Donna Cicerone is a nurse for Partners Healthcare at Home who visits us seniors living at Fuller Village in Milton. Every week, she conducts blood pressure screenings. She is more than just a nurse to us; she makes each resident feel special and always takes the time to listen and answer questions with knowledge, patience, and compassion.
This past year was a very difficult one for me. I suffered a serious illness and later lost my wife of 62 years. Last May, I was admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for an obstruction. Luckily, I didn’t need surgery, but my blood pressure medication was causing an irregular heartbeat, so the staff changed my medication and discharged me with services at home. For the next three weeks I was under the individual care of Donna. Twice a week, she came, checked my vital signs, and made sure I was recovering well. I think a patient is more comfortable with a nurse they know. Living alone, it was very reassuring to be in Donna’s care. In addition to being a great nurse, she offered words of encouragement and was committed to my health and well-being.
Last September, Donna was among those who had our picture taken for Partners while our blood pressure was being taken. The next day Partners called and asked if I would be in a video with Donna for their website. Although it has not yet been released, being a part of it was a lot of fun and just the boost I needed. Once, I asked Donna if she liked her job and she said, “This is the job of my dreams. I love working with the residents at Fuller Village.’’ It shows.
—Nominated by Bill Ostiguy
Roslyn Nowak has cared for both of my parents since 2009, and in the last year, both have benefited from Roslyn’s excellent care. My mother is currently one of Roslyn’s patients. Roslyn is a nurse’s nurse—the very best. The essence of Roslyn’s practice revolves around her loving kindness, respect and compassion, and her vast clinical knowledge. Roslyn has been to our home many times in the past four years, and each time she has been very kind to my parents, given her time generously, answered any queries, treated all of us with the utmost respect, used all of our names, and took her time to explain medical information in terms that we could easily understand. Roslyn has a computer with her, but she takes notes with a pencil in a notebook, which allows her to spend all of her time engaging with my mom and dad. When asked about that, she told me that she works at home with the computer each evening on paperwork. My parents are elderly, and they are comforted by her gentle ways. She looks them in the eye, puts a hand on their shoulder, and asks them, in the most genuine way, how they are. When seniors are homebound, through illness or injury, it is wonderful for someone to be so respectful of their time and feelings. Roslyn could probably work anywhere with her interpersonal skills and clinical competence. She has told me on occasion that she loves what she does. It’s obvious. Now, that is the kind of nurse I want by my side.
—Nominated by Christine Trufant
I met Joanne at the end of March 2012 after knee replacement surgery and a week’s stay at a nursing home rehabilitation facility. After my first few days, I developed a stage three pressure ulcer from overmedication and was unable to participate in rehab. When my medications were lowered, I was able to participate in my care, but the damage was already done: the sore persisted. I was discharged at the end of March with the Partners visiting nurse coming to my home every other day at first, then three times a week until my treatment was completed months later. Joanne went above and way beyond in every way. She showed compassion for my injury and understood my anger that the ulcer even happened (being a nurse myself I know that there is no need for this to happen). Her knowledge of the healing process and her getting new protocols to try from the MGH wound clinic and the MGH surgical clinic and working as a team finally cured my ulcer. To make me feel better as a woman with an open, sometimes odorous wound, we talked about fashion, make-up, and recipes. Those conversations and seeing pictures of her new grandbaby were what kept me going those long months. I looked forward to seeing Joanne come so I could show her my latest “find’’ or my homemade applesauce. She was what I needed.
—Nominated by Carol Vatcher
We were fearful that any visiting nurse services would not be able to handle this patient’s complex care. From the start, Valerie made extraordinary efforts to ensure the continuity of care for the patient. She went with the patient for a second opinion (which we had requested), helped her understand the complexity of her illness, and assisted her through her next course of treatment. Valerie’s care is exceptional care, without exception.
—Nominated by Lauren Harney