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Nomination Letters – Massachusetts General Hospital

All Nurses, 9th floor Oncology Wing

These wonderful oncology nurses took care of my wife off and on during her four-year battle with a terrible form of cancer. My wife spent the final two months of her life being cared for by these nurses. They were warm and loving while offering the best care available to a terminally ill patient. They kept her comfortable, safe, and as peaceful as possible.

—Nominated by Robert Rotner

Kate Carpenter

I am writing as a mother, not a patient, and want to share my story about my daughter Kate. Kate was inspired to become a nurse when, as a young girl, she was a bone marrow donor to her older brother Joel. She studied hard at Northeastern University and is now working at MGH in the SICU. Her passion for her job makes me so proud. She shares heartwarming stories of her patients and families. She learned so much from having a sibling who battled leukemia. She knows first hand that you not only treat a patient, but also you care for their families as well. Great nurses get you through difficult times with compassion, intuition, and humor. Kate has it all.

—Nominated by Marita Carpenter

Debbie Cupp

Debbie Cupp worked on Ellison Cardiac floor at Mass General Hospital, where I was a patient. Debbie was exceptional in her attention to detail, troubleshooting problems before they materialized, and always thinking of ways to help patients manage their problems better. She was accurate in medications and protocols, polite, punctual, and upbeat in attitude. She listened to patient’s concerns, ideas, and requests and accommodated them as applicable. This bright young woman deserves some recognition for her wonderful service.

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—Nominated by El Godrick

Kelly Goodwin

My husband Bert was a patient at MGH’s Yawkey Center for Cancer Care. Kelly Goodwin was assigned to coordinate his care with his oncologist. From our initial meeting, there was an instant bond between nurse and patient; it was palpable. My husband trusted her implicitly and she built on that trust with her caring love and compassion and her professionalism. Kelly welcomed him on his many visits with such enthusiasm and joy that she made these trips something to look forward to. He would see Kelly, and he always knew she would make him feel better, if only to allay his fears. She never hurried him when he just wanted to chat about his dog or his trips to Ireland. Kelly was always honest in her discussions regarding his disease, but her ability to put her patient at ease with her quick wit and delightful sense of humor was one of her many talents. Bert was hospitalized at the end of his life, and during that time Kelly made time in her busy schedule to visit him. His face would light up when she entered the room and his day was infinitely better due to her visit. Kelly, you are a wonderful role model for your profession but above all you epitomize all that is honorable and wonderful in a human being. There are no words that adequately reflect my thanks for your unbelievable care and kindness to my beloved Bert.

—Nominated by Dorothy Kelly Gay 

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I am 90 years grateful to Kelly Goodwin, and I believe there is no one more deserving for such recognition. She is so knowledgeable, compassionate, and explicit. She is a good listener, considerate and quick to apply a solution for concerns you may have. She adjusts your medicine to be comfortable and effective. She is genuinely concerned about me and my unique condition. I wish to commend the Boston Globe for recognizing those outstanding nominees for the very fine effort the nurses put forth in demonstrating their compassion, knowledge, and expertise.

—Nominated by Janet Cristello

Nicole Gribbin

Nikki has been my nurse for a year, as we both continue my battle with cancer. Her warm, friendly demeanor makes me feel special and so well cared for. There is always a smile and a hug. She listens quietly when I need to talk or even cry and provides guidance. When I ask my questions she answers with the knowledge I need and with words I can understand. One day, I came for treatment but started running a high fever while there. She had to do so much more for me that day than usual, and I apologized for being “such a pain.’’ She told me that I was never to say that and that was what she was there for. And she was—every step of the way—to help break the fever and get me several tests to determine the cause. After one difficult treatment she called to check on me. No one had ever done that before. I really feel she is by me side with every step in this difficult journey.

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—Nominated by Susan Cohen Slauet

Rachel Kaiser-Resnik

Innovative, caring, and highly intelligent, Rachel goes the extra mile. She truly embodies all the qualities of what a great nurse should be.

—Nominated by J. Bruce LaMotte

Clare LaMorte

Clare LaMorte is an exceptional nurse. She and her colleagues—the other nurses, nutritionists, staff, and cardiologists—do some amazing work, training those of us who’ve had serious cardiac events how to cope, how to recover and move forward physically and mentally to be able to return to our lives. Not only do they provide guidance on physical therapy, but they also give training on how to change dietary habits, food shopping, stress management, Rx management, and sleep and relaxation management. They help to restore the confidence that patients like me need to take home and control our lives. Thank you, Clare and colleagues.

—Nominated by George Hallberg

Kara Luscko

As a critical care nurse, I am proud to be one of Kara’s co-workers. Our patients are often too ill to appreciate the nursing work and efforts required to keep their life processes stable. Every aspect of their needs must be considered, planned for, and then managed. The needs of their loved ones are also an important focus of our attention. This is a considerably demanding job and Kara does it all so skillfully.

Kara is a nurse who brings 100 percent of her attention and nursing knowledge to focus on each patient and give him or her the best possible care. During a recent 12-hour shift, she cared for a man who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest that required multiple lifesaving therapies. In addition to closely monitoring and adjusting these therapies, she also was supportive of his family, who were upset and extremely anxious. This initial period was critical to his survival. The man recovered not even knowing that Kara was part of the team that supported him through this crisis.

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—Nominated by Sharon Sullivan

Meg Mahnks

Meg, charged with administering chemotherapy on a daily basis to me, followed the clinical protocol perfectly in every respect. This included having another nurse double check the medication being given, its correct dosage, and my identification to be certain there could be no margin for error.

Throughout this three-and-a-half hour experience, Meg was able to focus on the bright side of the visit, talk about family and our mutual interest in rescue dogs, among other topics. Her instructions for home care of the infusion point used to receive chemotherapy were clear and simple. Each day upon arrival, she would inspect the area to be sure no infections had occurred.

It is nurses of Meg’s caliber who seem to share a patient-centered vision in their work, who make a potentially nerve-wracking experience into a manageable challenge for their client.

—Nominated by Ed Greenbaum

Marianne Mario, Adrienne Michel, and Molly Casper

I’m actually nominating three nurses who helped my husband’s aunt pass with dignity and honor. Barbara Bailey-Gill came home from the hospital in order to be surrounded by her loved ones when she died. Marianne, Adrienne, and Molly brought Barbara home and slept by her side, bathing and caring for her until her final breath on March 2, even though they were away from their own families. Marianne and Adrienne have small children and this must have been hard for them all.

—Nominated by Susanna Casper

Samantha Marotto

After fracturing my back in a car accident, I was taken to the emergency room, a traumatic experience that was made so much better by my nurse, Samantha Marotto, who did everything possible to make me comfortable. Sam was right on top of my pain management and did not wait until I was in agony to administer my next dosage of medications. She explained the different medications I was being given and how they were able to complement each other.

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Whenever she told me to call if I needed her, I could tell that she truly meant it and that I would not be bothering her were I to do so. Sam did not wait for me to call, though; even when she was very busy all night long with a number of other patients, she checked in on me regularly to see how I was doing and if I needed anything. Sam also did not act as if any part of her care was beneath her, like bringing me supper at 10 p.m. or emptying my commode. She never made me feel embarrassed about anything, and her cheerful manner and constant smile made me feel so cared for.

Sam was also very competent and professional, which made me know that I was in good hands. She was not afraid to ask for help, running problems by the nurse practitioner or calling for the IV nurse when my tiny veins did not cooperate. When I was not discharged as initially planned the next day, I was thrilled to see Sam come on at 7 p.m. to be my nurse again for the second night. Sam is compassionate, caring, and competent—everything you could ever ask for in a nurse.

—Nominated by Judy Rice

Laurie Moscatel

Laurie is a wonderful nurse who works in a busy practice that cares for patients afflicted with kidney disease. Many of these patients return on a regular basis for routine follow-up care and Laurie gets to know each of them. Her co-workers recognized her consummate skills in handling the numerous tasks and details required to make each patient’s visit go as smoothly as possible by nominating her for the “Jean M. Nardini Nurse of Distinction Award.’’ This award recognizes those who practice nursing with “honor and wisdom,’’ qualities that Laurie has in abundance.

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—Nominated by Sharon Sullivan

Kristen Nichols

Kristen is just an amazing nurse, caring and supporting. I’m not even scared any more of my illness because she is always there to hold my hand. I’m not fighting by myself.

—Nominated by Kenny Abreu

Caitlin O’Callaghan

One year ago this week, I noticed my left leg became swollen, and I contacted Caitlin. She ordered an immediate ultrasound and a blood clot near the left ankle was discovered. I was given Coumadin for three months and the clot dissolved. Caitlin was on the ball, to say the least.

—Nominated by Joe Consigli

Cathy O’Leary

Navigating through infertility treatment and the associated injections, tests, medications, and procedures, can be daunting and overwhelming. Nurses play an instrumental role at the Vincent Fertility Center, and Cathy has done an exemplary job, showing compassion and care. My partner and I have met with her several times, and on every occasion she has been warm, understanding, patient, and eager to help. Even though the practice is extremely busy, Cathy remembers both of us, acknowledging the importance of our partnership.

She takes the time to respond to concerns and to acknowledge underlying emotions. She appreciates that even minor symptoms can seem significant and cause stress during the roller coaster experience of treatment, and she follows up even when an issue might seem trivial. Most memorably, she left me a voicemail the day before a high-stakes procedure, simply wishing me luck. Knowing that we were in her thoughts meant the world to us. Cathy is a true healer, and we are so lucky to have her on our team.

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—Nominated by DM

Krista Rubin

Krista is an oncology dermatology specialist nurse and has been one of Dad’s primary caregivers over the last two years. Krista has been there since the beginning of Dad’s diagnosis of stage 4 melanoma. She helped us understand what it meant and how our lives would change with the “new normal.’’ Krista partnered with the doctor to outline for us the trials, drugs, surgeries, and other options. She celebrated with us when there was progress and comforted us when things were not so easy. Krista has a phenomenal bedside manner. She didn’t hesitate to get in Dad’s face when he forgot his hearing aides or needed to hear our messages, which she would echo. Krista always made time when we needed to see someone quickly, even if it was after hours.

Krista’s big smile would make Dad feel better even when he was at his frailest. In many respects, it was Krista’s honesty, directness, and caring every step of the way that gave Dad and us the strength needed over the last two years. We consider ourselves very fortunate having such a wonderful team at MGH with Krista as lead pilot for our journey. Thank you, Krista, for making such a difference to us and many others every day. We couldn’t have done it without you.

—Nominated by Fran, Regina and Michele Whalen

Dorothy Sullivan, N.P.

Dorothy, known as Dottie by her colleagues and patients, possesses the many qualifications that best define the role of a nurse practitioner. She has the knowledge base, decision-making skills, and clinical competency for expanded practice beyond that of an R.N. Her interactions with her patients demonstrate compassion, knowledge, and strong clinical and communication skills. I am proud and honored to have Dottie involved in my care. I have been struggling with a diagnosis which has very much altered my life in many ways. Thanks to Dottie and her devotion to her profession, she always manages to take time from her busy schedule to answer any questions I may have. Having this kind of support system along with excellent care has truly helped in improving my condition. Thank you, Dottie.

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—Nominated by Rosemarie Lemole

Marlene Sullivan

Marlene has guided me through cancer surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and a related intestinal resection. She told me what to expect, when to expect it, and how to prepare for it. When the unexpected occurred, she helped me cope with it.

The road to recovery has been long and winding, with many “bumps in the road’’ as Marlene calls them. At each hospital visit, she reminds me that she is just a phone call away. The phone has been such a lifeline on many occasions. Sometimes she just calms my uneasiness and other times she tells me to get to the hospital quickly. She’s been right every time.

Marlene has a fine rapport with the doctors and the entire staff. She has coordinated many treatments, procedures and tests to make everything easier for me. When I run into problems or confusion, she troubleshoots and, once again, the path is doable.

As a hands-on nurse, she is gentle but thorough, understanding but firm, and always very professional. She has a great sense of humor, a friendly welcoming greeting, and is such a delight. There is always an encouraging word to my husband to keep him upbeat.

I am nearing the end of my recovery period, and therefore I will not be seeing Marlene so often. But there will still be follow-up visits for the next several years and I will look forward to seeing her as both a friend and a nurse. She has given me so much. She is tops in my book—an excellent nurse and a fine human being.

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—Nominated by Barbara Johnson

Marlene Sullivan

I am a six-years-plus multiple cancer survivor who owes her life to the brilliant oncology physicians, surgeons, and nurses at MGH and their compassionate care and treatment. I want to single out Marlene, a nurse at the MGH Yawkey Cancer Center, for her compassionate, loving, and gracious care. Marlene is truly God’s gift to MGH, to me, and to my family. Her honesty, her trust, her time, her compassion, and excellent communication skills are exemplary.

—Nominated by Ruth C. Robins

Christine Weiand

I would like to nominate my daughter, Christine, as oncology nurse who deserves recognition for the dedication, compassion, and service she provides for cancer patients. In addition to her loyalty and confidentiality, she provides comfort and hope for the patient as well as for their families. Christine was part of a treatment team for my brother who had leukemia. Lastly, she coordinates a road race in Marshfield for her fundraising “Caring for a Cure.’’

—Nominated by Edward Weiand

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