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Sanctae Crucis Award Recipients 2003

Joyce O'Shaughnessy '78

It is no secret that Holy Cross has a long and venerable tradition of producing future healers. What is less obvious - and, perhaps, less demonstrable - is the supposition that our doctors perpetually infuse their practice and research with an ongoing sense of the humane. From Joseph Murray to Anthony Fauci to Michael Collins, Holy Cross physicians have made the concept of caritas an essential part of the clinic. The career of Joyce O'Shaughnessy is another bright example in favor of that supposition.

A Fenwick Scholar of the Class of 1978, Joyce's thesis was a study of human childhood leukemia. Her project was a passion born out of tragedy: Her 10-year-old sister died as a result of leukemia during Joyce's first year on the Hill.

After graduating from Holy Cross, Joyce earned her M.D. at Yale Medical School. Working at the National Cancer Institute, she became a senior investigator specializing in breast cancer research. In this capacity, she became a staunch educator in the fight against breast cancer. A leader in the efforts to raise awareness of the disease, she has published and lectured widely on new prevention and treatment strategies.

In 1997, Joyce became the regional director of Chemoprevention, as well as the associate director of Breast Cancer Research, at PRN Research, Inc., a subsidiary of Physician Reliance Network. Today, she is practicing internal medicine and medical oncology at Baylor-Sammons Cancer Center and is affiliated with the Baylor University Medical Center.

Long committed to ongoing chemoprevention studies, especially for women at high risk for the development of breast cancer, Joyce has been a major researcher in her field. And while her intellect and her energy are evident from her CV, Joyce's extraordinary bedside manner has brought comfort and solace to countless patients. There is a core of emotional understanding at the center of her practice, an ever-present sense of true concern and compassion.

For her lifelong devotion to rigorous scholarship, her dedication to easing the suffering of the sick, her advocacy for women's health issues, the College of the Holy Cross presents to Joyce O'Shaughnessy the Sanctae Crucis Award.