Contact: Karen Gainey, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: 910-291-7550 FAX: 910-291-7996

August 27, 2009

Elizabeth Parrish knew at a young age she wanted to be a nurse. It was when her family experienced a horrific car accident on the Blue Ridge Parkway that she knew without question that nursing was her chosen career. "My decision was made following that car accident in which my father, stepmother, and two sisters were seriously injured," Elizabeth stated. "At the time I was a young teenager, but as the only uninjured person in the car it was up to me to help nurse them when they came home from the hospital. However, I knew even before this incident that I would one day become a nurse."


Nursing is what Elizabeth does very well. Recently she took the Oncology Certified Nurse exam, becoming the fifth nurse at Scotland Cancer Treatment Center to earn this title. This distinction makes Scotland Cancer Treatment Center the only cancer center among the nine in the Duke Oncology Network to have one hundred percent of their registered nurses certified by the Oncology Nursing Society.

"Becoming certified was not an easy thing to do," she stated. 'I studied intensively for six months to earn my OCN. However, this certification validates that as an oncology nurse I have the knowledge necessary to better understand cancer, the cancer patient, and assist our patient in understanding what to expect, outcomes, and long-term treatments."

As cancer treatment becomes more complex, patients require increasingly specialized care. Oncology certified nurses are able to deliver that care effectively, which in turn strengthens patients' confidence in their caregivers and offers peace of mind at a time when they may be feeling vulnerable. To patients with cancer, certification means the nurse is not only a caregiver, but also a qualified caregiver.

Dr. Kelvin Raybon, Scotland Cancer Treatment Center's medical oncologist and hematologist praised the Cancer Center's staff for their diligence in seeking to enhance the Center's services. "Certification by the Oncology Nursing Society is an outstanding achievement for any nurse working the field of oncology, and Elizabeth should be warmly congratulated. It shows her personal dedication to both education and to the profession, as well as a desire to offer the best of care to our patients. Additionally, we are very pleased that all of the RNs at Scotland Cancer Treatment Center are now OCN certified, an achievement which few cancer centers can claim."

Elizabeth's nursing career began 17 years ago when she joined Scotland Memorial Hospital part-time. Prior to joining the Cancer Center's staff she worked in the Mother-Baby unit and Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. "I have worked in the Cancer Center for three years and from the moment I joined the staff I knew I had found my niche," she continued. "I've had firsthand experience with cancer in my family so I know what a family goes through when a cancer diagnosis is given. I love it here and know that I have found where I belong. The Cancer Center is a wonderful place to work. We continuously work with the Duke Oncology Network to improve our services."

Serving as the Medical Oncology Coordinator, Elizabeth coordinates the activities on the medical oncology side of the Cancer Center, ensuring everything flows smoothly for the patients, nurses and the physicians.

After earning her registered nurse degree in 1992 from Florence-Darlington Tech, Elizabeth entered the Medical University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She is from Bennettsville, where she currently resides with husband Bill, a lieutenant in the Bennettsville Fire Department, and their two sons and daughter.

For more information about Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, call 910-291-7630 or toll free at 1-877-762-2735.

Scotland Health Care System is a community owned, not-for-profit health care system located in Laurinburg, North Carolina. The 154-bed system is comprised of the 104-bed Scotland Memorial Hospital, The 50-bed Edwin Morgan Center, Scotland Memorial Foundation, and Hospice of Scotland County. The Health Care System also owns and operates four primary care facilities, a general surgery practice and an ob/gyn practice.

With more than 1,000 employees, Scotland Health Care System is Scotland County's largest, non-governmental, private employer. Its medical staff includes 67 physicians representing many medical specialties. Scotland Memorial Hospital is ranked in the top ten percent in North Carolina for Surgical Care. In 2008, the Health Care System contributed more than $8 million in charity care to the community.

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