In the loving memory of his wife Susan D. Flynn, who died of ovarian cancer in 2013, and out of respect for the wonderful quality of nursing care she received during her illness, her husband Fred created the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program to help stimulate the career interest and foster the professional development of potential Oncology Nurses. The program, which was modeled after the Carol A. Ghiloni Oncology Nursing Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital which Fred co-sponsors, is available to rising seniors at several leading undergraduate nursing schools. The Fellowship provides aspiring nurses with a comprehensive clinical exposure to oncology nursing plus exposure to "best practices" and expert training in compassionate care. Opportunities to attend various pertinent internal educational programs and meetings with key hospital staff members provide additional learning experiences for the Fellows.

In 2014 this Fellowship Program was successfully “piloted” with Greenwich Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Several additional leading cancer care hospitals have since been added as program partners. The total number of student nurse participants has expanded from 13 Fellows in 2014 to 32 Flynn Fellows in 2018, primarily reflecting the addition of a new Pediatric Oncology Nursing Program track with four leading Pediatric Hospitals. A listing of all participating hospitals and nursing schools in 2018 is included PROGRAMS section. Over time, the goal is to expand this program nationally.


The Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program includes a comprehensive scope of direct clinical and observational and learning experiences, including exposure to:

  • Oncology Nursing (roles/typical responsibilities, applied practices, possible career opportunities, etc.)
  • Medical & Surgical Oncology (including treatment plans, key policies/procedures, patient education, etc.)
  • Clinical Research & Clinical Trials
  • Chemotherapy
  • Infusion Services
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Palliative Care (resources, services, benefits)
  • Hospice Services
  • Patient & Family Support Programs
  • Various Internal Oncology-Related Forums

In addition, as part of this learning/development experience, the Fellows are required to complete an "evidence-based practice" research project in some aspect of Oncology Nursing which is presented to their supervisory management and others during the last week of the program. Examples of various Fellow's research projects are included in the DOCUMENTS - POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS section.


The objectives of the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program are to:

  • Stimulate the career interest and foster the professional development of the next generation of Oncology Nurses
  • Raise the visibility of Oncology Nursing as a career choice and provide a vehicle to expose the “best and brightest” undergraduate nursing students to this critically important and highly rewarding field
  • Promote effective partnerships between the leading cancer care Hospitals and top Nursing School programs to help attract and develop future Oncology Nurses
  • Improve the quality of care for future cancer patients and their families

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  • To continually improve the content and quality of this Program by sharing "best practices" among Hospital participants and collaborating with them on Program improvements (e.g. continuing education/development of Program grads)
  • To maximize the Program's effectiveness in attracting, inspiring and helping to develop the next generation of Oncology Nurses
  • To successfully use this Program as a "talent pipeline" at all participating Hospitals for their upcoming staffing needs
  • To develop and implement a sustainable long-term Funding Plan (including possible Grants, financial partners--i.e. foundations/corporations/individuals--matching gifts, and special events)
  • To actively engage Flynn Fellow program grads in the marketing, advocacy, and sustainability of this Program

The Longest Journey | Donna Coletti, MD, MS, FACOG | TEDxFairfieldUniversity

Dr. Angelo Volandes of Mass. General Hospital visited Google's Cambridge, MA office to discuss his book and program, "The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care".

William G. Nelson, M.D., PhD
Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

Meet Our 2019 Flynn Fellows



The average cost of one Summer Intern in this vital "resource development" program is approximately $5,000. Please consider joining me in supporting this program. Imagine the number of lives we can positively impact together by developing the next generation of much needed Oncology Nurses!

If you are interested in contributing to help support the continuation and planned expansion of this valuable program, please go to the DONATE Page.


“The compassion and care that Donna and her team gave to my family was remarkable. Donna is not just a great medical practitioner, she is an incredibly compassionate and spiritual person. She made an unbearable situation bearable.”


Fred Flynn first learned about the Palliative Care Program at Greenwich Hospital in April, 2013 when his wife, Susan, was in the final stages of her three-year battle with ovarian cancer. As Susan’s health deteriorated and her pain intensified, Fred became overwhelmed trying to manage her condition on his own.

That is when he heard about Donna Coletti, MD, and her skilled Palliative Care team. Within 24 hours of his first call to Dr. Colleti, she was able to develop a treatment plan to get Susan’s pain and symptoms under control so that Susan could live out her last days peacefully in the comfort of her own home.

In honor of Susan and to ensure that the Palliative Care Program can care for other families faced with life’s most trying circumstances, in September 2013 Fred launched a matching gift campaign to raise a total of $125,000 by the end of the year. He began with an initial gift of $25,000 that provided the resources for round-the-clock weekend staffing. In addition, he pledged to match donations made to the program, up to $50,000. Over $140,000 was raised in three months. These much needed funds allowed for additional staff resources to better meet the growing need for Palliative Care services at Greenwich Hospital.

Fred Flynn with Donna Coletti, MD, Medical Director of Palliative Care at Greenwich Hospital. Mr. Flynn sponsored a fundraising program that raised over $140,000 to support the valuable services of the Palliative Care Program at Greenwich Hospital in honor of his late wife, Susan.