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2022 Salute to Nurses Letters: Mass General Brigham

Brigham Circle Medical Associates

Ellen A. Raymond, Brigham Circle Medical Associates

Ellen Raymond shows professionalism and kindness, with an accent on the personal and treating me as a real person. She responds to all of my needs. —Nominated by John James Payne

Brigham and Women’s Harbor Medical Associates

Katherine Keough, Brigham and Women’s Harbor Medical Associates, South Weymouth

Kitty works very hard every day. She’s willing to help anyone and trains all the new nurses coming to this department and other suites. She loves her job and her co-workers and worked straight-out during COVID.  She deserves a standing ovation every day. I love coming to work knowing she’ll be here, smiling under the mask. —Nominated by Kerianne McLoughlin


Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Lian Atturio, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Lian has worked with me on the ortho trauma unit since 2015 and recently moved to the periop float pool. Lian is so much more than just a co-worker to memost importantly, she’s a great mentor and friend. She is organized, reliable, compassionate, intelligent, and sweet. She goes all-out for her patients and coworkers, even during a tough few years for her personally. You can always count on Lian to know what to do, what to say, and how to make you smile in an instant. I am so proud of her for all that she has done for the ortho unit and will continue to do for her new patients and coworkers. I am so lucky to have her in my personal and professional life. —Nominated by Kaleigh McRoberts

Alexandra Cellucci, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Alex is amazing. Compassionate to all patients, she goes all-out to make sure the patient is happy and taken care of.  She is also a great team player and always willing to help out where needed. Alexandra has so much knowledge in so many different specialties here at the Fish Center, and she’s always willing to work wherever she’s needed. She defines hard work and compassion and comes to work full of energy, ready to take on the day and care for patients while her bubbly personality keeps her co-workers smiling. She is a great asset to our team. —Nominated by Paula Antunes

Keisha Charlot, Neonatal ICU, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

My daughter was born at 23 weeks gestation and had a difficult medical course. She was hospitalized for 196 days. Keisha was our NICU nurse. Keisha is dedicated, passionate, and undeniably supportive to all her patients. Throughout my daughter’s hospital stay, Keisha cared for her (and other infants) like her very own. Keisha is an amazing cheerleader and advocate for all her patients. She exudes positive energy that makes the NICU not feel like such a dark place. We were so blessed to have Keisha on our team. Keisha was the guiding light throughout our journey. She was present through it all and saw my daughter overcome huge obstacles. She supported us through difficult conversations; she was there through all the ups and all the downs. She taught us the skills we needed to take our daughter home. —Nominated by Vanessa Nascimento-Oli

Meg Cole, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brookside Community Health Center

Meg Cole is the nurse director at Brookside Community Health Center. Her leadership through this pandemicand every dayis exceptional. She is detail-oriented and organized, which were critical qualities over the last few years when workflows changed almost daily. She co-led the COVID testing and vaccines at Brookside that supported not only our patients, but also Jamaica Plain and surrounding communities. Her leadership is inspiring. She is outstanding in all that she does and, as is true of most nurses, doesn’t expect praise, or even credit. She leads the way she does in order to help our patients, support the community, and help our medical staff and teams. She is one of a kind. —Nominated by Mimi Jolliffe

Maureen Conley-Rogazzo, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Maureen came into our lives at our darkest moment. My husband Ed had just suffered a devastating back fracture while overseas, only to find out that it was caused by multiple myeloma, which we did not know he had. Ed was air-ambulanced from the Middle East to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Maureen was one of the exceptional nurses who cared for him during his 35-day hospitalization. Her caring, compassionate demeanor, her attention to his needs, her patient advocacy, and her seemingly endless amount of patience won her a forever place in both of our hearts. I never once worried about leaving his side while he was in her care. Maureen is truly a special nurse and we will always be grateful for the care she provided my husband. —Nominated by Christine Schultz

Matthew Driscoll, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Matt is one of the best nurses I have ever encountered. He was on duty when I was admitted. I was extremely weak and sick, and he was so gentle, compassionate, and encouraging. He seemed to be always by my side when I was sickest. As I recovered, he always went the extra mile to make sure I was comfortable, bringing me an eye mask and earplugs, and most notably saving me a muffin—a surgery near the end of my stay was greatly delayed, and by the time I got back to the floor, I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours. He also advocated for me when we weren’t sure what was going on with my surgery, making multiple phone calls to find out what was causing the delay and how long it would be. I was Matt’s patient during at least three night shifts, and his cheerful, compassionate competency made a real difference to a difficult hospital experience. I always felt better when he was on duty. Thank you Matt. —Nominated by Rachael Lynch

Danielle Desrochers, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Danielle has been an inspiration to me since I was a new grad. The perfect example of a nurse, she strikes just the right balance between empathy, compassion, strength, firmness, and love that cannot be taught. She knows how to advocate for patients, speak to colleagues, and teach others. On her days off, she’s a wife, mother to four boys, and a caring friend. She is the epitome of a nurse and I’m so lucky to know her. —Nominated by Sarah Bessuille

Sarah DeWick, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Sarah recently cared for my daughter, Leah, at the Brigham’s ICU. Leah has a complicated medical history. She’s a childhood cancer survivor who’s awaiting a transplant for end-stage renal disease and has been hospitalized 19 times in the last year. Sarah demonstrated the utmost care and compassion to Leah, checking frequently to see if she needed anything and communicating frequently with Leah and the many doctors on her team, providing updates without even being asked. Sarah was also very responsive to me as the parent. I can’t say enough good things about Sarah’s care. I’m also extremely grateful to all the nurses and staff at the Brigham for their excellent care of my daughter. —Nominated by William Rapp

Lisa Downey, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Lisa leads our research team and works tirelessly to be there for every patient we screen and follow. She serves as the main clinical point of contact for each patient across our many trials, as well as supporting the cardiovascular clinic with non-research patients. She helps answer their questions, directs them to their primary care physician or primary cardiologist when they reach out with concerns, and follows up with them year after year. She remembers details about each patient and advocates for them and their varied concerns. She consistently takes on more than she’s obligated to in order to help these patients feel better and feel heard. Over the past year, as our trials became increasingly complicated and demanding, she coordinated medication changes, reassured concerned family members, and even figured out travel arrangements for numerous patients so they could get treatment here. 

Lisa’s care doesn’t end with the study requirements. She consistently places the patient first in all ways, and when issues arise it’s obvious how much she cares. Noticing trends in aftercare concerns for a certain cohort of patients last month, she took it upon herself to research solutions and bring them to the team to improve outcomes and patient comfort. That initiative and compassion reflects Lisa’s overall character and how it contributes to her work. Nursing is more than just a job; it’s undoubtedly her vocation. It is inspiring to see the time and care she commits to every patient she meets, even after 44 years as a nurse. —Nominated by Sinead Coyle

Shannon Fagan, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Shannon made me feel so comfortable during labor with my son. I truly never imagined such an interaction was possible. Her level of care and knowledge was incredible, and is why I recommend Brigham to friends. —Nominated by Jyoti Mehta

Katia Jean-Baptiste, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

When I had an emergency C-section, Katia helped me with everything from getting out of bed to bringing me to the Neonatal ICU to see my baby, and everything in between. She was always smiling, and so helpful. I was elated to have her as my nurse. —Nominated by Denise Walsh

Katherine Keast, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

My healthy and fit 43-year-old husband (Timmy) had a massive heart attack and went into cardiac arrest on the Cape on July 24, 2021. He got a stent put in at Hyannis Hospital and was then medflighted to Brigham, where he spent 40 nights. Katherine was by his side and was so kind and caring. She played music for him and drew inspirational drawings on the whiteboard for us when we would come in the next morning. She even got down on the floor and held me while I bawled my eyes out on a really scary day. She is genuinely invested in her patients and their families. She also was the one who helped make the decision to extubate Timmy. He responded to her voice more than any other nurse. She even downloaded his favorite book on audible on her phone to play for him overnight. She was incredible to me and my family during a terrifying time. —Nominated by Nikcole Allen

Heidi Braun Lally, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

We have a special nurse in our familyHeidi Braun Lally. When she’s off duty and home with her two teenage boys, she’s always available to all our family for our medical needs. Young or old, she’s always available, whether it’s for urgent care attention, answering questions, putting on a bandage, or just providing reassurance that everything is healing and will be just fine. Heidi has a joyful attitude that’s contagious. 

I’m Heidi’s aunt, a senior citizen 89 years old, and I live independently. Heidi always takes me to my medical appointments. She listens to what the doctor tells me and then explains it in simpler terms. She’s my eyes and ears, and a steady presence. 

I injured my leg in the past year. Heidi has followed my healing process and keeps restoring my confidence day by day.

I want to honor Heidi for all she does, first as a kind and loving human being caring for her patients at the Brigham hospital, and then as a trusted medical resource to myself and all our family. —Nominated by Gail Wetherby

Helen Lasic, Labor and Delivery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Helen was an outstanding trauma-informed care provider during my complex stay at the hospital. This baby came after six years of infertility treatmentsand before that, personal circumstances that required developing resilience while jumping over hurdles and barriers recovering from trauma.  

At the hospital, Helen saw me going through stress during my procedure. Helen assessed the situation accurately, understanding that while the doctors focused on procedure, they weren’t focused on quality trauma-informed care. Helen treated me with compassion and empathy, and also did something outstanding on my behalf: she gave me a chance to advocate for myself in the moment. —Nominated by Elizabeth Marrin

Paula Machado, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Paula is a shining light. She is always encouraging and a positive force. Paula picked up an extra shift one day on my busy oncology unit. A patient was going through a tough time, understandably. Paula cared for her not just medically, but emotionally as well. Paula Machado embodies Brigham excellence. It is an honor to know her. —Nominated by Jessica Dalusma

Ellen McKeon-Levine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

I’ve worked with Ellen for the past 10 years. She is great to all of our patients. She shows care and helps to comfort each patient. I would truly like to thank her for all of the hard work she puts in daily, never complaining. She always has such a great attitude toward patients. She tells them that they are her only patient and she is there for them. —Nominated by Angela Schiavone

Pete Meagher, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Pete was an incredible resource when our 5-year-old daughter was undergoing radiation for a rare and inoperable tumor. With six weeks of daily trips to Boston for this treatment, he became like family. He did everything to make her comfortable and always found a way to make her laughthe best medicine of all. She walked with a brace due to the nerve damage from her tumor, and so he’d always challenge her to a “race” and let her win. He’d pretend to walk into walls to make her giggle and was always up for taking her to “boo.” unsuspecting techs and her child life specialist. No matter how silly her requests were, he consistently agreed if it helped make her happy. Pete is a magical soul who was born to help others—Nominated by Sara Anderson

Jennifer Mosaheb, Brigham and Women’s Hospital 

Jennifer is a team player with expert knowledge of what it means to be a nurse. She demonstrates patience and compassion in everything she does, always going beyond expectations. —Nominated by Yolanda Valdez

Nhan Nguyen, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Nhan took very good care of me and always helped me in a very friendly way. He showed great concern and I really appreciate that. He also showed great skill. He’s a great kid who deserves to be recognized for his hard work and dedication. —Nominated by Corey Cheries

Jeffrey Gage Powell, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Although this isn’t a traditional patient/nurse interaction, (Jeffrey) Gage Powell had a profound impact on me, my education, and my life. He served as my preceptor in my final semester of nursing school. He is a brilliant young man (I say this because I am just about old enough to be his parent) who’s passionate about oncology care and research, and highly dedicated to his patients and fellow team members. He facilitated learning each and every shift, dug in and opened up my thought processes, and provided the most competent, skilled care to his patients. I would feel privileged if he ever cares for me or my family. —Nominated by Brenna Ferrentino

Kathryn Reidy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

All of the nurses were amazing when my 90-year-old father was in the hospital for 10 days, but Kathryn stood out. She was kind and helpful and gave her all to take care of my dad and the whole family. —Nominated by Roseann Sable

Lindsay Robillard, Brigham and Women’s Hospital 

Our son Jameson was born premature at 25 weeks and spent five months in BWH NICU. His stay was tough, but his primary nurse Lindsay made the process so much better. She cared for our son as if he was her ownshe genuinely loved him. She always gave him the best care and made sure to care for my husband and I as well. She was always a listening ear on my bad days. The main reason I nominate Lindsay is because of how big of an advocate she was for our son. She always stood up for what she felt was right for him, and was always a strong advocate in our family meetingsshe even came in on her day off to be in one of our meetings. We couldn’t have asked for a better nurse. —Nominated by Rene Baker

Ruby Rollins, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

My husband, Taylor, was a patient on 8C after a severe reaction to a medication. While all of the nursing staff provided phenomenal care, Ruby Rollins was a standout nurse. Although I’m a nurse myself, I was overwhelmed with how ill my husband was, and Ruby’s kindness, humor, and compassion put me at ease. Ruby cared for my husband for three nights in the Surgical ICU, and when she was his nurse, I could leave the hospital knowing he was in the best hands. Ruby never minded if I needed to check in at 3 a.m. to put my mind at ease, and she did everything in her power to keep him comfortable. Ruby, our family is forever grateful to you for your exceptional care. —Nominated by Lauren Healey

Renee Goldberg Rotman, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Renee was my nurse when I lost my first pregnancy at 20 weeks, and by an amazing coincidence she later helped deliver my daughter Stella. I wept the second she walked in, recognizing her from the previous February when she consoled me and was my rock through the most devastating time of my life. There she was, walking in to deliver my daughter almost a year later. 

Both times, Renee went all-out to make me laugh and feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations. She never had to try, because that’s just how Renee is naturally. I connected with her on such a level that I consider it a friendship. 

I’m due again in the next week and pray that the world will miraculously bring us together again. I’d feel blessed to have her as my nurse when I have my second daughter. —Nominated by Laura Poillucci

Christina Swenor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

My father suddenly became critically ill in May 2021, and Christina managed his complex care in the ICU with competence. When it became clear he would not turn around, she was equally proficient at supporting him and my family through such meaningful personal touches as making impressions of his hand for a keepsake and printing out his final heart rhythm strip. We will remain forever grateful for her compassionate care for my father and my family. —Nominated by Karin Sloan

Maryssa Tripol, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

I was inpatient four nights for thoracic surgery in February. My operation was more involved than anticipated. When Maryssa walked into my room on Day One, I knew I’d hit the lotto. She greeted me with kind words and compassion and explained everything that she needed to do with her thorough knowledge of health and well-being. She confirmed that nurses continue to connect with their patients. Asking questions about life’s interests, family, travel, and my health helped with my care and recovery. She also was very positive and upbeat to be around. I was impressed with her and all the other caregivers on floor 11-A. —Nominated by Margaret Leal

Nori Ann Vincitorio Brigham and Women’s Hospital 

Nori has become very special in my life. She has been caring for my brother Jeff for over nine months during his chemo treatments. She answers questions for him, myself, and our family and has offered help on so many levelsspiritually and emotionally. She guided me in helping my parents cope with all of the unknowns. She genuinely cares for her patients and their families. We never felt rushed, or like she was annoyed by our questions. She provides so much motivation for healing. She is a true blessing and we feel safe knowing Jeff is under her care. —Nominated by Amy Stone


Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

Anne Marie Bermingham, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

Anne Marie has worked in this hospital for over 36 years. She has worked as a floor nurse, an ICU nurse, a nursing supervisor, gastroenterology nurse, and post-anesthesia care unit nurse.  Anne Marie has a magical way of making her patients feel special. She is close with her family and feels like her patients should have their family members close by, too. Anne Marie has had her share of surgery. She uses these experiences to anticipate her patients’ needs.

Last fall, Anne Marie cared for a young breast cancer patient. Anne Marie sat down next to her and patiently medicated and cared for her, treating her pain and nausea until she felt better. She explained to the patient that this sometimes happens, and we have medication to improve her condition. Anne Marie is a strong champion and advocate for her patients. —Nominated by Mary Barry

Lusy Gonzalez, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

Lusy has worked at Faulkner for several years, and has proven over and over that she is an asset to 6 South. As a staff nurse, Lusy gives excellent care, and works with the patient care assistants.  She teaches her patients about their diagnosis, their doctor’s orders, and the plan for each day. She helps with solutions when her patients become anxious or frustrated. She is an advocate and true team member, always placing her patient as the priority. She helps everyone. Lusy is a great resource, and handles her charge duties with ease. When she’s a preceptor, she gives “tough love” to help the new nurses become better. —Nominated by Mary Barry

ICU Nurses, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

These nurses are incredibly committed and dedicated to patients and their families. They are excellent patient and family advocates, providing evidence-based practice and compassionate care regardless of the pandemic. They thrive on their work, day in and day out. The ICU nurses stayed throughout the pandemic because they are committed to patient care, the ICU, and the organization. They welcomed new temporary staff with kindness, an open door, and guidance to help them provide excellent patient care. 

The ICU nurses persevered throughout the pandemic while clinical care was changing rapidly. They embraced the challenge with open arms and they always said, “We are here to help, and we are in this together.” They continued to educate themselves and each other on the constantly changing science. 

The nurses used innovative technology to connect families with their patient when visitation wasn’t possible. The nurse was often the in the room for 12 hours, wearing many hats, but their priority was always supporting patients and their families.  It was a common to see nurses hold the hands of a dying patient as they assured their families that they would not let their loved ones die alone. Despite the pandemic, the nurses continued to improve patient care by completing evidence-based practices. They deserve to be recognized for their commitment to the nursing profession, patients, and each other. 

It’s my honor and pleasure to lead this incredible team, and I can’t thank them enough for all the work they do and for their commitment to the public. —Nominated by Estier Sayegh

Cooley Dickinson Health Care

Terry Derderian, Cooley Dickinson Physician Hospital Organization

Terry is committed to and diligent about protecting patient medical records. Terry goes the extra mile every year to send the correct medical records to us for HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set) audit. She hunts down difficult information for us, which adds a lot of extra time to her day. She does it without complaint and never fails us. The HEDIS process is tedious. Terry is committed to protecting her patients. She has been a true advocate and an absolute pleasure to work with. She embodies the highest MGB values and standards. —Nominated by Kathleen Murphy

Parash Pijar, Cooley Dickinson Hospital

Parash is a caring, compassionate nurse and extremely supportive co-worker. I feel honored to call him my friend. —Nominated by Natasha Anderson

Priscilla Ross, Cooley Dickinson Hospital

Priscilla is a compassionate leader and supportive mentor. Her dedication to her multiple roles is unmatched. —Nominated by Natasha Anderson

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital

Mass. Eye and Ear Nurses, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital

In the 18 years I’ve worked at Mass Eye and Ear as a director, I have stood arm-in-arm with these nurses. There isn’t one nurse who stands out, but rather multiple nurses from all areas of the hospital—their professionalism, their respect for their patients, and their outstanding care and commitment while putting their personal needs aside. For example: How is this patient going to get home safely on the train? At the end of their shift, one nurse rode the train with the patient, bringing them to their loved ones. Many hands were held, hugs were given, tears were shed, and laughter was shared to help ease fears and worries.  These nurses perform so many acts of kindness, courage, and commitment every day, from the new nurses to those with many years of experience who are teaching as they do their jobs. To all of these fine nurses that I have had the pleasure of working with, I salute you for the courage you showed in this pandemic and what you do on a daily basis. —Nominated by JoAnn Graziano

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Melissa Dolby, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Melissa has worked in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Family Medicine Department for approximately nine years and was instrumental during COVID, choosing not to work remotely, instead arriving on campus daily to support patients and families when they needed it. In early 2021, she deservedly moved into the role of nurse manager, at which she excels. 

As a leader, she is knowledgeable, supportive, always composed, and engaging. The daily challenges of coordinating a multi-office department, and her unflappable, pleasant, and witty response to these challenges, shows what a true leader she is. She’s always ready to jump in and assist with whatever needs to be done, and her staff reflects this will-do attitude. Melissa was recently nominated to sit on the Mass General Brigham Ambulatory Nursing Counsel, where her insights and abilities are sure to be appreciated. It has been my honor and pleasure to work with Melissa. —Nominated by Pamela Thomas

Patricia Gazaille, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Consistently positive and always striving to improve her clinical skills, Patty treats patients with the utmost respect in all circumstances. She has the trust of all her co-workers and makes people’s lives better every day. Life is better with Patty Gazaille in it. —Nominated by Helen Green

Patricia Gazaille, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Patty goes the extra mile to make everyone she comes across in the emergency room leaves with a remarkable impression of her love and care. She has shown how much she cares and understands the reason for being in the emergency room. I am honored that she takes care of not just myself, but my special needs son, who adores her. —Nominated by Janice Richardson Coke

Laura Schubert, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

The birthing process is never easy, but it presents unique challenges for a 44-year-old woman, post-IVF, during COVID-19, on an island seven miles from the mainland. Add an emergency midnight cesarean section and you have what could have been a daunting experience, but the care, compassion, and patience of one special nurse made the experience a joyous event of adding a much-wanted, much-loved addition to one small Massachusetts family. Thank you to Laura Schubert for allowing us to focus on our new addition in a safe and caring environment. —Nominated by Kimberlee Labonte

Massachusetts General Hospital

Joyce Barkin, Massachusetts General Hospital

I had a virtual visit with Joyce Barkin on Jan. 7 regarding intestinal issues and recurring left-knee pain. Joyce contacted my primary care physician immediately and secured a referral for a knee specialist, and I got an appointment the following week. The knee pain had been ongoing for six months, so it was soothing to get an appointment for an expert diagnosis.

Joyce is a nurse in Dr. Robb Nicholson’s office, and I have had interactions with her over the past decades as Dr. Robb’s patient. However, it’s very reassuring in this difficult time to have someone that listens patiently, and gives good advice. —Nominated by Patricia Previte

Kristen Bodnaruk, Massachusetts General Hospital

Kristen has been my husband’s primary infusion nurse since he was discharged from the hospital in March 2021 after being diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. At the time, family members weren’t allowed in with the patients, so she was taking care of everything he needed solo while making sure that I was kept in the loop. Kristen now meets us every time with a smile, asking about our family. She always has his best interests at heart and make sure he gets into the infusion unit early, if needed, so that he can get home sooner. She is almost always one step ahead and has a transfusion ready to go before we even know he needs one. Several times we went in when my husband wasn’t feeling quite right. Luckily, because of her instincts and how well she gets to know her patients, she checked his vitals repeatedly and caught a few fevers that landed him in a lengthy hospital admission. Kristen has been working at MGH for over 20 years, specializing in oncology patients going through leukemia. With all her knowledge, experience, and kindness there isn’t anyone else I would want taking care of my husband. She is very special and treats her patients with such kindness, compassion, and respect. —Nominated by Alyson Achorn

Cathy Bonin, Massachusetts General Hospital

While my primary care physician was on maternity leave I developed some health problems, and Cathy was always available to answer my questions and direct my care. She always made me feel comforted and never made me feel like was overreacting. She has a great sense of humor and is one of the best nurses I have had the pleasure to be cared for by. —Nominated by Leslie Olsher

Izzi Carlo, Massachusetts General Hospital

I am nominating my daughter Izzi for the at-home hospice care she provided her father Bill Carlo, a non-Hodgkins lymphoma patient, over Christmas and New Year’s. Izzi is a graduate of Boston University’s Sargent College and Northeastern University’s graduate nursing program. She works at MGH Bigelow 7 and this fall starts part-time studies at Northeastern to be a nurse practitioner.

For more than two years, Bill had undergone many difficult procedures: stem cell transplants, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation. Just in time for the holidays, however, his team told Bill he had come to the end of the road.

Despite being a new nurse with no hospice experience, Izzi met the challenge of making Bill safe and comfortable in our family’s dining room. She had to get used to the lack of resources and direction she’d normally have in a hospital. Thanks to COVID and holiday schedules, the hospital’s hospice triage team was stretched thin, but everyone saw that Izzi could handle it.

Providing hospice care to the man who had raised her was heartbreaking. Bill was so proud that she had become a nurse. Every member of the teams who had served him at MGH had heard all the stories about his daughter Izzi, the nurse at Mass General. MGH had become Bill’s home away from home, and now it was Izzi’s.

As the days went by, Bill’s breathing became the heartbeat of the house. Exhausted, Izzi adjusted Bill’s meds, washed and turned him, kept him warm, and comforted him with words of love. After 10 days, Bill passed with Izzi at his side. She loved him as a daughter first and foremost, and was grateful that she could serve him as a nurse when he needed it the most. —Nominated by Sue McGovern

Abigail Carpenter, Massachusetts General Hospital

I was in MGH for 40 days with a lung transplant and she worked with me every day to get better. Her care and positive attitude really helped me get better. —Nominated by Pat Lovett

Jen Chan, Massachusetts General Hospital
Nurse Jen is fantastic. She always puts me and my daughter, who is 15 months old, at ease during the stressful experience of managing food allergies. She’s one of the only nurses who can keep my daughter calm enough to get her vitals. She makes sure our questions are answered and we’re as comfortable as possible during our very long appointments. Recently, my daughter started blowing Nurse Jen kisses—it’s very sweet. Thanks for all that you do.—Nominated by Lindsay Simeone

Kerry Chen, Massachusetts General Hospital

My daughter Kristen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2016, when she was seven months pregnant. Kristen was a patient at MGH in Lundar 10, and Kerry Chen was one of her team of nurses.

Over time, Kerry and Kristen developed a close relationship. Kerry was there for spinal taps, CAR T cells (stem cell transplants), chemo, and more. Even when Kerry wasn’t on duty she called or texted Kristen, whether she was in MGH or at home.

Driving up from the Cape or in from Stoneham, Kerry always made myself and my wife feel comfortable, as if Kristen was her only patient. She helped explain the procedures and guided us through this most difficult time. 

Kristen passed on Dec. 21, 2019. Since then, Kerry has kept in touch with us and with Kristen’s husband Bryan. We consider Kerry part of our family. She has a special gift with a huge heart, and we love her dearly. —Nominated by Jim Hoar

Cherrylanne Curran, Massachusetts General Hospital 

If I or a loved one is ever hospitalized, I’d want Cheryl as my nurse. Growing up in Boston, her roots are deep in the city. She calls Dorchester home and has lived there her whole life. She has seen the challenges other families, and sometimes her own, faced, and she wanted to help. I started working with Cheryl six years ago on the IV team at MGH. At the time, we were both IV techs with dreams of becoming nurses. Cheryl was accepted into a nursing program and started her first semester at a well-known college that took a turn and lost their accreditation. Like many, she struggled with having done all this work and overcome so much for it to not count. Eventually she was accepted into another program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences—and then the pandemic happened. She postponed her 2020 wedding and continued on with school through the craziest time we medical people have ever seen. I am so proud of her hard work in getting her RN, but her story doesn’t stop there. In her two years as a nurse, she has grown so much. She has taken on a leadership role to help the new nurses coming on and she is almost too good at her job. She cares about the patient and what is truly best for them. When I finish my schooling, I’ll consider myself lucky if I can become half the nurse she is. —Nominated by Kimberlee Cogan

Leah Fingerman, MGH Pulmonary Associates, Massachusetts General Hospital

I met Leah when my favorite doctor of all time came to Mass General. Dr. Hallowell is so amazing that it was fitting that he was paired with the most amazing nurse. Leah exemplifies the definition of a nurse. Leah is intelligent, kind, and caring. With my lung issues, COVID has been a very time scary time. Leah and Dr. Hallowell have been there for me throughout. She is always available to answer questions, listen to my fears, and guide me. I’m so grateful for her care, I’m not sure I can even put it into words. Just knowing I have her and Dr. Hallowell there has made my life better. I have been able to navigate this pandemic with their help. Her care is second to none. I am blessed to have been in the care of such an amazing nurse. —Nominated by Jamie Slavin

Rose Gallagher, Massachusetts General Hospital

I have had the pleasure of working with Rose over the last three years. Rose has extensive knowledge in her specialty and uses it to make best clinical decisions for her patients. She takes the necessary time to evaluate learning needs, and educates both patient and family on medications, treatments, and disease process. She is also a great advocate for her patients and their families. She is kind and compassionate, and these values help to ensure that every patient she encounters gets the best care. —Nominated by Caren Whittington

Stefanie Iannalfo, Massachusetts General Hospital

I’ve worked with Stefanie for the last decade. Stefanie’s compassion has always been apparent, but in the past year she’s exceeded expectations in caring for her patients and her peers. Stefanie is an oncology nurse who personally connects with each patient, gets to know them and their families, and adjusts her care to meet their individual needs in innovative and creative ways. She recently cared for a patient with mental illness who was restless and distrusted health-care workers. Stefanie built rapport with this patient by allowing him to walk in the hallways almost constantly. This was extremely time consuming, as this patient was a fall risk and a flight risk, and therefore needed staff to be with him at all times. Stefanie artfully engaged him in conversation to distract him from being confined to the hospital. This is not out of the ordinary for Stefanie. 

Stefanie is nonjudgmental, empathetic, and kind. She strives to maintain her patient’s dignity and respect when they’re extremely ill in their cancer trajectory. Patients walking in the hallway frequent stop by the “bubble” to chat with Stefanie when she’s the resource nurse. Her infectious personality, wit, and humor are welcomed by patients coming to grips with their cancer diagnoses. If my family member were sick, I would want Stefanie as their nurse, because she’s a fierce advocate and an expert oncology nurse. —Nominated by Christina Alexander

Annette Moore, Internal Medicine Associates, Massachusetts General Hospital

Annette has provided extraordinary care through the last two pandemic years with her work in the Internal Medicine Associates, a primary care general internal medicine practice at MGH. In the first year, this meant answering countless calls from patients paralyzed by fear. Her desperately needed reassurance comforted those with chronic conditions. 

For the past year, the volume of outpatient COVID work accelerated as our understanding and therapeutic strategies stabilized for those hospitalized, and became more manageable. There were hundreds of vaccine questions to be answered, coming both from those looking for vaccine access and those highly skeptical. Annette continually updated her own knowledge as recommendations were constantly updated. Importantly, her confident voice swayed many to seek vaccination. With the omicron surge at the end of 2021, we were swamped by an unanticipated flood of patients with acute illness. Much has been written about the stress of the beta and delta waves on ERs and hospitals, but the added work that omicron placed on the front desk and nursing workforce for primary care practices was relentless and exhausting. Annette pushed herself to a higher level, providing expert guidance with day-to-day virtual care for the many breakthrough cases.  

Outpatient nursing is a cornerstone of primary care. Annette is a spectacular example of the power and importance of relationships built with patients through years of individual interactions. Annette’s work exemplifies the importance of the consistent and continuous care delivered to patients throughout Massachusetts. ER and hospital nursing are critical elements of health-care delivery, but the importance and therapeutic value of trust built between a patient and the office nurse, who is always available to solve problems and provide reliable advice, is what allows acute care settings to most appropriately serve our needs. Caring over time is the essence of what we all wantsomeone we trust will be there when needed. Annette personifies this every day, every week, every month, year after year. —Nominated by John Goodson

Mary Mott, 7th Floor Lunder Neuroscience Center, Massachusetts General Hospital

Mary Mott was my angel in caring for my husband Richard during his stay on the 7th floor. Her concern, compassion, and patience for our entire family was greatly appreciated. Mary helped me through the most challenging time of my life, and for that she will never be forgotten. —Nominated by Marianne Carino

Lucas Nunes, Massachusetts General Hospital

My father, Dan, went into MGH last May with COVID-19 on top of an existing lung disease. He quickly was transferred to the ICU, and because he had COVID he couldn’t have visitors. I received a call from Lucas, who was awaiting my dad’s transfer. He explained calmly and kindly what was going on. He arranged for me to be able to come into the hospital and meet with him, my dad, and the team to discuss our goals of care. This was the most difficult conversation I’ve ever had, but Lucas was right there to support both of us. He was a great advocate who really listened to our needs and wants for my dad’s quality of life. 

Dan was in the ICU for about a week with Lucas as his primary nurse. Of course, this was a scary time, especially since visiting was very limited. One day Lucas went into my dad’s room in full personal protective equipment and spent two straight hours talking, listening to Eric Clapton, washing my dad’s hair, and shaving his face. This meant the world to my dad and my family. He felt like a new man and was beyond grateful for that time Lucas spent with him. Being in the ICU is not ideal for anyone, but Lucas really made my father feel comfortable and brightened his day. Lucas called with an update at least once a day, unprompted. Knowing my dad was receiving such great care from Lucas made it easier for us to not be there 24/7, and we will be forever grateful. —Nominated by Molly McGarry

Lunder 10 Nurses, Massachusetts General Hospital

The nurses at MGH on Lunder 10 are angels. My husband was in and out of Lunder 10 for over five years. The nurses became his dear friends. They listened to his stories and his music on his “orange Bose speaker.” When he was able to walk round and round the hallway, he played his music softly while the nurses cheered him on. When he was admitted on his 70th birthday, before he was taken to his room the nurses posted signs that they’d made wishing him a happy 70th, despite their tiresome, stressful, and complicated duties. My husband met with respect, kindness, and admiration for the strength he showed in fighting his cancer. He was a person first and a patient second. Right up to his last breath on Lunder 10, we never felt alone. His favorite nurses never left him alone. Thank you to all the Lunder 10 angels; I am forever in your debt, and I will never forget you. —Nominated by Mary Ellen Mucci

Mary Omeara, Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base Program

Mary is one of a kind. As the lead nurse in the Home Base Traumatic Brain Injury program, she deals primarily with patients from the Special Operations community who have a host of service-connected physical and behavioral issues, including post-traumatic stress.

I know that a Green Beret who didn’t complete the program came back because of Mary. He went on to complete an intensive clinical program to help heal his invisible wounds. He told me that Mary was one of the primary drivers for him to come back. This from a special operator with decades of military experience and multiple combat deployments. Mary quite possibly saved his life. A consummate clinical professional who cares deeply about her patients and is fully dedicated to her career as a nurse and clinician, it seems like Mary works 24/7. —Nominated by Daniel Arkins

Jessica O’Neil, Massachusetts General Hospital

Last April, at 15 years old, I underwent major abdominal surgery. This was my first big surgery so it was very stressful. Jess was a nurse on the pediatric surgical unit during the week I was recovering. She went over and above to support and assist my mom and I with anything we needed. While I was at the hospital, I missed a dance competition that I was very excited to perform at. Jess spent extra time talking to me about dance and how I was excited to return after my recovery. She helped me set up the livestream so I could watch my friends who were competing, and adjusted my medication schedule around it. After this experience, I decided that I want to pursue a career in nursing after high school. She really inspired me with her kindness, patience, and compassion. I will never forget how she impacted my life during such a hard time. —Nominated by Alexis Martineau

John Pellerito, White 10, Massachusetts General Hospital

My sister Alice was in and out of MGH for three months in the past year. She had severe rheumatoid arthritis, but now was having pulmonary and cardiac issues as well. We received a call requesting us to meet. Alice, who was a nurse for over 40 years, was fully aware of all that was happening. She insisted on being at MGH as she had graduated from MGH School of Nursing in 1962 and she always said you got the best care there. We met with her care team and were told that things didn’t look good, and Alice wanted comfort care only. Everyone working on White 10 was amazing, but one stood out. John announced his entrance with a booming voice to make her comfortable. He would then gently reposition her, chat with her, and check with us to see how we were doing. He was mentoring a student nurse, and I thought how lucky she was to have him as a mentor. He was scheduled several days that week and always had Alice as a patient. As the days passed, Alice was less and less alert. I arrived one day just as John came into her room. Hearing his booming voice, she sat up in her bed and gave him the biggest smile, even though she was very weak and seemed to have been asleep. The end was coming soon, and she was placed on palliative care. The next day John was again her nurse, checking to see how I was doing. A short time later she took her last breath. I called the desk and John was there immediately. I know that John’s care and concern made it possible for my sister to be at peace.  He treated her with the dignity that should be afforded to every patient. —Nominated by Eleanor Donato

Ellen Silvius, Massachusetts General Hospital

Ellen is one of the most extraordinary nurses I have ever worked with. As the nurse navigator for the MGH Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center, she spends every day advocating for a patient population that has been ignored by the health-care system for decades. While there are numerous examples of her compassion and fierce dedication, one in particular stands out. One patient who had been in and out of the hospital several times over the past year due to complications of his disease was being seen in the clinic. During the visit, Ellen learned that the patient, who was plagued with severe acute and chronic pain, was sleeping on an air mattress. She surmised that this was exacerbating his pain and his frequent hospitalizations. Ellen used her own money to buy the patient a new bed with sheets and a mattress pad. The patient has stayed out of the hospital for longer than he was able to over the past year. 

Stories of Ellen’s compassion could fill pages. She has paid for cab rides. She has purchased warm clothing for patients who have none. She has gone to the cafeteria to buy food for patients who haven’t had a real meal for days. Ellen Silvius defines what it means to be a nurse: giving of herself for the sake of her patients without even a second thought. —Nominated by Shart Azar

Victoria Vessering, Massachusetts General Hospital

Our niece was admitted to the emergency room at MGH in January. She arrived in intense pain, suffering from end stage cancer. She had fought a courageous battle for almost four years. She tried to stay at home because she was immunocompromised and there was a COVID upswing, but the pain and swelling became intolerable. At that time, support persons could only stay for a short period, and she would soon be alone. Nurse Vessering admitted her and managed to find her a separate alcove that was private, and thus safe.

She provided a warm, cozy blanket and warm support while she arranged for pain medication. The emergency room was very full and we don’t know how she managed this, but we will always remain grateful that Lynn had this personal touch in a large city hospital at the end of her life. —Nominated by Ann Rinaldi

Caren Whittington, Massachusetts General Hospital

I have very difficult patients with complex issues who require a lot of attention and care. Despite being spread thin by numerous responsibilities and activities in the clinic, Caren is always respectful and kind to my patients. She completes the work and we routinely receive very high marks from patients. —Nominated by Michael Levy

Mass General, Brigham Home Care

Iron Town Team, Partners HealthCare at Home, Mass General Brigham Home Care 

All of the nurses on the Iron Town Team who have provided services for me this year have been wonderful. They all go out of their way to do anything extra that I might need. This includes all of the professionals on the Iron Town team. The nurses help you navigate the medical forms, discharge instructions, drugs prescribed, interactions, side effects, etc. They are to be commended. —Nominated by Karen Dutton

Helen Tieger, Partners HealthCare

Helen is kind, gentle, and confident in the most comforting way. My mother-in-law’s elderly husband had a terrible fall and was briefly hospitalized. Upon his release, Helen Tieger was assigned to us for daily wound care for six weeks.  Her patient was exhausted, frightened, and completely overwhelmed after his stay in the hospital. Helen’s demeanor, kind words, and expert care helped him through a most difficult time. Throughout the next few months, Helen came intermittently for many health concerns, and always brought her professional but ever-so-gentle care and concern. We are forever grateful for her presence through these last difficult months. —Nominated by Gretchen Wollerscheid

McLean Hospital

Paula Bolton and Sophie Forte, McLean Hospital

Mental health needs have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and nurses in psychiatric settings face unique and daunting challenges. More and more people require care for serious mental health conditionsoften prompted or exacerbated by the pandemicand health care workers themselves are fighting emotional exhaustion on top of providing vital front-line care during an epidemic. 

Paula Bolton and Sophie Forte at McLean Hospital delivered unsurpassed care to our patients and caregivers alike during the latest COVID surge in late 2021/early 2022, leading the McLean Infection Control team. I was brand new to McLean when the “third wave” of COVID hit, and I was immediately impressed with Paula and Sophie, both individually and together. Paula tirelessly advocated for policies, equipment, and testing capabilities to maximize both patient and staff safety at all levels, and Sophie brought a fantastic combination of determination and positive attitude to everything from filming infection control educational videos to securing 3 a.m. lab results. Paula and Sophie make a terrific team and are amazing, passionate nurses who put their patients and colleagues at the heart of all they do. —Nominated by Catherine Bromberg

Kathleen Cushing, McLean Hospital

Kathleen is an amazing nurse for the patients, and a mother hen of sorts for the staff. She is approachable, kind, and compassionate with all of our patients. She patiently interacts with parents daily. She is an excellent communicator, reaching out to providers via email and phone, and consistently following through with any concerns. All of the staff turn to Kathleen for comfort, or to debrief after a tough day. When I’m not there to care for my patients in person, I have complete trust that Kathleen will care for them as if they were her own family. —Nominated by Heather Ciaramitaro

Nantucket Cottage Hospital

Annette Bell-Thompson, Nantucket Cottage Hospital

Annette Bell-Thompson works the night shift and has been super compassionate on many occasions. One patient told me that they didn’t want anyone except Annette as her nurse because she went above and beyond by providing such good, comforting care. Annette is very competent and is a great instructor and preceptor. She loves what she does so much that she shows joy in how she teaches providing superb patient care. She looks for an opportunity to teach every chance she gets and I really appreciate that, because it shows the love she has for her patients and her staff. I don’t just work under herwhen I work with her, I feel like a teammate, not her do-girl. She doesn’t treat me like her inferior. She communicates with such clarity, I feel as though I know exactly what needs to be done, and more. Patients are all so happy with her work. If I were a patient, I would want Annette to be my nurse. I would also want my family to be under her care because she’s such a wonderful advocate. —Nominated by Ruthie Tonico

Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jen Basgaard, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jen is often paired with me for my monthly infusions. I’m a difficult “stick” for the IV—I’m thin, a Type I diabetic, and often a bit dehydrated, so I have small veins—but she can almost always get me on the first try. Over the past three years Jen has rescued me a few times by just looking at me and knowing I’m not OKtruly remarkable. But it’s her kindness and support that get me through my visits. She takes the time to know my family and what’s going on in my life. My daughter is also a nurse at Newton-Wellesley, so I know what an exceptional nurse is. NWH is fortunate to have such a competent, warm, and supportive nurse on staff and I’m fortunate to have her on my care team each month.—Nominated by Sheila Albrecht

Dawn Bosse, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

I’ve worked with Dawn across many roles and care areasinpatient oncology, multiple COVID surges, and outpatient infusion. And in every setting, she has maintained a calm demeanor, a positive attitude, and is always around to lend a hand. Dawn often fills in as the charge nurse, and is the calm support you need during hectic shifts (especially during the COVID surges). She consistently leads by example and tackles challenges as the arise. When a patient is unstable, she is always there to assist in any way possible.

Dawn’s empathy knows no bounds. As she transitions to the Vernon Cancer Center, I will greatly miss working alongside her. Her future patients and coworkers are lucky to have such a wonderful person on their team.—Nominated by Nina Camilli

Nikki Cataldo, Mass General Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital

The challenges of the pandemic fundamentally changed the care for our cancer patients for many months. They couldn’t have a family member or friend join them at appointments or during treatment. Oncology nurses have been not only administering chemotherapy, but also serving as a patient’s companion and “support person.” Nikki has been an incredible support to our patients during this challenging time.—Nominated by Amy Comander

Joyce Ciccolini, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

On Jan. 11, I was 36 weeks pregnant, and very early that morning my water broke. This is my fourth child, but the first time I went into labor four weeks early. My son Declan was born at 1:23 a.m. the next day. Because he was so early and not eating well enough to come home, he was admitted to the. the NICU. There’s a certain kind of heartbreak when a mother is discharged without her child. I met Joyce over the following few days, and we instantly clicked. She was funny and honest and smart. She made my husband and me feel at ease, and made sure that we knew what was happening with our baby and that we were in ultimately in control. She made sure that I didn’t have any guilt when I could only spend a few hours a day in the NICU because I had three other children back home. She stood by us when the doctor came by to update us on any new developments or if there was a change in the plan of care. Even if it was just a pat on the back or a smile, Joyce reassured me that my baby and I were in good hands.

Leaving the NICU after 23 days is a strange feeling. As much as I wanted to bring my new baby home, I was sad to leave the little bubble of support that the NICU gives you. Joyce made sure that the nurses who were on duty contacted her so she could say goodbye and give us the closure that we needed from this exhausting journey I can say wholeheartedly that if it were not for Joyce and her love for her job and for “her babies,” I wouldn’t have made it through those 23 days. Joyce will always have a special place in my heart.—Nominated by Elizabeth Murray

Marla DeAngelis, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Labor and delivery at NWH isn’t always a happy place. When a patient loses a baby, it’s devastating for the patient and her family, and the staff often has a hard time, too. Marla is involved in the HEAL program. HEAL stands for Helping Educate After a Loss. This program helps the doctors and nurses caring for patients who suffer a loss guide and support them through this difficult time. 

One thing we do is make follow-up phone calls to the patients after they are discharged. I recently overheard a conversation Marla had on one of these follow-ups. Her compassion and validation were amazing. The patient mentioned that she was at the hospital for a doctor’s appointment, and asked if she could come up and see Marla. Marla met her in the waiting area and sat and chatted with the patient and her husband for a while. 

The patient told Marla “If there’s a silver lining to this, it was meeting you.” I am so impressed that she made that kind of impact on a patient during such an incredibly difficult time.—Nominated by Christine Weber

Deanna Fiore, COVID ICU, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

My husband, John “Biff” Jenney, was a patient in the COVID ICU from Aug. 27, 2021, until his death on Aug. 29. Deanna was his assigned nurse on Saturday, the 28th. From her first phone call to the last during her 12-hour shift, she exhibited kindness, compassion, and expertise. It was so comforting for my son and me. During that day, we heard very disturbing news from the doctors about Biff’s overall condition, which deteriorated hour by hour. About noon, Deanna asked if we would like to have a Zoom meeting at 2 o’clock. That gave us such comfort in an otherwise traumatic situation. During the Zoom she held Biff’s hand, and as we told him about our love for him, he squeezed her hand. It gave us great solace, since we couldn’t be there with him. She then suggested that we could have a second Zoom at 5 p.m. By then, because Biff had multiple organ failure, we decided with the doctors to have palliative care. The second Zoom was again a great comfort, and that was the last time I saw my husband, since I too had COVID, despite both of us being double-vaccinated. However, my son was able to be with him that evening and the next day. He died about 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon. We are so grateful to Deanna and the team of doctors and nurses in the ICU for their incredible work and the connection Deanna made with us at this life-changing moment.—Nominated by Kathleen Jenney

Olivia Hamill, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Feb. 1 was one of the hardest days of my entire life. When I suffered a devastating miscarriage of my first pregnancy, it felt like my entire world was crumbling. I had to have a procedure done in the operating room and was so blessed and grateful to have Olivia as my nurse. She held my hand, cried with my husband and me, and made us feel as though we weren’t so alone. She made me feel so safe and secure, like a bright light on a dark day. She took exceptional care not just of me, but my husband as well. Olivia even took time out of her short break to check on us in the recovery room and see if there was anything we needed.

At my follow-up appointment, my obstetrician raved about how wonderful Olivia was and the exceptional care she provided. I am so grateful Olivia was my nurse that day, I don’t think I could have gotten through the day and procedure without her kindness and compassion. I am forever indebted to her. I know this recognition would mean the world to her, but it still wouldn’t be enough to show how truly incredible she is.—Nominated by Kayla Porter

Anne Hunsicker, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Ever since Anne joined the team at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, I’m struck by her integrity, compassion, insights, and overall professionalism. She holds nursing to a high standard, and is committed to bringing her best to her patients and colleagues every day. She constantly strives to learn from her patients and experiences, and truly values a patient-centered approach to care.—Nominated by Kosha Thakore

Julia Kenney, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Julia Kenney has an incredible amount of dedication and commitment to learning a new specialty, all while maintaining a high degree of compassion for her patients. She has an innate ability to identify health inequities and advocate for, and partner with, patients to navigate systems that are built to disempower them. While there are no easy solutions to eliminate these inequities, Julia Kenney has proven herself a partner and ally to patients so they will not face these systems alone.—Nominated by Kosha Thakore

Jennifer Lee, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jennifer has worked in the operating room for the past 20 years. Nurses there represent the unsung heroes of health care today. She exemplifies all the attributes that make our health-care facilities second to none. She has worked immeasurably during the pandemic, and returns home daily to her six loving children and an 80-acre horse farm. 

Jennifer also endured the role of a lone provider while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan for over a year on assignment in the Massachusetts National Guard.

Jennifer also cares for horses, sheep, chickens, goats, and assorted other farm creatures. Jennifer goes about life in a professional manner, without fanfare and adulation. Jennifer is due for an appreciation for all she does. She is truly one-of-a-kind.—Nominated by Allan Mills

Angela Sousa, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Angela is extremely compassionate and insightful. She strives to support her patients and colleagues and is so caring in the process. During the pandemic, I’ve greatly valued her flexibility to adapt and meet the ever-changing needs of our patients, all with good humor and incredible thoughtfulness, being sure to always deliver the highest level of patient-centered care.—Nominated by Kosha Thakore

Jan Waterhouse, Labor & Delivery, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

I came into the hospital laboring with twin boys, bringing my 7-year-old son with me. We were new to the area. My husband was out of town, I had no one to help me, and then I met Jan, my L&D nurse. She held my hand that night, coached me, took photos, and Face-Timed my husband while our 33-week-old twins were born. I have never been more grateful in my life for someone. I will forever be indebted to Jan.—Nominated by Heidi Rodriguez

Melanie Weinick, Mass General Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital

The challenges of the pandemic fundamentally changed care for our cancer patients for many months. Melanie has provided great support for individuals who needed chemotherapy and couldn’t have a support person accompany them. She has also used her training in integrative medicine to contribute to our Survivorship program.—Nominated by Amy Comander

North Shore Physicians Group

Linda Cole, North Shore Physicians Group

Linda is a kind, caring, compassionate, highly knowledgeable and patient-focused professional.  She has been a godsend—extremely helpful with our family. At 86 and 93, we have steady questions and concerns that she readily assists us with. Linda always has time to help. She has helped us with various daily living aids, such as a shower chair and bed rails. Linda deserves this award because she always exceeds expectations. —Nominated by Ann O’Shea

Alana Panzini, North Shore Physicians Group

Alana Panzini has an excellent rapport with providers, nurses, clinical staff, and patient service representatives and patients. Alana is genuinely interested in helping others and provides excellent patient care in a consistently positive and skillful manner. On numerous occasions Alana has taken the extra step to ensure safety while triaging calls. In the last six months she saved two lives by listening to people’s symptoms and triaging thoroughly. She acted quickly and got them where they needed to be in time to save them. During the pandemic, Alana jumped into action, helping out everywhere and anywhere that was needed, all while taking care of patients and easing their minds through this difficult time. She is overall amazing and a true role model. Her compassion and dedication make everyone she meets smile. I truly admire Alana, and I hope she continues her education to become a nurse practitioner. —Nominated by Sabrina Milisi

Salem Hospital

Armi Agno, Salem Hospital

Armi always has her patients’ best interest at heart. She is always pleasant and helpful when interacting with other departments for patient care. Armi demonstrates compassion by feeling patients’ pain. She translates into Spanish for non-English speaking patients. Armi is punctual, self-determined, and very understanding with patients and co-workers. —Nominated by Ann-Marie Opiela

Lisa Cavallaro, The Birthplace, Salem Hospital

Lisa Cavallaro is the head of the Birthplace at Salem Hospital. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was actually the doctor who delivered me at the same birthplace 30 years ago. When I came into the Birthplace to deliver my first baby, she was so thorough and caring. For the rest of my stay at the Birthplace she checked on me frequently. I delivered baby No. 2 there as well, and she and her team were flawless. Having a baby is one of the biggest days in a woman’s life, and the nurses at the Salem Birthplace make each woman feel special and cared for. I literally cannot say enough good things about them, but especially Lisa. You can see that she only hires the best of the best and she is determined to make every woman who comes through the Birthplace doors have the best experience possible. —Nominated by Cecily George

Noreen Hubbard, Salem Hospital

My mom was in the ICU in October 2021 for an emergency pacemaker insertion. It was the worst possible timing because the ICU was filling up with COVID patients, most of them on ventilators. Noreen treated my mom as if she were her own. It was obvious how busy she was, and uncomfortable under an N95 mask all day. She went out of her way to make sure my mom had food that she liked. She kept us all updated and kept my mom safe. Noreen never made my mom feel bad about asking for help, and my dad felt so much more at ease knowing Noreen was taking care of mom. Thank you, Noreen, words cannot describe how your professionalism allowed our family to breathe. —Nominated by Lisa O’Neil

Kelli O’Brien, Salem Hospital

Rather than a specific event, Kelli must be recognized for her eight years in consistent practice advocating for the highest standard of care for her patients. Examples of Kelli’s excellence are numerous, including strong communication with providers and even following up outside of the hospital and asking for updates from hospital physicians as to the health and safety of these same patients. Her engaging, outgoing personality has patients requesting her for care. Kelli is always up to date on policy and best practices. She models solid leadership, excellent decision-making skills, and teamwork as the foundation of her practice. Furthermore, she has also spent years advocating for her peers in tireless pursuit of fair treatment, previously in a union role and now as staff. —Nominated by Colette Poirier

Bee ONeill, Salem Hospital

Bee was the calmest, most caring and resourceful nurse I have ever met. I literally met her on the worst day of my life in the emergency department, and somehow she convinced me it would be OK, that it would get better, that I would get through it. She treated me and my family as if we were part of her family but had a wealth of knowledge. You hear stories of how one nurse can make a difference. For us, that was Bee. —Nominated by Todd Matthews

Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care Cambridge

Michelle Moore, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Charlestown

My husband was on the seventh floor head-injury unit for two months. Michelle was his primary care nurse, on and off. She made a horribly traumatic time as bearable as possible. She responded immediately to any need of my husband or my family. Any time we had a concern, she immediately met the need or contacted the doctor. She was extremely supportive and exhibited superior nursing skills. I am a retired nurse and I know excellence when I see it. —Nominated by Ann Marie Baden

Tatchie Paganini, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cambridge

Tatchie is very informative about her patients and knows them well. Her reports are always direct and to the point. She knows their likes and dislikes and what helps regarding their care. She is attentive, friendly, and a great asset to the Spaulding nursing staff. 

We had a patient who was altered and had high anxiety. Tatchie suggested playing her favorite music on the way to an appointment, which helped the patient relax. I love Tatchie’s compassion and empathy. —Nominated by Patricia Carmenatty

Spaulding Outpatient Center Brighton

Bridget Blake, Spaulding Brighton

Bridget is an amazing nurse, an amazing manager, an amazing co-worker, and an amazing human. She goes above and beyond for her patients every day; she brings thing in for them, she drives to other facilities to retrieve things for them, and she is able to comfort them, educate them, and engage them in their rehab process. Bridget is extremely thoughtful and generous to her staff. She brings in treats to lift everyone’s spirits and she humbly provides support and education. She leads by example and has gone the extra mile during the pandemic to make sure the patients on her floor receive outstanding care and her staff feels supported and appreciated. —Nominated by Jeanne Putnam

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod

Juliette Beckmann, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod

Every day that I work with Juliette Beckman, I see her kindness and compassion in the care she delivers in our rehab hospital setting. With her excellent clinical skills and sound judgment, as well as a great sense of humor, Juliette helps her patients feel the confidence and safety they need to achieve their optimum rehab and ultimately resume their best lives. She takes the time to talk with her patients to gain further insight into their concerns and praises their successes and bolsters their motivation when some days are tougher in their rehab journey. 

Juliette wants her patients to succeed and is constantly advocating for them by collaborating with the many other team members working with the patient. She sees a need and doesn’t hesitate to try to alter, change, or fix the issue, whether a medical or therapy concern.

One patient who recently discharged home after a lengthy rehab stay had a special connection

with Juliette. She cared for this patient from admission, and witnessed outstanding progress. Not only the patient’s hard work in rehab, but Juliette’s support, guidance, and compassion, enabled this patient to return home and resume the best possible life. —Nominated by Diane Coletta


Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Gwen Dow, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Gwen started as one of the nurses in our Drive-Thru COVID Testing Site, where she was a major component of the testing team. Gwen became one of the call center nurses who triage incoming patient calls for all primary care needs. She’s been working in the call center all week and then spending her weekends at the COVID Drive Thru. Gwen was dedicated to making sure patient testing needs were met. 

Gwen has been an integral part of the WDH/WHP team and has focused on keeping our patients safe. She did all of this with a smile, a laugh, and a kind heart. As if the COVID-19 pandemic weren’t challenging enough, Gwen lost her husband in a tragic motorcycle accident. She took well-deserved time off to take care of herself and her family. Upon returning to the office and the testing site, she was still the upbeat and amazing nurse that we had all grown to love. The staff rallied around Gwen and supported her as best they could. 

Great people deserve to be recognized, and she deserves the highest recognition possible. We are lucky to have Gwen. —Nominated by Simone Dubay

Lee Gaudette, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Lee and I work together in the ER, where he’s sometimes the charge nurse, sometimes a trainer and mentor with many years of experience. I can speak for everyone in the department when I say he’s an asset to our department and Wentworth-Douglass. When he’s working, the patients couldn’t ask for better care, knowledge, and compassion. His calm, gentle, and friendly demeanor toward patients and coworkers is top-notch. His daily motivation and teamwork are valued by all, and his insight and critical eye to detail have saved many patients. It can feel like the busiest, hardest night ever, and you still get the same Lee. He always knows what to do, how to do it, and what to say. —Nominated by Kelley Waterhouse

Meghan Schaeffer, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

I’ve watched Meghan work extremely hard to become a nurse. She started as a medical assistant and wanted so badly to become a nurse that she went through school while raising her daughter and working. She is quite determined and dedicated, performing all duties of a nurse. Meghan’s passion was to work in the Emergency Department, and she’s exceptional at it. Meghan gives her nursing duties her all. —Nominated by Deborah Guilmett



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