HomeAbout MDONS


The Metro Detroit Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society is a group of nurses specializing in oncology patient care and support. We embrace the mission of the Oncology Nursing Society to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care.

MDONS is an active growing non-profit organization with strong committee support and a membership of over . The chapter has been recognized by the national ONS with the Chapter of Excellence Award in 1996 and the Newsletter Award in 1993.

 Our activities include:

  • High quality educational programs with contact hours
  • An annual conference with contact hours
  • The Chapter Capsule newsletter
  • Scholarships and awards
  • Professional development, networking and support


History of MDONS through the Millennium

BY: Mary Ann DuCharme, RN, BSN, OCNâ  and Sharon Prokop, BSN, RN, OCNâ


             It was over 23 years ago that sixteen Oncology Nurse met at Providence Hospital to “determine interest in starting an organization of oncology nurse for support and education”.

A core group informally organized and continued to meet. These nurses saw a need to provide each other the opportunity to network. Their goal was to ultimately network  with more oncology  nurses  through educational and peer supported activities. The Michigan Oncology Nurses Association was formed. It was known at the time by the acronym MONA.

Over the two years that followed the group’s inception, Jeanne  Parzuchowski and Debbie Ward accepted chairmanship and an informal structure was maintained. The meeting attendance charge was fifty cents per person. The group was further financed by the passing of a cup to solicit donations. Jeanne, recently  interviewed, eloquently stated, “The core group (Joan McNally, Deb Ward, Judy Shell and Lynn Carpenter) were visionaries  who all went on to make significant contributions to the discipline (oncology nursing) in many ways and continue to contribute to this very day.” Initiating a program with Southwestern Oncology Group to motivate patient adherence to clinical trials participation, was one of their earliest accomplishments. They went on to develop a patient teaching format and a chemotherapy booklet. Joan set the standard for home care of oncology clients. They have all published in the Oncology Nursing Forum  and other major nursing texts. A project Jean worked on involving the early detection of prostate cancer went on to become a national model.

In June of 1978, the gifted group MONA, joined forces with the American Cancer Society for planning and program support.  It was then that MONA was divided into two groups. The  Greater Detroit group  and the Ann Arbor had separate operations but joint planning and programming activities. During his time, MONA began corresponding with ONS to investigate forming a local chapter. 

In August of 1980, MONA submitted an application to ONS for chapter recognition, accepted ONS bylaws and elected officers. The confirmation of chapter membership was received in November of 1980. A  Charter Granting ceremony took place at the annual business meeting of the ONS Congress in May of 1981. Annual ONS dues at the time were $25.00 and $10.00 for the local chapter with continued program support from the American Cancer Society.           

Today,  MDONS is an active growing organization with strong committee support and a membership of 252.   The chapter has been recognized by the national ONS with the Chapter of Excellence  Award in 1996 and the Newsletter Award in 1993.  We offer monthly educational program meetings with CEU,s,  an annual conference, and scholarships for members pursing advanced education in nursing. The formation of PENG’s has helped  enhance the roles of oncology nurses. MDONS  recognizes excellence in practice through the Outstanding Oncology Nurse and Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year awards. We reach out to the community with our Breast  Cancer Education Project. All of this, and our chapter dues have only increased slightly to $15.00 per year, while National dues have tripled to $72.00.

Debbie Ward, an original pioneer, continues an active role in MDONS  because she  “believes  in professionalism, education and peer support”. When asked what is unique about our organization, she responded, “ I think we are the only local organized group that meets regularly and supports each other.”   

Our history speaks for itself and we are proud. MDONS is the result of determined, enthusiastic nurses, united together toward a common goal. We are a rosebud that has been slowly opening. With the new millennium just around the corner, we will continue to open and blossom into a beautiful, colorful flower. Our potential  is unlimited and we are anxious to reach into the future, for our patients and ourselves, striving for the utmost quality cancer  care in Metropolitan Detroit.  

Past Leaders of  MONA/MDONS

1976-78            Deborah Ward and Jeanne Parzuchowski

1978-80            Judy Shell and Jeanne Parzuchowski

1980-82            Judy Shell

1982-84            Francoise Stanutz

1984-86            Mary Pazdur

1986-88            Sr. Jackie Balon

1989                Sandy Willoughby

1990                Carol Zabinski

1991                Susan O’Connell

1992                Carol Appel

1993                Rita Dundon

1994                Kathryn Schulte

1995                Deborah Ward

1996                Kathleen Blazoff

1997                Sandra Remer

1998                Sharon Prokop

1999                Mary Ann DuCharme

2000                Susan Smedley

Heartfelt appreciation to all!  

Published in the  Metropolitan Detroit Chapter CapsuleVolume XIV,  Issues IV, Winter 1999

Newsletter of the Metro Detroit Chapter, Oncology Nursing Society   


MDONS will afford a foundation for promoting the Oncology Nursing Society’s standards of oncology nursing.   Through various programs and activities, MDONS will provide direction to the oncology nurse, in providing high quality, evidence based cancer care.   

  • Promoting advocacy, knowledge, and partnership for both the profession on oncology nursing and people with cancer.
  • Promoting the highest professional standards of oncology nursing.
  • Studying, researching and exchanging information, experiences ideas leading to improved oncology nursing.
  • Encouraging nurses to specialize in the practice of oncology nursing.
  • Fostering the professional development of oncology nurses, individually and collectively
  • Fostering a culturally diverse organization that is responsive to the changing needs of ONS members and the population they represent and serve.

Revised by MDONS Board – 4/13/09

Goals 2009-2012

Strategic Goal 1:  Knowledge: Provide learning experiences that contribute to professional development of future and current oncology nurses. 

  • Sub-Goal A:   Provide access to educational opportunities in Oncology Nursing.
    1. Continue to provide monthly educational programs within the tri-county area.
    2. Continue to host an annual oncology conference.
    3. Promote the ONS online educational services.
    4. Promote attendance at ONS national conference by offering scholarships and encouraging members to apply for ONF scholarships.
  • Sub-Goal B:  Develop and implement educational strategies, which enhance the diverse oncology nurses.
    1. Support MDONS PEGs (Professional Educational Groups) to reflect a broad scope of practice. Current PEGs – Patient Education, Solid Tumor, Clinical Trials, Advanced Practice, Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, Home Care/Hospice, Bone Marrow Transplant.
    2. Promote credentialing of oncology nurses within MDONS.  Provide Scholarships for certification.  Assist members to apply for national certification scholarships. 
    3. Provide quarterly newsletter (MDONS Chapter Capsule) to all MDONS members.
    4. Utilize virtual community (VC) for announcement of educational opportunities.
  • Sub-Goal C:  Support research activities to develop evidence - based practice within oncology nursing.
    1. Promote the implementation of ONS Standards of Oncology Nursing in practice. 
    2. Provide member education relative to current research efforts in practice. 
 Strategic Goal 2: Partnership: Partner with professional organizations, community groups, advocacy groups to promote quality cancer care and the oncology nursing profession. 
  • Sub-Goal A:  Promote careers in oncology nursing.
    1. Continue to offer oncology nursing student scholarships
    2. Continue to offer student rates for the annual conference.
    3. Collaborate with undergraduate nursing programs to encourage specialization in oncology nursing.
  • Sub-Goal B:  Enhance leadership development within MDONS
    1. Send new board members to ONS Mentorship Weekend
    2. Provide support system to members interested in leadership roles
  • Sub-goal C:  Promote community education.
    1. Grow and promote the Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Program for school-aged children.
    2. Identify, pursue and promote the formation of collaborative relationships with community partners. 
Strategic Goal 3:  Advocacy: Increase MDONS visibility in the oncology profession and cancer care. 
  • Sub-Goal A: Promote MDONS as influential voice on the oncology profession and cancer care.
    1. Inform members of legislative issues affecting oncology via
    2. Inform members of legislative issues affecting oncology via newsletter, board meetings, virtual community, and program meetings.
    3. Promote ONStat membership.
  • Sub- Goal B: Partnership with groups that promote nursing and cancer advocacy.
    1. Attend COMON meetings
    2. Maintain supporting membership MCC

Revised by MDONS Board – 4/13/09


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