This content is produced by Salute to Nurses 2020

Produced by Salute to Nurses 2020

2020 Salute to Nurses: Hospitals D-K

D’Youville Life & Wellness Community

Jen Ouellette, D’Youville Life & Wellness Community

Jen and her entire staff were the glue that held our family together during the stay of my Uncle Tony, who was plagued by a broken leg, Parkinson’s disease, and macular degeneration. They kept the ballast straight as we all entered uncharted waters. It takes a special soul to perform this work every day. Our family is eternally indebted.—Nominated by Linda Corr


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Kristen Abdelmaseh, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Finding out you have cancer is quite possibly the worst possible thing you can think of. However, after my first meeting with Kristen, I knew she would quickly become one of my favorite people. Her compassion, her kindness, her gentle bedside manner, and her ability to see me as a person and not a patient made her one of the most incredible people I’ve ever known. When we found out my last chemotherapy would be on June 6, she pulled me aside at my seventh chemo and told me she would be out of town and was so sorry to miss it. I was devastated, of course, but had another nurse whom I loved helping me through. Right when the nurses came in to celebrate and sing to me, Kristen came in, dressed all in workout clothes, fresh off her plane. She told me she couldn’t stand to miss my last chemo and wanted to be with me for my last day and came back a day early to share it with me. She got to be with me not as my nurse, but as a friend. It brings tears to my eyes because I just love her so much, but I cannot put into words how special she made my cancer experience. She is one in a million, and Dana-Farber, myself, and countless other patients are beyond lucky to have her incredible spirit, kindness, and heart in our presence. She is an incredible nurse, woman, and friend and I cannot say enough about her compassion and patient advocacy. I love her beyond words and hope this essay conveyed that.—Nominated by Chloe Svolos


Lisa Arvine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

I am a Catholic sister who was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer a little over a year ago. Lisa is the nurse practitioner on Dr. Susana Campos’ team. I arrived at DFCI very frightened, and Lisa’s exquisite compassion and respect for my desire for quality of life buoys me up and carries me from appointment to appointment. I respect her deep wisdom and cherish her presence in my life.—Nominated by Sr. Nancy Y. Sheridan


Diane Ciesluk, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

She is extremely upbeat and friendly and it has been a pleasure to have Diane for my nurse during my chemo treatment for the last year and into this year. She is always accommodating and helpful during what could be a very trying experience.—Nominated by Joan Anderson


Meghan Cifrino, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Meghan Cifrino, a registered nurse in the neuro-oncology department at Dana Farber, is extraordinarily skilled, sensitive, and compassionate with her patients—that is, with my husband and with me, the nervous wife. My husband did not survive as long as the oncology team anticipated with his grade 4 glioblastoma brain tumor, but the shortened time did not reduce the attention Meghan gave to him. She answered our questions and concerns whether in person, by phone, or by email, regardless of how simple, silly, or complex, promptly and comprehensively. When traditional treatments stopped working, Meghan took time to visit when my husband was trying one more possible treatment. When he was admitted soon after as an inpatient, Meghan again came by just to see how we all were doing. When he was transferred to hospice, she made the effort to say goodbye before he left the hospital.

I thought that was the end of my experience with the neuro-oncology department, but not at all. Meghan communicated with me immediately after my husband’s death and followed up a few months later just to see how I was doing. Later, she offered to sit with me at a remembrance event sponsored by the Dana Farber neuro-oncology department if I found it too hard. This is not “just a job” to Meghan. Her sympathetic and professional attention don’t end when the patient is no longer at Dana Farber. It is an opportunity that she takes to make transitions a bit easier, to offer guidance and support, and to let you know that, as patient or family, you are not alone—Meghan is right there with you.—Nominated by Michele Harrison


Meghan Cifrino, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Meghan Cifrino has been my constant nurse, point of contact, and advocate during my treatment for anaplastic astrocytoma over the past 13 months. Her competence, dedication, and attention to detail have helped my wife and me navigate my initial course of radiation and chemotherapy, followed by what is now 10 months of chemotherapy. Meghan has been our constant communicator, whether scheduling blood tests, coming up with strategies to minimize my reactions to chemo, and working as a care team with my neuro-oncologist and nurse practitioner. Her competence and maturity have been a steady hand for the past year, and her compassion and quick response to unexpected turns have made me feel that we have never been alone in this journey.—Nominated by Christopher Barnett


Lisa Doherty, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Lisa Doherty has been my primary care provider at Dana Farber for 20 years for a brain tumor, and she’s really one of the best of the best. Not only is she an expert in neuro-oncology, she is also one of the most dedicated, caring, selfless people I have met in my 20-year journey with this disease. Lisa’s available for you by phone, by email, and by patient portal. She always makes time to help you, reassure you, and guide you. She takes her work personally, and through my two surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, she never gave up. She leaves every visit on a positive note. She’s honest and sincere. With her, my fight feels like I have an army on my side. She has always included several family members, including my son, in our conversations. Lisa knows that they give me strength, so she helps give them the tools to help me. She is also tough, keeps me focused, and lets me know what I must do to care for myself—all with a sense of humor. She deserves thanks, and words aren’t enough. If it’s true that angels exist to help in our hardest times, she’s one of them.—Nominated by Daniel Shattuck


Judy Dynan, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

In the middle of my first round of aggressive treatment, I met Judy, an infusion nurse in the women’s cancer unit at Dana Faber. My hope had waned somewhat, and her demeanor, care, and personal interest in my story buoyed me up. Whenever I am in treatment she pops in for a brief visit, even if I am not her patient. She is a healing bearer of hope in everything she does and in the caring way she embodies the best of what nursing is about.—Nominated by Sr. Nancy Y. Sheridan


Tina Flaherty, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Tina takes care of my multiple myeloma, which I got from Agent Orange in Vietnam. She’s the best provider I have ever had. During these difficult times she is always there to support me. I feel optimistic that I will be around for a long time. She is always positive and lifts my spirits. She is one in a million!—Nominated by Mark Scbu


Hannah Freedman, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

She was amazing during all my infusions and helped get me through it. So grateful to her.—Nominated by Colin Crociati


Jill Gormley, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Jill, along with my Dana Farber team, gave me a positive outlook during my cancer treatment and diagnosis. She managed my clinical trial and followed my progress with compassion and clinical expertise. I’m beyond thankful not only for the care she gave me, but for her genuine interest in my family during challenging times.—Nominated by Tania Babineau


Robin Griffey, Jimmy Fund Clinic, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Robin devoted a lot of time to me and changed my life while I was getting chemotherapy treatments as a pediatric patient. She got me through hell.—Nominated by Matt Baird


Allison Hester, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Allison is an infusion nurse at the gynecological wing of Dana Faber. She informs me about every detail of my treatment while being a constant ray of sunshine, no matter the day. Each time she accompanies me, or I enter into her presence, I trust that all will be well. She maintains impeccable boundaries while exuding compassionate care through her loving demeanor combined with unparalleled professionalism.—Nominated by Sr. Nancy Y. Sheridan


Melissa Houston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

She was the nurse for my mom for two years as she battled a cancer that finally took her life. The comfort and care that Melissa showed, not only for my mom but for my family as well, both during and after, has been extraordinary, and we consider her a permanent part of our family.—Nominated by Larry Ellison


Jillian Kelly, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Jillian is a very happy person, which is much-needed when someone is going through chemo treatment. She always has a smile. She was extremely accommodating and helpful in the process. I’m so pleased to have her as my nurse during this very trying experience.—Nominated by Joan Anderson


Margot LaFreniere, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Margot was my infusion nurse and, beyond that, has felt like part of my family. As part of a clinical trial at Dana-Farber, I’ve heard my fellow trial subjects say similar things about their nurses. So this nomination, fronted by Margot, is really for all of the nurses on Yawkey 8 at Dana-Farber and, by extension, all of the amazing Dana-Farber nurses who once again won the magnet certification. To me, Margot—my nurse, friend, and honorary family member—represents the entire nursing staff.—Nominated by Glenn Allen


Stephanie Linskey, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Thousands of people (67,000, says one source) flow through South Station each business day. One of those 67,000 commuters is our beloved and storied nurse—she has been a member of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Sloan-Kettering, U-C San Diego, and now Dana-Farber. OK, she is not one-in-a-million; she’s just one out 67,000. But she is the one for us!

Arguably, Stephanie Linskey has performed more than 67,000 acts of love and kindness during her career as a cancer nurse. We have seen and experienced many of them. Some of them we cannot disclose; most appear regular and mundane. But it is the gathering of many threads that provide the fabric of a warm blanket. Yes, it is all the small acts: pushing the wheelchair when Stephen is weak; sneaking a bag of Lay’s potato chips during the rush, bringing a fresh heated blanket before anyone asks, and returning to the infusion bed at the exact time the treatment has been completed and we all need to go home.

Stephen writes about Stephanie: “She is knowledgeable about cancer treatments and people who are part of the Dana community. She is sensitive to people and their feelings. She’s there for you if you’re upset about things. (I love her).” Kathy writes: “Stephanie, from time to time, will show pictures of her dog Cooper; she always has a story to go with the pictures It’s cute and brings smiles to our faces. Even though I might not always agree with Stephanie, she is decent enough to apologize if she feels she stepped on my toes—some people don’t do that! (I love her too!)”

This is our second salute to Stephanie. We hope to write many, many more.—Nominated by R. O’Really


Mary Maloney, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Mary Maloney has been my infusion nurse for almost 10 years, during which I have observed her high level of nursing skills, and (just as important to me) her genuine concern for my well-being. After all these years, you get to know your health care provider on another level, and Mary always takes the time to ask about family, etc. She is the epitome of what a nurse should be.—Nominated by Michael Glass


Mary Maloney, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Mary Maloney was my wife’s (Marylynn Gentry) infusion nurse. Not only was Mary skilled, knowledgeable, and competent, but she was also compassionate and treated Marylynn with dignity. Mary was warm and funny, but very serious about her profession. We could not have asked for a better advocate and friend.—Nominated by Chris Riley


Sandy Monteiro, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Sandy is a true professional. She answers any and all questions you may have. She shows compassion and empathy. Sandy is thorough in explaining everything as she moves along the treatment. Her biggest gift is her smile. She treats you like you’re one of the family. I’ll never forget the time she brought me a birthday cake and sparkling apple juice to celebrate! Even those who aren’t your direct nurses recognize you and are so kind. They all bring smiles to your day. When you’re fighting for your life, kindness goes a long way. All of the infusion nurses should be nominated, but I’ve been especially blessed to have Sandy as my nurse for the last few years!—Nominated by Ann Marie McCann


Cathleen Power, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Cathleen has been my dad’s oncology nurse at Dana Farber for many years. She always does an exhaustive examination to resolve the root of his health issues and treats him with angelic compassion and kindness, which she also shows to me and my mom. She also goes the extra mile to keep us informed. We are all so grateful to her for her exceptional care and kindness.—Nominated by Tahani Rivers


Sandra Ruland, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Sandra worked closely with my doctor and my entire cancer treatment team to coordinate amazing care and support for me, my family, and my friends during one of the most difficult times of our lives. A constant steady and trusted voice, I knew she’d tell me the news straight and without glossing it over, no matter how difficult. In fact, after I relapsed and she was no longer my nurse, I happened to see her in the halls and just embraced her. We both cried, and the comfort that gave me and my bystander mother was immeasurable at a time of real pain—it was so good just to see her again and know that she cared not only for me, but for all of us. Her clinical knowledge is without compare, as is the respect she has among her colleagues. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I wouldn’t be alive had it not been for the incredible care I received from Sandra and the caregivers she helped coordinate on my behalf. Brain cancer is a rough road, but she made it bearable and a little bit easier for me and my family.—Nominated by Kai Lam


Marnie Salkovitz, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Nurse Marnie helped with one of the scariest things my child has to go through during cancer treatment: accessing the port-a-cath (or “port” —an implanted device that allows easy access to the patient’s veins). She was the nicest and best nurse to access my child every single time. She was able to provide us comfort in ensuring the best quality care.—Nominated by Claudia Villatoro


Robin Sommers, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Robin Sommers has been my oncology nurse for almost 10 years, during which time I have observed her to possess all the skills you want in a care provider. She is informed and goes to great lengths to explain results of recent laboratory tests. She offers recommendations if she feels additional testing is necessary. I always am reassured that my well-being is paramount with Robin, and I respect her greatly.—Nominated by Michael Glass


Jennifer Stefanik, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Jennifer Stefanic has been my nurse practitioner since I began treatment for anaplastic astrocytoma at Dana Farber in February 2019, a month after tumor surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Learning that I had a malignancy that would require radiation and chemotherapy, followed by a year of chemotherapy in the best case, was difficult. Jennifer’s calm, cheerful approach to my treatment helped my wife and me settle down and feel that we could deal with this. We see Jennifer every other month, and have developed a deep appreciation for what she does. She has become our coach, as much as our nurse practitioner. I have always felt that she approaches me as a person, not just as a cancer patient. As well as being exceptionally competent and knowledgeable in managing my medications and navigating my insurance company’s online prescription process, she has been caring and thoughtful, and made suggestions that have improved my quality of life and have supported my wife as my caregiver. When I began treatment, I would never have thought that this would be a good year—with Jennifer’s help, I can honestly say that it has been.—Nominated by Christopher Barnett



Dermatology Associates of Melrose

Amy Akland, Dermatology Associates of Melrose

Amy exceeded expectations by researching which medications would best help me treat my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. She is compassionate, nonjudgmental, thorough, and knowledgeable. Because psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis indicate an auto-immune deficiency, she directly addresses my concerns in a kind, pragmatic, and direct manner. In all my years of having this medical condition, she is the best treatment provider I have ever had (which says a lot, as I have been fortunate to have been treated by some of the best in this field). The few interactions I witnessed with other of Amy’s patients indicate that this is just who she is. We are lucky that Amy chose us.—Nominated by Tracy Ottina



Details Concierge Services

Adam Henry, Details Concierge Services

Adam is a nurse, a father of two, and my husband. He runs his own business helping elders stay healthy and independent in their homes. In response to Covid-19, he’s closed his business, but still offers help for free while caring for our two children full time so that I can work from home. He is managing our finances, food, children’s education—our whole day-to-day life, and still helping others. And he does it day after day.—Nominated by Jennifer Lymneos



Emerson Hospital

Maria Balboni, Emerson Hospital

Maria is an incredibly warm, compassionate, and wise nurse. Her experience and expertise are invaluable to Emerson Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic as she leads her team, who are on the front lines of caring for patients during this incredibly uncertain time. If I needed a nurse, I would want Maria. She is exceptional and the definition of an exemplary nurse and caregiver.—Nominated by Leah Lesser


Christine Desjean, Naka Infusion Center at Emerson Hospital

As an oncology/infusion nurse, Christine Desjean has both the full range of medical knowledge her position requires and a way of interacting with patients that is second to none. She lets me be a partner in my treatment plan, ensures that I understand what’s happening and why, and is always there with cheerful good humor and encouragement. For her—and her colleagues—their work is a calling, not just a job, and I’m grateful that she’s such a part of my care.—Nominated by Matt Fichtenbaum


Jennifer Hill, Emergency Department, Emerson Hospital

As the director for the Emergency Department, Jennifer is literally on the front lines of assessing and treating people who have, or are suspected of having, Covid-19. Jennifer and her team literally put their lives on the line every single day. When Emerson had one of the state’s first patients who tested positive for the virus, the team cared for the patient with the utmost of expertise and compassion. They are truly heroes. Jennifer’s smile and grace under pressure put any patient and their loved ones at ease, and her mighty emergency nurse team is exceptional. We are so very fortunate to have this team caring for people in the community—and on the front lines of this pandemic. This is the team you want for any emergency.—Nominated by Leah Lesser


Dee Lombardozzi, Clough Birthing Unit, Emerson Hospital

Dee took wonderful care of our whole family following my Cesarean section. She was warm, caring, and full of amazing advice. Not just for me, but the whole family—including my very nervous husband and crazy 2-year-old. She clearly has great rapport with her colleagues, too. I missed her when I was discharged. Nominated by Mariko ONeill


Jenna Massa, Emerson Hospital

Jenna was fantastic. She always explained what was going on and how I was progressing. She was always patient with my questions and concerns. I found her to be a great comfort during a stressful time.—Nominated by Jeremy Varnum


Kaila Proulx, Maternity, Emerson Hospital

Kaila was my nurse during most of my stay after having my baby via Cesarean section. It was a tricky time to be there because the only visitor I could have was my husband, who was at home a lot with my other daughter. I spent much of my time there alone and Kaila was so great about checking in on me. She is so kind and calm. The perfect nurse to have.—Nominated by Kerri Lebel


Mandi Wonders, Emerson Hospital

Mandi is the most empathetic Labor and Delivery nurse. I had a scheduled Cesarean section and she was attentive, completely explained everything that would happen, and gave me a sense of confidence in the delivery of my son. She singlehandedly made a nerve-wracking situation so much better for me and my husband. Because of Mandi, my experience at Emerson was positive and I am so grateful for her skill, knowledge, and amazing nursing ability.—Nominated by Renee Leone-Scates



Emerson Primary Care of Concord

Lisa Taylor, Emerson Primary Care of Concord

Lisa Taylor has been with our primary care physician (Dr. Kwon) for several years. My husband went through open heart quadruple bypass surgery last year. Lisa has always been supportive, helpful, professional, and compassionate—always. But she was key in helping us get through all the scary times. Dr. Kwon is the best, and he has the best nurse—ever! We are so blessed.—Nominated by Mary Ann Barry



Encompass Health

Ashley Madison, Home Health Services, Encompass Health

Ashley is the most compassionate, sincere, interested, and helpful nurse I’ve ever met. She has been my best and helpful friend and I would recommend her to anyone. She knows her job and does it better than most.—Nominated by Jeanne Wagner



Fenway Health

Janet Mulligan, Fenway Health

Janet has pulled together a Covid-19 Leadership Response Team and she briefed the entire medical staff today. She and her fellow leaders had substantive info with exactly the right calming tone, and their confidence quelled fear and concern in the conference room. She makes an enormous difference every day and is a pleasure to work with.—Nominated by Amy Whitcomb Slemmer


Peg Nelson, Fenway Health South End

Peg Nelson defines who a nurse really is. After my appointments, Peg follows up and addresses prescribed medications every week, on her own time. I had back surgery and was sent home, waiting for physical therapy and not getting it. Knowing that I wasn’t getting helpful care, Peg reached out to colleagues in major Boston hospitals through almost daily emails, texts, and phone calls, seeking the best recommendation for PT. Peg stayed on top of this and found the perfect PT facility, where my true therapy finally began. Without Peg’s help, I would not be walking and doing daily tasks as well as I am. Peg demonstrates a nurse’s true compassion, care, and patient responsibility.—Nominated by Ernest Berardinelli



Foundation Pediatrics

Judith Mille-Holt-Armstrong, Foundation Pediatrics

My sister Judy was an amazing soul who made this world a better place. She is from a family of nurses and was able to carry on this noble profession with incredible success. She began her career as a pediatric oncology nurse at Children’s Hospital. She spent a few years on the board of directors at the Ronald McDonald House. After moving to southern New Hampshire, she became a school nurse in Derry, while also going back to school to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. She spent the last 20 years of her career in this role at Foundation Pediatrics in Nashua, helping thousands of patients and their families. Judy was the person at her office who was an amazing advocate for the underprivileged. She would roll up her sleeves and take on all the most difficult case.—Nominated by Kevin Miller


Franciscan Children’s

Allison Dudley, Kennedy Day School, Franciscan Children’s

Allison works as a school nurse for the Kennedy Day School. Her students there face many challenges, most of which are physical and mental disabilities. Allie and all the other staff deserve praise and respect. If not for them, the students would be unable to attend school and live a happy childhood. She allows them to be not patients, but students. That is a huge gift.—Nominated by John Dudley



Good Samaritan Medical Center

Peter Harris, Good Samaritan Medical Center

My son Anthony, who was 8 at the time of this visit, went to the hospital for a severe allergic reaction to dairy. This was his sixth anaphylactic reaction; he is immune compromised and has had many procedures performed, not by choice but due to medical necessity. He is terrified of needles, IVs, blood work, etc. It is all very scary and confusing to him. The night we came into GSMC, Peter Harris greeted Anthony and they had a conversation about football, which the boy had been watching to distract himself. When Anthony’s nurse came in to insert his IV, he requested that Peter place it instead. Peter had never inserted an IV into a pediatric patient, although he was trained to do so. He was nervous, but agreed in order to make Anthony comfortable. Anthony allowed him to insert the IV without any complaints, and this is not something he has ever done. When he was discharged, Anthony wrote a letter to the manager of the Emergency Department to let her know how safe and comfortable Peter had made him feel. This is monumental for Anthony, and we owe Peter so much. Anthony will never forget the experience, and neither will I.—Nominated by Angela Saltalamacchia



Greene Cancer Center

Michelle Randall, Greene Cancer Center

She has helped my wife throughout her breast cancer treatments, from intravenous chemo and injections to advising her where the best wigs can be purchased.—Nominated by Michael Hoelscher


GreenNurse Group

Dale Buckman,, GreenNurse Group

Dale’s grandson was born with a very rare genetic condition called congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS). As a doctor of nursing practice, Dale went to the research library to learn as much as she could about the disease. She met daily with the doctors at Children’s Hospital to go over labs, question diagnoses and diagnostic testing, and talk about the plan of care. When doctors and nurses told her that they had never treated a patient like this before, she started to educate them from the research she had obtained. She reached out to an organization that supports this very rare disease and spoke with parents who raised children with CCHS so she could prepare her children for bringing home a chronically ill child who has complex medical issues. Dale’s daughter-in-law does not speak English well and does not understand medical language. She advocated tirelessly to get an interpreter into every meeting so this young mother could begin to understand the complex issues at hand. Dale brings these compassionate and loving interactions into every patient visit. She has been a tremendous advocate who has made it her passion and commitment to be sure that everyone she works with has the same high-quality advocacy they deserve. She has a way of explaining complex medical issues in non-medical language so families can make informed decisions and get the care they need without feeling helpless or hopeless.—Nominated by Richard Tuck


Guardian Health Network

Lydiah Gichere, Guardian Health Network

Lydiah is a very compassionate, professional nurse who provides exemplary care to some of the most underserved individuals in our care. She provides home visits, sometimes twice daily, working seven days a week for our patients living with chronic mental illness and intellectual disability. Our population can be difficult to access, and often have multiple medical illnesses and disabilities along with their psychiatric issues. Lydiah goes all-out in caring and advocating for these often very difficult patients. I call her an Earth angel for her wonderful work.—Nominated by Elizabeth McCusker-Hunt



Hallmark Health VNA & Hospice

Marian Barry-Ravagni, Hallmark Health

The first time we met Marian we felt she was like an angel from heaven. She is a compassionate, caring person, and a credit to the nursing profession. Although my wife has been very sick since last October, we look forward to Marian’s weekly visit and medical help. She has been supportive and we are proud to consider her part of our family. Marian exceeds the call of being a qualified, capable nurse. She is a warm, caring person who sends my wife a Christmas present and cards for St. Patrick’s Day. Marian doesn’t have to send cards or gifts, or even have a second thought about us, when she walks out the door. But she does, and you can’t teach that in any nursing school—that is in her nature, part of who she is, and I am proud of who she is and that she is now our friend. If any good has come out of my wife’s illness, it’s that we have gained a nurse who cares.—Nominated by Bill Smith



Hasbro Children’s Hospital

Christopher Bouressa, Hasbro Children’s Hospital (Providence, Rhode Island)

Christopher’s an outstanding pediatric oncology nurse who has tremendous passion for his patients and their families.—Nominated by Brian White



Hebrew SeniorLife

Helen Cachuela, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston, Hebrew SeniorLife

Helen is the interim charge nurse on 3 Berenson Allen and is fondly called “Jack of all Trades” on the floor. You can ask her to do things, either urgently or as-needed, and she’ll always respond respectfully and appropriately. Just last month, when the charge nurse position was vacated, Helen stepped up to the plate as usual and assumed the interim charge position. She volunteered to mentor, train, and shadow whoever will be hired as the new charge nurse. Helen’s calm demeanor and positive attitude make her well-liked and respected by her fellow employees. She always practices person-centered care and maintains the priority to give first to patients, and their families as well.—Nominated by Ross Mangilog


Brenda Cuervo, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center at NewBridge on the Charles, Hebrew SeniorLife

I have had the honor of working with Brenda as her nurse manager, and she has proven to be an exceptional nurse during her time at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center at NewBridge on the Charles. Brenda puts her peers’ needs ahead of her own and ensures that her household runs smoothly with teamwork on her mind. She embodies everything that a nurse should be. She is caring, compassionate, and a true professional. She is constantly looking for innovative ways to improve the care that she delivers to the seniors. She approaches everyone with respect and compassion. I constantly hear from family members that they can rest assured that their loved ones will be well taken care of when Brenda is working because she shares her experience with them and constantly educates them in a calm manner to ensure they understand the care she’s providing and the rationale in a manner that is easy for them to grasp. Professionally, she just completed her baccalaureate degree in nursing while working full time. She also strives to be a mentor to newer nurses and patient care associates. She takes this on wholeheartedly, knowing that she will have an impact on new staff on her household to ensure that the best care is given consistently. She is detail-oriented, motivated, and always looks for ways to continue to learn.—Nominated by Joseph Rodriguez


Marie Dorestand, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Hebrew SeniorLife

I nominate nurse Marie Dorestand for recruiting aide Josette Guerrien to assist her in rectifying a personal emergency I encountered at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.—Nominated by Morris Lindman


Susan Kalinda, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston, Hebrew SeniorLife

Susan is the head nurse on the fifth-floor memory unit at Hebrew Rehab. She puts her patients first, and knows each of the dementia patients on the floor. She is an advocate for their needs, and provides families with support as their family members slip away and their dementia takes over. Even though her staff was upset with her decision, at our request she investigated whether another floor was a better fit for my mother-in-law. (Her staff loves my mother-in-law). Susan sets high standards for the staff, and makes sure they provide the best care possible under difficult circumstances. She watches over the little things, such as making sure my mother-in-law got new glasses and that she participates in activities to stimulate her brain, which could possibly slow the progression of her disease. She counsels us on what to expect in the future, and what is best today. She makes us feel that our family member is safe, well cared-for, and in a place where everyone cares about her.—Nominated by Ellen Szmonko


Elizabeth McAdams, Professional Development, Hebrew SeniorLife

I have been with Hebrew SeniorLife for two months. The Professional Development department is amazing and comprised of many wonderful educators. My nomination goes to Elizabeth McAdams. Elizabeth is an extraordinary nurse educator. Teaching and working alongside Elizabeth has shown me her passion for nursing and for developing staff and students. Each interaction is met with a smile and enthusiasm to impart knowledge. No matter how busy Elizabeth is, she will stop what she is doing to ensure she answers your question or follows up if she doesn’t know the answer. Elizabeth is a wealth of knowledge with years of experience that allow her to pass on vital education to others. Her stories and actions really capture how she has been, and continues to be, an advocate for patients and their families. Thank you, Elizabeth, for all you do for your fellow coworkers, staff, students, patients, and families.—Nominated by Susan Graff


Donna Stratford, Department of Medicine, Hebrew SeniorLife

Nurse Practitioner Donna Stratford is deeply committed to Hebrew SeniorLife’s mission of honoring our elders and does her best every day to ensure our residents’ safety, well-being, and quality of life. This was clearly evident when one of the residents in our independent, supportive housing community lost consciousness in the dining room, and Donna went into action.

Within minutes, Donna was onsite to assist. Knowing that 911 had been called, she served as an advocate for her patient by directing our staff to bring the patient’s File of Life to the dining room so that it could be used as a resource for the emergency medical services (EMS) team. Fortunately, the patient regained consciousness and Donna was able to assess her condition with the full cooperation of the EMS team. Donna not only demonstrated compassion and clinical competency, she also provided comfort to our staff members, residents, and the patient’s adult children, all of whom were extremely appreciative of Donna’s excellent communication and care. She did not miss a beat, and built a great deal of trust in the process. I am grateful and honored to work with Donna, who gives her all for our residents, their family members, and our team every day.—Nominated by Rhonda Glyman



Heywood Hospital

Lisa Gendron, Heywood Hospital

Lisa is a nursing instructor at Mount Wachusett Community College who also leads clinical groups at Alliance/Leominster and Heywood Hospital. Lisa is a gifted communicator with patients and with students. In one particular situation, she de-escalated a very serious communication problem between patient, family, staff nurse, and student. Most exceptional is the fact that Lisa didn’t speak a word of the patient’s language.—Nominated by Augustus Crocker



Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice, HomeCare, Inc.

Julie Genovese, Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice

Julie wants to help people maintain a lifestyle that includes safe, quality home care. She provides the information needed to maintain independent at-home care. Julie is a competent, kind nurse professional. Her confidence and ability to explain conditions is reassuring.—Nominated by Jim O’Donnell


Meghan Goolishian, Home Health Visiting Nurse

Meghan is a married mother of three. For the past six years, Meg has found time during her demanding day to not only look after her many patients, but also her 95-year-old grandfather and one of her senior parents. She has to wake up early, shovel out, take care of her young children, and get them to day care. Despite all this, she loves her job and provides the skills necessary to bring the proper medical care to her patients. Not always being able to find a parking space … finding an apartment in a mixed building … that requires dedication. That is why I recommend Meghan.—Nominated by Michael Conole



IVF New England

Susan Gordon-Pinnell, IVF New England

My daughter is director of donor eggs at N.E. IVF. She works full time, assists her legally blind husband, is a mother of two grown kids, and yet still found time this past year to help guide her sister through stage 3 uterine cancer. She certainly gets my vote as an outstanding nurse.—Nominated by Sandra Gordon



JML Care Center

Marjorie Rudd, JML Care Center

Marjorie Rudd is my grandmother. She has been a nurse for over 60 years, and continues to work 36 hours a week on the 3-11 p.m. shift—and she’s in her 80s. Whenever my grandmother took me somewhere in Falmouth when I was growing up, we would run into her patients. They would often give her a hug and thank her for taking such good care of them. When my grandfather became ill in 2017, my grandmother retired for about a year to take care of him, and returned to work shortly after he passed in 2018. She could not stay away from the field she loves and the patients she cares so deeply about. As a social worker myself, my grandmother and I often speak about the importance of empathy in these professions. While I am not a patient of Marjorie Rudd, I can assure you that her patients and colleagues would agree that she is worthy of this salute —Nominated by Meagan Hickey




Joslin Diabetes Center

Joyce Keady, Joslin Diabetes Center

Joyce is always caring and supportive.—Nominated by Elizabeth Nangle



Kaplan Family Hospice House (Care Dimensions)

Karen McGrath, Kaplan Family Hospice House, Care Dimensions

Karen showed true compassion and empathy to both me and my husband during the final days of his life. Karen was always available when I needed her. My week’s stay at Kaplan Hospice House was made more tolerable because I knew that Nurse Karen would be with me to help relieve my husband’s pain whenever I called her. Karen was always kind and reassuring in my grief. You could easily tell that Karen was very attentive to her patients and their families. I salute Karen because she is an exceptional nurse.—Nominated by Dolores Mack



Kindred Healthcare

Kathy Barnicoat, Kindred at Home, Kindred Healthcare

Nancy and I were making plans for our 50th anniversary celebration. We were in good general health, but there was this troubling knee that required surgery to make me an active participant on our trip. We planned to celebrate with our best man and maid of honor, who were also celebrating their golden anniversary. There was plenty of time for my recuperation by our departure for the trip of a lifetime.

Things did not work out. Months into my recuperation, nurse Kathy Barnicoat was alarmed by a troublesome wound closure. Kathy watched the issue with great care and encouraged me to have doctors address the issue. Regardless, the joint became infected, and further surgeries resulted. Kathy pressed my case for the surgical team to attend my rapidly deteriorating condition. As I was undergoing a second surgery, my wife became septic and was hospitalized. Both Nancy and I landed in the same nursing home post-hospitalization—ironically dubbed the “honeymoon suite.”

We requested Kathy to be our at-home nurse. She attended us through our complicated infusions of antibiotics and wound care. She guided us to the best specialists. Kathy immediately detected complications and sought further medical care. Nancy and I celebrated our 50th anniversary fighting relapses which, if undetected, would have resulted in a very different kind of celebration—one that would not require our presence. Thorough five surgeries and infection complications, Kathy was the chief advocate and monitor of our recovery. Doctors reported that they had never seen such a complicated knee replacement and confluence of medical issues. It was Kathy Barnicoat who carefully monitored our infusions, watched for issues, and steered us to specialists for treatment. She got us back on the road to recovery. We credit Kathy’s care and advice with saving my leg, and perhaps even our lives.—Nominated by Edward Daniels

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