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Able Home Care
Kathleen Norris, Able Home Care
My daughter Kathleen has been her father’s strong advocate and supporter through many hospitalizations and rehabilitations over the past year. Kathy’s dad Dennis has myriad medical issues exacerbated by diabetes. Kathy has met with each medical team to look at clinical labs, question diagnoses, and offer her input on treatments.
Kathy saved Dennis’s leg from amputation twice. The first time, she insisted on getting a second opinion about an infection. The second time, she lobbied for hyperbaric treatments after he lost two toes to gangrene. When he didn’t see enough healing, the vascular surgeon recommended amputating her dad’s leg below the knee. Kathy noticed many red flags in a printout of his MRI. He was moved to Massachusetts General Hospital, where Kathy told doctors what she’d seen in the MRI. Further testing suggested an alternative. A stent was inserted into her dad’s wound site. Antibiotics, and the use of a wound VAC since December, have saved his leg. His wound site is healing and his road to recovery continues.
I’ve seen Kathy’s clinical competency and care first-hand. I’m very proud of her and her profession. I know that she must give 100 percent of her skills, empathy, and care to all of her patients, and that’s why I nominate her for recognition.—Nominated by Marie Norris
Addison Gilbert Hospital
Steele 1 Nurses, Addison Gilbert Hospital–Beverly Hospital
I have watched this team excel in every aspect of the patient experience. From over the bridge in Gloucester, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the amazing work and resources that go into keeping AGH on top.
I couldn’t nominate just one nurse because the qualities that make up an amazing nurse take teamwork, collaboration, and patience with one another. Steele/ICU 1 does not have its own IV team or diabetic educator—the nurses on this unit are all of these things.
Our team scored 99.8 to 100 percent compliance in vaccination and screening all admissions for the flu and flu shots. They stay on top of all new unit initiatives and take quality metrics very seriously. We have very low fall rates, next-to-no catheter-associated events, and almost zero central-line-associated bloodstream infections.
Float nurses, travelers, and new graduates who come through AGH say that Steele1/ICU nurses have some of the best teamwork they have ever seen. They are the go-to team for all internal emergencies.
Our census has been very high for quite a while now as we take in patients from Beverly Hospital and Peabody, keeping our floor at maximum capacity. The staff works extra hours and never complains. Nurses at smaller hospitals are often overlooked for major awards, but it’s community hospital nurses who hold the most critical thinking skills, the most independence, and the greatest understanding of community for their patients. It is long overdue for AGH nurses to be recognized as some of the best RNs in Massachusetts. –Nominated by Susan Branagan
Allerton House at Central Park in Weymouth
Joan Cunningham, Melanie Cosato, Jessica Canuto, Kristen Dehay, Helena Costello, Allerton House at Central Park in Weymouth
Joan, Melanie, Jessica, Kristen, and Helena are the heart of this community.
I watch these women care for our senior residents with compassion, patience, knowledge, and kindness. These unsung heroes are dedicated to providing exemplary care. They are responsible for residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On any given day they might become case managers, nursing assistants, educators, maintenance workers, cooks, housekeepers, and social workers.
My mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law have all resided in this community. They received wonderful care. The nursing staff was also tremendous with our family. They provide the same level of care to all of the residents and families because that is who they are. You can’t teach compassion and dedication. My family will always be grateful for the love, kindness, and expertise that they received. Seeing all of the residents receive the same care is heartwarming. You have my admiration and respect for the dedicated work that you all unselfishly perform.—Nominated by Ellen Laramee
Aspire Health Alliance
Marian Giourard-Spino, Aspire Health Alliance
I am privileged to nominate our “partner in care” Marian for her superb work in adding a key behavioral health component to help integrate and enhance the care of our shared patients at South Shore Health. As Marian has taught us for the past two productive years, “There is no health without mental health,” and that foundational phrase has become our guidepost as we build out, design in, and deliberately include behavioral capabilities into our strong medical infrastructure.
Marian willingly shares her deep expertise about a group of patients who are too often marginalized, and whom all of us know as a family member, a friend, or a neighbor. Marian’s relentlessly upbeat style has improved the communication, care, and outcomes among the shared patients who are often admitted to our busy, 100,000-visit emergency department with concurrent or related medical issues.
Marian has been a tremendous colleague who is dedicated to the behavioral health population, and we are deeply indebted for the expertise that she has brought to the South Shore community. Her service here continues a career-long commitment to serving marginalized groups with the same high-quality care that we should all expect. She’s an innovator who was recently involved in a statewide initiative to reduce boarding times in emergency rooms, and we are all better for her presence.—Nominated by Timothy Quigley
Aspire! Med Spa
Wendy Diamond, Aspire! Med Spa
Wendy is a brilliant, creative, compassionate professional whose work continues to inspire at Aspire! –Nominated by Ryan Litalien
Atrius Health Cardiovascular Center
Annemarie Bianchetto, Atrius Health
Annemarie is a true superhero, always showing compassion to patients and her colleagues. When I have a question about anything, I go right to her.—Nominated by Jordan Jennings
Amy Fraser, Atrius Health
Two spinal fusions within 2 1/2 years left me with severe weakness in both legs. This was especially devastating, as I had always been very active. Amy was part of the Atrius Home Health Nursing Care program for homebound patients.
I was so fortunate to have Amy as my nurse. She went right to work advocating for me to see a neurologist and receive testing to get to the root of my problem. She arranged rides to my appointments and had my lab draws done at home. She watched my blood pressure, along with my other medical conditions. She arranged for a friend to install a railing that I needed to get up the steps of my home. Amy was there to solve whatever problem arose.
When I was able to walk without a walker, she encouraged me to keep going. Our visits ended after about two months as I was progressing really well. Amy had a profound effect on that progress. I am so grateful for this wonderful and caring nurse.—Nominated by Lois MacFarland
Baker-Katz Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Crystal Ethier, Baker-Katz Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Crystal always has a ready smile and a positive attitude, and ends her day full of energy. She explains issues to patients and families in terms that a non-medical person can understand and finds whatever information families need to make informed decisions.
No request is too small for her to stop what she’s doing and help at once. For example, while Crystal was completing paperwork, I asked if I could bring out a rolling table for my mother’s coffee. Crystal leaped up and got it before I could take two steps. Even though there are aides on the floor for such tasks, Crystal responds to all needs with compassion, empathy, and a smile.
She treats elderly residents with respect and patience. She talks with them calmly when they are grumpy or difficult to please. She never loses her composure. I marvel at her dedication to those in her care and their families.—Nominated by Patricia Adams
Marybeth Hayes, Baystate Medical Center, Baystate Health
Marybeth is my girlfriend of more than 11 years. She is also a psychiatric nurse who will do whatever it takes to avoid using restraints. Her compassion for the many patients she has cared for is admirable. Not all nurses avoid restraints. That standard of care is worthy of recognition and journalistic discussion.—Nominated by Chris Hendricks
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Jamie Davis, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
I am a nurse who was fortunate enough to receive a kidney transplant last year. Jamie was the pre/post transplant coordinator who enhanced my quality of life before and after the operation. She is an exemplary member of the transplant team whose extraordinary knowledge and compassion support the mission and recovery of the patient. Thanks to her bedside manner, I trusted her from the moment I met her.
My recovery explicitly depended on Jamie’s advocacy with both the patient and the multidisciplinary team. I trusted her with my life. Her knowledge, compassion, and care for me as both a person and a patient provide the utmost reassurance and comfort in my continuing post-transplant care.—Nominated by Janet Spellman
Farr 6 and Farr 10 Nurses, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Our 91-year-old dad went from living independently into BIDMC–Boston last October. He was admitted through the Emergency Department with a subarachnoid bleed after injuring his head in a fall.
Those hours in the ED were among the most difficult we have ever spent. We watched his mental status and his ability to swallow decline amid increasing somnolence and worsening CT scan reports. Hopes for recovery faded as the hours passed. The ED and Neurosurgical nurses were patient, honest, excellent communicators.
Dad was admitted to Farr 6 for the next 48 hours. The nurses there were amazing. They cared not only for our father, but for us as well, conversing with and supporting us in our distress. They provided space for us to sleep near Dad around the clock, giving him comfort and security.
He was then transferred to a single room on Farr 10 to spend his last days. We were nervous about leaving our friends on Farr 6, but the Farr 10 nurses were somehow equally amazing. They provided a room that offered privacy, comfort, serenity, and a place where we could reflect, share life stories with Dad, and spend precious time with him—to tell him how much we loved him, and how thankful we were for him and our mother.
All of these BIDMC nurses were so compassionate, kind, respectful, gentle, and genuine—especially Danielle, who was there in his final hours. We are forever grateful for all of them.—Nominated by Trish Farnsworth
Marie Gallagher, Antepartum Unit, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
As my colleague here on the antepartum unit, Marie has the task of caring not only for her patients, but also for her coworkers as our resource nurse. It’s her job to ensure that our unit runs smoothly, that the patients have all they need, and that our staff is well-supported. Trying to stretch resources and juggle three floors of staff and patients is a sometimes thankless job, but Marie always smiles and makes it look effortless.
Marie is putting herself through school for her nurse practitioner’s degree while balancing her full-time job, being a mother to her four children, and caring for her own mother as well. I don’t have a sensational once-in-a-lifetime story to prove that she’s outstanding; instead, I have her everyday patience, excellence, commitment to the craft of nursing, strong moral compass, and ability to care for all of us so effortlessly. She is truly remarkable, and it is an honor to work with her every day.—Nominated by Suzanne Wright
Laura Hart, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Laura took care of our daughter with love and care for more than three months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Although we were going through a difficult period with our daughter’s many complications, Laura made us feel better and provided a sense of relief.—Nominated by Tenzin Norgay
Rena Holzer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Rena is a superstar among bright stars. Nurse practitioners are usually only as good as those they work with, but this one exceeds that boundary. Tough yet kind, precise yet flexible, she has learned and implemented extraordinarily complex sleep medicine care. She adroitly handles a delicate balancing act of working with attending physicians with vastly different philosophies of treatment—a skill that seems to be lacking in Washington, DC. There should be more like her … but then, that is probably impossible.—Nominated by Robert Thomas
Tara Kaplan, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
When Tara arrived for a four-hour shift one chilly December afternoon, I was on the third day of induction of labor and things were progressing slowly. Nobody would have guessed that I would have our baby during Tara’s short shift, but we are so thankful that she was assigned to us. The baby was having some difficulty, and Tara remained calm and reassuring while telling us clearly what was going on. When the doctor determined that it was time to deliver, Tara educated us about what to expect.
Despite the fact that I’m a nurse practitioner and my husband is a physician, Tara never assumed that we should know what was coming next. She made sure we both understood the plan, answered all of our questions, and outlined possible challenges for the baby, whose weight was expected to be low. She was a positive spirit who helped ensure a safe delivery, and moved quickly when my daughter needed a little extra help after being born. She even stayed after her shift to finish the delivery and ensure a seamless transition to our next nurse.
Tara has exquisite attention to detail, a phenomenal bedside manner, a brilliant wealth of knowledge, and can calm even the most nervous expectant mother. Thank you, Tara, for helping us bring our baby girl into the world.—Nominated by Elizabeth and Daniel Kelly
Labor and Delivery Nurses, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
We had the pleasure of meeting MANY nurses on the labor and delivery floor during the prolonged induction and delivery of our daughter. They were all warm, empathetic, knowledgeable advocates for us. If you’re going to spend three days in one place, having a strong care team is a necessity. We were so thankful for their superb care.—Nominated by Elizabeth and Daniel Kelly
Jaycee Molle, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Jaycee has been my husband’s nurse through most of his 10 months of chemotherapy. Through our fear and uncertainty about the process, Jacey has helped us understand what to expect and worked to make our appointments as convenient as possible.
Jacey conveys difficult information in an optimistic but realistic manner that is easy to understand. She knows her patients’ frame of mind at this challenging time in our lives, and makes things as palatable as possible.
As a family member, I too was cared-for and provided with snacks and a blanket with much compassion. I can’t say enough about how much her kindness and optimism have meant to us.—Nominated by Louise Kuhlman
Jeannie Nickerson, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
As a nurse myself, I was blown away by the care I received from Jeannie on my first night in the post partum unit. She was caring, attentive, patient, and calm on an otherwise-eventful evening. My husband asked how many other mother-baby pairs the nurses care for on that unit, thinking that we might be her only patients. Being unaware that she was multitasking among competing needs is truly a sign of an exceptional nurse. Thank you for helping us welcome our little one, Jeannie. We will remember you and the care you provided for years to come.—Nominated by Joanna Kemp
Donna Quinn, Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Donna is a professional superhero. I grew up thinking I knew what a superhero is—a fast-moving, magical figure who makes the impossible possible across any number of archetypes. Over the past three months, lung cancer treatments showed me what a superhero truly is. Now that I have worked with and been guided by Donna, I know.
Donna authentically cares. She’s a reliably expert and positively impacting nurse whose skills, relationships, and ongoing patient education are fundamental to repeated, focused interactions.
Donna’s actions are broadly visible in the basement office for radiation treatments at Beth Israel East. The “epic journey” I’m on was uncharted territory for me. Donna answered all of my questions honestly and promptly with a practiced, informed, energizing attitude. If she didn’t have the most accurate specific answer, she guided me to the best expert on the oncology team. Donna made sure that I asked about my emerging concerns, ate well every day, rested, and even smiled from time to time. The realities of cancer, radiation, and chemotherapy dominated my days, but so did Donna’s amazing knowledge and communication.
Donna, radiation oncologist Stuart M. Berman, and the whole treatment team are gifts to the hopes and healing spirits of cancer patients. I’m very grateful for Donna’s highly effective work and her impact on days well lived, one at a time. I hope the Boston Globe will join me in celebrating Donna, and get the word out about who the real superhero is.—Nominated by Susan Kennedy Marx
Reisman 11 and Gryzmish 7 Nurses, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
I have to nominate two entire floors of nurses, as they are all standouts. My husband was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer last year. His disease was advanced and he was extremely sick, but the care he received—both as an inpatient on the 11th floor of the Reisman Building and in the Gryzmish Building’s 7th floor clinical treatment center—was exceptional in every way imaginable, and helped us through the most horrendously difficult time.
Nurses are very intelligent people, with all the treatment and medications and procedures they have to master, but they are also gifted human beings with an exceedingly high level of compassion and understanding. They have IQ and EQ in very large measure and we are all grateful for their care, concern, and compassion.—Nominated by Georgia Taft Pye
Virginia Seery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Through multiple surgeries, a clinical trial, and endless scans and visits, Virginia watches me like a hawk and keeps me alive. –Nominated by Michael Chmura
Kaylee Shaughnessy, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Kaylee provided exceptional care to me and my new baby girl during our two nights on the post partum floor. Despite working overnight, Kaylee taught us the most about how to care for our daughter. Caring for a pediatric nurse practitioner, her pediatrician husband, and their new baby must not be the easiest assignment, but Kaylee was exactly what we needed on those first nights. We even saved our questions for her, knowing that she would be back the following night.—Nominated by Elizabeth and Daniel Kelly
Myrielle Whittle, Shapiro 9, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
My nurse of 27 years, Myrielle has been my primary oncology nurse from Day One of my diagnosis. She is compassionate, competent, professional, invested in my well-being, and my friend. All of the nurses and support staff on Shapiro 9 need to be mentioned for their care and kindness. Every visit is the best it can be. The staff and Myrielle are like family. They have cared for me for many years.—Nominated by Martha Afentakis
Hannah Yarmolinsky, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
A little more than a year ago I was admitted to BIDMC with a very aggressive form of lymphoma that has required 16 rounds of in-patient chemotherapy…and that’s just so far. All of the nurses on 7 Feldberg (BIDMC’s hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant floor) are superb, but Hannah is an especially bright light in that starry sky. She’s one big reason I feel as strong as I do today.—Nominated by Christopher Brooks
Kristine Yurtek, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
I was so glad to see Kristine’s familiar face after the birth of my second child. She had been a stand-out post partum nurse after my first child was born in 2016, and she continued to demonstrate high-quality care after my second. Her warmth and knowledge are so reassuring to new moms. Thank you, Kristine, for helping us welcome both of our kids into this world. We are grateful to have crossed paths with you twice.—Nominated by Joanna Kemp
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham
Laurel Duffy, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham
Laurel is the kindest nurse I know. Although she’s been a nurse for just over a year, she connects with patients and families more effectively than nurses many years her senior.
I recently saw a patient who was being discharged embrace Laurel, visibly overwhelmed with gratitude. Another patient’s daughter praised Laurel for the kindness she showed her mother, highlighting how patient Laurel was and how she explained everything she was doing despite her mother’s delirium. Laurel even took the time to fix her mother’s hair. Another patient wrote, “Nurse Laurel gets a ‘10’. She is awesome!” Yet another patient, who had volunteered in health care for years, described Laurel’s “calling” to be a nurse and implored: “Laurel has compassion, please keep her!”
Laurel is mature beyond her years and brings serenity to our busy acute care unit. In addition to her kindness toward patients and families, Laurel cares for and about her colleagues and nurse leaders. When asked how she is doing on a busy day, Laurel smiles and responds, “I’m fine, how are YOU?” Laurel is always willing to assist her coworkers, and she works extra shifts to ensure that patients receive the care they need. A skilled clinician, she has taken an informal leadership role by precepting new nurses.
Laurel’s commitment to the nursing profession and her kindness toward patients, families, and colleagues is truly special. It is a privilege to nominate my colleague Laurel.—Nominated by Amy Krushell
Ashley Kane, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham
Ashley has been my infusion nurse for two years. Words can’t express her kindness and knowledge of the clinical skills she has in chemo. She’s trustworthy and very compassionate, and knows exactly how to insert the fusion needle for treatment. Her personality is beyond words. I trust her with my life each time I am in her care.—Nominated by Cynthia Corrado
Katherine Pagan, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham
I work with Katherine at Beth Israel’s Needham campus. Katherine consistently shows compassion and dedication to her patients and colleagues. She is confident in her abilities and never fails to rise to the occasion. She works all hours—morning, evening, and night—and frequently picks up shifts for those in need. Katherine is often seen training others, lending a hand, and communicating with family members. She is an exceptional nurse.—Nominated by John Zarrella
Jeanne Zarrella, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham
I work with my mother, Jeanne, at the Needham campus of Beth Israel. She always goes all-out for her colleagues, family, and friends. She has consistently shown dedication to her patients and her craft while working night shifts for more than 40 years. Jeanne leads by example and communicates in a way that makes others feel comfortable with learning. She is an exceptional nurse.—Nominated by John Zarrella
Theresa Adams, Beverly Hospital
On the day of my scheduled C-section, I was ready. I’d done this 17 months ago. I knew what to expect, and this time it was planned. What could go wrong?
Theresa was my labor and delivery nurse.
First they couldn’t get a vein for my IV. That was traumatic. Now it’s way past the time for the surgery, and the ultrasound machine for veins was in the room. My husband, who is naturally anxious on a good day, started talking fast and pacing. Theresa calmly suggested that maybe he should take a walk. She held my hand until the IV was inserted, and I thought the worst was over.
I was wrong.
The anesthesiologist couldn’t get the right spot for me to become numb. I was worried, because I’d been through this before and it didn’t take anywhere near 45 minutes. Sitting alone on the edge of the bed, she could see the worry in my eyes. She hugged me, her arms wrapped around my back the whole time. She whispered things to help me through it. She acted in place of a partner who was not able to be there from the beginning.
I never did get fully numb. The surgery and birth were nothing like my first, and I was certainly traumatized. Theresa stayed with me until I was taken to the recovery room, where my parents and my 17-month-old waited. She stayed with us until she absolutely had to go to another patient. Theresa is a compassionate, selfless, caring nurse and a woman who should be recognized for her care. My experience would not have been the same without her.—Nominated by Cieara McManus
Dawn Morey, Beverly Hospital
Dawn has worked here for 29 years and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her for her entire career. Her focus is pediatrics, and she has an overwhelming love of children. As our team leader for pediatrics, she is the primary preceptor of all new pediatric nurses. How fortunate they are to learn from the best.
Dawn consistently demonstrates compassion; she especially cares for mothers of substance-abuse newborns. She’s been active in this initiative for two years now. She supports and guides these mothers with love and respect while teaching them to care for newborns.
Dawn has exceptionally strong clinical skills. She is a Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructor and a teacher for our pediatric staff expos, where the staff learns and reviews important themes in care. She helps review and develop policies and procedures. She works closely with our director of pediatrics. She chairs the Pediatric ED task force, which reviews the care of children with focus on consistency and excellence.
Dawn is excellent at communicating and, as charge nurse, meets with patients and families to resolve their concerns. She is most trustworthy and always one to mentor. As a patient advocate she brings concerns to social services and case management, as well as the physician.
Dawn earned an associate’s degree in nursing several years ago. In the past five years she returned to school for her bachelor of science in nursing, and is now working toward a nurse practitioner degree.—Nominated by Candace G. Sklarz
Arianna Marquis, Johnson 3, Beverly Hospital
I was admitted to the cardiac-monitored floor with severe asthma and respiratory distress. Arianna quickly set up a nursing plan, communicated clearly, and showed sincere compassion through her emotional connection and encouragement. Highly energetic and motivated, Arianna was calming and clear-headed. I felt like I had an advocate and an ally on the floor, and I’m extremely grateful for her skill and bedside manner.—Nominated by Sara Singleton
Board of Health, Wayland, Mass.
Ruth Mori, Wayland Board of Health
Ruth is the public health nurse and school leader for the Town of Wayland. Her accomplishments include: being the driver of community nursing; being responsible for administering flu vaccine to almost 2,000 residents each year via community clinics, senior clinics, school clinics, and home visits; being the link with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for communicable diseases; ensuring effective communications are in place for school-to-parent health issues; and managing the volunteer Medical Reserve Corps and representing the town in regard to emergency management—just to name a few.
Ruth’s compassion knows no end. She reaches out to residents to perform wellness checks, conducts daily blood pressure clinics, and acts as a sounding board for seniors, keeping them calm and informed while making appropriate referrals and keeping their information private. Ruth is probably the most-loved and trusted employee in the town.
She constantly advocates for additional services for town residents. She and the health director recently got permission from the Board of Health to implement a pilot program, currently in development, offering the scarce and highly desired shingles vaccine to our seniors.
This whole list of tasks and accomplishments is coordinated by Ruth, a part-time employee who is committed to ensuring the health of the residents of Wayland, and especially devoted to our 65-and-older population. I’m sure that most of your nominations will be for direct care nurses, but please consider the impact that this one public health nurse has on this one small town, and recognize public health nursing’s importance.—Nominated by Diane Ledwell
Boston Children’s Hospital
9 South and ICP Nurses, Boston Children’s Hospital
My son Gabriel was in the hospital with a major stomach infection and other issues from last November to this February. The nurses on 9south and the ICP kept him happy and comfortable. They were always willing to follow orders and inform his care team when something came up to keep Gabriel on track to get over his numerous problems.—Nominated by Neal Hassan
10E Nurses, Boston Children’s Hospital
Our sweet friends’ little girl Paisley has been a patient at BCH a few times since last October, and she received a rare life-saving surgery that could only be done there. Her many post-surgery complications scared her parents, but they have said repeatedly that the nurses were life-savers to them. They were at Paisley’s side every step of the way. When she could handle it, they did really fun activities with her, such as including her in a World Series good-luck video for the Red Sox, bringing therapy dogs (which she loved) into her room, and even letting her spend some time on the roof patio in her Halloween costume when she longed to be trick-or-treating with the other kids.
Knowing that the nurses would watch over her calmed her when she had to return to the hospital. Her parents asked us to vote for all of the nurses on 10E, so here we are.—Nominated by Rachel Norwood
Josh Anyaosah, Boston Children’s Hospital
Josh is one of the most caring nurses I have ever had at BCH, hands-down. Now he’s helping me pursue my dream of becoming a nurse, and I hope to follow in his footsteps. Thank you so much, Josh, for all that you do.—Nominated by Jezlyn Robles
Angela Baggett, Boston Children’s Hospital
Being a preceptor for a new nurse is not easy, especially if you are going to train a foreign-educated nurse who just learned English a few years ago. You have to teach her how to document and how to respond to and help with patient requests. Sometimes you have to help her with medical terms, and even communication skills—kind of like starting over with new language in nursing.
This is exactly what Angela did when I started working in urology, and she is still doing it with kindness. She is one of the best nurses I know, and she loves what she’s doing. With her help, I’m a better nurse today, able to work with high confidence. Thank you, Angela, for everything that you are doing for us.—Nominated by Sarminaz Salek-Heydari
Laura Capuccio, Boston Children’s Hospital
Laura has been an amazing advocate for my son, who is phobic about medical situations and routinely requires a procedure that makes him very anxious. Laura has been willing to meet with us—even attending an appointment with his psychologist—to help my son have this procedure with as little distress as possible. She was incredibly patient with him while accommodating his need to feel some sense of control. She tirelessly tried different strategies until we found one that worked. She never bullied or pressured him (as other competent clinicians have done at times), but listened to his concerns and worked with him to find a solution. She’s also been available to me to strategize and plan his care to make it as comfortable as possible. I sensed that she might have stayed past her work hours sometimes. She has been a godsend to our family. –Nominated by Elizabeth Handleman
Tricia Crowley, Emergency Department, Boston Children’s Hospital
Tricia is extraordinary. She cared for my son Tim, who is deaf, blind, and cognitively impaired. He was taken to the Children’s ED after suffering a seizure. His challenges made it overwhelming to figure out where he was and what was happening.
Tricia was wonderful. She radiated calm confidence and compassion. She realized immediately that she and the other caregivers would need to communicate with Tim through a combination of sign language and his iPad, taking extra care to explain what was happening because he couldn’t see who had entered the room or what was being prepared. Tricia embodied the best of BCH’s care. She was unfazed by a complex patient, and her care was rooted in both competence and compassion. She was able to put herself in Tim’s shoes and think how he must feel.
Her kindness, her can-do attitude, and her professionalism transformed a frightening night into a strong reminder of why the nurses at BCH are the best in the world—and Tricia is No. 1 among them.—Nominated by Mary Casey
Ashley Doherty, Boston Children’s Hospital
Ashley always helps me when I need it. She makes sure my room is clean and organized.—Nominated by Rion Moore
Ashley Goldstein, Boston Children’s Hospital
Ashley was amazing while taking care of my son Cole, right down to little details like taking labs and comforting him. This is our fourth open-heart surgery. We love our nurses, but Ashley stands out. She’s incredibly caring and wonderful with her patients and their families.—Nominated by Cole Moreshead
Maggie Gordon, ICU, Boston Children’s Hospital
Our 2-year-old son Brooks was transferred to the BCH ICU from Maine Medical in February 2018. Several great nurses and doctors watched over Brooks while he was essentially in a medically induced coma; he was on a breathing tube, had a kidney port, and had two tubes up his nose. Nurse Maggie came into our lives as one of Brooks’s primary nurses. She rarely left the room during her 12-hour shifts and checked his lines, tubes, and medications methodically. I couldn’t keep track of all of the things going on, but I felt confident watching Maggie do her job. She made sure we knew what was happening at all times.
Additionally, she was his biggest advocate during rounds, speaking up whenever necessary not only with our concerns, but with her own as well, working with doctors for the best results possible. She had the loudest, yet calmest, voice during this difficult time, and we had never felt more comfortable with anyone else looking after our son. You could tell that Brooks was her priority. Maggie still came down to check on him after we were moved from the ICU to the cancer floor. A year later, Brooks is doing well, but still getting treatment at BCH. Our time in the ICU was terrifying, but we will never forget Maggie.—Nominated by David Keaveny
Karen Grundstrom, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Boston Children’s Hospital
Our daughter has endured several procedures and surgeries during her seven months in the NICU. Karen’s amazing compassion has helped us through some of the scariest days of our lives. She has shown more care for our daughter than we ever could have known was possible. She is always available to talk us through anything and everything. She has not only taught me how to advocate for my family, but also to care for all of my daughter’s medical needs.—Nominated by Jessica Nauyokas
Lindsay Jodoin, Intensive Care Unit, Boston Children’s Hospital
Lindsay cared for our son Wilder in the ICU after surgery last January. We’ve been in and out of the hospital a dozen times during his first year of life, so we know how nurses can make or break your stay. Lindsay really gave her all for Wilder. We were having trouble staying on top of his pain and she never hesitated to speak to doctors and the pain team to get him comfortable.
Wilder had some complications after surgery. It wasn’t anything major, but she never made me feel bad about being worried. She understood that while other children in the hospital might have had it worse than he did, this was my child, and I had every right and reason to be concerned, to ask questions, and to push for a resolution.
During some of our previous hospitalizations, I stayed up all night—not just because the hospital is loud and the beds are uncomfortable, but because I felt like I needed to make sure my son was getting the care he needed. When Lindsay was our night nurse, I could truly relax and get some sleep. Those six days in the ICU were some of the hardest I’ve ever experienced, but Lindsay took as much of the stress and worry away as possible.—Nominated by Caroline Dahlstrom
Annie Kuphal, 10E, Boston Children’s Hospital
One of my daughter’s primary nurses, Annie has a heart of gold. All of the nurses there were wonderful, but seeing Annie regularly built such a great rapport that my daughter and I felt comfortable asking all our questions. Annie always had answers based on data and her own clinical experience. If she wasn’t precisely sure once or twice, she quickly consulted her resources and got back to me. She taught me a lot in the newfound territory of my daughter’s treatment plan, and always with compassion and dignity. I trusted her enough to go get a coffee or lunch while she played a game or simply chatted with my daughter, leaving her laughing and more at-ease about her hospital stay than I could have imagined possible
Unfortunately, this admission was weeks long, rather than days, but Annie’s compassion, teaching, and encouragement made every step more bearable. The entire profession is improved by nurses like her.—Nominated by Kolene Lewis
Stephanie Larsen, MSICU, Boston Children’s Hospital
Stephanie literally saved our daughter’s life when they called a code blue on her. She was so amazing that we wanted her to be our nurse as often as possible during our 12 days in the MSICU. Stephanie not only checked in on our 3-week-old, but on me and my husband as well. She helped me bandage my leaking C-section scar when I was three weeks post partum. She let me hold my baby twice while she was still hooked up to a breathing machine and monitors. Stephanie was gracious, caring, and knowledgeable, and I’m so glad she was our nurse during the worst day of our lives.—Nominated by Meghan Demarco
Adriana Levy, Erin Sullivan, and Lisa Pierce, 6 Northeast, Boston Children’s Hospital
Adrana, Erin, and Lisa were my daughter’s main nurses on 6 Northeast. Words can’t do justice to the wonderful care they gave her. They helped her deal with all of the medical procedures with song, kindness, encouragement, and incredible caring and expertise. We will never forget them.—Nominated by Amy Giovanoni
Kaylee Mathieu, Boston Children’s Hospital
When you think of a nurse, you think of a hospital caregiver doing required shifts. This is not how Kaylee treated our son during his stay in the MSICU.
On the first day she cared for our son, she formed an instant bond like I have never seen. She treated my husband and me like her own family. Her diligent care exceeded any expectations we could have imagined. She was Auntie Kaylee to our son and a lifelong friend to us. She never let him go without anything—he was always bathed, swaddled, talked-to—you name it. If he wasn’t doing well at the end of her shift, she checked on him all day and night until she was back on duty.
Kaylee was seven months pregnant when she embarked on our journey. During her last few shifts before maternity leave, she begged her doctor for one last shift to say goodbye to our son. She brought him blankets and mittens and spent the entire shift worrying about him and who would become his new primary nurse.
We were forever grateful that she got that last shift, because our son lost his battle with CDH a week later. You’d think the story would end there, but we never lost touch. Kaylee recently drove an hour just to come and support a memorial blood drive that we hosted. If you think that’s commendable, consider that she also reached out to a CDH organization to set up a yearly grant in our son’s name, and helped us design T-shirts to raise money and awareness of CDH. Without Kaylee, our son would only be in my husband’s and my memory. But thanks to Kaylee, his name will always be alive.—Nominated by Nicole Sullivan
Kaylee Mathieu, Boston Children’s Hospital
There isn’t a word, a cliché, a jumble of articulation, or an award that shines brightly enough to describe Kaylee. She stands out among the hundreds of nurses who’ve cared for our fierce and fiery 2-year-old. For nearly a year, we were fortunate to have Kaylee as our son’s primary nurse during his MSICU stay. Days that ached unbearably from watching how critical our child was were dulled by Kaylee’s reassurance that they were not going to give up on him. Our emotions ran high, but Kaylee never wavered and never gave up on our son’s life.
Kaylee’s skill set is one to be highly honored. I’ll never forget her quick and methodical nursing skills. The family education was consistently thoughtful and helpful.
The whole time Kaylee cared for our son, she showed up for every shift with a smile and made us feel at home. She chose to be our continuity and went to bat for him in more innings than one has ever seen played in Boston. Her love of being a nurse was evident from the genuine care she gives her patients.
We watched Kaylee’s advocacy grow deeper in her bones as the weeks and months went by. She is a valuable asset and a true gem as a human. Her heart and soul run on critical care expertise. There isn’t an award in the world that can take the place of the care our son received.—Nominated by Deana Taylor
Breanna Bissell McGrath, Boston Children’s Hospital
Breanna took her first ride in the Critical Care Transport Team ambulance nine years ago, as an emergency department nurse at Beverly Hospital. Bre rode that night with her critically ill newborn niece. She then set out to make that her next job, and she succeeded.
Now she puts her medical expertise and compassion for patients and their families to work at Children’s every day. Many people have told me how Bre takes the time to explain what is happening in a crisis, and to calm and reassure them.
Breanna is smart, dedicated, funny, and highly committed to the children and families with whom she comes into contact. She is very deserving of this honor.—Nominated by Heidi Bissel
Leslie Mercado, Boston Children’s Hospital
Leslie has worked for BCH for more than five years. She started as a clinical assistant, pursued her career in nursing, and is now a registered nurse. She has always been phenomenal to work with, treating every child as her own and providing exceptional care. All of our families know her very well, and when they come in, everyone swarms Leslie with love. They confide in her knowing that she will do everything possible to provide exceptional care. I can definitely say that staff and families are forever grateful for having Leslie at BCH.—Nominated by Jerri Lyn Alvarado
Colleen Mucalhy, Boston Children’s Hospital
My son and I spent eight weeks at BCH while he battled a kidney injury. Colleen was our nurse on several occasions, and we bonded with her immediately. She was always one of a handful of nurses that Ian wished for during shift change.
A day before we were to be discharged, Ian had a seizure. He’d never had one before, and it was the scariest moment of my life. Within 15 seconds the room filled with doctors and nurses, all working to stabilize my son. I looked on frantically from the sidelines, helpless. When Colleen arrived she saw that Ian was getting the help he needed, but I wasn’t; she made a beeline to me, where she explained what was happening and kept me grounded as best she could. I was so afraid of the scene that I was losing control, and she saved me that day.
We met a lot of wonderful nurses at BCH, but Colleen will always stand out from the rest. When I think back to how frightening and out-of-control that day was, I also think about Colleen helping me through it. That might not be a skill that she learned at nursing school, but it definitely makes her an outstanding nurse.—Nominated by Andrea Donaldson
Lauren Perlman, Critical Care, Anesthesia, Perioperative, Extension Program, Boston Children’s Hospital
Lauren has made house calls to check on my daughter Katie every six months for the past six years. She brings her team with her (if only I could nominate the entire CAPE team). My daughter is nonverbal and non-ambulatory, so getting her to appointments is very difficult. Lauren always calls in advance and checks in with us. She deserves all the recognition in the world.—Nominated by Judy Cooper
Courtney Risley, Boston Children’s Hospital
Courtney is the best nurse and kidney coordinator in our life.—Nominated by Giulia Cisternino
Rebecca Sherlock, Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Conditions Center, Boston Children’s Hospital
Our daughter is a patient at the spina bifida center, where Rebecca is the nurse practitioner. She has been with us since our daughter was born with the condition, and we are so thankful for her. She is always caring and kind. She responds immediately to my questions or concerns. Her bedside manner and compassion clearly show that she genuinely cares for her patients and their families. If anyone deserves to be nominated, it’s surely Rebecca. Every day, you make a difference and are an absolute angel. Thank you for all that you do, Rebecca. We love you.—Nominated by Jan Terlaje
Amelia Sparrow, Boston Children’s Hospital
Amy knows how to reassure a nervous mom and child. She treats patient families as if they were her own. We travel quite a distance to BCH, and Amy always makes a point of seeing my daughter. She is a true asset to the hospital and to the families she works with.—Nominated by Katie Herrick
Sarah Studley, Boston Children’s Hospital
Sarah has been my nurse, on and off, for the whole three months that I’ve been on the sixth floor, fighting AML leukemia. She always makes me happy—she’s so fun that she’s made this whole experience wonderful. I’m currently 17 years old, and I’m gonna be spending my 18th birthday here. This hospital is amazing, too, but seeing my favorite nurse makes the experience so much better; to be honest, I sometimes forget that she’s my nurse and think of her as my friend. When she comes to work, she brings this funny positive video that I just love. All the other nurses do, too, but Sarah and I just clicked from the first time we met. Honestly, this whole thing is hard for me, so having a friend who’s my nurse is amazing. When I finally go home, I hope that we’ll keep in contact; Sarah’s a real keeper. She’s great with kids of all ages and she made my situation so much better, I promise you won’t regret picking her.—Nominated by Joelene Brogdon
Susie Taylor, 7 South, Boston Children’s Hospital
Susie is truly an amazing nurse and person. She was our son’s primary nurse at birth and throughout his month-long stay on 7 South. She greeted us each morning with a smile and a detailed progress report. She connected with us during the most challenging time of our lives, answering all of our questions comprehensively and compassionately. She celebrated our son’s progress and held our hands during the most difficult times. We still stay in touch through Facebook and our annual visits to the CDH clinic. Susie is one of the most knowledgeable, genuine, and caring nurses we met at BCH and we are eternally grateful for the care and love she showed our family.—Nominated by Caitlin Plant
Sarah Wells, Boston Children’s Hospital
Our son had his g-tube pull through the stomach wall and ended up at Children’s for over a month. Sarah was instrumental in assessing the problem and the course of action to help heal the wound. She checked in daily and trained other nurses in the proper care for keeping the area protected and healing correctly. Her input to the surgeons helped direct the plan of care.
After the g-tube was replaced and our son was discharged, issues with infection landed us back in the hospital. Again, Sarah made herself available until we finally got him on the right path. Even though the second admission was for pneumonia, Sarah evaluated his g-tube every day, as that site was also being treated for infection. Her attention made the difference in finally resolving the problem.
Sarah’s knowledge and experience as a clinical nurse specialist in wound care is incredible, and we were lucky to have her guidance. Even after our son left the hospital again, she offered to help by inviting us to send her pictures, if necessary.
She definitely made a difference in our son’s care. After many months of problems, her input made the biggest difference in his improvement.—Nominated by Paul Lutfy
Taylor Yasi, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Boston Children’s Hospital
Our daughter was born four months prematurely. Ever since we first walked into the NICU last July (and we’re currently still there), Taylor has shown more compassion toward our daughter and entire family than we ever could have expected. She has been by our side while our daughter has undergone major surgeries, and helped us celebrate milestones like her first Halloween. Having a child in the NICU is terrifying, but Taylor has always made us comfortable. She has been a real blessing for these past seven months. Now that we are getting ready to be discharged, we are starting to realize how much we will miss Taylor, and how much she cares for our daughter.—Nominated by Jessica Nauyokas
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
Peggi McSharry, Boston Health Care for the Homeless
I’m not nominating Peggi based on one interaction or experience, but rather her nearly three-year stint as a member of the HIV Care Team. Peggi has been a registered nurse for over 30 years, never wavering in her commitment to patients and staff alike. From the earliest days of the HIV epidemic to the newer cases showing up around our city, Peggi has been on the front lines every step of the way.
Peggi provides care, day in and day out, to the most vulnerable among us. When you layer an HIV-positive status with substance abuse struggles, you come up with an incredibly complex patient who requires far more attention than the average person. Peggi never sees it that way. She sees every patient’s well-being as an extension of her own. She treats them as family and relishes their successes while crying with them through their losses.
For me, Peggi was a guiding light in a completely new territory of nursing for me. We were finding more HIV+ individuals than ever before—mostly due to IV drug use. I was frequently confused and stunned. Peggi never was. She always offered the advice I needed and was around for every new diagnosis, making sure that they had what they needed—and that I did, too.
Peggi isn’t just an RN—she is a force of nature, and the world is unequivocally better for it. She changes and heals lives every day—not because it’s her job, but because she is a true servant. She touched my life and her guidance still influences me, as it does every life she’s touched. I hope you will recognize these massive contributions with a small salute this May.—Nominated by Todd Foy
Lisa Butters, Boston IVF
Boston IVF creates miracles every day. Going through the stressful process of trying to create a child makes you irritable, hormonal, impatient, and agitated. Lisa is one of the best nurses I’ve ever interacted with, and that says a lot since I work with nurses in a hospital every day. She never lost her patience and she returns calls quickly, which is amazing considering that she deals with so many others just like me. She’s knowledgeable, organized, helpful, and—best of all—cheerful when I need it most. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for me and my husband.
Jessica Camprone-Suski, IVF in Albany, NY, Boston IVF
It is hard to find words for the gratitude that I feel for Jessica. She has been there constantly for three years as my husband and I battle infertility. From educating us about medications and answering our silly questions to listening in times of pain and disappointment, she continues to be a constant pillar of support.
You can feel Jessica’s passion for her job the first time you meet her. She truly cares for each and every patient and roots for them in their journey to become parents. Our struggle has been hard not only on my husband and me, but on Jessica, too. It takes a special person to deliver unfavorable news while maintaining one’s composure and optimism.—Nominated by Kienan Robinson
Brenda Connolly, Boston IVF
Brenda has been supportive through two pregnancies. She’s the reason we drive to Bedford, and she has been the best part of our experience. She has never judged us as a same-sex couple. She encouraged and supported my 49-year-old wife to carry our second child. She is there for us when we are frustrated and need someone to listen. She is consistently excited for us and has never let us down. She has become a part of our growing family, as we would not have gone Round 2 without her.—Nominated by Dawn DeShiro
Brenda Connolly, Boston IVF
Brenda has a big smile at 6:30 every morning. Her compassion and personality make for a great greeting no matter how many times you have to come in for blood work or other tedious appointments. She remembers you and gives you hope to stay positive and look forward.—Nominated by Jennifer Gorski
Brenda Connolly, Boston IVF
Brenda kindly explained everything to me from the moment we met, and invited me to call her with any questions. After my first two rounds failed, she encouraged me to stay positive, and made me smile during every blood test. When we found out that I was pregnant, I told her that if it weren’t for her encouragement, kind heart, and faith in me, I would have given up, but she helped me trust the process. I’ll never forget that she said, “You were meant to be a mom.” Instant tears! Brenda is a beautiful soul and Boston IVF is lucky to have her. She played a big part in my journey and I will be forever grateful.—Nominated by Stefanie Gove
Brenda Connolly, Boston IVF
I remember walking into the Bedford, N.H., office for the first time like it was yesterday. I was so nervous. Brenda immediately put me at ease. I had an ectopic, and each HGG test she was there for me. I recently went back to start the process again, and this time I wasn’t as nervous, knowing that I’m in good hands with the team I selected. I’m thankful for Brenda and appreciate her compassion through this difficult process.—Nominated by Leanne Hillman
Brenda Connolly, Boston IVF
I went through a year and a half of infertility treatments, beginning with my OB-GYN, who eventually transferred me to Boston IVF to move on to in vitro fertilization. By that time I was beginning to feel convinced that I would never get pregnant, but I still fought to maintain hope. Each step in the process took more out of me—injections, blood work, surgeries, waiting.
Each time I went into the office, I hoped Brenda would be there. She immediately put me at ease, making me feel like I was all that mattered in that moment. Her compassion and support couldn’t have been stronger. Each time I struggled to maintain my composure, she gently continued her work while offering kind, gentle words. I can’t count the number of times I cried in her arms; sometimes she teared up with me. Her strength led me to find mine when I felt like there was no hope.
She educated me without judging—I was able to ask her questions I wasn’t comfortable raising with others, and get helpful answers (intramuscular injections in the buttocks are awkward, scary, and embarrassing.). Today I’m nearly 16 weeks pregnant. I can’t wait to bring this baby to that office to introduce them to the wonderful people who helped create them—especially Brenda. I can’t imagine going through this process with anyone else.—Nominated by Jacqueline Keeves
Melissa Craig, Boston IVF
Melissa was exceptionally knowledgeable about the in vitro fertilization process and helped us conceive our baby. Her help on this long, difficult road was amazing. She always had a smile on her face and listened to my questions and concerns. I was so lucky to have a nurse as wonderful as Melissa.—Nominated by Christine Bishop
Melissa Craig, Boston IVF
Melissa was a pleasure to see every time I went to my doctor’s office. She went out of her way to make me comfortable. She was kind, caring, and full of knowledge. I’m lucky to have had her throughout my fertility journey.—Nominated by Shauna Fanning
Melissa Craig, Boston IVF
In the dictionary, next to the words “compassion,” “empathy,” “knowledgeable,” “humble,” and “genuine,” there should be pictures of Melissa. She is honestly one of the kindest people I have ever met. Saying that she’s in the right profession is an understatement. Being a nurse can be emotionally wearing in general, but especially so in the fertility field. I’m sure there are many ups and downs. You can see it on people’s faces as they try to create the biggest joy of their lives: children. There are many happy stories, but that happiness comes with heartbreak on the other side.
Melissa is always smiling and there to offer wise and positive words. With her, it goes beyond the science. Her goal is making everyone feel welcome and comfortable. Her knowledge and passion for in vitro fertilization might go unnoticed. She never hesitated to answer our questions accurately or calm our nerves.
My wife and I were lucky to cross paths with Melissa, and we are the grateful ones. The team at Boston IVF, and the medical profession in general, are better with the amazingly talented Melissa. Thank you for all that you do each and every day, Melissa; you are truly admired, and a blessing to the people whose lives you have touched.—Nominated by Colleen O’Brien
Carol Lesser, Boston IVF
My husband and I were trying, without success, to start a family. We turned to in vitro fertilization, knowing that it might be a long journey with no guarantees, due to my age. From the moment we started treatment, through miscarriages, Carol was a rock, checking in with us by telephone when we least expected it—cheering us on. I had so many questions, and Carol was always there for me. My entire team was amazing, but it was especially reassuring to have someone like Carol thinking of us at unexpected moments.
I’ll never forget the Sunday that we were at a movie during my IVF cycle. My mind started wandering, thinking about treatment. After a few minutes later, I got a text. It was Carol, asking if I needed anything. The timing was incredible, and I can’t explain how good that made me feel. I’ll never forget that. She’d call us at night after important tests, knowing that we were nervous. She’s just an incredible nurse who really gets it.
My husband and I now have an amazing 5-month-old son and we couldn’t have gotten here sanely without Carol. This award was made for her.—Nominated by Laura Kelley
Kristin MacCutcheon, Boston IVF
Kristin has been an in vitro fertilization nurse for over 20 years. She has been a friend, a coworker, and much more to the staff and company. Most of all, she’s one of the top nurses to have by your side during treatment. She’s one of the best, most knowledgeable people when it comes to her job. She has the best personality, with a smile and a positive attitude every day. Her passion for her job is simply to give each individual top priority.—Nominated by Deana Miele
Lisa Masciovecchio, Boston IVF
Lisa is outstanding. In vitro fertilization has been a bumpy road with lots of ups and downs, but she has listened with a compassionate ear when I vent or cry at things that don’t work out, and excitedly has shared good news when they do. She’s a clinician and a therapist wrapped into one, and I couldn’t appreciate her more.—Nominated by Carolyn Rogers-Vizena
Missy Neighbors, The Women’s Hospital, Boston IVF
Missy was with us through the scariest and most beautiful times of our lives. Her heart and love for her work make her perfect for her job. We are forever grateful for what she and the whole office have done for us.—Nominated by Nedra Schaefer
Nikki Palumbo, Boston IVF
Nikki is always compassionate and kind, even when breaking bad news. She always leaves me hopeful that this journey is not over.—Nominated by Crystal Arnott
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit and Operating Room Nurses, Surgery Center, Boston IVF
We’ve gone through many significant changes as our company has endured one of the biggest mergers ever in the health care industry. I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past two years. It hasn’t been easy, but we strive to be our best every day so that each and every one of you can achieve your dream of becoming a parent. Our staff is outstanding. I know it’s difficult going through this journey, but please know that we are with you every step of the way, and you couldn’t be with more caring people.—Nominated by Karen Page
Bryna Runeman, Boston IVF
Bryna helped us through an egg retrieval that resulted in a single, abnormal embryo. For our next retrieval, we had one chromosomally normal embryo and one that was inconclusive. Bryna called me on the day of our appointment to tell me that the inconclusive one was normal. We had two. I could hear her happiness as I took in the information. We have not had the transfer yet, and I know there is a long road ahead, but she has answered all of my questions and been both empathetic for our disappointments and genuinely happy for our future.—Nominated by Rachel Mastrangelo
Critical Care Nurses, Boston MedFlight
At 2,000 feet and 150 miles per hour, miles tick by. Today, on this flight, every minute counts. Thirty minutes to go.
Behind me, in the cabin of an emergency medical helicopter, a Boston MedFlight critical care nurse is at work, solving complex medical issues while caring for our region’s sickest or more critically injured trauma patients.
The nonprofit Boston MedFlight transports over 4,500 patients a year. Some of them are just minutes old, while some have nearly a century of life experience. Imagine the knowledge and expertise required to handle that complexity. Twenty minutes to go.
Highly trained and highly skilled, the nurse works in unison with a critical care paramedic—a critical care transport team of two in a mobile ICU. I hear monitors beeping and the nurse’s constant scrutiny of the patient’s condition: blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level. Ten minutes to go.
Some patients are delivered to an intensive care unit. Some go straight to an operating room. Today, we’re directed to the emergency department. The nurse gives a patient report over the radio, alerting the medical center staff which equipment and medications they’ll need. One minute to go.
“All secure for landing? Boston Tower, MedFlight 2, landing assured.”
Our nurses are an amazing, elite group of professionals. Kind and compassionate, they draw on years of knowledge and experience, making on-the-spot decisions that matter. Delivering critical care that saves lives.
I work as chief pilot at Boston MedFlight. Through the nurses and paramedics, I witness the best of humanity—the best of who we are and who we can be. I am privileged to nominate our nurses for who they are and what they do, each and every day.—Nominated by Lynda Colarossi
Boston Medical Center
Betsy Adams, Boston Medical Center
Betsy is a complex-care manager who has specialized for decades in patients coping with addiction and homelessness. Her commitment to serving the underserved is unparalleled. I am impressed every day by her humility, compassion, critical thinking, creativity, communication skills, and humor. Betsy constantly challenges the team to keep the patient’s voice front and center in everything we do. She epitomizes the unique qualities that make nurses so important in patient care, and I am proud to call her my colleague and my friend.—Nominated by Emily Palmer
Angelee Bullock, Boston Medical Center
I usually get to work with Angie in the afternoons and evenings. She’s warm and caring. She’s also quick to help and gets things done. I see her as our clinic’s quiet achiever. She works with everyone—patient and primary care team members—to make every patient encounter feel meaningful and goal-oriented.—Nominated by Mariam Maloyan
Deborah Carey, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Boston Medical Center
Deb is an amazing nurse who truly and selflessly dedicates herself to her patients and families in the NICU. With over 40 years of experience, she is helping to train the next generation of NICU nurses. Her accomplishments and dedication should be recognized.
My preceptor (Deb) and I helped provide end-of-life care for a neonate and their family in the NICU. Having this challenging and sad experience with Deb was important for my own understanding and future comfort as a nurse. Deb was an amazing source of support and calm for this family.
We received a report on a premature newborn who had a condition incompatible with life. The parents decided to withdraw support. With their consent, Deb and I prepared a memorial box that included footprints, a lock of hair, clothing, and photos. At the family’s request, we organized and assisted in a baptism ceremony. Deb captured these moment in photos. We were able to print copies for the family, later to be released by the hospital’s photography department for a photo album.
Deb explained how meaningful it might be for the family to comfort their son and hold his hand when he was removed from ventilation. After the tube was removed, we quickly prepared her son and took him down to the mothers’ post partum room. Deb helped the mom put her son skin-to-skin, and gave the family privacy to grieve.—Nominated by Celeste DiGloria
Katherine Chapelle, Boston Medical Center
Katherine showers her patients with compassion and laughter, love and advocacy—so much so that a recent patient asked her to be the godparent of her new grandbaby. The patient wrote: “You are someone my daughter could look up to. You are jovial, concerned, and reliable. Please keep your nice personality and thank you for always being concerned. Keep being you—sweet, attentive, lovely, and laudable … please consider being the godmother of our baby.”
Katherine thinks of every little thing to make each new mom and family comfortable and confident. She blends her very special humor into everything. Her patients ask her to come back again and again, and they have their spirits lifted by Katherine’s extraordinary nursing care. Her patients trust her completely and no matter how tough a situation is, Katherine finds the light and helps shine it in all the right directions.—Nominated by Ginny Combs
Roger Blanza, Katie Christopher-Dwyer, Deb Crook, Kate Conway, Angela DeSilva, David Ibbitson III, Christine Kareh, Elizabeth LeBlanc, Andree McManus-Jaehnig, Tammy Minard, John Walsh, Boston Medical Center
Boston Medical’s team of Critical Care resource nurses exemplifies excellent care without exception. Their expertise and wealth of knowledge are important in patient care and well-being. I have often called upon this team to assist, advise, and advocate for the patient as well as the staff. They have provided positive healing outcomes and continued improvement in the critical management of many patients.
These nurses float throughout BMC offering support and expertise while navigating patients’ medical care. Their high standard of professionalism, never-ending diligence, and multiple years of hands-on experience have been life-saving for patients, staff, and the BMC community.—Nominated by Julie Swain
Marva Durand, Boston Medical Center
Marva exemplifies critical-care nursing at its finest. She is very attuned to her patients and their needs. She understands both the art and science of nursing; she can take care of the sickest patients and explain the most complicated pathophysiology, but Marva is also a master at navigating complex family dynamics without judgment.
Recently, Marva took care of a Haitian man in his 40s. He had been living here for some time, but most members of his family—including his wife and six children—were in Haiti. This man had multiple myeloma and, unbeknownst to his family, HIV as well. He wasn’t responding well to his cancer treatment and kept getting sicker and sicker, mostly because of the HIV.
Marva (who is of Jamaican descent) became this man’s primary nurse and spent hours caring for him and talking to Haitian nurses to figure out how to say things in Haitian Creole. She facilitated meetings via telephone and Facetime to involve his wife as much as possible and allow her to understand as much as the patient wanted to reveal.
This complicated case brought up ethical issues around disclosure and patient’s rights versus sexual partners’ rights, as well as HIPAA rules. Marva coordinated all of these discussions with the help of legal, case management, social work, and the medical team. Through it all, she never lost sight of what was best for the patient and his family. This is how she takes care of every patient—with respect, compassion, kindness, and expertise.—Nominated by Robert Elloyan
Lisa Griffin, Boston Medical Center
In the time that I’ve been working with Lisa, she has consistently exhibited a wealth of knowledge, support for colleagues, initiative, kindness, compassion, and steadfastness that we all aspire to daily. She stands out for holding her colleagues to a standard that she consistently meets, and everyone knows that she is that “go-to nurse” in times of need. Her patients often mention her for being “so kind and helpful and reliable.” They describe her as “the best nurse ever.”
New nurses who train with Lisa come away knowing they couldn’t have had a better orientation, and they will be far better nurses because of the attention and knowledge she so willingly shares. While there are many nurses who deserve this recognition, I sincerely hope that Lisa is singled out, as she definitely deserves it. She truly makes all of her patients and colleagues better whenever she walks through the doors of BMC.—Nominated by Jennifer Jarbeau
Colleen LaBelle, Boston Medical Center
It is often said that “Nurses are the heart of health care.” I fully agree, and I would add that Colleen—the director of BMC’s Office-Based Addiction Treatment, among many other titles and roles—is health care’s conscience. Working with a team of dedicated and expert clinicians, Colleen has taken her decades of evidence-based experience to expand medication-assisted treatment and help all Americans suffering from substance abuse disorder.
Colleen and her superb team created “the Massachusetts Model” that combines immediate access to supportive medications with group and individual therapy, a series of overlapping supports, and a perennial well of hope to save thousands from the scourge of opiate addiction.
During this journey (which began long before the current opioid epidemic), Colleen has taught thousands of nurses—including all 1,400 here at South Shore Health—and other clinicians that our words really do matter. Using data, facts, and lived experiences to address our own biases is a proven way to first de-stigmatize patients and families suffering from this complex disease, and then get them into effective treatment. She has found a receptive audience as more and more of us have “them” as loved ones. We are simply better nurses, people, and community because of her amazing lifelong work.—Nominated by Timothy Quigley
Liz LeBlanc, Boston Medical Center
Liz holds the title of resource nurse and uses her critical care knowledge to support nurses on medical-surgical units. Not only is Liz one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, she’s also one of the kindest. A big part of her job is supporting nurses who are unsure of something or need help with a critical patient. Sometimes nurses (including me) are anxious or embarrassed about asking questions. Liz is approachable and non-judgmental. Her support has made me more confident and inspired me to learn more. That’s why Liz deserves recognition: Not only is she a great nurse; she inspires others to be, too.—Nominated by Caroline Tranford
Jane Makson, Cancer Center, Boston Medical Center
From the moment I met the incomparable Jane three years ago, she has been an ally, confidant, advocate, and resource not only for her chronically ill patients in the Cancer Center, but also for me and her many colleagues.
Jane and I had the pleasure of caring for a man with stage IV head-and-neck cancer throughout his terminal illness. We celebrated triumphs like birthdays and his eldest son’s admission to the police academy. We also supported him and his family when his cancer became incurable.
Jane’s spirituality was essential as his family with young children grappled with their father’s mortality. Jane always provides care with grace, clinical excellence, and compassion. After 30-plus years in the profession, Jane is truly an expert in her field. She intuitively grasped what this family needed in an unimaginable scenario. She instinctively zeroes in on a solution, whether that means quiet companionship and prayer or lighting the darkness with humor and a smile. I am truly blessed to have worked alongside such a fun, caring, nurturing soul.—Nominated by Kimberly Nehiley
Jessica McAloon, Boston Medical Center
Jessica knows the importance of integrity in the most unfavorable circumstances. When providing nursing care, human dignity and compassion are foremost in her mind.
Although ardently dedicated to every patient, one stands out. Jessica recognized that beneath all the equipment sustaining this young woman’s life, she was still a person, fighting. Before her hospitalization this patient was vibrant and lively, and she deserved the utmost care despite the physical and mental limitations now plaguing her. Jessica gathered all the necessary resources to begin an ethics meeting reminding health care professionals that they sometimes need to step back and see patients beyond their medical needs. She shined a light on the importance of seeing patients as people who had lives before their hospitalizations.
Not only does Jessica advocate for her patients; she is also a champion of her fellow nurses. She effectively runs our Unit Based Council, which gives a voice to her colleagues and improves the floor’s overall functionality. She provides a safe place where people can voice opinions without fear or repercussions. Her organizational skills also play an important role in advancing her education. She is a prime example that even though hard work will get you far, kindness is the most essential attribute.—Nominated by Kimberly Oliveira
Maureen McCarthy, Boston Medical Center
Maureen is a leader, an extraordinary team member, and a comedian. She cares for her patients with passion and a smile and mentors her colleagues. This fabulous nurse enthusiastically works the night shift every weekend. Fellow nurses seek out her expertise in patient care, how to execute orders, and how to best handle an acute or difficult patient. She is a calming presence and the first one you want at your side in an emergency.
As a comedian, Maureen’s quick wit helps get us through the busy shifts on our inpatient unit. She sees the best in her coworkers and helps them thrive with encouragement, teaching, or a helping hand. It’s her practice to compliment her colleagues with a “thank you” or a “good job,” and that builds up the confidence and skills of her peers.
Maureen is popular with our patients. They miss her when she’s gone, often asking if she really has to go home and hoping that she will return that night. She’s the first to make a Happy Birthday or Happy St. Patrick’s Day sign for a patient, and recognizes when they just want someone to sit with them for awhile. Patients love to laugh with her. She’s such a good listener that “empathy” is not a big enough word for what she shares with our fragile population. This woman could move mountains on her own, but we on 6 West are privileged to help her do it.—Nominated by Colleen Webb
Catherine McDonough, Boston Medical Center
Catherine—whom we call Cathy—is the queen of care management; it’s no coincidence that she has the name of a queen. She follows up with every single family in pediatrics who spent the day in the hospital, getting them to come back for primary care services. Cathy is excellent at communicating with her team. She is sharp and to-the-point when she gives us a heads-up about important cases.—Nominated by Mariam Maloyan
Kathryn McGinn, Boston Medical Center
I am 90 years old and my daughter, Kathy, is a nurse in the Emergency Department at Boston Medical. When I fell off a ladder last October and broke some ribs and my collar bone, Kathy (who is my health care proxy) saw me through hospital care and rehabilitation, and then took me into her home for all of November. She gradually guided me from using a walker to a cane to walking for two miles without assistance. Her knowledge and loving care enabled me to recover completely.—Nominated by James McGinn
Marilyn Morrissey-Joyce, Boston Medical Center
Marilyn’s inspirational care for her mother during her final days reminds me that I have been blessed with a wonderful wife who is also an extraordinary nurse.—Nominated by Richard Joyce
Kimberly Oliveira, Boston Medical Center
I have had the pleasure of working with Kimberly on the IMCU floor for the past two years. She’s a strong leader and an excellent communicator, and her ability to confidently run a high-transitioning unit has been a huge benefit. What stands out most about Kimberly is her commitment to patients, her practice, and her continued excellence in critical thinking. For a young woman, she continues to amaze me with selfless acts of kindness, whether that means bringing in clothes for victims of violence, participating in the winter walk for the homeless, or traveling abroad to provide the less-fortunate with nursing care. She is always available to share her knowledge and encourage her coworkers to believe in themselves, their practice, and commitment to improve our world.—Nominated by Julie Swain
Karin Rallo, Boston Medical Center
Karin is the nurse manager for the Pediatric and Behavioral Health EDs. Although she doesn’t have a clinical role, she treats her staff with the same caring attitude we expect from a top nurse. She has instituted new protocols for caring for our most vulnerable patients, while at the same time ensuring that staff—both nursing and physicians—are not left alone to deal with the trauma that we often experience. Whether it’s providing food after a particularly difficult day or ensuring time to debrief and refresh after a tragedy, Karin is a tireless advocate for all.—Nominated by Eileen Keneck
Kymberlee Rivera, Boston Medical Center
This 21-year-old college student came in with a rare disease presentation. She was scared and could barely breathe, despite being on nearly 100 percent oxygen. Kym is the nurse everyone wants to have when they are terrified. Kym’s presence makes everyone feel better, one patient said recently.
Kym knew how to get close to this young girl and tell her she was there. Kym let her know that she had a daughter her age, and that she would be here with her and make sure she was OK. That was what she needed to hear—the patient put her head on Kym’s shoulder and breathed her first sigh of relief since she had arrived.
Kym continued to be there for her throughout her hospital stay. She called to check on her when she wasn’t working. She celebrated each success and worried about each setback. She provided a supportive ear for the parents, who had come from Texas; they were worried and shaken and had had very little sleep. Kym had the patient moved to a different room, where the family would be more comfortable and the patient had more privacy. Kym visited when the patient moved to the floor. The minute Kym walked in, her patient said, “I missed you. I was looking for you.”
A nurse who just finished training says, “just talking to Kym makes me feel better. She doesn’t even need to say anything. The way she looks at you and the way she smiles lets you know how much she cares, and it means everything.”—Nominated by Avital Rech
Gerson Santos, Boston Medical Center
Gerson is a new graduate nurse in the Step Down Unit. He recently cared for a patient who was a concern for a new stroke. In this emergent situation, Gerson was calm, knowledgeable, and able to expedite the patient’s needs while collaborating with the team. The nurse practitioner involved with this patient commended Gerson for his efficiency, critical thinking, and teamwork. Gerson always brings his best self to care for the patient. He makes a difference every day he comes to work.—Nominated by Christine DeAngelis
Kristen Silverman, Boston Medical Center
My third cervical spine surgery recently failed, resulting in four blood clots. I lost the use of much of my right side, severed the nerves connecting my neck to my right arm, and my entire spinal cord had to be moved by two inches. Kristen oversaw the entire continuing process, and I, after being bedridden for months, can now walk, mostly because of her care. She interacted with specialists to determine the best care plan. Kristen was never afraid to question doctors’ decisions and course of treatment.
While she was caring for me, my mother had to be rushed to the hospital several times; the last one was the week before Thanksgiving. Kristen was there at each and every crisis—not only as family, but as a nurse. She took time from her employment to care for my mother. When she didn’t get better, Kristen pushed for answers after weeks without any. Because Kristen knew what to ask, it was determined that my mother had late-stage leukemia. Kristen met with every specialist, questioning the course of treatment, our options, and the impact on my mother and her resulting quality of life, even when those questions were hard to ask.
We lost my mother on Dec. 22—but what Kristen did proves that nurses are angels. Even though my mom couldn’t communicate, Kristen went in every morning to adjust her hair (wig) and makeup, because she knew that my mother would have wanted that. My mom would scream with pain, and Kristen sat with her 12-13 hours a day, helping with her care and focusing on her comfort.—Nominated by Craig Silverman
Megan Starr, Boston Medical Center
Megan was my labor and delivery nurse when I needed an emergency C-section with my first child. She was a new graduate then. I’m a nurse, too, yet I had no idea that she was a new graduate because she was so calm and confident that she put me at ease during a very scary time. I just had my second child and Megan was my nurse again. She was amazing, and again helped me stay calm and relaxed during the delivery of my daughter. BMC claims to give exceptional care without exception, and it’s true. All of the nurses were wonderful, but I’ll never forget how Megan made the births of my children so special. She visited me in the mother-baby unit to make sure I was doing OK. When my baby was in the neonatal intensive care unit she visited me there, too. Megan deserves recognition as a competent, compassionate nurse.—Nominated by Katherine Scanlon
Burn, Trauma, Surgical Intensive Care Unit Nurses on Tower 8C, Brigham Health
My life changed on Dec. 15, 2018. Shortly after midnight, my son, Lucas, was struck by a drunk driver while walking home from the Braintree T station. The driver left the scene, leaving my son in the road, unconscious and bleeding from the back of his head. He was taken to South Shore Hospital and immediately transported to Brigham and Women’s 8C Head Trauma Intensive Care Unit.
And there it began. The experience was dizzying—some aspects foggy, yet others extremely clear. It was here that I was exposed to some of the greatest people in the world. Lucas’ five nurses—Kim, Lauren, Taryn, Jarrod, and Jen—were wonderful. They allowed me and my entire family to react, grieve, panic, and express our deep emotions toward this unspeakable act set upon my boy, and all of us.
I asked his nurses to be completely honest with me from the start. I would much rather hear the graphic truth than be given false hope. They let me scream, cry hysterically, disappear periodically, and lie quietly with my son at night—moments I will forever cherish as my own, just me and Lucas, alone together.
The nurses knew how our week was going to end. I did not. But now, three months later, I know that I probably did, too. The respect and care they showed him—constant equipment changes, body shifting, medicines—all while making me feel calm and sharing with me what they were doing. Including me, so that I was not just looking in. Their composure was incredible. Over the next five days they got to know Lucas, and us, while we got to know each of their unique, professional, empathetic, and compassionate personalities. They cared for their patient and us as well. They are true heroes to me.—Nominated by Susan Flint
Valerie Durney, Brigham Health
I am a lung transplant recipient (going on six years ago) and Val has been my nurse practitioner since August 2010. More than just professional and kind, she has been my touchstone and comforter on my journey. We’re on a first-name basis and I consider her my friend. She was there when I awoke in the stepdown room after my transplant, leaning against a window with the light behind her and smiling at me—a sight I will never forget. She has been my angel. –Nominated by James Pazzanese
Julie Ferragamo, Brigham Health
There have been a lot of nurses in my life. I work with nurses; I’m related to nurses; I’ve interacted with nurses as they cared for my loved ones. With very few exceptions, I’m grateful for the work they do and how selflessly they do it. I must say, though, that Julie stands out as one of the best.
About a year ago, I had a “rule-out” appointment with a neurosurgeon about some troubling symptoms. Three weeks later, I had major surgery. The first adjectives to describe my state were “shocked” and “pained.” The first ones to describe Julie, however, were (and still are) competent, compassionate, caring, creative, and considerate. Julie anticipated most of my questions and concerns. If I had more questions, she responded promptly, and made sure that I understood what was happening and what to expect. She was empathetic and patient.
I saw last year’s Salute to Nurses while I was out on disability, and noticed Julie’s name among the honorable mentions. I determined to write to you as soon as possible to ensure that Julie is “bumped up” to concierge level.—Nominated by C.K.
Endoscopy Center Nurses, Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health
I am 72 years old and I have a family history of colon cancer. Every five years, I go to the Gregory Endoscopy Suite at Faulkner for a colonoscopy. The nurses there do a great job: They explain everything and make sure I understand, they put in my IV line, they monitor my vital signs, and after the procedure they make sure I understand how to care for myself when I get home.
I have a progressive lung disease, and this year I worried about how I would do during the procedure. They explained that they would monitor my oxygen levels the whole time to make sure I was OK. Every time I go, I am struck by their patience and kindness.
By the time I go in for the procedure I am not in a happy place. The day before I had a diet of Jell-O and laxatives, and then was up half the night dealing with the consequences. I am tired, hungry, and cranky. The nurses listen to my complaints as if they hadn’t heard the same thing a thousand times, and even laugh at my bad jokes. They treat every patient the same way. —Nominated by Kathy McDonald
Danniel Haynes, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Brigham Health
Danni was a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit angel while our own little angel spent a month at the NICU. My son Sean suffered seizures from hyperinsulism on the second day of his life. As a new mother recovering from a C-section, watching my new baby suffer was incredibly challenging. Danni was our nurse on the first day, explaining the doctors’ medical jargon in layman’s terms and what she would be doing to help save our son.
Her compassion and kindness were geared not just toward my baby, but also to my husband and me. She was the first person to give us hugs when our son had moments of triumph and setbacks. There is much hope and positivity in the NICU, but also anxiety and sadness. Danni was truly the beacon of positivity that we needed. Her knowledge and support got my son and me through our stay. I hope that any child or parent who has to spend time in the BWH NICU is lucky enough to have a nurse with the huge amount of grace, sensitivity, knowledge, and compassion that Danni gave us.—Nominated by Ann Lennon
Hematology, Oncology Nurses, Tower 5B, Brigham Health
I am writing to thank the nurses on BWH Tower 5B. Your compassion, empathy, care, and respect toward your patients and their families are inspiring. Time and again, no matter what the situation, you give your best to the patients. You are competent, skilled, knowledgeable, and dedicated. Thank you for your commitment and all the good work that you continue to do. —Nominated by Dominica Campbell
Donna Dello Iacono, Brigham Health
My colleague Donna stands out above all the wonderful nurses with whom I have worked in my 30-year career. She currently works in a pre-op evaluation unit at a large, busy hospital. Her compassion for patients and families is touching. She reduces their anxiety by teaching them about the surgery and what to expect during the perioperative process. Her sense of humor captures their hearts.
Donna leads our unit’s education team and obtains appropriate offerings for the topics that we request. She promotes our unit by presenting our work at local and national conferences. She involves less-senior staff in order to share credit. She receives no extra compensation for all of her extra hours.
Additionally, Donna is a professor of nursing at a local college. She’s the most knowledgeable nurse I’ve ever met, and she thoroughly enjoys sharing her experience with students. She encourages her colleagues to get involved in this area, too. She’s always looking for ways to improve her practice, and she inspires those around her to do the same.
Donna is exceptionally bright, well-rounded, compassionate, friendly, and vivacious. She’s a wonderful role model and a real hidden gem.—Nominated by Mary Prata
Karen Legere, 5B, Brigham Health
Karen is compassionate, caring, empathetic, competent, and knowledgeable. Consistently reliable, she embodies the true meaning of nursing. Karen has worked on 5B for four years out of a career spanning decades. Her dedication to helping patients and their families, advocating for them when necessary, and being a dependable team leader as nurse-in-charge has remained unchanged. Thank you, Karen, for your hard work and diligence.—Nominated by Dominica Campbell
Darlene Martinez, Brigham Health
I’ve had good nurses before, but Darlene was really special. She was extremely concerned about my infection and good at explaining everything she was doing. Darlene took extra time to show me how to do things myself and why it was important to do them that way. She also has a very friendly personality. Being in the medical field is never easy, but she made sure she did her rounds and checked all of her patients, even if they didn’t need much assistance. I never felt like I was less important than the next patient. It was always a pleasure to have her on duty while I was there last December. She’s very professional and I learned a lot from her. Thank you, Darlene, for your time, patience, understanding, and care. It really meant a lot.—Nominated by Jesus Orozco
Sherri Nobriga-Bonica, Brigham Health
There is a saying that “Nurses are angels in disguise.” In the past eight weeks I’ve met many angels at B&W’s Dana-Farber Tower; however, one stands out.
Entering a hospital is frightening with so many unknowns, never mind trusting the people who are responsible for your care. On my first day a nurse named Sherri walked into my room. She was a bubbly, friendly little lady with a big smile.—Nominated by Marge Augustus
Kathy Powers, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Brigham Health
Kathy was my son’s primary NICU nurse, but I felt like I was as much her patient as he was. She was the one person in the entire NICU whom I trusted completely and absolutely. Not only was she incredibly knowledgeable; she was also a friend, a therapist, an advocate, and a shoulder to cry on, and she always had my son’s best interests at heart. She was entirely professional, but I would catch her smiling at my son when she thought no one was watching. She held him if he cried and whispered to him like a grandmother does to her grandchild. She cared not only for his health, but for his spirit. She told me, “He loves sleeping on you, and that’s his favorite place” when he barely weighed four pounds and had no outside awareness.
She shared about her own family and told me about her daughters. I cried when we were finally discharged because I had to say goodbye to Kathy and I wouldn’t see her every day anymore. I pray that I never have another NICU baby. But if I do, I hope Kathy will be his nurse.—Nominated by Erin Kimbrough
Kathleen Rourke, Samantha Cardinal, Dianne Griffin, Brigham Health
Over Presidents Day weekend I was admitted to the 5th floor of the oncology department for what turned out to be surgery on my thoracic spine. The treatment was outstanding from the moment I entered until the moment I left, but I received exceptional treatment from these three nurses in particular.
During the 10 days from admission to discharge, two night nurses, Kathleen and Sam, could not have been kinder or more responsive. They notified my family when doctors arrived, worked with me to schedule pain meds around uncomfortable trips to the bathroom, and even accommodated my seemingly insatiable appetite for the ice cream that my wife delivered by the carton.
My day nurse, Dianne, kept me as comfortable as possible before surgery and during my initial recovery. Knowledgeable and experienced, she had suggestions to solve any problem, liaised with doctors to answer our questions, and ran interference (at my request) to keep visitors away when I needed rest.
Having been an aviation instructor and commercial pilot for decades, I am well aware of the skill it takes to lead by example, with professional competence and compassion, in stressful and sometimes life-threatening situations. These women did so at every turn, without ever making me feel they were on the clock. They deserve recognition for their incredible care.—Nominated by Gary Chag
Elizabeth Schlehuber, 7B, Brigham Health
All of the nurses on 7B who attended my mom, from the first reinfusion of her engineered T-cells to her first small sips of water and tiny steps, were fantastic. But one in particular brightened our days, and that was Betsy. My mother and I always looked forward to her coming back to work, as she not only brightened my mom’s stay, but also my many days as a caregiver in the hospital.
It didn’t take long to realize how fortunate we were to have Betsy as mom’s primary nurse. She filled tough days with smiles, easy conversations that distracted us from our worries, renewed energy, and (most importantly) hope. I can still feel the smell of the fresh coffee she would bring me, and her big hugs that were not just calming, but actually reassured me that mom would get through the situation and everything would be OK. When side effects kicked in and mom became very ill, Betsy would give her a bed shower and even wash her hair the first thing in the morning. She ensured that mom’s mouth wasn’t dry and sore, changed her clothes, and—when her condition started to improve—moved mom to a chair to sit up for awhile. When I tried to help her lift my mom, she warmly said “That is my job, and I am glad that I am healthy and can care for my patients to help them get better.”
That’s who Betsy is at her job—a truly amazing person with an uplifting spirit and dedication. Betsy, thank you for all you did for my mother. We love you.—Nominated by Valentina Dimitrova
Heather M. Serpa, Brigham Health
A retired Navy master chief, Bob, who loved to volunteer and help people, was just 68 when stomach and liver cancer took the “sunshine of my life” in just 20 days, from first noticing pain in December to going to help Mother Nature in January.
I need to thank all the nurses and aides at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Florida and at Brigham and Women’s. I especially thank oncology nurse Heather for her calm and caring support in his last days.
We flew to Boston in early January and went from the emergency room to the 16th floor for an MRI, then transferred to the 5th floor two days later. We met Heather when she got Bob settled after “the MRI from Hell,” so called due to the pain and overall swelling of his body. She provided whatever he needed to be comfortable and reassured. She was his nurse on the Wednesday that they told us he had one week to live and the Thursday that was his last day.
She was there every time I asked for help to relieve his symptoms and to translate doctors’ comments. She talked with my brother, who has a daughter her age, telling him what to look for, how to protect me in my exhausted emotional state, and when to summon her in Bob’s last two days. I am forever grateful for nurses like Heather, who care for cancer patients in their final days with hope and a smile.—Nominated by Joan Gonser
Mary-Christine Sullivan, Brigham Health
Christy truly embodies what it means to be a nurse. During the past seven years that she has dedicated to community health nursing, she has developed a passion for, and clinical expertise in, adolescent medicine. Her knowledge of this subject (among others) is a valuable resource that she readily shares with coworkers.
She cares deeply for her patients and treats each one in a holistic manner, commonly involving specialists, school nurses, or mental health providers to ensure that each one’s care is tailored to their individual needs.
Beyond her clinical skills, Christy has an incredible ability to think about issues from a systems perspective and offer ideas to make the clinic more effective or efficient. She supervises students and mentors new nurse practitioners. She pushes learners to think critically and practice high-quality medicine. Christy’s patients, students, and coworkers are extremely lucky to have her.—Nominated by Victoria Hill and Anne Daren
Nori Ann Vincitorio, Brigham Health
My journey overwhelmed me. Talk about a nurse who connects—Nori was the one. She was my bright light as I faced my daily fears. She never sugar-coated the truth, but explained and made me smile with her little stories and antics. Nori was my guardian angel. I love her and keep her in my prayers daily. She has a great gift in care-giving and will be in my heart forever.—Nominated by Joanne Shaw
Michelle A. Young, Center for Advanced Heart Disease, Brigham Health
I would like to recognize Michelle and express my gratitude for the excellent care she has always given me. My February stay at the Shapiro Center only solidified my belief that Michelle has a gift for what she does. Her approach makes my wife Marilyn and me feel as though I am the only patient Michelle has. Her familiarity with my medical record and the advocacy she provides on my behalf are things I can never repay, but for which my family and I are forever indebted. Her compassion and empathy, as well as her expertise, allow me to live my life at the highest quality possible, and to spend time with my wife, my children, and—most importantly—my grandchildren. Michelle has made a major difference in our lives and words cannot express how thankful I am for having her as my nurse practitioner.—Nominated by David Srebnick
Gail Aucoin, Burlington House
Gail runs an eight-adult care home. She has so much love and compassion for each and every resident, and support for their parents. The residents all need different care and all are wheelchair users. Gail is a very special nurse and I am proud to have her in my son David’s life and mine.
I live in Florida and travel back here for three months in the summer, and at Christmastime, and whenever else is needed. Gail makes it stress-free. She is at most of David’s appointments, and always reachable by phone. She is a credit to all nurses.—Nominated by Debbie Capezzuto
Gail Aucoin, Burlington House
Gail is a skilled, compassionate nurse who manages two group homes of severely handicapped individuals. She’s the first to step in when hospitalization is required. She ensures that her patients are treated with dignity and respect, which means advocating for non-verbal persons who can’t speak for themselves.
Gail is soft-spoken and can handle any unexpected situation. She’s a wonderful individual, and we would nominate her for Nurse of the Year.—Nominated by Pauline Stathis
Mary Schofield Maione
My mother was 21 years old when she stood up to serve her country in the US Cadet Nurse Corps in 1945. She is now 95 and has dedicated her whole life to nursing. Mary had always wanted to become a nurse—“an angel in white,” she called them as a 6-year-old. When the country needed nurses desperately, she gave up a budding career as an engineer at General Electric to help.
It was WWII. Nurses were being shipped overseas to take care of our soldiers. The supply of nurses in the United States was so low that our health care system was in danger of total collapse. President Roosevelt called for women to commit to a three-year training program, and then serve our country until the war was over. These women “saved lives at home so that others could save lives abroad.”
My mother was one of 124,000 teenage girls and young women to make this commitment. She went through rigorous training to complete a four-year program in three years. Then she left her family to take care of wounded soldiers in Richmond, Va. She saw a lot at her young age: prejudice in the South, segregation in the hospital, depression in young soldiers, and war wounds that no training could have prepared these girls to see.
None of these women has ever been recognized as a veteran by the country they served, even though they wore US uniforms, were part of the Army, had roll call and inspection, and had to follow demanding rules under their superiors. Please recognize Mary as an exceptional nurse.—Nominated by Marcia Maione-Amero
Cambridge Health Alliance Cambridge Hospital
Suzanne Dailey, Cambridge Health Alliance
I am a general pediatrician who watches Suzanne significantly change the lives of my patients and their families every day. She throws all of her considerable energy into making sure that patients get what they need, when they need it.
Nurses in a busy primary care clinic routinely face an insanely complicated array of responsibilities, such as direct care of vulnerable patients; answering phone calls from sick and anxious patients; assisting doctors with countless tasks; and generally keeping the whole ship afloat.
Yet, amid all of this barely controlled chaos, Suzy is always willing to set everything aside and devote whatever time is necessary supporting new moms. She offers emotional support, nursing support, good humor, and common-sense advice to women who are struggling to figure out their new role as mother to a tiny infant.
Suzy makes as much time at it takes, day after day, to make sure that the mom is settling into her new life. She often checks in with these mothers during off-hours and over weekends. Suzy certainly has a wide range of responsibilities in our multi-specialty clinic, but her dedication, resourcefulness, and passion shine through most clearly when she takes a new mom under her care. Once Suzy is on the case, I always know that my patients will do well.—Nominated by Gregory Hagan
Fiona McCaughan, Cambridge Health Alliance
I am both Fiona’s patient and her colleague. As a colleague, Fiona delivers, enriches, and contributes on all projects in population health—my area of responsibility. That would come as no surprise when I convey her care as a nurse provider at CHA. As a nurse, she truly understands how the social determinants of health impact her patients, and she has been an active partner in developing screening resources not only for her area, but for all CHA patients.
Last fall, when I was preparing for a trip out of the country, I had a cold that lasted for three weeks. Fiona took it upon herself to arrange for me to be seen at the primary care office where I work, knowing that I would never fit in an offsite appointment. I did require medication, and probably would have spent my vacation sick and seeking care.
Besides my own story, Fiona regularly and consistently assists immigrant populations who come through our community office with emergency needs. In her quiet, efficient way, Fiona addresses every last detail, making care convenient and timely.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention her participation in our volunteer Mobile Food Market on Saturday mornings, and her contribution in all fundraising activities, sponsoring members of the CHA team, and raising money for books and recovery. Fiona is consistently kind, incredibly effective, and brilliantly collaborative.—Nominated by Mary Cassesso
Janet Gedziun, Cambridge Women’s Health, Cambridge Health Alliance
Not only does Janet still work five days a week after retirement, she’s also an amazing nurse who cares deeply about patients. She recently added to her workload to help prepare patients for surgery. Not only has she learned a new part of the obstetrics/gynecology workflow, but she also comes in early on the day of surgery to make the transition from clinic to operating room seamless. She’s also been essential in expanding the services available within the clinic. Her can-do attitude testifies to her desire to help every patient as much as she can. Thanks to her, our department has taken on new services while continuing to provide excellent care. Thank you, Janet.—Nominated by Amberly Ticotsky
Lauren Gonzalez, Cambridge Health Alliance Family Health
I interact with Lauren daily in my work as a pediatrician, and every day I see her display the utmost in kindness, compassion, and clinical acumen.
As our vaccine manager, Lauren is an immunization champion in every sense of the word. She calms even the most anxious children, reassures worried parents, and nudges all of us doctors and physician assistants to always remember children’s vaccinations at every visit. Our high vaccination rates are due to her efforts.
She also undertook lactation consultant (CLC) training on her own after our moms expressed a need for breast-feeding support. She is patient and supportive at all times.
Finally, her very manner embodies care. We cherish her presence every day and are grateful to have her working alongside us. She is a living embodiment of what nursing should be.—Nominated by Lisa Dobberteen
Ruth Krause, Cambridge Health Alliance
Ruth is the nurse at my oncologist’s office. The day I was told I had cancer, she asked if she could give me a hug, then sat there patiently and asked if I needed to talk or if I wanted water or juice or anything. From that day on, every time I go to the office (once every three months) she greets me with a warm smile and asks how my family and I are doing. Ruth is always right on top of any medical questions I have and is positive about everything. If she notices me walking a little slower, she remarks that I don’t have my bounce today and asks if I’m OK. She must see tons of people, but she remembers everything about me—right down to how I walk. I am blessed to have her as my nurse.—Nominated by Diane Liias
Kellie Ann Morse, Cambridge Health Alliance, Everett
Kellie Ann goes above and beyond to take care of patients, and always keeps her head held high, whatever the day brings. –Nominated by Sandra Valentini
Umesh Manandhar, PACE, Cambridge Health Alliance
Umash is one of the visiting licensed practical nurses who works with the frail population in our Elder Service Plans/Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. He exhibits the utmost professionalism with his patients, many of whom request him by name when they need a home visit. His quiet, calm demeanor and high skill level give each patient a sense of being well carnged-for. He has skills beyond his education, but prefers to remain a LPN to have the time to connect with his patients and give that hands-on touch, whereas a registered nurse often needs to complete paperwork.
Umesh is by far one of the best team players when it comes to collaborating and communicating with fellow nurses and IDT members. With his ability to stay flexible, he often accepts any visit presented to him and offers to do even more. As the supervising RN who manages his schedule, I often worry that he’s doing too much. But Umesh handles each day with ease. His smile never fades and it’s beyond clear that he loves what he does. Nurses like Umesh are invaluable to a program like ours, as he is the face of compassion, competency, and collaboration.
Umesh never backs down from a challenge. Some patients are tricky to win over to permit care in their private homes. Those patients never turn Umesh away. He accomplishes his task and more by winning trust that other team members can piggyback upon. He is truly exceptional in who he is and what he does for our program and our patients. We’re grateful that he chose our program to carry out what he is meant to do in this world.—Nominated by Tara Sherman
Frances Ng, Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance
Frances runs our Cardiology Stress Test Laboratory with exquisite compassion and expertise. Her superb Spanish can be a huge advantage when she calls patients to remind them of appointments and special instructions. As a nurse practitioner, she is qualified to administer pharmacologic stress agents (intravenous Lexiscan and dobutamine) where indicated, as well as the antidote for Lexiscan-adverse reactions. She expertly identifies arrhythmias associated with exercise, and many times has provided the requisite diagnosis in patients with palpitations. Her intrinsic kindness puts patients at ease in an otherwise intimidating environment. She interfaces with the physicians for all complex questions, and prepares detailed, comprehensive reports. She commonly recognizes inappropriate stress test orders and interfaces with the ordering physicians to ensure that the proper test is administered.
Beyond her exercise lab duties, she readily answers phones and assists other staff with diverse duties. Frances is a superb professional in our Division of Cardiology, and a splendid contributor to excellence in patient care and the patient experience.—Nominated by Thomas Risserm
Mary Saginario, Cambridge Health Alliance
I have worked as a neonatal/pediatric nurse for 29 years, and I can say with conviction that the pediatric population of Cambridge, Somerville, and surrounding areas is healthier and safer with Mary in their corner as our pediatric nurse practice administrator. Mary is a staunch advocate for vaccination and education. She works tirelessly to stay up-to-date on all pediatric safety, medication, vaccine, and practice changes. She shares her wealth of knowledge enthusiastically and is an amazing teacher.
To this day, she is the first person I call when I have any practice questions, and I can’t remember a time that she didn’t have the answer. Mary is just the type of nurse who effortlessly makes all of the nurses around her better; she has certainly made me a better nurse.
I’m not sure that Mary realizes how much she is appreciated and valued, or how positively she has impacted and influenced pediatric nursing practice at CHA. It is time that she does.—Nominated by Suzanne Dailey
Tara Sherman, Cambridge Health Alliance
Tara is a very trusting enrollment nurse who visits as many as 30 older adults each month to determine their eligibility for the CHA Elder Service Plan (ESP), a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) effort that helps them remain in their homes. People trust her enough to allow her into their homes, and the relationship that she goes on to build over her hour-long visit makes it easy for the interdisciplinary team to craft an appropriate plan and deliver exceptional care. She comforts people who are struggling with difficult decisions and advocates for the people she meets. There’s no one I would trust more than Tara to care for my own family. We would all smile more if every nurse was like Tara.
Tara never misses a scheduled home visit because she values people’s time. Nobody is better suited for this position than Tara, who has earned the trust of so many older adults, their families, and her own colleagues.–Nominated by William Burgery
Cape Cod Healthcare
Dori Macdermid, Cape Cod Hospital, Cape Cod Healthcare
I wish I were a good enough writer to do this story justice, but this experience is worth the try. It’s the small and meaningful gestures that mean the most during difficult times.
Dori was my father’s nurse on the day he was removed from life support. Although I knew the reality of the situation, I was his daughter; I couldn’t help having hope. Those around me did not seem to understand that, and in a way they were asking me to let go of it. I’ll never forget being alone by my father’s bedside when Dori came up to me and simply asked, “Are you OK?” I explained that although I understood the pending outcome, I still had some hope for him. Dori gave me the dignity to hold onto that, and I’ll always be grateful that she did. In that moment, I felt like she was not only honoring me and my feelings, but my dad as well.
When she brought in a snack plate I told her that it takes a special type of person to work in the unit she does, and thankfully people like her are willing to do it. Before she left for the night, I asked if I could give her a hug, and she gave me the tightest, most sincere hug. I will never be able to repay her genuine compassion, and that’s why I’m nominating her. It wasn’t so much what she did, but how she did it. I felt that she understood my pain and heartache, but most of all I could feel that she cared.—Nominated by Lindsey Kasprzyk
Linda Martin, Cape Cod Hospital, Cape Cod Healthcare
I have been working at CCH for four years on Mugar 4. We have been through two managers, and Linda has had to do the work of a clinical leader, running our unit until we got a manager. She never stops. She never says no. Nurses would take five different tasks to her and she would say yes to all of them, and then complete them in a timely manner. She could be a doctor, because she’s right 99 percent of the time. She puts her heart into her work and always gives 200 percent, not just with patients but also with other nurses and assistants on our unit.
Linda is like an instructor, always guiding new nurses and nursing assistants. She goes from transporting patients, to tests and procedures, to giving chemotherapy, to helping assistants with patient care, to boosting. If anyone deserves to be recognized, it’s Linda. Thank you for being you and for all your hard work.—Nominated by Keysha Taff
Judy Maynard, Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Healthcare
I have known Judy for almost 25 years. She’s more than a nurse—she seems like family. She has been very comforting because my children live a distance from me—my daughter in California and my two sons in upstate New York. She is an outstanding nurse and a very caring person. Because of Judy I am able to stay in my own home…even though I will be 106 in July. She understands my wish to be independent and remain at home, supporting my health conditions before they become serious and contacting my doctor whenever necessary. I salute Judy.—Nominated by Juliet Bernstein
Laurette Simons, Cape Cod Hospital, Cape Cod Healthcare
When I was hired, I thought Laurette was the nicest, most kind-hearted person I had ever met. She trained me in neurology and taught me about patient care, something that I (as a recent graduate) had never done before. I learned how to treat patients—especially those with Alzheimer’s disease. When her patients call the office they say,ste “Hey Laurette, it’s me,” because she knows who they are and what they need just by their voice. She is the reason that I now plan to go to nursing school.—Nominated by Natasha Lawrence
Mary Beth Barry, Care Dimensions
As clinical director, Mary Beth oversees the care of many hospice patients and the work of several nurses, home health aides, chaplains, and social workers—and she manages to know what’s going on with everyone. She listens compassionately to the concerns of patients, families, and staff, and is remarkably able to understand each one’s unique perspective. Mary Beth gives sound nursing and professional counsel from her years of experience in hospice and home health care. Furthermore, she works outside of her job requirements to educate the community about the benefits of hospice and palliative care, and she educates nurses about delivering excellent end-of-life care. She is a trusted advocate for those in her care, and for all hospice patients and practitioners.—Nominated by Molly Polansky
Robert Stetson, Carney Hospital
My elderly mother was hospitalized last March with a severe urinary tract infection and dehydration, which had devastated her functioning and greatly diminished her quality of life. My brother and I were heartbroken. She didn’t recognize us. She wouldn’t eat. We felt that she was slipping away. As a nurse, I was especially overwhelmed by her fragility. I knew that she needed not only astute nursing assessment of her many care needs, but also the deepest sensitivity and gentleness.
Robert was the nurse who provided that clinical practice and leadership. He gave the hands-on care that we senior nurses remember so well—that which is beyond delegation, beyond the limitations of time, despite the documentation. He worked alongside the nursing assistants, teaching and role modeling. He attended to her emotional needs even when she seemed unable to interact with her environment. As a family member, I was grateful for his presence and respect for me as a nurse, and his compassion to us all.—Nominated by Anne Craman
Dianne Taber, Circle Home
I met Dianne when I started at Circle Home over three years ago. She is an outstanding nurse who consistently provides compassionate care in the challenging home setting. Dianne is the nurse everyone trains with due to her expertise and efficiency. She can be counted on for any nursing need, whether it’s an IV, wound care, or a catheter change. Dianne is humble.
Dianne is not only a full-time nurse, but also singlehandedly raises three daughters, bringing them to and from school and hockey practice daily.
I can always count on Dianne to provide excellent, thorough care to our patients, and I smile every time I see her name as case manager for one of our mutual patients. If I had to pick a nurse to work with on any variety of patients, I would choose Dianne every time. Home care is one of the most challenging settings, so Dianne’s autonomy is to be commended. Home care nurses like Dianne don’t get much recognition because they are alone in a patient’s home, where their hard work goes unseen and underappreciated. Dianne deserves this honor.—Nominated by Meghan Culhane
Commonwealth Care Alliance
Vera Belitsky, Commonwealth Care Alliance
I’m nominating primary care nurse practitioner Vera for her work helping members manage their health care needs to ensure their independence.
“Terry”, a 58-year-old member who was born with cerebral palsy, lives with quadriplegia and dysarthria (unclear speech articulation). Over the past few years, Vera has helped him obtain a power wheelchair and communication-assist device, which enabled him to live by himself. Vera has been his partner and advocate, helping him overcome challenges and vulnerabilities throughout his journey.
Terry was admitted to a local hospital’s intensive care unit for a lung infection. The ICU team suggested that he pursue hospice care, leaving him uninformed and afraid. Concerned that the ICU team might not have all the information they needed, Vera came to the hospital to advocate on his behalf. This ensured that the communication barrier and his physical appearance didn’t lead to differential care for Terry.
After Vera arranged a safe discharge, she coordinated daily home visits and hospital-like care, such as managing his now-necessary feeding tube and nutritional needs, monitoring improvement from the infection, and organizing medications and appointments. Eventually, the care team was able to remove the feeding tube in his home. These interventions kept him from spending more time in a hospital.
Throughout recovery, Vera acknowledged Terry’s commitment to his own independence, and supported his decisions. When Terry decided that he wanted to try eating food by mouth again, Vera respected that decision and found ways to minimize his aspiration risk. Vera remains committed to helping members be as informed as possible and to supporting their decisions.—Nominated by Dhruva Kothari
Margaret (Peggy) Carter, Commonwealth Care Alliance
Peggy provides in-home nursing support to CCA members with complex physical and mental health conditions. When CCA launched a new doula program, Peggy jumped at the opportunity to add this role to her workload. She was selected from more than a dozen applicants because of her exemplary work and passion for caring for people affected by social determinants of health. She enthusiastically attended training sessions and meetings, frequently expressing how excited she was to provide pregnant members with education and support throughout the maternity cycle. As a doula, Peggy offers sustained, helpful support from pregnancy to labor, and for one year post partum.
A CCA member who was carrying her third child called Peggy in a panic, complaining of significant swelling and feeling unwell. She didn’t want to call her doctor out of fear that her baby, who wasn’t due for months, might have an early delivery. Peggy went to her home immediately to assess her blood pressure and edema, then called her doctor to provide information and arrange a visit. Her quick and caring response calmed the member and helped her get the clinical advice she needed to take care of herself and her unborn baby. Peggy continued to visit and follow up, helping the member obtain a special maternity support band to relieve pain, and housekeeping services to help her stay off her feet.
The word “can’t” is not in Peggy’s vocabulary. She demonstrates true empathy and compassion, believing it is a privilege to provide individualized care to help people live healthy and independent lives despite obstacles like poverty, chronic illness, and disparities.—Nominated by Colleen Senterfitt
Cooperative for Human Services
Julie Jackman, Cooperative for Human Services
I have worked with Julie for the past year and a half. CHS provides services for people with developmental disabilities, and has been lucky to have her. Julie’s caring for others and commitment to compassionate care has no limits. She has the best personality: Her laughter is infectious, her leadership style is fun, and she always advocates to the fullest for the people that she and her team serve. She champions what’s right while making others smile. When a nurse is needed at any time of the day or night, Julie is always there, and has been recognized for her dedication and hard work.—Nominated by Ivana Knara