Nomination Letters – Hebrew Senior Life

Pearline Kirby

As a nurse on a long-term care unit, Pearline has cared for a gentleman with a very complicated medical case for the past five years. Her attention to detail and the smallest changes enabled him to receive the best medical care possible, thus prolonging his life and allowing him to play an important part in the lives of his grandchildren. Recently, during his final days, Pearline not only gave him the compassionate care he needed, but she also cared for his wife, who visited and was suffering from dementia. The wife’s mental anguish and anxiety were greatly eased through this tough time by Pearline.


—Nominated by A. Winston

Sanika Malcolm-Joseph

Sanika cares for 27 patients, including a husband and wife whom she admitted four years prior to their 67th anniversary. The summer of 2013, the wife began to fail. Sanika not only cared for her in her final days, but she was also a strong support to the husband, helping him through the worst days with much kindness and compassion. Just being with him after his wife’s death meant so much to him. She was there to listen, to support, and help with the many visitors, making sure they had a place to be together to grieve.

—Nominated by A. Winston

Nancy Matthews

Our colleague, Nancy, serves as the nurse in our Adult Day Program, which is called “Great Day for Seniors.’’ There couldn’t be a more fitting name given the care and attention Nancy gives to the 30 plus seniors who arrive six days a week for the program. Every morning at 8:30, Nancy greets every participant as if they were members of her family, encouraging each one to choose the activity of their choice. Even the most reclusive participant will succumb to Nancy’s good cheer.

Nancy’s infectious smile and her welcoming nature truly provide “A Great Day’’ to each one of the program’s elderly participants. She understands that “laughter is the best medicine’’ and doses it out generously. Whether it’s a discussion with residents about world events, where to find the best pasta in Boston, or just shared memories of grade school antics and vacations, it’s never long before laughter erupts when Nancy is there. She has a gift for helping people see the brighter side of things. She also administers medications, refers participants to physical, occupational, and speech therapies, and monitors the overall health of the participants.


Nancy Matthews is an unsung hero. The majority of her work is not recorded in a medical record, and details of the day are often not communicated by the participants to their caregivers as most of the participants are cognitively impaired. Their joy is fleeting, given their medical diagnoses, but Nancy’s commitment to each and every participant and their families is steadfast. Nancy impacts their lives a moment at a time; she recognizes that acts of kindness, a shared laugh, and a hug are the most valuable gifts for an elder.

—Nominated by Carol Holleran and the Clinical Coordinators at HRC

Kathleen McSheffrey

Kathleen provides compassionate nursing care not only to her cognitively and physically challenged residents, but also to her co-workers and nursing colleagues. Kathleen is the one who remembers and celebrates occasions, both happy and sad, sending cards and much needed messages of love and encouragement to us, the members of her nursing family. Kathleen is the one who collects funds for friends in need and buys the cakes to celebrate happy occasions. The nurses on 5 Berger and throughout HSL appreciate and love Kathleen because she is the real deal. She gives of her heart and soul each and every day. We would all like to thank her for all she does all year long, in providing care to us, the nurses at HSL. After all, nurses need to be cared for too!

—Nominated by Nancy Matthews

Pietra Baker

Few words can describe Pietra Baker. I know little about her background, except that she is from Jamaica, but I know that her everyday actions reveal a woman who possesses much compassion for her patients. She shows much love for all of us. I am 83 years old and recently had a heart attack and suffer from Type 2 diabetes. I lived on my own for a long time in Randolph, and because I would forget at times to take my pills, I would fall dangerously into a poor condition. I am now secure thanks to this special nurse who monitors my condition.


—Nominated by Edith Klein Dreeze

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