TMC features its Fab 50 Nurses

Tucson Medical Center is pleased to claim more than one-fourth of Tucson’s Fab 50 Nurses this year.

The Tucson Nurses Week Foundation celebrates each year with city-wide events honoring the community’s dedicated nursing professionals. The annual Showcase of Tucson Nurses Conference will open the event on Friday, May 11, followed by the Fab 50 Nurses Gala on May 12, at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort.

Every day, we will feature a few of the TMC nurses to be honored so check back to see the full cadre of award-winners.

  • Roxanne Lee, manager of the catheterization lab

Lee, who came to TMC in 1997 for her first nursing job, is now a manager of patient services in the catheterization laboratory. While she no longer delivers bedside care, she still tries to make connections with patients. “I like to joke around with them and find out about their lives,” said Lee, who said she appreciates working with an older population. For years, she distributed angel pins to patients who were struggling, to let them know they were watched over.

What her colleagues say: “Roxie is considered a ray of sunshine to everyone she comes in contact with. Her smiling demeanor and personal touch instantly make those around her feel at peace. Nothing is too big or too small for Roxie. She leads by example and promotes others to work as a solution-focused team.”

Her favorite part about nursing: “The challenge of how to make the patient experience a memorable one on a daily basis.”

  • Valerie Crain, manager of patient care services in the vascular lab/urodynamics and wound care.

Crain has been at TMC for 40 years, not counting the time she spent here as a candy striper and nurse’s aid. She began her first nursing job here, working in critical care until she found her niche in the vascular lab. In the 1980s, she was part of a team that developed a diagnostic test at TMC, which became a nationally-recognized exam for stroke prevention. Crain, who spoke at two international symposiums about the accomplishment, said doing the research “helped me recognize I have a gift for details and organization.”

What her colleagues say: “She has led many initiatives that include decreasing pressure ulcer & DVTs (deep vein thrombosis) and was pivotal in our earning the distinction of Bariatric Center of Excellence.”

Her favorite part about nursing: “The opportunity to make a difference in patients lives directly and indirectly every day.”

  • Elizabeth Skaff, neurology

After moving to Tucson from Iowa, Skaff was drawn to TMC because of its strong neurosciences program. Humbled to be selected for the honor, Skaff said she has a lot of empathy for her patients, which helps her connect with them. No one else in her family has a nursing background, so she can’t point to any particular inspiration that led to her first nursing job in 1977. “I just thought it was something I’d like to do and I believe I made the right choice.”

What her colleagues say: Her nomination included a snippet from a patient letter about the care she provided: “The nurse was a highly trained professional. As short as my stay was, it was enjoyable, and that is really hard to say when you have gone through major back surgery.”

Her favorite part about nursing: “The stories the patients share and what I learn from them.”

The Nurses Week Foundation grants this award each year in honor of Cheryl McGaffic, Barbara Monroe and Robin Rogers, nursing professors who lost their lives in 2002. The award recognizes a member of the Tucson nursing community who demonstrates significant leadership, skill ability in being a role model, coach, motivator, advocate, teacher and visionary.


  1. Kathleen hart says:

    I love it when I come in at night and see Elizabeth. It doesn’t matter what kind of day she’s had, she always smiles and says, “Hi, Kathleen.” She’s a great nurse, well liked by her peers and by patients and family members. Congratulations, Elizabeth. We’re proud here on 850!
    Kathleen Hart, RN, CNL

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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