Salute to Nurses 2017 Letters: Hospitals N-S

Nantucket Public Schools

Bonnie Ray, Nantucket Public Schools, Nantucket Elementary School
I have nominated Bonnie Ray because of the care and attention she gives to the 726 children at the Nantucket Elementary School, as well as the 118 staff. She loves her job, the children, and the people who surround her. Bonnie has a very gentle way of approaching the world, and also a very humorous one. She overcomes difficult situations through personal resilience and use of said humor. Bonnie really enjoys looking after others, and the problem-solving that goes with good nursing. Bonnie keeps her knowledge current through taking courses and personal research. Bonnie and her assistant, Maria Fales, are on a nonstop, roller coaster ride from the moment they enter school until well after the bell rings. That’s medications, Band-Aids, cough drops, inhalers, ice packs, creams; yearly eye, ear, weight, height, and frequent lice checks; care for diabetics, the occasional broken limb, and other things only she knows about. All this in addition to being aware of, and advocating for, general building safety, so not only intervention, but prevention, too. Bonnie also is confidante and comforter-in-chief for many children and adults, a check-in for those who need a little TLC, or an ear for those who need someone to listen. As a medical professional in a school, Bonnie has to develop strong relationships among home, school, and doctors to ensure the well-being of the students. Many parents and grandparents rely on her as a key piece in caring for a chronically ill child. In recognition of this connection, Bonnie has been a past recipient of the Nantucket Advocate for Children Award. Bonnie is retiring this year. We’re all going to miss her a lot. –Nominated by Francie Baskett


Nashoba Valley Medical Center

Lizbeth Rapoza, Nashoba Valley Medical Center
I have worked with many nurses over many years and Lizbeth Rapoza most exemplifies the philosophy and heart of the nursing profession. Her patients are treated as if each was her only patient. She listens attentively and is willing to work long hours to make their healing her priority.
As an Imaging Coordinator, I work with Beth on a regular basis and she always prioritizes what is best for the patient. She adjusts shifts and is careful to collect all clinical information for a safe and successful procedure.
Beth is remarkable at developing a deep level of trust with each patient in the short time she has with them. They may arrive on edge, but soon they are at ease and assured they are in good hands. –Nominated by Julie Townsend

Michelle Travers, Nashoba Valley Medical Center
I have worked with Michelle Travers since I started here at Nashoba Valley Medical Center in 2012. (I am a dietitian). Just recently, I was admiring her ability to get things done (even in stressful times) and I thought to myself: this woman deserves an award. Michelle is very thorough and works very well on an interdisciplinary team. I really appreciate her as a person and as a nurse. The nurses and students who train under her, hit the ground running. Michelle delivers quality, empathy, and patience. She also is very funny and gets to know her patients very well. Her communication with me, as a dietitian, is concise and her consults are a good use of my time. As a member of a health care team, this is very valuable. I think that you could put her in any hospital and she would deliver first class care. I also think that everyone around her benefits from working with her. –Nominated by Sara Schwarz


Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth

Anne Mitchell, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth
She has shown compassion, caring, and understanding about my depression. She has provided 29 years of hard service as a US Navy captain. She raised four children with a loving husband, and her hard work was beyond belief. A doctor told her once that she was smarter than a doctor. She can pick up a pulse rate that the doctors could not find. She cared lovingly for her father, mother, and, above all, her children. She is a wonderful woman, person, and nurse. –Nominated by the Careys and Mary Murphy

New England Baptist Hospital

Sarah McCaffrey, New England Baptist Hospital
I was transferred to the cardiac unit after an allergic reaction to pain medications needed after a spinal fusion. My nurse, Sarah McCaffrey, explained everything that was happening to me. She paid attention to my concerns and provided care with tenderness. She took the time to stay on top of my situation and cheered me on. I had several nurses throughout this week who were good, but Sarah was awesome. Thank you for making a very difficult time much easier. –Nominated by Kenneth Cereghino

New England Sinai Hospital

Kyla Batchelder Bergman, New England Sinai Hospital
As a nurse in a long-term acute care hospital, Kyla Bergman cares for patients with complex medical conditions. Numerous patients and family members have commended Kyla for her compassion, kindness, attention to detail, and professionalism, ensuring her patients receive the best medical care possible. A 2010 graduate of Fitchburg State University, Kyla has provided encouragement, support, and guidance to countless patients devastated by illness, with a kind word, a gentle smile, and the skill of a true professional nurse. –Nominated by Kelly Anastasio


Newbridge on the Charles/Hebrew Senior Life

Virginija Donovan, Newbridge on the Charles/Hebrew Senior Life-Dedham
I have known Virginija Donovan for one year, since April 2016, when my mother, Eleanor, was entrusted to her care in the dementia-friendly neighborhood at Newbridge on the Charles. When we first arrived at Newbridge, Virginija began the journey of bonding with my mother, who had recently lost her husband of 62 years. Virginija is strong and skilled and, at the same time, compassionate and sensitive beyond words.
Like a gazelle, she leaps through her lengthy shifts, tending to all of her patients by meeting their many medical/physical and social/emotional needs. Her eyes are always on the residents, family members, and the staff. The CNAs respond to her high expectations and exceptional role modeling. She wants the same nurturing approach for her residents as she would want for her own aging mother who lives light years away in Lithuania. She speaks lovingly of her mother and checks in with her daily for advice and a connection to her homeland.
My mother, who has suffered from dementia for the past five years, is bright-eyed, social, and aware of people and her surroundings. She absolutely lights up when Virginija enters her room or sits next to her. Virginija has a way with the residents, gaining their trust when dispensing their medications or performing routine procedures. My mother often remarks to me that Virginija is so nice, beautiful, and hard-working. Virginija provides materials for projects each evening, facilitating cognitive and artistic stimulation. She loves each resident and they love her. Virginija makes it possible for me to go home to sleep each night. She is deserving of respect and appreciation. –Nominated by Sandi Dunn


Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Ann Clasby, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Ann Clasby always remains calm no matter the situation. We have a lot of patients coming in at the same time with all different types of issues. Ann treats every single patient with the same amount of respect. She is the charge nurse whenever she is here. Those are the days when everything runs smoothly. She amazes me how professional and caring she is to every patient that comes through the door even after a 12-hour busy day. I had several patients stop by my desk on their way out to tell me how wonderful Ann was. Ann is always warm and caring and shows compassion to every person. –Nominated by Nancy Pesce

Eileen Ewing, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Eileen Ewing works with me as a Care Management Nurse, working with my patients who have the most complicated medical issues and need the most care. We have worked with many patients around difficult decisions, often end-of-life conversations. Eileen and I have formed a strong team approach to these conversations, creating a caring relationship with each patient and helping to guide them through this process. She has always demonstrated tremendous compassion and caring toward each patient, with a calm and patient tone. This skill allows her to make a personal connection with each patient, and that connection serves as an anchor and safe place for each patient as they navigate their medical conditions. –Nominated by Nicholas Mascoli

Gail Jacquet, Newton-Wellesley Hospital Elfer’s Cardiac
My mother is 91 years old, suffers from short-term memory loss, and has heart failure issues, most notably significant fluid retention which is resistant to common diuretic and other medication. Gail Jacquet has been working with my mother on a regular basis for more than six months. She is very patient and respectful of my mother. Every six weeks, she thoroughly examines my mother and orders the necessary blood tests to ensure that the medication does not adversely affect already diminished kidney and heart functions. My mother lives in an assisted living facility, and medication changes are not easily prescribed on short notice. Gail spends a lot of time, effort, and follow-up to ensure the medications are ordered, arrive, and are administered properly. Managing medication and other care changes through an assisted living facility can be challenging for anyone who has experience in this area. My mother had been frequently hospitalized prior to being referred to this clinic and placed under the care of such a competent nurse practitioner who communicates regularly and follows up with me to ensure my mother is getting the best care. Not only does she ensure that my mother has a better quality of life, she also saves the health care system by reducing hospitalizations. Gail has been a strong patient advocate. She is direct, has common sense, and I can always trust her to follow through. She should be acknowledged for her hard work and dedication. –Nominated by Carol Foltz


Elizabeth Lazaro, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
I received excellent care from all the staff, yet, I have to single out Elizabeth Lazaro. From the second I had arrived at Newton-Wellesley, she was able to make me feel comfortable. Words alone are not enough to explain how at ease she made me feel. It’s not every day that a 19-year-old girl goes in for a colonoscopy and endoscopy. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to it. But as busy as nurses are these days, especially in the surgical unit, somehow she found time to chat with my mom and me before I went into the OR. How she was able to connect with my mom and me during such little time was amazing.
She made sure to explain how every part of the process would work, including how long I’d be in recovery. She got me warm blankets and made me smile as we chatted about the Pats winning the Super Bowl. I’ve gotten many surgeries over the past five years and have had very few nurses that I was able to connect and feel comfortable with. She was definitely one of them. –Nominated by Jacqueline Lopez

Mary McGlynn, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, which required radiation therapy for one month. It was at the breast center that I met Mary McGlynn as well as Dr. Tillman and her entire staff. It was Mary who addressed what the next month would involve. I was immediately impressed with her compassion, knowledge, and kindness for me, a women she had never met. It was something I would observe over and over again during my month at the breast center, not with just me, but for all the women and men she would connect to. I have two older sisters, both nurses and breast cancer survivors. When I shared my overall experience with them, they, of course, reminded me of the tremendous dedication all nurses provide. –Nominated by Nancy DiZio


Betty Pichi, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Betty Pichi has not only shown compassion and competency for over 30 years through her patient care, she has also been very caring toward her colleagues. She is the evening charge nurse on the busiest inpatient unit within the hospital. The nurses take at least five patients per shift with diagnoses ranging from new strokes and congestive heart failure to active heart attacks with unstable vital signs. She is the biggest advocate for patient safety I know, ensuring fair staffing assignments with stable acuity levels for the nurses on the floor.
The first step in keeping patients safe is making sure her nurses are not overwhelmed, which can be extremely difficult while accepting patients with the most complicated medical issues from the hospital’s busy emergency department. Betty is a leading example when it comes to communication among staff, and the nurses working with her trust her 100 percent. We are so grateful to have Betty in our corner and can’t thank her enough for her resilient efforts to make our shifts a little bit better. –Nominated by Taylor McLaughlin

Betty Pichi, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
I’ve been lucky enough to work with Betty Pichi for the past 10 years. From starting as a PCA to a new grad nurse to a full-time staff nurse, I will use what I’ve learned from her for the rest of my career. She is the best patient advocate I know. She is the charge nurse of a busy telemetry floor, and she makes sure that every patient is in the right place and that the nurse is in the best spot to take care of the patient. She looks beyond medicine and makes sure the patient is comfortable in their surroundings. She is not afraid to speak her mind about what she thinks and what she feels. If any person I cared about was in the hospital, I would want Betty as their nurse. I’m thankful to have learned from someone so special. –Nominated by Erin Sears


Shelby Robinson, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Shelby Robinson is the definition of what a great nurse and co-worker should be. She referred me to work here and I love it. She is great team member and excellent with her patients. Because of her, I would like to go back to school for nursing. A true inspiration. –Nominated by Mercedes Valencia

Cheryl Williams, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
I have worked with Cheryl Williams in a few different hospitals over 10 years. She is caring, as a nurse should be. She is knowledgeable, as a nurse should be. She is serious, as a nurse should be. And, she is a great listener, which a nurse has to be. When I first came to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, I saw Cheryl and thought, “Wow, they have great nurses here if they have Cheryl.” I find, in fact, that all the nursing staff here at Newton-Wellesley share Cheryl’s attributes: They are caring, knowledgeable, serious, and good listeners. –Nominated by Mike Longtin

Newton-Wellesley Physicians Primary Care

Nadine Silver, Newton-Wellesley Physicians Primary Care
Nadine Silver is a one-of-a-kind nurse. Coming to work every day knowing she is here to help in a compassionate, empathetic way with all of our patients does make our practice one of the best. No matter how busy or difficult a day we are having, we can always depend on Nadine’s laughter or soft, warm voice to calm our fears. Nadine has good common sense and is always positive, on time, incredibly passionate about her job, neat, and extremely organized. She shows compassion to all—age, nationality doesn’t matter. She is a quick thinker and great motivator. Laughter like hers brightens every room. She is versatile, creative, and respected by all. Nadine, like Florence Nightingale, is a nurse who gives hope to the sick and helps to make health care great. –Nominated by Audrey Banks


North Shore Medical Center

Robin Rossignoll, North Shore Medical Center
Our daughter, Robin Rossignoll, was the director of Critical Care at North Shore Medical Center for nine years. Her nurses and doctors held her in the highest esteem because of her compassion for the patients and staff. She was laid off on March 15 due to cutbacks at Partners Health. The staff and doctors were devastated. They referred to her as a “nurses’ nurse”: always considerate to her staff, going the extra mile to come to see the off-shift nurses; never complaining about the four departments she was given to direct. Directors who began as nurses helping patients can be a forgotten breed. They work hard and sometimes even harder to keep their nurses and the doctors moving as a team. We would love to see her recognized for her “angel on earth” works. Robin was awarded at her BSN graduation as the “nurse who the other nurses wanted to take care of their mothers.” She is a one of a kind. –Nominated by Carol Donlon

Northeast Clinical Services

Debbie Shannon, Northeast Clinical Services
Debbie Shannon has been a home care nurse to my 3-year-old son who has multiple medical issues due to prematurity. She spends 36 hours per week caring for my son, performing all of his necessary medical care, which involves a tracheostomy, g-tube, ventilator, and oxygen, amongst other things. However, not only does she provide his medical care, she also fosters his overall development. She has taught him sign language, has worked tirelessly to help him overcome his feeding difficulties by developing creative recipes and new feeding strategies, and she pays close attention to all of his therapies. Moreover, she does this in a home setting where she lacks the oversight of doctors and the benefit of in-person colleagues to discuss any questions or issues that may arise. This is a tremendous amount of responsibility and autonomy. There is no one I would trust more with my son. –Nominated by Kerri Kostecki


Norwell Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice

Anne Carter, NVNA and Hospice
Anne Carter is an outstanding advocate for her patients. Anne is the community resource nurse who is in charge of the NVNA and Hospice Wellness clinics throughout the South Shore. She visits COAs and town halls doing medication reviews, blood pressure and blood glucose screens, and well-being checks of the elderly. She often picks up critical issues with her patients before they become major medical problems. Anne has been monitoring her patients for many years and has quite the following. –Nominated by Meaghan Groves

Helen Golden, NVNA and Hospice
Helen Golden is a compassionate nurse who truly cares about her patients. She has displayed selflessness in many situations and is always willing to go an extra mile for her patients. –Nominated by Kemi Shodunke

Helen Golden, NVNA and Hospice
In nominating Helen Golden, I picked a random date in May, but, honestly, she is amazing every day. She has worked here for over a year. She took over our Elder Service Program and has been able to turn that branch of our home care agency around. She is so dedicated to them and is improving their lives. She truly is amazing. Oh, and she does all this with a smile and the sweetest personality. We are so lucky to have her on our team. She is a gem. –Nominated by Bernadette Ward

Helen Golden, NVNA and Hospice
Helen Golden joined the NVNA and Hospice as our Elder Service nurse. She had no experience with this frail population and the task of keeping them in their own homes in the community for as long as possible. She took on this daunting assignment with a smile and has never given up and never stopped smiling. She is always pleasant and easy to work with even under sometimes difficult circumstances in the clients’ homes. She demonstrates her compassion even in our office, one of the most patient people I have ever worked with in health care. She has advocated for her clients for the services they need to remain safe in their homes with much success even with budgetary restrictions from the state and the federal government. –Nominated by Susan MacDonald


Helen Golden, NVNA and Hospice
Helen provides and coordinates the delivery of home health care and services to approximately 175 patients of South Shore and Old Colony Elder Services. She has to develop, implement, and evaluate each patient to provide their plan of care and conduct nursing visits in accordance with their plan of care. In addition, Helen needs to coordinate home care visits and supervise the plan of care for the home health aides. This often requires re-evaluations and necessary changes based on the patient’s needs. Without this, many patients would not be able to remain in their homes. She is a compassionate and tireless advocate for her patients to get the services they need and deserve. Overseeing approximately 175 patients requires excellent communication, clinical competency, and a passion for nursing. –Nominated by Anne-Marie Powers

Helen Golden, NVNA and Hospice
Helen Golden serves as a nurse in our Elder Services program at NVNA and Hospice. She is responsible for the coordination of home health care, home health aides, and homemaker services for clients of South Shore and Old Colony Elder Services. Helen demonstrates evidenced-based nursing practice and a heart that understands the complexity of both the medical and emotional needs of elders. Helen approaches each consumer with compassion and advocates when additional services are necessary. Helen demonstrates a true commitment to preventing unnecessary hospitalizations, collaborating with multiple agencies in the community to ensure that clients can remain safe in their own homes. It is a pleasure to work with Helen. She always comes to work with a smile on her face. Her positive energy is felt by everyone who has contact with her. –Nominated by Rebecca Brown


Catherine Harrington, Norwell Visiting Nurse and Hospice
Cathy Harrington is probably the most compassionate nurse I have ever worked with, totally devoted to the hospice patients. I have had the pleasure of working with her at the Pat Roche Hospice House in Hingham. I have never seen anyone who puts in the hours she does purely because she always puts the patient and their families first. She is also very supportive of the staff, me included. Cathy has a way of making people feel that “it’s all good.” –Nominated by Pam Dooley

Norwood Hospital

Ann Sanville, Norwood Hospital
Ann Sanville has been on the Small Miracles Maternity Unit for over 40 years. Ann’s competence when caring for a sick baby is evident. However, her calm manner is as reassuring to the parents as to her colleagues. She is compassionate, kind, and patient with all of the new mothers and babies. Ann cares for the new moms’ physical needs as expertly as she does their emotional ones. It is not unusual for Ann to be found sitting in a mother’s room holding and rocking a new baby so the parents can get some sleep. She is devoted and skilled at teaching the parents how to prepare for the nighttime parenting challenges they will face at home. She is a tireless nurse at a point in her career that many people consider retirement. Ann’s effect on patients is evident by the many accolades she receives from them. Her mentoring of new nurses provides invaluable lessons that can’t be taught in school. She is the type of nurse I want to care for my own daughters in the middle of the night. –Nominated by Sheila Dixon


Park Place Nursing Facility

Cathy Reid, Park Place Nursing Facility
I’m nominating my mom. She has worked in geriatric care for over 40 years in the same building. She is a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and sister as well. She is 63 years old and will make it into work every snow storm, although she lives the farthest away. She is completely dedicated to her job and even scored deficiency-free on the state inspection for several years in a row. Her job doesn’t end at work. She cared for my nana (her mom) for years at her own house. She personally helped care for her sick brother, who passed from cancer six years ago, and, unfortunately, her only other brother was just diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma. She has taken him to every appointment, been appointed his decision-maker, speaks with his physicians, and has been to the hospital to care for him herself every single day after work. She is the most compassionate, generous, loving, and loyal person I know. She was put on this earth to be a nurse and care for every person she comes in contact with like they are her own family. Ask anyone who works with her, she is the go-to person but does it all because that’s who she is, down to the core. –Nominated by Colleen Regan

Peabody Dialysis Center

Edith Freeman, Peabody Dialysis Center
Imagine turning 75 and being told you have kidney failure. My dad died from this disease when he was 54. I was scared and frightened. I needed a dialysis center with a peritoneal nurse who could teach me the peritoneal process for home dialysis. Enter Edith Freeman. Despite my confused and nervous state of mind, my Florence Nightingale alleviated all my fears and anxiety from the first minute I met her. Through her calm, knowledgeable, extremely professional and compassionate manner for many months at the dialysis center, she taught me how to dialyze at home. To say Edith cares doesn’t get to the core of her abilities. She came to my house every day until she knew I had reached a level of comfort. She was and still is only a phone call away, morning, noon, and night, and also weekends. Edith came to my house many times after 10:30 p.m. when I needed her. Edith Freeman is the kindest, sweetest, most supportive, selfless nurse I have the pleasure of knowing. There is no peritoneal nurse with more expertise and competency than Edith Freeman. –Nominated by Anthony LaRosa


Pediatria Healthcare for Kids

Megan Day-Lewis, Pediatria Healthcare for Kids
Megan Day-Lewis has always been considered a hero of mine, and also that of others. An alum from UMass Amherst with a degree in public health, Megan admiringly dove head first into Regis College School of Nursing to pursue what she’s best at—providing others access to a fuller life. While fulfilling her clinical placement requirements at Regis, Megan spent over a year as a clinical assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital, and gained further experience at Post Road Pediatrics in Sudbury. Megan has a unique ability to critically think, construct, and implement ideas for the betterment of patients no matter where they may be along the lifespan. A now soon-to-be graduate from Regis’ MS Nurse Practitioner program, she is applying this skill working with Pediatria Healthcare for Kids. She attentively monitors and keeps records in a private home care environment, while always considering each family member’s personal values and interests. Regarding Megan’s strong advocacy, our grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2000, throat cancer in 2001,dysphagia following the radiation, and, more recently, retinitis pigmentosa. Never letting emotion overcome her intelligence, Megan has been our grandmother’s guardian and advocate, contributing logic and intuition throughout doctor appointments. Megan adds value to every day, leaving the world a better place than it was when she woke up. If I can demonstrate that with half as much grace and drive as she can, that would be enough. My big sister is a true guiding light in human form, and I’ve never been more honored to be someone’s sidekick. –Nominated by Brianna Day-Lewis


Rhode Island Hospital

Debbie Walsh-Kane, Rhode Island Hospital
My mother, Debbie Walsh-Kane, is one of the most dedicated and hard-working nurses there is. Her undeniable commitment and genuine love for her job is apparent every day and has been for over 30 years. It makes me proud to say my mother is a registered nurse. I know she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves. –Nominated by Alan Kane

River Court Residences

Rya Bennett, River Court Residences
Rya Bennett demonstrates true compassion to all the residents of River Court, especially those who have lost their voices to Alzheimer’s. Rya showers kindness upon all in her care. She has a personal relationship with every resident. Alzheimer’s patients suffer from anxiety and depression and Rya has a way of making people smile. She will come in during the middle of the night when one of the residents is having a medical issue. Rya helped our family follow my mother’s wishes and stood by our side throughout my mother’s final days. –Nominated by Julia Horgan

Rya Bennett, River Court Residences
Rya Bennett is resident care director at River Court Residences in Groton. Rya oversees all her patients in a compassionate manner. She listened to and respected our advocacy for our mother’s final wishes. Our mother was a registered nurse herself and she had made it clear she did not want any medical interventions in her final days. As we moved our mother to hospice care within the River Court facility, Rya supported us with this decision and worked to have the hospital bed and equipment moved into our mother’s room. At one point, our mother was removed from hospice care and Rya found a hospital bed to replace the one that was removed. The hospital bed aided our mother greatly in keeping her comfortable. In the end, our mother passed quickly with Rya making the late-night call to family and then standing nearby and assisting us in caring for our mother in her last moments. Afterward, she was there with hugs and coffee and helping us in every way she could. All this while her beeper was calling her to other patients, and she ran back and forth taking care of everyone. Several months after our mother had passed, River Court had a memorial service for all residents who had passed in the last year. When it turned out the chaplain who was scheduled to speak at the service was not going to be able to make it, Rya had to take over and speak to the residents and families gathered there. As she spoke about each resident who had passed, it was evident how well she had grown to know them and how much she genuinely cared for them. We were blessed to have Rya Bennett as our mother’s nurse. –Nominated by Monica McCann


Rogerson Egleston Adult Day Health

Linda Mahdee, Rogerson Egleston Adult Day Health
Linda Mahdee has been working in the Egleston ADH program for almost three years. Linda is the embodiment of compassion. Her empathetic approach to client care is unmatched. I have seen firsthand the calming and supportive effect that she has on the clients in the day program and the staff members who work alongside her. Clients who wake up feeling under the weather choose to attend the day program under her care rather than staying home. She does more than treat clients medically. She provides emotional support and education around the changes that the men and women of the program are facing during their aging process. Linda’s clinical team looks to her as the voice of reason and moral balance. She holds the regulatory picture for the program. Her program manager depends on and benefits from her passion for enhanced client-centered care. Her laugh is infectious and somehow, in the midst of managing the medical care programming, she still finds time to be silly. She is caring, detail-oriented, very patient, helpful, and understanding. She exercises great judgment when there is a medical crisis. Linda has physical endurance and extraordinary communication skills when collaborating with our geriatric physicians. She is very outstanding and supportive to all of us. She doesn’t make us feel left out or forgotten. –Nominated by Lindsay Jean

Roosevelt Elementary School

Channe Keenan, Roosevelt Elementary School
Channe Keenan is our school nurse, a role that is so often marginalized and overlooked in the many fields of nursing. In addition to doctoring everything from bruised knees to more serious injuries, she aided me, a staff member, in a way that likely saved my life. I am a diabetic who struggles with my blood sugars. Channe came to my office and found me confused and having difficulty producing coherent speech. She did not expose or embarrass me, but rather she took my blood sugar and advised me not to drive until I ate some glucose tablets and had some yogurt. She checked on me constantly until my condition improved. The concerning thing is that while I did feel shaky, I did not notice my cognitive changes until she helped to level my sugars out. I would have driven home, and I shudder to think what could have happened. She also advised me to seek attention for the blurred vision I’ve become accustomed to, explaining that it too had to do with my diabetes. School nurses are not appreciated for the full-spectrum medical professionals they truly are, and Channe is committed to the good health of each student and apparently a staff member now and then as well. She juggles 100 things without complaint and was still instrumental in keeping me from behind the wheel that day. Every school should have a Nurse Channe. –Nominated by Amy Jenkins


Sacred Heart Hospital

Mary Weider, Sacred Heart Hospital
Mary Weider has taken extensive care of me the last year. I am on dialysis, have a below-knee amputation, have had colon section removal due to cancer, skin cancer on ears and back, and am on a handful of medications. I have had repeated and continuous stump infections and an infection that traveled to my neck, requiring hospitalization for 10 days and surgery. Mary has provided home dialysis five days a week in addition to tending to all my surgeries and ongoing medical conditions. She is cheerful, upbeat, and a lifesaver and, luckily for me, she is my wife. –Nominated by Carl Bahnson

Saint Anne’s Hospital

Kherri-Lynn Rego, Saint Anne’s Hospital
I nominate Kherri-Lynn Rego and do so with the utmost gratitude for the care she provided to my mother during her stay at Saint Anne’s Hospital. Kherri-Lynn had this way about her that made my mom feel that she was the most important patient in that hospital. She walked through the door every morning with such an infectious smile; it was hard not to do the same. On one of my mother’s more difficult days, Kherri-Lynn wrote down one of her favorite inspirational quotes and left it atop the book my mom was reading. To this day, my mom uses that paper as a bookmark. The day my mother was discharged, I told Kherri-Lynn that nurses don’t get paid enough for what they do. She responded by saying, “Nursing gives me a profound sense of purpose.” That’s something money cannot buy. –Nominated by Bradley Ferreira


Seacoast Medical Associates

Matthew Favazza, Seacoast Medical Associates
Matthew Favazza is a family nurse practitioner who has been my health care professional for over a year. He has helped me with both medical and mental health issues. He has extensive medical knowledge and has researched many issues to help in my treatment. He has compassion and truly listens to all my problems. He never rushes through appointments. He has given me hope about my depression and severe anxiety, which no one else has been able to do. He is always available when I need to talk. I completely trust him and know he is completely dedicated to everyone he treats. He has helped me see a reason to live, and that, to me, is something very special. –Nominated by Debbie Porter

Shriners Hospital for Children

Acute Care Unit Nurses, Shriners Hospital for Children
The entire Acute Care Unit nursing staff at Shriners Hospital, Boston, deserves this special recognition. Their unwavering professionalism and excellence in the care of pediatric burn patients is incredible. I see these nurses taking care of so many unfortunate children both from this country and around the globe. They do it with a positive and caring attitude. The child is always the center of care and the number one priority. Their patient advocacy and compassion are remarkable. It is an honor to witness these nurses at work every day. –Nominated by Milagros Troche

Janet Gilroy-Lewis, Shriners Hospital for Children
Janet Gilroy-Lewis has been a nurse at Shriners Hospital for Children for over 34 years. During this time, Janet has served in many positions, including nurse manager, perioperative staff nurse, clinical research nurse, and, most recently, outpatient staff nurse. Our paths crossed during her role as a nurse in the Outpatient Clinic. When I was a new hire at Shriners, Janet was my preceptor. I quickly recognized what a special and unique person I had the pleasure of working with. Janet embodies all aspects of professionalism, leadership, and compassion, and her integrity is something I truly admire. She is a role model in both my personal and professional life.
Janet’s commitment and dedication to serving others is what truly makes her stand out. Her compassion and advocacy for others extends outside of the hospital in her many volunteer roles. During Nurses Week 2016, Janet organized donations to medical military camps in Afghanistan by asking staff to participate in providing goods for care packages. Janet organized, packaged, transported, and delivered 125 pounds of donations to ship to medical military camps overseas. She was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the 628th Forward Surgical Team. The admiration for Janet by her patients, families, and coworkers is palpable. Janet made a difficult decision in 2016 to retire from full-time employment with Shriners Hospital. She remains involved, working in a per diem capacity. There is always a buzz among nurses when her name appears on the schedule. –Nominated by Caitlin Febres and the Outpatient Clinic Staff


Zoe Panagakos, Shriners Hospital for Children
I’ve worked with Zoe Panagakos in the children’s burn unit for several years. I’ve also traveled with her to the Shriners pediatric burn outreach clinics in Central America. She is a highly skilled pediatric burn intensive care nurse, caring competently for severely injured children and infants on a regular basis. This technical work is difficult enough, but she is able to bring a degree of humanism to the crib-side that is especially admirable. This work can be emotionally trying and the clinical situations are tense. But Zoe is able to maintain an efficient calm at all times, keeping the entire care team, including distraught parents, focused and positive. She is an ideal clinical leader, proving that our patients get the best care when the team functions cohesively. –Nominated by Rob Sheridan

Jenna Paradis, Shriners Hospitals for Children
Jenna Paradis has been a solid team player and leader on the Acute Care Unit at Shriners Hospital. Though Jenna touches many other specialties, her first passion is pediatric burn nursing. Jenna’s sensitivity and kindness are evident every day to her patients and families. Her clinical competence is often relied on by staff, especially in the critical care arena. Her communication skills with the multi-disciplinary team are also excellent. With her continued compassionate care, she forms trust with her patients that is evident. This trust helps the child and family through a very difficult time. Jenna’s primary passion as a nurse is to be her patient’s primary advocate. Her advocacy for that voice who may not be able to speak is paramount. Jenna also participates in our hospital outreach programs, traveling out of the country to see kids with burn injuries and set them up for care in our facility. –Nominated by Rich Grady


South Boston Community Health Center

Colleen Catoggio, South Boston Community Health Center
Colleen Catoggio is a dedicated and caring nurse who attends to the needs of the South Boston community on a daily basis. She loves her work, and gives her full energy to patients who come in for a wide variety of treatment and services. I’m very proud of her and how she makes life a little better for the general public. –Nominated by Victor Catoggio

South Shore Health System

Nursing staff, South Shore Health System
It is my true privilege to serve as the chief nursing officer of the 1,500 nurses who compose the South Shore Health System. These amazing and talented human beings work 24/7, 365 days a year in all sorts of weather to ensure that the 750,000 people they serve in the South Shore region are staying well or (if they are ill) advancing back towards health. In those cases where medical treatment is no longer an option, they support patients in a pain-free and emotionally supported death. They work as key members of multi-disciplinary teams in primary care and specialty care clinics where they see over 1,000 patients a day, in the acute care hospital where they treated 29,000 patients and delivered almost 4,000 newborns last year, and in the award-winning home care (whose daily census exceeds 1,000) and hospice programs. They are everywhere, and the South Shore is a better place because of that. –Nominated by Tim Quigley

South Shore Hospital

Gabrielle Cayo, South Shore Hospital
I salute Gabrielle Cayo, who is the Clinical Flow Coordinator in the busy South Shore Hospital Emergency Department on the night shift. I have personally witnessed multiple events in which Gabby’s calm presence, expert clinical skills, and direct communication have moved an initially chaotic situation to one of highly choreographed teamwork.
Gabby recently received an extremely ill patient who had an overwhelming infection and arrived at the ED by ambulance with little advanced notice. He had low blood pressure and was barely breathing. Simultaneous with the patient’s arrival, Gabby organized an entire team of nurses, therapists, and pharmacists so everyone communicated effectively to help the patient.
Within three minutes, a physician had inserted a breathing tube and an intravenous line was placed to administer fluids and medications. The patient survived and did well because the team was so quickly focused with Gabby’s help. Gabby supports family and colleagues alike with her warm, empathetic, and open communication style. We are grateful she has chosen to practice here. –Nominated by Tim Quigley


ER Staff, South Shore Hospital
My mom’s final hours were spent in the South Shore Hospital ER on a Wednesday afternoon. As options for an optimistic outcome dimmed, ER nurses removed clips and tubes; monitors were silenced and disconnected; curtains were pulled and time seemed to stall. Caring and competent hands that only moments earlier had been focused on medical intervention were now calm and soothing.
Quiet and respectful voices summoned a chaplain who arrived to pray for this wonderful matriarch and valiant fighter. Boxes of tissues magically appeared, and medical expertise ensured that the patient did not suffer. Our mom died in the ER that night, but she died with dignity and grace, surrounded and embraced by all of the ER nursing staff who made sure her last moments were full of compassion and love. She was blessed by the care given to her that evening, and for that gift, our family remains forever grateful. –Nominated by Tricia Perry

Pam Pike, South Shore Hospital
Pam Pike is the Administrative Clinical Coordinator of our busy 370-bed hospital. She serves as the senior administrator on evenings and weekends, and employs her excellent communication skills developed over many years of experience in critical care nursing. Pam is smart, warm, and funny, using her dry humor to advance processes that result in the optimal care of the patient and family. She is a great person and a great nurse who is respected and liked by all who are fortunate to interact with her. –Nominated by Tim Quigley


South Shore Medical Center

Danielle Beatrice, South Shore Medical Center
In pediatrics, nursing is a lot of things, but most of all, at your core, it’s being a good person. Danielle Beatrice is able to relate to patients and their families. She is a calming influence, kind, generous, and a team player. This can be a difficult task, especially when a child is ill. Danielle consoles the patient in a nurturing manner while educating the parent on treatments. Danielle truly is a patient and a parent advocate. –Nominated by Christopher Cox

Lora Dalton, South Shore Medical Center
Lora Dalton is one of the most caring pediatric nurses I’ve ever worked with. She shows up every day with a smile on her face, ready to encounter our busy department’s daily issues. She manages some of our sickest children with care and compassion. Lora is in charge of our program for premature babies needing Synagis vaccine. She follows up with the parents to ensure the children are doing well after vaccination. Lora truly represents the department’s belief that we are treating the children but also the parents and guardians. –Nominated by Megan Orleman

Jeanine Farah, South Shore Medical Center
Jeanine Farah is a strong advocate for our nursing staff. She identifies issues and gaps in knowledge and provides education and training to each nurse in small groups until they are comfortable with the procedure/policy. She is a great resource and mentor to nurses and is a go-to for each nurse no matter how small or large the issue. Jeanine has created an atmosphere of learning and has brought nurses on a journey from paperwork and immunizations to truly working to the top of their license, doing more procedures and providing more opportunity for independent assessments of patients. She is involved in patient care across the lifespan. Jeanine is the cheerleader for South Shore Medical Center nursing. Her positive attitude is contagious and her passion is evident in her daily work. –Nominated by Aoife Bennette


Suzanne Kelly, South Shore Medical Center
Suzanne Kelly is a well respected nurse amongst her peers. She works in our gastrointestinal department and manages the center’s Hepatitis C program, assisting patients authorized to obtain prescription coverage for a $94,000 treatment plan. She follows patients during their course of treatment for 12 weeks with phone call updates to ensure they are taking their medication and also completing lab work. Her dedication to the program and her patients has resulted in complete cure rates of the virus. Suzanne deserves to be recognized as a leader among nurses for her patient advocacy role. –Nominated by Jeanine Farah

Jean LeClair, South Shore Medical Center
As the manager of our Urgent Care program, Jean LeClair truly has it all. She is an excellent communicator, manager of nurses and operations, and diagnostician. She has brought a process of improvement to the clinical area that is a model that should be adopted throughout medical centers. She is intelligent and caring, an excellent advocate for patients and their families. She is the pinnacle of nursing. –Nominated by David Halle

Carol McCarthy, South Shore Medical Center
I have known Carol McCarthy for many years and she goes all out with her compassion with each patient. The medical center is so fortunate to have Carol. She spends the time needed for patients with concerns and relieves their anxiety about any surgical procedure. Carol follows up on patients who underwent surgery and provides advice for more comfortable care. –Nominated by Dorothy Andrade


Kimberly Morse, South Shore Medical Center
Kimberly Morse has a wonderful demeanor, a can-do attitude, and an incredible amount of respect from her colleagues as well as providers. Her thoughtful, level-headed approach has been a welcome addition to various groups and committees to improve patient care. She is providing one-on-one education with diabetic patients. She follows up with phone calls to ensure they are following their care plan. We have seen so many successful outcomes from her education and caring nature. She is sought out by many in the department for help with patient outreach. Patients truly enjoy their nurse visits. She is a gem. –Nominated by David Halle

Special Olympics Massachusetts

Kathy Savage, Special Olympics Massachusetts
As a nurse practitioner, Kathy Savage has served as the volunteer medical coordinator for Special Olympics events for over 25 years. For those unfamiliar with Special Olympics Massachusetts, it provides year-round sports training, athletic competition, and other health-related programming for thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities throughout the state. At every event, medical volunteers play the crucial role of ensuring that athletes are cared for properly, and Kathy makes sure that happens. She is unquestionably the most skilled and energetic of the medical volunteers I have had the pleasure to work with as a games director. To watch Kathy in action is to see someone who brings her “A” game to every event. Athletes enjoy being around her and I believe that they can sense her never-ending enthusiasm for all things Special Olympics. What they do not get to sense is the devotion it takes. Nurses provide services that, in too many cases, we simply take for granted. I feel fortunate to know otherwise and will forever be grateful to people like Kathy for the work they do for all of us. –Nominated by Tom Kostizak


St. Margaret’s Maternity and Massachusetts Memorial

Eunice Conley, St. Margaret’s Maternity and Massachusetts Memorial
On April 12, Eunice celebrated her 99th birthday. Born in Rockport, Eunice was educated at the Mass Memorial Nursing School in Boston and is the oldest living graduate of the program. She settled in Dorchester, where, due to unfortunate circumstances, she raised four children as a single parent. As soon as she was able, she returned to nursing at St. Margaret’s Maternity Hospital, where she cared for unwed mothers and mothers who could not afford a private physician. She set a wonderful example for young nurse trainees from Boston College and other programs.
Over her many years, she has epitomized enduring qualities embraced by the nursing profession: competency, unselfishness, caring, understanding, patience, humility, perseverance, and a great sense of humor. She has been blessed with eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Known by her family as “Gigi” (short for great-grandmother), she continues to inspire through her thoughtfulness and remarkable intellect. She never misses sending a birthday card and has a way of giving the perfect gift or writing words of wisdom to her great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she is up-to-date with today’s best-sellers. She continues to show an amazing energy level in these golden years.
A life of moderation, caring for others, a smart diet, an occasional glass of good wine, and a very positive outlook on life have made her a role model for daughter, son, daughter-in-law, spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and friends. –Nominated by her family and John Murray


St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Susanne Keane, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
Susanne Keane has been a nurse for more than 30 years and has worked in the cardiac catheterization lab at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center for many of them. She is the charge nurse in the lab and is usually there when people having heart attacks are brought to the hospital. Susanne is energetic, upbeat, intelligent, knowledgeable, kind, and compassionate. She makes each of her patients feel like they are the only patient she has; she comforts them while providing top-notch care. She handles stress without becoming flustered and treats crazy busy days as if they were ordinary days. In the middle of chaos, she is the calming factor, keeping patients comfortable and alleviating their concerns. Susanne is also a terrific co-worker. She makes sure everyone else has their coffee or meal breaks even if it means she misses hers. She takes on-call duty on Christmas so her co-workers can spend time with their children. Once, she even donated her vacation time to a co-worker, a single mother who needed surgery but didn’t have enough of her own time to have the procedure.
Susanne has been responsible for taking care of her elderly parents and recently buried her father, yet she still maintains her ability to be upbeat and care for her mother. She shows great tenacity, having lost over 50 pounds in the past year, and now runs many 5K races to support local charities.
There are not a lot of nurses who are able to perform in such a stressful environment day after day, not to mention decade after decade. Susanne loves being a nurse—she says it is her calling—and she is spectacular at it. –Nominated by Lynne Aldrovandi


St. Luke’s Hospital

Donna Blackburn, St. Luke’s Hospital
Donna Blackburn is first my mother and, a close second, the best nurse in the state. I make this grand assertion of course with her many certifications and accolades in mind, but more for the impact she has on the community around her. My mom has been a nurse for over 40 years and has never taken a day off, or night in her case. Whether it was to take care of me and my two brothers, or a patient undergoing open-heart surgery, she has always put her whole self into her patient. When I meet her colleagues, one theme is clear: Donna is a people’s nurse. If given the choice between a relaxing night or making sure that every patient is given the best care, she won’t hesitate to choose the latter. Even though it has been 40 years, every patient and every patient’s family has a special place in her heart. I see it when she comes home in the morning. I know immediately when a patient has made significant strides to get better or, sadly, when a patient has not made it through the night.
I have had wonderful experiences with nurses over the years, but none matches the experience with my mom. I am so proud of her every day, and I cannot believe how lucky I am to have been raised with her as a role model. –Nominated by Laura Arcadipane

Matthew Bourque, St. Luke’s Hospital
When you get to the point of sickness that you must take yourself to the area emergency department, there are many uneasy emotions. I am one who had never used an emergency department until I suffered a stroke in May 2015. After my stroke, I went to rehab and then home, where I was being cared for by family members. In November I became very ill and knew that I needed further medical attention. I arrived at the hospital with high temperatures, severe dehydration, and shortness of breath. I was anxious, upset, and very sick. Arriving at the room, I was greeted with a smile that lit up the room. Matthew Bourque introduced himself as my nurse and just that first interaction eased some of my nervousness. He was extremely genuine, spoke slowly and calmly, and assured me that I was in the right place for my condition. Having to get an IV and blood taken makes me anxious. Matt took his time and was gentle and thorough. Knowing it was going to be difficult, he used his expertise on an ultrasound machine to place my IV. I did not feel a thing. He continuously updated me with what testing I needed or results as they came back. The doctor and Matt were on the same page and included my family in my care plan. There was not a moment in my visit that he did not show true compassion and dedication to me and his job. Matt is a true example of five-star nursing. –Nominated by Yvonne Dubois


Steward Good Samaritan Medical Center

Phil Grasso, Steward Good Samaritan Medical Center
My mother was admitted to the hospital for an infection. She has many outstanding illnesses and she gets very anxious. Phil Grasso was so sweet and caring the entire time my mother was his patient. He showed her great compassion and fully explained everything that was going on. He made my mother feel at ease, joking around with her and making her smile. Out of all the times my mother has been hospitalized over the years, I can truly say he was the best nurse I have ever met. Whenever my mother needed something, he was there. He did not make patients wait or have an attitude even if she asked many things. He was the most caring nurse and, if all nurses emulated his compassion, drive, and caring, the health care system would be in a much better place for the patient. –Nominated by Paula Prather

Stone Rehabilitation & Senior Living

Patricia Horrigan, Stone Rehabilitation & Senior Living
When Patricia (Patty) Horrigan arrives at Stone Rehabilitation & Senior Living, a nursing facility in Newton, a ray of sunshine comes in the door even on the cloudiest day. While using her medical expertise, Patty always spreads her kindness to the patients, staff, and visitors. All good nursing requires hard work, but Patty’s is even more difficult than most, for rather than the quick turn-around that occurs in hospitals, she treats her patients for many days, weeks, months, and even years. This requires great patience and kindness, for often the patients are difficult due to their compromised mental state. In spite of this, she treats them with such kindness and love that she soothes the most agitated resident. I have known her for several years as I visit a friend there frequently. –Nominated by Rosemary Dwyer


Sturdy Memorial Hospital

Sarah Ohlson, Sturdy Memorial Hospital
As the director of the Emergency Care Center at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, I have many nurses who deliver quality, competent, and compassionate care. I want to take a minute to recognize one in particular. Sarah Ohlson is the definition of the professional nurse. Sarah is a role model to her peers and a mentor to new nurses. Sarah is calm, kind, and competent, delivering quality care to all patients she comes in contact with. On March 16, it was Future Nurses Day at our hospital, and I asked Sarah to participate by setting up a station demonstrating a piece of equipment used to perform CPR and explain what emergency nursing is to the high school students. Without hesitation, she agreed, and I could not think of a better person to represent emergency nursing. –Nominated by David Denneno

Sunny Acres Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

Bridget Doucette, Sunny Acres Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
My exposure to the medical environment has been small until the year 2016 rolled around. Both my parents had medical problems that required hospital stays with rehabilitation facility follow-ups. In September, my mother fell and broke her hip; she’s been in a nursing home ever since. Because of the broken hip and the start of dementia, I believed this was the safest place for her. My father is semi-independent but he still requires a lot of help because he suffered a stroke and is confined to a wheelchair. I am able to have caregivers visit him three times a day to help with showers, feeding, and housework. My older brother was recently transferred to a rehabilitation facility from ICU with Guillain Barre Syndrome, along with a host of other medical issues. With all this being said, one nurse stands out as exceptional: Bridget Doucette is one of the kindest people I was able to meet in this chapter of my life. She is caring to all, including the other caregivers, janitors, and food workers, not just the residents. I observed another resident crying and wishing for death. Bridget immediately went into the room to talk to her and changed the subject to happier times immediately, lifting the resident’s spirits. She talks to all residents, most of whom have early signs of dementia, with respect and compassion. Although I have met many nurses along this long road to recovery, no one shone as brightly as Bridget. Her caring ways to all residents, not only to my mother, should be commended. –Nominated by Kellie O’Brien


Surgisite Boston

Zach Rinaldi, Surgisite Boston
Zach Rinaldi was truly amazing and compassionate. I was terrified and highly anxious during my first cataract surgery. I was so nervous that my blood pressure ran very high. Zach talked me down and explained everything that was going to happen, told me that he would be in surgery with me, and walked me through everything from start to finish. He voice was very calming and methodical as he needed to prep me for the surgery. He did not leave my side and, in recovery, he was right there with me, taking out the IV and going over post-op instructions. He made me feel like I was his only patient. It helped me immensely. –Nominated by Teresa Greco

Susan Bailis Assisted Living

Anne Gallant, Susan Bailis Assisted Living
Anne Gallant is a remarkable, caring nurse. She is an assisted living nurse and, although we are not a medical model, she has exhibited a professional, caring attitude at all times. Her compassion for the residents shows us just how caring she is. With the many problems that come up, Anne makes residents better. During the course of the day, many hugs are given out freely. After all, it really is the best medicine. –Nominated by Mariann Zenitz-Jones

Swampscott Family Practice

Justin Yunes, Swampscott Family Practice
My family has been attended by this practice for over 30 years. Physician changes have been few. However, when they occur, all staff pull together so that there are no gaps in treatment. The nurse practitioners help quite a bit here. Justin Yunes received his MSN from the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Health Practice, which is important to me mostly because of my own training and practice in that hospital. Maybe we have similar ways of talking and listening to one another, but relating seems easy and effective, with a good result from being heard, and hearing good judgment in return. I am careful with my medical care. I first observed this young man carefully and kindly assess my 90-year-old mother a decade ago, and just now have the need for visits with him for my family. –Nominated by Robert Alexander