Salute to Nurses 2017 Letters: Hospitals H-M

Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Chelmsford

Pooja Khatri, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Chelmsford
I recently had to have a terrifying needle aspiration, performed by my endocrinologist, who diagnosed me with thyroid cancer. That’s when I first met Pooja Khatri, as she reassured me that she would help me through my fears. When it was confirmed that I needed surgery at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Pooja made arrangements to accompany me to my appointments and insisted on taking me the morning of my surgery, staying with me while I was in recovery.
Pooja was my source of comfort, an advocate for me when I couldn’t be one for myself. I knew I was in the best of hands. –Nominated by Lucille Asselin


Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Kenmore

Angela Ashby, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Kenmore
I am a breast cancer warrior. My chemotherapy started in September. Angela Ashby was my nurse from the first day. She was not only informative, efficient, and compassionate, but also friendly, funny, and nice. Over the 20 weeks both my husband (my team) and I came to know and rely on this nurse. Her compassion helped us get through a very difficult time. We looked forward to seeing her even though each visit was going to make me sick. On follow-up visits, she still greets us with a hug and makes both of us feel cared for. Cancer affects both husband and wife. Angela is sensitive to that and to all my issues. She and the whole oncology team are very special people. –Nominated by Mary Verdun

Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates

Mary Boike, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates
My daughter-in-law, a nurse in Massachusetts, comes by my house to check on me every single day and verify my medicines. As a 91-year-old lady, I sometimes need help. I have had a bypass surgery and my daughter-in-law comes by to check to make sure my meds are correctly filled up in my weekly containers. I would not be able to do it without her. She is the kindest. I am lucky to have her. –Nominated by Toni Boike


Health Care Without Walls

Ellen Matathia, Health Care Without Walls
I have worked with Ellen Matathia for five years at a wellness center located at Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for women who find themselves in challenging situations. In our small center, Ellen offers compassionate and extraordinary care to our women. Because they trust her, Ellen’s patients share difficult and often frightening stories. She holds this information with care and finds a way to advocate for a guest to get appropriate medical attention, obtain medication, and perhaps negotiate a respite bed, and she does so more successfully than anyone I know.
Ellen has also found creative ways to offer a more holistic approach to the care our guests receive. Just last year, she initiated a weekly mindfulness session open to any guest who wanted to attend. In this setting, she elevates the perspective of women who are in such distressing circumstances. Several women have told me how special this gift of positive intentions and quiet reflection means to them. It is in observing Ellen’s nursing style that I try to elevate my own. When I look up and see a new guest settle into a meaningful conversation with Ellen, I am never without awe. The guest relaxes, sometimes cries, and eventually smiles despite the odds, because she has discovered the gift of…Ellen. –Nominated by Laurel Gourville


HealthSouth New England Rehabilitation Hospital

Jeannie Joseph, HealthSouth New England Rehabilitation Hospital
Caring, compassionate, supportive, knowledgeable, and sincerely interested in each patient, that’s Jeannie Joseph, nurse manager at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital. Knowing what fosters a good transition from rehab to home, she skillfully guides patients in preparing their homes, acquiring equipment, and arranging services with outside agencies. Jeannie helped to make living at home possible and comfortable. –Nominated by Boniface Cavallaro

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center

Sanyika Malcolm-Joseph, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center
Sanyika Malcolm-Joseph took care of an end-stage cancer patient for two months at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. The patient was angry about her diagnosis and was lashing out at everyone around her. That included the nursing staff and her family, who were also having a hard time with the doctor’s prediction that she had a few weeks left to live. The patient was having a terrible time letting go of control and allowing staff to assist her.
Day by day, Sanyika cared gently for her, accepted the verbal abuse with grace, and, over time, the two of them formed a trusting bond. The patient went from calling her “stupid” to calling out her name and allowing Sanyika to care for her. Sanyika also gained the trust of the family. She listened patiently to them, answered their questions over and over, and supported them as the few weeks turned into two months. The patient died a peaceful death with her family at her bedside. They told everyone how grateful they were to Sanyika. She had a great impact on them, and I know they will never forget her. –Nominated by Aphrodite Winston


Hebrew Senior Life

Marita Argant, Hebrew Senior Life, Roslindale
Marita Argant has been a night nurse assigned to my mother’s floor on 3 Berenson since 2012. My mother, Bernice Nurenberg, has been a patient at HSL since December of 2011. Marita has a kind, yet assertive personality. My mother can be a difficult patient and yet, once Marita comes on duty, she is like magic. If my mother refused her medication that day, Marita can coax her into taking it. Marita is there to take her diabetes glucose levels and to give her insulin as needed. If my mother is scheduled for a shower, Marita is the one who will make her feel good about having a shower. If “Dancing With the Stars” is on TV, Marita makes sure the TV is on and the patients who love music and dance are seated before that TV with their evening snack. If we bring coffee cake or snacks to be shared with the other patients, we know Marita will be sure it is served. Recently, my mother has been very sick. If Marita is on duty, we, the family, know if we call to find out how our mother is doing, she will always let us know. The nights she is on duty, we know our mother is especially taken care of by someone who gives special care to her patients. She knows how to show true compassion but also how to get the patients to do what they need to do. Marita is a very private person who just does her work and always goes the extra mile. The other day I saw her cupping my mother’s chin. She was checking whether my mother needed her whiskers cut or not. That is true dedication, making the patient feel valued. –Nominated by Rhonda MacFarland


Dmitri Kirnos, Hebrew Senior Life
I have lived here for almost seven months. I couldn’t anymore live alone; I can fall any minute. Here I have excellent care and attention from a friendly team of doctors and nurses.
I would like to express my thanks especially to Dmitri Kirnos. He pays attention to all residents, calls all women “little sun,” and is very professional. I would like to have such a son. I believe Dmitri is magic in treatment. He finds words to help us not to be nervous and have positive emotions. He is very serious but makes a good mood. –Nominated by Victoria Packer

Natalya Maychuk, Hebrew Senior Life
Natalya Maychuk is a favorite nurse of the 2 Berenson at HSL. She is very experienced as a nurse and team leader. Natalya is a very positive person and has very good problem-solving skills. That is very important when you work with elderly people. She also understands that a CNA’s job task is very heavy and full of trouble and difficulties, and she makes great effort to help us to fulfill our job in good manner. As a clinical specialist, she knows very well all the policy aspects of a nurse as well as a CNA. I’ve seen several episodes related to patients’ status that seemed difficult to solve, and I saw how professionally Natalya managed them. Moreover, she also encourages her team and all young professionals to develop their career. –Nominated by Gulnara Hajizada

Laura McNamara, Hebrew Senior Life
Laura McNamara is in a league of her own. It is impossible to identify one patient or situation that is a pillar of excellence, because they all are. As a colleague of Laura’s for several years, I have witnessed the depth of her excellence, compassion, knowledge, trust, and advocacy. She demonstrates these actions day after day, one patient at a time. Laura immediately places patients at ease. Families are willing to trust her assessments and recommendations, physicians willingly partner with her to meet the goals of care, and her clinical colleagues seek her expertise in a variety of specialties.
We as nurses have a profound responsibility to our patients and their families that encompasses many clinical skills: advocacy, compassion, knowledge, competence, communication skills, including active listening, trust, and the power of touch. Laura has never underestimated the importance of a smile, a kind word, a gentle nurse’s touch when caring for her patients. To have had the opportunity to watch this extraordinary and talented nurse care for the sickest of patients—seniors in long-term care facilities and patients in palliative and hospice care—is to see the profound impact she has had on nursing. Her direction and care have made such a quality difference in the lives of so many. She has sat with so many at their worst hour, offering comfort and peace. –Nominated by Mary Walsh


Hellenic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Stacey Agee, Hellenic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Stacey Agee was my mother’s nurse for the last year of my mother’s life at the Hellenic Nursing Home in Canton. My mother, June Duggan, had spent two-and-a-half years at an assisted memory care facility before moving to the Hellenic. That facility could no longer provide the nursing care my mother needed. She was in the final stage of dementia: She sat in a wheelchair, could barely move any muscles, could not talk or feed herself. However, she could smile, and smile she did, whenever she saw Stacey. For three weeks in January, my mother declined; it was a slow and extremely painful-to-watch death. My brothers and I sat with our mother daily, thinking this day would be our mother’s last. We never hesitated to question or voice our many concerns to Stacey. She always took the time to answer with experienced knowledge, sincerity, and honesty. Her compassion, patience, and kindness to us and to our mother were boundless. Her sense of humor kept us all sane. When my mother needed more pain medication, for the Kennedy ulcer that was growing daily, Stacey advocated for her to the doctor. She relentlessly changed and moved my mother to make her as comfortable as possible. She moisturized my mother’s dry skin, cleaned her mouth, and kept her lips moist. She often stayed way beyond her standard shift hours, to complete the paperwork that piled up, because she was too busy attending to her patients’ many needs during her assigned hours. She called on her day off to see how my mother was doing. She consistently stopped by the room to check in. She is the epitome of the nurse who anyone would want to care for their mother. Lucky us. –Nominated by Nancy Lenhart


Hematology Oncology Associates

Rosemary Erkert, Hematology Oncology Associates
Rosemary Erkert is always about her patients first. –Nominated by Scott Erkert

Home Health Care Services

Rita Frey, Home Health Care Services
Rita Frey is my wife and partner of 47 years. There is not enough space here to list all the ways in which she has helped me. She is now retired from Mass General. I am sending this to you sort of as a joke because I have been in the hospital only twice, once in 1947 for a tonsillectomy and once in 2009 for a minor shoulder operation. She ably assisted me in exercises after the latter to a very speedy recovery. –Nominated by Karl Frey

Donna Gabriel, Home Health Care Services
I am a ventilator-dependent patient. Donna Gabriel has been with me for close to 20 years. She is an exceptional nurse and I trust her completely. She has helped me in many predicaments that have crept up during that time. I have been fortunate enough to stay out of the hospital all the time. Also, she is always available when other nurses cannot fill shifts due to inclement weather. Most of all, she is always in an upbeat mood and I’m very happy to have her. Just an excellent person who happens to be very good nurse. –Nominated by Joseph McGrath

Home Health VNA

Maureen Bean, Home Health VNA
Maureen Bean has over 35 years experience in the nursing profession. In her work as a visiting nurse for Home Health VNA, Maureen has been able to demonstrate excellent clinical judgment, assessment skills, knowledge, and management of her patients. She is a strong patient and family advocate. As a home health nurse, she has been exposed to a diverse group of patients. Those patients can have complicated needs, but she has embraced each situation with the respect and compassion that all patients deserve. She ensures the patients receive appropriate services to assist the patient in reaching goals and maintaining long-term independence at home. She is well liked and trusted by her patients and other clinicians. Maureen Bean continuously shows her dedication towards her patients and her confidence in her clinical skills. She is a pleasure to work with. As her manager, I am honored to recognize her for her excellence and dedication to the nursing field. –Nominated by Nancy Dogil


Lauren Crowley, Home Health VNA
Lauren Crowley, is the Complex Care Program Manager at Home Health VNA. We are very fortunate to have someone with her expertise working with our most complex patients, including those with heart failure, chronic lung disease, and other advanced illnesses. She demonstrates these skills on a daily basis, and works with a team of other clinicians and health coaches whose primary role is to improve our patients’ quality of life and help them remain comfortably at home. She is able to quickly triage and identify if a patient is having symptoms and assures that they are addressed appropriately. She is an excellent teacher both with patients and clinicians. She collaborates closely with the VNA staff in caring for our sickest patients and makes a positive difference in their lives. –Nominated by Patricia Finocchiaro

Deb Foden, Home Health VNA
Deb Foden has over 30 years experience as a nurse. She has been a visiting nurse for Home Health VNA since 2009. Deb shows excellence in the care she provides and takes pride in her commitment to the nursing profession. She has exceptional clinical judgment and skills. Her compassion and enthusiastic attitude are visible in her actions and interactions with staff and patients. Deb has come across many complicated cases, and her ability to support and advocate for those patients is praiseworthy. She is reliable, flexible, and well respected by her peers. As nurses, we are taught to do no harm, be kind and honest. Those are core values that Deb represents, and they allow her to provide the best quality care to the VNA patients. It is a pleasure to work with Deb Foden as her manager, and an honor to recognize her excellence and dedication to the nursing field. –Nominated by Nancy Dogil


Hope Hospice of Cape Cod

Jose Luis Garcia, Hope Hospice of Cape Cod
Jose Luis has been a hospice nurse for the past decade and a half . He is very compassionate in the job he holds, always putting the needs of his patients first and foremost, always willing to go the extra mile for them. It takes a very special person to do his job. As his wife of 17 years, I can only hope when the time comes for our care that we have someone as compassionate about their work as my husband is with his. –Nominated by Kara Galasso Garcia

Hosmer Elementary School

Sabrina Spindler, Hosmer Elementary School
Sabrina Spindler has taken care of our daughter, Mera, who has type 1 diabetes, for several years through the Watertown Afterschool program and now as the Hosmer school nurse. While type 1 diabetes is a highly treatable disease, each day has its own unique challenges. There are multiple factors that affect blood sugar, and each person needs a customized treatment plan. Sabrina has worked closely with us to take excellent care of Mera. At Mera’s last doctor visit, her doctors commented on how well controlled her blood sugars are and how difficult it is to achieve this with a growing child.
Controlling the disease at a young age greatly increases the likelihood that Mera will have a healthy and active life and lessens the chances she will experience the devastating health complications associated with diabetes. We could not control Mera’s blood sugars as well as we do without Sabrina’s help. It is a great relief to know that we can count on Sabrina’s keen observations and calm demeanor as we navigate the many care decisions we make each day at school. She is an excellent care partner and a great asset to the school. –Nominated by Kristin Rosner


Inter-Lakes Elementary School

Teresa McCormack, Inter-Lakes Elementary School
I cannot say enough praise about Teresa McCormack, the nurse at Inter-Lakes Elementary School in Meredith, N.H. She is an avid advocate for the well-being of all students, communicating with the parents concerning their health needs. She makes sure to keep up with the latest research and information in the medical world by going to nursing conferences in Boston, Dartmouth, New Orleans, and beyond. She even went on to further her degree in the health field recently, a difficult task to do while working full-time. She also holds a degree in business. When seeing her in action at her office, you can only assume that she previously worked in other high-pressure medical environments. Before becoming a school nurse, she worked many years at Lakes Region General Hospital in both the labor and delivery ward, as well as the emergency room. On several occasions, she was the one to deliver the babies. She has created a strong family unit herself, with two daughters and her husband of 30 years who turns to her for everything. Teresa McCormack is an invaluable asset to the health profession. –Nominated by Leah McCormack

IVF New England

Lisa Butters, IVF New England
For the last three years, Lisa Butters has been our fertility nurse. We had our first baby via IVF three-and-a-half years ago, and although we had a wonderful nurse then, no one can compare to Lisa. Knowledgeable in her field, she patiently explained everything to me. She is also dedicated to her work and shows the compassion that only a true nurse can show. Lisa has spent countless hours in person and on the phone, talking and consoling me. With each negative pregnancy test (there have been six), she talked me off the ledge.
She made it her business to even call me on her days off to tell me my test results and to just check up on me. He arms were/are always open. I can go on and on about all the wonderful things she is and what she does; 300 words are not enough. This recognition is something so small that I can do for someone who has done something so big and meaningful in our lives. Despite there being no pregnancy, I will forever hold a special place in my heart for her. She provides her patients with love and a gentle hand to hold through these life-altering journeys. –Nominated by Jennifer Jumper


John Scott House Rehab and Nursing

Allison Modzelewski, John Scott House Rehab and Nursing
Allison Modzelewski is a wonderful nurse. She started at John Scott House in Braintree in July 2015. She graduated from nursing school soon after. She quickly climbed the ladder at John Scott and is now a nurse manager on the long-term care unit. She works very well with our residents. Every day, she arrives with a smile and is the first person to lend a hand when needed. Allie takes the time to listen to her patients and their families. She is bright, energetic, and works so well with this vulnerable patient population. –Nominated by Emily Lynch

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Owen Smith, Johns Hopkins Hospital
This man is one of the finest people I know. His work at Hopkins is off the charts regarding medical and administrative skill. He makes it a joy to be sick. LOL. –Nominated by George Morris

Joslin Diabetes Center

Suzanne Ghiloni, Joslin Diabetes Center
Sue Ghiloni was my diabetes nurse educator prior to and during both of my pregnancies. Not only did she give me great advice related to trying to maintain near-normal blood glucose levels during pregnancy and with diabetes, but she also made me feel comfortable and relaxed while in her office. I looked forward to having appointments with her; it often felt more like chatting with a friend. Diabetes in pregnancy requires obsessive diligence and, really, years of education. Sue distilled this down into key points for me. She delivered feedback without judgment and often made suggestions that were outside the box, allowing me to find routines, dosing strategies, and food choices that worked specifically for me and were therefore sustainable for those nine months. My interactions with Sue were proof that, in order to find success in diabetes, you need to have many conversations about the nuances of your life mixed with health education. I couldn’t have found this information in a book because it was tailored especially for me. I always felt that Sue was an expert on diabetes in pregnancy, which was very comforting, but, moreover, she felt like someone who knew me as a person and not just as a case. And, now I have two wonderful daughters. –Nominated by Stephanie Edwards


Suzanne Ghiloni, Joslin Diabetes Center
Being pregnant with type 1 diabetes is a constant uphill battle balancing food cravings, nausea, insulin dosing, and weight gain. Without the constant support and guidance from Sue Ghiloni, my Nurse Certified Diabetes Educator at the Joslin Diabetes Center, pregnancy would have been impossible. I saw Sue regularly over the course of my entire pregnancy. There was a period of time that I would see Sue every two weeks. She was always compassionate and a strong advocate for me as the patient. She seemed always to understand what I was going through and the struggles that I was facing. Appointments revolved around problem-solving as a team by looking for blood sugar patterns, making insulin dosing decisions, and planning out the next steps in my pregnancy. Sue had a way of always making me feel as though I was able to achieve my goals when I thought they would be impossible. She also had a way of making me feel as though I wasn’t alone in my diabetes care. Sue’s specialty skills around diabetes in pregnancy have been invaluable to me, my family, and my newborn daughter. I will be forever grateful. –Nominated by Maura McNamara

Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

Lynn Allison, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
When I was diagnosed with liver cancer and entered Lahey’s transplant program 18 months ago, Lynn Allison became my transplant coordinator. It was with her guidance and quiet confidence that I was able to make the physical and mental journey from being given a potentially terminal diagnosis to actual transplant recipient. Just as Lynn was the point person for me, I would like her to be the lead for this nomination that should extend to all of the nurses (and nursing assistants) who cared for me at LHMC, from oncology, cardiology, interventional radiology, medical and surgical ICU to those on the central recovery floor. Not once in the process of evaluation tests and medical procedures; eight months of weekly paracentesis procedures, a hospital stay involving a near fatal blood infection, and finally the transplant surgery and recovery did my wife or I encounter any nurse at LHMC who was not compassionate, or more than medically competent or supportive. Throughout this, Lynn was our rock, keeping me on an even keel when things seemed grim for me, and supporting my wife on those occasions when I was unconscious and near death. When I first met her, she made me a promise that she would be with me all the way from beginning to transplant, and she kept it. My grandfather once told me that generals might lead the army, but the sergeants ran it. So it is for nurses, and every single one I encountered in what started out as a journey through hell, proved that point, and by rights Lynn and all of her colleagues should receive this recognition. –Nominated by Lawrence Boyd


Jennifer Callahan, Lahey Medical Center, Peabody
Jennifer Callahan was my contact for a pre-operation assessment. As you can imagine, I was apprehensive about having someone poke my eye with a sharp instrument. She was upbeat, professional, and completely believable when she said that there was going to be no blood and no pain. The retina surgeon was going to remove a membrane that had grown on my retina and also fix my cataract in that eye. Jennifer helped me see the operation as doable and survivable. She spoke clearly and distinctly, looking right at me, and using her retired military volume setting. I know there were smiles and hugs as we left, but my overall impression of her was of someone who genuinely cared about me and my upcoming operation. That helped very much. –Nominated by Frederick Calhoun

Joan Cavanaugh, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
Joan Cavanaugh exemplifies daily the role of a true clinical educator. Her enthusiasm is contagious, her intellectual curiosity to learn new technologies is unmatched. Her ability to distill something new and complex and then meaningfully educate patients and nursing and physician staff is a testimony to the power of what one person who really cares can do. A shining example is her leadership in educating care providers on the use of a new digital pleural drainage system to enhance monitoring of a patient in the inpatient setting. Her dedication to the success of this application to help provide best care to the patient was clearly demonstrated when on one of our big winter snow days, she followed the patient from inpatient floor to the operating room to recovery and back to the inpatient floor, teaching each person who touched the patient the nuances of the device. I can only say she is a true gem. –Nominated by Carla Lamb


Joan Gabriel, Lahey Clinic, Burlington
Joan is an outstanding nurse with tremendous compassion for her patients. She has been a bronchoscopy and pulmonary nurse for more than 15 years. During bronchoscopies, she demonstrates great care for her patients and reassures them, which helps relieve their anxiety. Her sense of humor also helps. I have seen very anxious patients start to laugh at her comments. Her efficiency and competence are evident in the way she handles the busy bronchoscopy suite and makes sure the procedures are done on time. She is very well respected by the physicians and her colleagues. –Nominated by Ghazwan Acash

Joan Gabriel, Lahey Clinic, Burlington
I have known Joan as a bronchoscopy nurse since 2007. She has been a part of the Lahey family since 1987. Since my arrival, I have witnessed her impressive skills in the bronchoscopy suite with our equipment and have seen her assist with complex procedures. Her most striking qualities are her wit and sense of humor during the most hectic times, which put all of us at ease. Most importantly, her attitude is the best medicine for the patient. I have seen it too many times to discount its dramatic effect. She is able to find something in common with every patient (any age, male or female). She often shares anecdotes of herself undergoing anesthesia so that the patient can feel more comfortable. I believe that all great nurses give something of themselves to help the patient and this is certainly true about Joan. –Nominated by Sara Shadchehr


Joan Gabriel, Lahey Clinic, Burlington
Joan Gabriel embodies compassion, patient-first care, excellent communication, and extraordinary clinical skills, with a sense of humor applied in such a way that patients consistently know her by name and ask for her. They often remember their experience in the clinic or bronchoscopy suite as being pleasant because of the way she demonstrates confidence and caring. I have been able to watch how patients are put at ease and are laughing and joking before and after their procedure. She has been an inpatient nurse, ICU nurse, then a senior nurse in our clinic and bronchoscopy suite. She works shoulder-to-shoulder with each of us, always advocating for each patient. She not only excels in daily patient care but also is an instructor in procedural and bronchoscopy skills for nurses in interventional pulmonary and bronchoscopy. She educates others on a national basis during our annual interventional pulmonary courses. She has developed training tools for management of hemoptysis. She has also presented at the World Congress of Bronchoscopy. She exemplifies excellence in patient care, educational leadership in her field, and she hasn’t forgotten the comfort and balance of providing a friendly smile and a sense of humor to lighten the mood of patients who face significant obstacles daily. –Nominated by Carla Lamb

Erinn Tilley, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
Erinn Tilley has been with Lahey since 2010. She joined our pulmonary clinic with a focus on assisting with management and care of our patients with pulmonary hypertension. She so quickly developed her skill set with these very complex patients that her role in pulmonary clinic patient care has grown exponentially over the past seven years. She now cares for patients with all facets of pulmonary disease, ranging from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, and lung cancer. She was recognized with the Nurse Practitioner of Excellence in 2013 out of all of the nurses throughout our health care system. She is the nurse who is always thorough; she won’t finish her day until each patient has been called, lab results have been reviewed, and she’s made sure a patient has what he or she needs and understands the plan. One of the highest compliments any care provider can be given from a patient is trust, and what I have seen time and time again is the level of faith and trust her patients have in her. She is tireless in her work, and she approaches each day and each patient with enthusiasm and attention to detail. –Nominated by Carla Lamb


Lahey Outpatient Center, Danvers

Jeanne Hebert, Lahey Outpatient Danvers
I have been seeing Jeanne Hebert for almost four years at the Anti-Coagulation Clinic at Lahey Outpatient in Danvers. She regularly tests my blood to make sure the clotting factor is right, since I have to take Coumadin. Jeanne is a real patient advocate. In everything she does, she puts the welfare of her patients first, whether she’s trying to move her office to where it’s most convenient for her patients, or carefully measuring vital signs the old-fashioned way with her stethoscope. Jeanne is caring, efficient, and helpful, and she has a great sense of humor to boot. She offers great support, and is always willing to answer questions. If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find someone who does. I totally trust her, and consider myself lucky to have her as an advocate. –Nominated by Carol Merriman

Lake Tahoe Hospital, Incline Village

Kristi Dunning, Lake Tahoe Hospital, Incline Village
This emergency room nurse from Lake Tahoe, Nev., not only uses her talents to nurture patients but also donates her time and efforts to feed and assist those in need. She gives of her time and talents to cook food and offer free medical assistance for those less fortunate in Nevada and Maui, Hawaii. She is, by innate nature, a truly caring person. –Nominated by Clifford Dunning

Lawrence Academy

Lisa Fei, Lawrence Academy
Lisa Fei has been our school nurse at Lawrence Academy in Groton. Lisa has been and continues to be a very caring nurse to the 400-plus students, faculty, and staff she cares for each and every day. This past winter was an exceptionally hard time of year for her as she handled the numerous illnesses and flu patients who came into the health center daily, which required numerous overnights in the health office. It is Lisa’s time and commitment to all the members of our community that makes her so special. There is never a time when Lisa is not available, whether it’s 2 p.m. or 2 a.m. Lisa’s commitment to her profession and commitment to all of us makes her a very special person in our hearts. –Nominated by Frank Mastrangelo


Lawrence General Hospital

Bill Kearns, Lawrence General Hospital
My husband, Bill Kearns, is a surgical nurse at Lawrence General Hospital. He served in the US Navy during 1970-1975 as a Navy Corpsman at various California naval hospitals. He treated those who came back from Vietnam wounded then continued working as a scrub technician in the operating rooms of various hospitals. In the 1980s he went back to school (with two children and a working wife to care for) and got his RN license. He is still employed in the Operating Room. He constantly advocates for his patients, gets to know each one, and strikes up many a conversation with all of them. Veterans are his favorite. We’ve been married for 34 years, and he has shown nothing but compassion for those who are hurting. He is the best example of a good nurse that I know of. –Nominated by Stephanie Kearns

Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Paula Prince, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
She is a very compassionate and caring person. –Nominated by Margaret Diamond

Lemuel Shattuck Hospital

Caryn Metzger Smith, Lemuel Shattuck Hospital
Caryn always provides compassionate, thoughtful, and effective care to a challenging and difficult patient population with passion, respect, and enthusiasm. On multiple occasions, she accompanied a very psychotic patient to an appointment at another facility as the patient refused to attend without her. She coordinates care with MGH oncology service to help patients with severe, persistent mental illness receive appropriate cancer treatment. She provides consultation to Shattuck hospital medical clinic in cases of psychiatric emergency, and intervenes when her patients are hesitant about medical treatment. She lectures interns and residents at the Shattuck on regular basis. She ran the Boston Marathon to raise money and awareness for people with severe, persistent mental illness. –Nominated by Salah Alrakawi


Long Island College Hospital

Grace M. Gallagher, Long Island College Hospital
When I was born, family circumstances created a situation where my father and mother abandoned me to my paternal grandparents’ house right after birth. It was the Depression and times were tough. My aunt, Grace M. Gallagher, a graduate nurse from Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, was living at home at the time with her parents and doing community nursing. Grace provided special food for me (including lamb chops every night ), emotional support, and medical care for the many childhood illnesses I incurred (mumps, measles, cough, etc.). Grace paid all my bills for food, doctors, and medicine. I grew up healthy and strong and with a purpose in life. I graduated from college with a BEE and MSEE and had a career of 35 years at MITRE Corp. in Bedford as a microwave engineer. Aunt Grace really impacted my life. –Nominated by Robert D. Gallagher

Lowell General Hospital

Janet Crateau, Lowell General Hospital
No matter what your economic/social class, Janet Crateau delivers genuine care and compassion to all her patients. At Lowell General, where she is a labor and delivery nurse, her patient types range from drug user to undocumented immigrants. She treats all her patients the same. –Nominated by Linda Cavallo-Murphy

Susan MacLeod, Lowell General Hospital
Susan MacLeod was an advocate for my daughter, who was having the first of two surgeries for her newly diagnosed breast cancer. Susan spoke to the surgeon for us ahead of time and paved the way. I cannot tell you the comfort it gave to my daughter, her husband, and myself. Susan works three 12-hour shifts in the OR, and co-workers and surgeons alike respect her intelligence and compassion for her patients. She is truly what everyone would want in their nurse. –Nominated by Judy Kolios


Mary Beth McKenney-Finn, Lowell General Hospital
Mary Beth McKenney-Finn is not only a caring nurse, she also is a thinking nurse. She uses her education, experience, and intuition to provide the best treatment and support. She is that nurse who recognizes symptoms before others do, who does not accept the status quo until all resources have been exhausted. Mary Beth’s practice of nursing is a meeting of medicine and humanity in life or death situations.
When Mary Beth walks into a hospital room, she sets the tone by exuding a calming confidence that puts everybody at ease. She engages patients with kindness, and directs staff to accomplish what sometimes seems impossible, until it gets done. In the past year, Mary Beth has saved countless lives by coordinating medevacs, the right staff, and the best outreach facilities with minutes to spare. When it comes to making decisions under pressure, there is no one better than Mary Beth.
Mary Beth literally runs through her days. Whether she’s leading the Lowell High School girls cross country teams to championships or guiding her competent staff at Lowell General, she never stops. A Hall of Fame honoree at Lowell High and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Mary Beth continues to serve her hometown to the very best of her ability. I know this firsthand, as Mary Beth is my cousin, and she treated my father during his battle with cancer. –Nominated by Kathleen Ralls

Lowell Veterans Administration Medical Facility

Mary Witkos, Lowell VA Medical Facility
Mary Witkos has been my nurse practitioner for about 20 years. She works endlessly to ensure all her patients are well taken care of. Every time I have an issue, no matter how big or small, she follows through to see that I have a proper diagnoses. Recently, I have been having trouble with my breathing. Since I have asthma, the first thought was that was the issue. When I did not get better, Mary continued to push for further tests, beyond my lung issue, and it was found that I had a blockage in my heart and needed a triple bypass. This saved my life. This is just one example of why I travel 80 miles to keep her as my primary care. –Nominated by Anne-Marie Williams


Manville School, Judge Baker Children’s Center

Kathleen Desmond, Manville School, Judge Baker Children’s Center
Kathleen Desmond is the backbone and constant caretaker and provider for the entire student body at the Manville School in Roxbury. She is often the unsung hero to a student body with a wide range of complex medical, behavioral, and social and emotional challenges. Her clinical expertise and skills also extend to teachers, staff members, parents and guardians, administrators, social service agencies, and related service providers. Her ability to build strong, healthy relationships within our school community is second to none and is based on respect, validation, trust, and communication. Nurse Desmond is a compassionate listener, responder, nurturer, wellness coach, crisis manager, policy maker, advocate, teacher, and partner for our often challenging, complicated, and vulnerable student population. She often hits the ground running at 6:30 a.m., greets students and staff upon arrival, and works tirelessly until the end of what can often be described as a long school day. Parents, students, and staff approach her with ease and trust and are embraced with respect, patience, and clinical expertise. She is a continuous advocate for all students and for many parents/guardians who feel lonely, isolated, overwhelmed, or unempowered. The role of a school nurse has changed drastically throughout the years and has become increasingly challenging and complex. At the Manville School, we are fortunate that our very own Nurse Desmond meets these challenges and complexities with overwhelming compassion and competency. –Nominated by Catherine Wetherbee

Marina Bay Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center


Stephane Jean-Baptiste, Marina Bay Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Stephane Jean-Baptiste has cared for many senior residents at Marina Bay Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, including our mother, Elyse Murphy, who passed away in October 2016, and her five-year-long roommate, Virginia Curcio, who passed away one week later. Throughout our mom’s five-year stay, Stephane showed kindness, compassion, and empathy to Elyse and Virginia, and to both our families. He treated both women with dignity, grace, and respect.
As Stephane was in his mid-thirties, our mother used to refer to him as her grandson, a term of endearment that was a testament to the loving care he provided. –Nominated by Jacqueline and Karen Murphy

Martha Eliot Health Center

Manna Heshe, Boston Children’s Hospital Martha Eliot Health Center
Manna Heshe is the sweetest nurse in Martha Eliot Health Center in JP; she is always smiling. She has been working in Children’s for more than 20 years. –Nominated by Angelica Ochoa

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Beth Smith, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital
Beth Smith has been at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital just about every time either my husband or I have been at the ER. It is comforting to see her when we arrive and know that she knows us and has the experience to triage and guide us to the best care. It’s a wonderful advantage for a small community hospital; we know each other, at least most of us older people. On one occasion, my husband had hiccups for three days and as we walked in and were greeted by Beth. She hurriedly asked if he had a pacemaker. Yes. Though it was extremely busy with every room filled and short-staffed, she got him the tests necessary to determine his pacemaker was not causing the problem. That she knew to ask and her quiet speed of care keep me confident that we are really lucky to have Beth on the staff. –Nominated by Joan Merry



Catherine Delorey, Mass-Care
Catherine DeLorey is a nurse educator, social activist around issues of women’s health, decades-long volunteer at Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham, the women’s prison, especially at the South Middlesex pre-release center. Catherine is the go-to person in several circles of women for help with our medications, knowledge of supplements, rides to doctor appointments. Most of all, she is the nurse educator, still teaching young nurses with online courses and teaching the rest of us through neighborhood meetings about changes in health policy. She is the activist-advocate for health for all, without over-reliance on prescription medicines. Florence Nightingale and Dorothea Dix would be proud of their daughter in 2017. –Nominated by Pat Morris

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

“We would like to highlight one nurse in particular during this time of recognition and celebration. Kathy O’Connor, one of our Nurse Educators, consistently demonstrates clinical expertise, patience and endless compassion every day. Recently, an elderly patient traveled 100 miles from home to Boston via train with her best friend. The patient had an allergic reaction to IV contrast dye and a STAT code was called. Kathy immediately responded to the call and expertly participated in the care of this patient.

The patient required further monitoring at MGH and was uneasy about her friend traveling home alone in the dark, as she was unaccustomed to riding the train. Kathy graciously escorted the patient’s friend to the station and rode with her to ensure she got off at the right stop. She then returned to Boston, arriving home several hours later than she typically would.


Thank you for all of your hard work and exemplary patient care, Kathy, and to all of our nurses who go above and beyond every day!”

Massachusetts General Hospital

Abdominal Interventional Radiology Department, Massachusetts General Hospital
Since March of 2010, I have been visiting the Abdominal Interventional Radiology Department on a monthly basis. At that time, a nephrostomy (kidney) tube was placed in my right kidney to maintain its functioning for as long as possible. Needless to say, with this many visits, I have become very well acquainted with the nursing staff in the unit. They have been beyond exceptional in their care, compassion, and expertise.
Many different radiologic procedures are handled here and the department is always busy. Despite the pace, the nurses take time with each and every patient to make them feel at ease. I remember how frightening it can be in the beginning. They explain everything they do and oftentimes act as an advocate for patients in dealing with other medical staff.
As a chronic patient of the IR department, I have experienced many good but also many difficult times. When visits have been painful, the nurses have always been beside me to make the path easier and less traumatic. They have taken me to the Emergency Department when I needed to be admitted to the hospital. They always wrap me with (several) warm blankets to keep me comfortable for the procedure. They huddle around me and cheer when it looks like I’ve gained weight. We share stories about our lives, my life as a musician and their trips, marriages, and babies. We have become like family. I make a batch of fudge for them when I go for my visit. Bless them, each and every one. –Nominated by Carla Errichiello-Hill


All Nurses, Massachusetts General Hospital
I have been to MGH five times via ambulance. From emergency rooms to different wards, they were superb nurses, dedicated, professional, during all my overnights to 5- to 6-day stays. –Nominated by John Rush

Ellison 18, Massachusetts General Hospital
How can I nominate just one nurse when the entire team of nurses on Ellison 18 at MGH should be commended and recognized? For 11 days, my daughter, Jenna, and I were at Mass General Hospital (Ellison 18). We were there because she had an emergency appendectomy. She was admitted on Feb. 9, her 12th birthday. During our time there, we interacted with at least 10 nurses, at least six doctors, several Child Life Specialists, and other staff members. Every single person treated both of us as if we were the only people in the hospital. I was completely overwhelmed by how caring and generous all of her nurses were to both of us. They spoiled her with thoughtful birthday gifts, Valentine’s Day gifts, and endless arts and crafts. They always made Jenna smile, even through some of the toughest moments. Some nurses took care of her, others just came in to share a smile. As a mom, I recognized all of their abilities to advocate for Jenna when I was unable to. Their knowledge and expertise is unmatched. The peace of mind and sense of comfort each and every one of these nurses gave to us will never be forgotten. –Nominated by Adeline Ciccarello

Sixth Floor Nursing Staff, White Building, Massachusetts General Hospital
My wife, who suffers from terminal cancer, spent most of last summer as a patient on MGH White 6. Her complicated and ever-changing condition posed a challenge to the entire medical team, but much of the burden fell on the nursing staff that was always by her side. They were her lifeline through a dozen surgeries, stretches of unbearable pain, and periods of near incapacitation. You would expect a high caliber of clinical care at such an institution, but what really made the difference was the emotional support they provided. It was not unusual to see a nurse sitting at my wife’s bedside when she was off duty. Or a nurse might throw a party in her hospital room to lighten the spirits. More than just caregivers, the White 6 nurses were advocates who made the right things happen for my wife. –Nominated by Tom Barrett


Caroline Botelho, Massachusetts General Hospital
I am writing to nominate my wife, Caroline Botelho. My wife wakes up at 5 a.m. every morning ready to greet and make her patients’ day a little better. Never will you hear her complain about spending 10 hours on her feet, or staying two hours late to make sure someone gets their treatment.
It’s not the technical and medical skill that Caroline brings to her job that makes this profession so remarkable. It’s the fundamental belief that every patient deserves the best and most compassionate care that one can give.
It’s not the success of a radiation treatment that makes Caroline so great at what she does. It’s the personal bedside compassion before and after each treatment that gives a patient something to believe in, and reminds them that they’re not in it alone.
So often we calculate a cancer journey in relapse and remission, months and years. But so rarely do we acknowledge the critical impact that nurses have on the war on cancer. So here’s to my wife, Caroline, and all of the nurses who put their patients first. –Nominated by Jake Krilovich

Maureen Connelly, Massachusetts General Hospital
I am so happy to have the opportunity to recognize a model nurse in our community. Maureen Connelly has served as a nurse at the Massachusetts General Hospital for over 40 years. Her clinical acumen is matched by her dedication to every patient under her care and her passionate advocacy for equitable, quality health care.
Nursing is more than a livelihood for Maureen, it is a way of life. She embodies the core tenants of the Nightingale Pledge, elevating the standards of her profession and devotion to the welfare of those committed to her care. Whether it is volunteering halfway across the world after a devastating tsunami or stopping at the scene of a car accident she may happen upon, Maureen extends herself, her compassion, and clinical abilities to those in need She never hesitates to take action; she considers it her humanitarian duty.
I could go on about how Maureen is a role model for health care professionals. However, I’d rather express my gratitude to her (in the hopes she gets to read this some day):
Mom, your convictions have influenced your daughters in immeasurable ways. We are proud and grateful. We love you. –Nominated by Rebecca Anzuoni


Laurie Goulding, Massachusetts General Hospital
I met this nurse when I was visiting my cousin in the hospital. My cousin had just had a lung transplant and Laurie Goulding was her night nurse. Laurie came in and was extremely pleasant and introduced herself and presented my cousin with the plan for the night and was extremely knowledgeable. The next day, my cousin raved about how nice and how much of an awesome nurse Laurie was. She was extremely excited to have Laurie back that night again as her nurse. I just wanted to say thank you to the Blake 8 CSICU team for taking amazing care of my cousin and a special thank you to Laurie for being an amazing nurse. –Nominated by Roberta Petrilli

Emily Olmstead, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston Gyn/Oncology
I have been afflicted with a number of health problems, and Emily Olmstead has been able to be analytical and kind with several problems. She has advocated efficiently, and encouraged me in how to advocate for myself and to get well again.
I am personally acutely aware of how she cares for her patients. Many of her patients are profoundly ill, and she is very sad when she is no longer able to help them, and then she goes ahead and works to ease their final days. Over her many years at MGH, she has shared with me (anonymously obviously) some of her very challenging days of duty there. Sometimes she cries when she rings me when she is driving home. I am enormously, enormously proud to have Emily for my only daughter. She has made the world a better place, and will do so her entire life.
Emily has been a staff nurse in gyn oncology, but because she has cut back her hours a little in order to have more afterschool time with her son, she has had to step down from this honor. But her first love has always been taking care of patients, not necessarily the administrative side of nursing. She puts her actions where her heart is, riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge for nine years now, earning large amounts towards cancer research; she even rode last year with a torn meniscus. She has also inspired others to become nurses, and is an enormous advocate for the profession; this includes my daughter-in-law and the daughter of one of her patients, who after seven well-fought years, lost her life to ovarian cancer. –Nominated by Ann Olmstead


Antonia Pucillo, Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center
When you’re a woman in your mid 30s, conceiving a child can be difficult and take lots of time. But thankfully we live in a state that is very supportive of reproductive health. In May 2016, my husband and I were thrilled to see the “+” after a year of trying. Our happiness turned into sadness in June 2016 when a heartbeat wasn’t detected at 12 weeks, which is incredibly rare when a heartbeat is heard at 7/8 weeks. I felt lost, alone, confused, and wanted answers. Then I met Antonia Pucillo at MGH in August. She guided my husband and me through rounds of tests, answered my thousands of questions on Patient Gateway, and was one of the most supportive health professionals I have ever met.
In September, we were ready to start our first IUI cycle and Toni personally walked us through how to do the injections, making it very clear that she was available at any time for questions/concerns. After about two weeks of injections, blood work, and ultrasounds, I was experiencing the two-week wait after the IUI procedure, but nurse Toni was right there to help ease the anxiety.
Two weeks later and a blood test: positive. Nurse Toni personally called me to give me the great news and I am thrilled to report that we are due in early July.
This would not have been possible without Toni’s support, knowledge, and, most importantly, patience. Huge thanks to her and the MGH Fertility Team for their amazing care. –Nominated by Elizabeth Hosman


Krista Rubin, Massachusetts General Hospital
In 2015 I was diagnosed with melanoma. Thankfully, I was referred to MGH to receive my care. Because of this aggressive disease, I see my health care team every three months. My melanoma metastasized in February 2016 and I went on Keytruda. Fast forward, I am now nine months clear of melanoma.
Krista Rubin was one of the first nurse practitioners I saw at MGH. She always took time to explain what was going on with my health in a way that a layperson would understand; she even drew pictures if necessary. She always inquired as to how I was doing physically and mentally, and talked through many difficult decisions that one faces when receiving such a diagnosis. She was thorough, always talking me through my scans and explaining what they meant. She validated my feelings of fear and also my feelings of hope.
Her compassion and demeanor were exactly what I needed at a very difficult and intense period in my life. We’ve shared tears and we’ve shared smiles, but I am so thankful that it was she who was my nurse. Words cannot express the stellar treatment that I received from this wonderful human being. She is one of my rocks. –Nominated by Patricia Coffey

Patti Shanteler, Massachusetts General Hospital
My wife, Patti Shanteler, has moved from bedside care to the management side of the nursing profession. Starting 38 years ago on a medical/surgery floor in a community hospital, she has progressed to her current position as a staff specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her work in patient care and safety, as well as nurse education, has contributed to successful outcomes for every patient who passes through the hospital’s sliding doors.
Countless nurses in management positions work diligently on a daily basis to make a patient’s stay safe and successful. They do the research that helps set the standards for care and that identifies areas that need improvement. Although not visible, these nurses are standing beside patients and nurses on every shift. I’ve personally had surgery at each of the hospitals Patti has worked at, and although she wasn’t responsible for my direct care, her work had an impact on my care. –Nominated by Tim Shanteler


Lori Taylor, Massachusetts General Hospital
Nurse practitioner Lori Taylor was my husband’s nurse in the ICU at MGH. Lori was always kind, compassionate, and made sure that I was included in all of the conversations about my husband’s care. Lori was always respectful and kind to my husband and to me. I appreciated her ability to make sense of a very complex health situation and to even add humor to lighten our load.
Lori helped us through the most terrifying chapter in our lives, and we are so happy and grateful that she helped us all heal. –Nominated by Colleen Lucas

Maxim Healthcare

Cathy Kosta, Maxim Healthcare
I would like to salute my mother, Cathy Kosta, for being a dedicated and compassionate nurse day and night. My mother is the most hard-working person I know. She works seven days a week and is on the clock 24/7 for any urgent calls from her patients. It really takes a special kind of person to be a nurse, and I learned this from watching my mother working long hard days, really doing the job of several people. I really admire her passion and love that she has for her patients. She has sacrificed a lot of her family time to help other families struggling with their health. I really do not think she gets enough credit for what she does. She is an amazing mother, and an outstanding nurse, who has made a positive difference in so many lives. –Nominated by Angela Kosta


McLean Hospital, SouthEast

All Nurses, McLean Hospital, SouthEast
The nurses at McLean SouthEast strive to make a positive difference with their patients. They are able to provide support to them when they are at their lowest point. Using supportive therapy and the recovery model, the patients are brought back to a good place. Everyone is dedicated to finding out what it is the patient needs to achieve their treatment goals, and partnering with them so that they will be a success. It is wonderful to hear the patients at discharge stating that they enjoyed their stay here and learned so much. –Nominated by Darlyn Scott

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital

Walter Holman, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital
When you run by your neighbor’s house several times a week, you wave and say hi, never thinking that person may someday be part of a team that saves your life. But in July 2016, I was taken to Melrose-Wakefield ER after losing consciousness in my friend’s driveway. I’d run a hard 10K on a 95-degree day, so upon regaining consciousness, I didn’t think much of the collapse. But my nurse-neighbor, Walter Holman, did. At first, I heard people saying heat stroke, so I was ready to head home. But Walter kept telling me to hang on and wait for further testing.
As I described my symptoms, I saw his concerned reaction. He assured me I’d be fine, but when I again insisted I was leaving, he told me that he was not OK with that. I stayed.
Turns out, it is possible for a 135-pound, 45-year-old who runs 70 miles a week to have a heart attack. I spent several days in the hospital after a cardiac catheter showed I had two blockages, one 100 percent and the other 80 percent. If Walter hadn’t been so direct and persistent, I would have left that ER and might never have survived.
When I returned to the ER two weeks later, thinking the pain I was feeling was another heart attack, Walter was there again. This time I had no plans to leave, but I felt foolish for being back. Luckily, it wasn’t a heart attack. Walter assured me that finding out you aren’t having a heart attack is better than having a heart attack. Now that I’m back running, I always run by his house, just in case. –Nominated by Shawn Conway


Methuen Dialysis Center

Sheila Jetta, Methuen Dialysis Center
Sheila Jetta works hard and is a caring, loving nurse who goes out of her way to take care of all her patients. She is a true hero for my family and every other patient at that center. We love her very much. –Nominated by Shelley Acevedo

MetroWest Medical Center

Molly Brown, MetroWest Medical Center
I have had the good fortune to work with Molly Brown for the past two years both as a colleague and in a supervisory capacity. Molly is the clinical coordinator on an acute Behavioral Health unit, juggling administrative and clinical responsibilities while working with nurses, counselors, nurse practitioners, and social workers. She leads by example and demonstrates an ability to work in a professional and respectful manner with all disciplines and patients while being culturally sensitive to a very diverse work group. I look forward to working with her each day. –Nominated by Hyman Beshansky

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School

Nursing staff, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
I am a high school history teacher at Monty Tech High School in Fitchburg. Our nurses are amazing, and they ensure that every single member of our school community is well cared for. The nursing staff includes seasoned professionals who are constantly on the go. Due to the care that these women provide our students, parents know that if a medical emergency were to arise, their child will be provided with the best care. I can’t say enough about these women. They are friendly and welcoming. Every member of our school community respects and likes them. That’s why I nominated the entire nursing staff. School nurses are the heartbeat of our school. –Nominated by Amanda Kelly


Morton Hospital

Claudette Laffan, Morton Hospital
I am the patient care director for Maternal Child Health at Morton Hospital. Claudette Laffan is an extremely skilled clinician in maternity, including labor and delivery, postpartum, but, most importantly, the newborn nursery. She has a passion for taking care of the well and sick newborns. Recently, she has been chosen to be on the Massachusetts state task force for neonatal abstinence syndrome babies. We have a rapidly growing number of NAS babies, who need much loving, specialized care. She works tirelessly in trying to do what is right for the babies and is constantly striving to improve their care. She noted a break in services for the NAS babies in being referred to Head Start, early intervention, and WIC. She identified a gap in practice and communication between DCF and our social service department with delays in reports being shared. Claudette works extra shifts to cover any needs in order to ensure quality safe care for our most vulnerable population. She always is available to teach newer nurses how to score and treat NAS babies. She always has a smile on her face and treats everyone—nurses, physicians, and patients—with the utmost respect. We are so lucky to have her working in our hospital. She so deserves to be recognized for the great care she gives every day. –Nominated by Tracey Pollard