My sister, Claire Franks, has been a nurse for many years. She has dedicated her career to work as a geriatric nurse practitioner. While education rather than health care is my profession, I have had the opportunity to observe her work in a number of ways. For the past seven years, she provided outstanding care to our mother, who died from complications of Parkinson’s disease in October, 2012, and to our father who died suddenly of heart disease in January, 2014. When both parents were hospitalized, at different times, in a rehab facility where Claire worked, I had many opportunities to observe the reactions of other patients and caregivers to Claire. It was apparent that she was viewed as a person who establishes strong personal connections and cares deeply about the emotional as well as physical well-being of her patients. Claire is a strong advocate for their needs and passionate and articulate in seeking resolutions on their behalf.
On family vacations, I have witnessed the numerous calls she accepts from colleagues who seek and value her advice about patients. Claire is never too busy or rushed to respond. Most importantly, she recognizes the importance of time with her patients and their caregivers and to learn their life stories. Her patients are people, not numbers or quotas to be met. I am honored to call her my sister and only hope that, when ill or frail, I will be fortunate enough to have a nurse of her caliber.
—Nominated by Maura S. Johnson