochran. Impressed by the level of care received by John and Lois at Lutheran, the Cochran family funded an annual scholarship award for continuing education of an outstanding Lutheran cancer team member. The Lutheran Medical Center Foundation manages the Cochran Fund, which raises funds to support the oncology program at Lutheran.

The award recipient is selected by Dr. John Cochran from a group of caregivers nominated by their peers for going above and beyond the already stellar care provided, in what can be a difficult patient population. When considering a nomination, Dr. Cochran looks at examples of a nominee’s compassionate and exceptional care, their commitment to professional and personal growth, as well as how they motivate their peers to upgrade the quality of care provided.

The Cochran Award is prestigious among the Cancer Centers of Colorado Lutheran staff. The oncology staff often see patients and families through a difficult journey, and the support and generosity toward staff shown by the Cochran family is an honor. Many members of the Cochran family attend the presentation.

Dr. Cochran began his medical career in clinical and private practice in Denver and  presents the award each year. He has retired as the executive director of the Permanente Federation at Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Cochran volunteers his medical services in developing countries and is also a published author. He previously served as the president and executive medical director at Colorado Permanente Medical Group, PC.