Welcome to the Monica Warner Award
The Monica Warner award was established in 2009 by Novartis to commemorate the life and work of Monica Warner as a driving force in the neuroendocrine tumor (NET) community. As a nutritionist, Monica was dedicated to addressing the dietary needs of carcinoid patients. Her deep empathy for NET patients and her passion to serve the community throughout her lifetime made her a true everyday NET hero.
About Monica Warner
A pioneer in NET patient support
Monica Warner was a dedicated and passionate supporter of patients and caregivers throughout her lifetime. As a nutritionist, she worked closely with the NET community, engaging with patients, family caregivers, and physicians. Her deep empathy and passion to serve patients who have NETs drove her to foster and organize lasting resources and support groups that continue to help people today. Monica served as Director of Development and Research Coordinator for the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation (CCF) in White Plains, New York. She was also a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors. Monica truly embodied what it means to be an everyday NET hero.
About the Award
A lasting tribute to Monica Warner
To commemorate the life and work of Monica Warner—who passed away in August 2009—Novartis Oncology established the Monica Warner Award. This award is presented annually by Novartis Oncology to honor a patient, supporter, or caregiver who embodies the passion, dedication, leadership, and spirit with which Monica Warner assisted patients, caregivers, and families affected by NETs. She was a person who inspired the NET community through her passionate involvement.
2020 Monica Warner Award Recipient: Lisa Yen
Novartis is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Monica Warner Award for exemplifying the passion, dedication, leadership, and spirit with which Monica Warner assisted patients, caregivers, and families affected by NET.
Lisa Yen, NP, NBC-HWC, was a nurse practitioner hospitalist for over 12 years prior to her husband’s diagnosis with advanced metastatic pancreatic NET in January 2015. After initially focusing exclusively on his care, she chose to devote her energy and medical training to educating, coaching, and inspiring all NET patients through her work with the Los Angeles Carcinoid Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (LACNETS).
In her role as Program Director, Lisa works with the team to plan monthly educational meetings and annual patient educational conferences, fostering an environment of true accessibility that results in enhanced understanding of disease management options. Her passion for holistic health, self-care, and community have also driven her to develop programming that goes beyond education to create a culture within the NET community that is welcoming, friendly, and inclusive. Lisa has developed a myriad of innovative programs including NETCONNECT, a peer mentorship program for newly diagnosed patients; the LACNETS Health Coaching Program, where patients receive individual self-care and well-being support; and a weekly virtual NET support group. Alongside LACNETS founder Giovanna Joyce Imbesi (a former Monica Warner Award winner) and City of Hope NET expert Dr. Dan Li, Lisa also co-created NET VITALS, a tool to empower patients and improve patient-provider communication. In addition, Lisa writes educational blogs for the LACNETS website. Because Lisa’s involvement with the NET community began with her husband’s diagnosis, she intimately understands the challenges of living with and caring for someone with NET and has also launched a monthly caregiver support group.
The overwhelming response to Lisa’s programming and the number of patient and caregiver lives she has touched since becoming a dedicated advocate within the NET community is nothing less than extraordinary. Described as a “driving force” in the NET community, Lisa is truly an everyday NET hero encouraging positive change and bringing knowledge and compassion to individuals in the NET community worldwide.
Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois in 1997, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Loyola University of Chicago in 1998, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Nursing’s Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program in 2003, and a postgraduate certification in Health Coaching from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2018. She is a Nationally Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) recognized by the International Consortium of Health and Wellness Coaches. She has been active in community service and has served in medical missions in Kenya and Haiti. Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, Lisa’s hobbies included traveling, snowboarding, and attending theater. While the world slowly recovers, Lisa and her husband have been able to enjoy more modest but joyful pursuits, such as training their new rescue puppy, Skyler.
Past Recipients of the Monica Warner Award
Past recipients of the Monica Warner Award and the patient groups to which they donated their award money:
2019: Pamela Ryan—New Orleans Louisiana Neuroendocrine Tumor Specialists (NOLANETS) Clinic
2019: Gil Schaenzle—Healing NET Foundation
2018: Susan Meckler Sylvan—Healing NET Foundation
2017: Mitch Berger—CCF, Neuroendocrine Cancer Awareness Network (formerly Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network [NCAN]), NET Research Foundation, and Healing NET Foundation
2016: Giovanna Joyce Imbesi—LACNETS
2015: Josh Mailman—Northern California (NorCal) CarciNET Community
2014: Grace Goldstein—CCF
2013: Jim Weiveris—New Jersey Carcinoid Cancer NETwork and CCF
2012: “Sunny” Susan L. Anderson—CCF
2011: Jan Naritomi-Hart—Support Education Awareness 4 (SEA4) Carcinoid
2010: Maryann Wahmann—NCAN