This content is produced by Salute to Nurses 2020

Produced by Salute to Nurses 2020

2020 Salute to Nurses: Hospitals S-W

Saint Anne’s Hospital

Shannon Slack, Saint Anne’s Hospital

Shannon accompanied me to see a cardiac surgeon who was reviewing my case to see if surgery was necessary. During our ride, she explained what was happening and what could result. Her guidance made the ensuing visit much less stressful and more understandable.—Nominated by Richard Slack


Saint Vincent Hospital

Cheryl Kemp, St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester

Cheryl is a nurse practitioner in our Partial Hospital Program. I work with her as a clinician, and she does amazing work with patients suffering from mental illness. She spends the necessary time and asks the right questions. She has great empathy with patients and, in a field where time is short, she makes sure patients receive the best care.—Nominated by Matt Taylor


Marie Ritacco, St. Vincent Hospital

Marie went out of her way to expedite our mother’s cardiac care. When there was a bottleneck and slow delivery of specialist services, she took the time to investigate the holdup, rather than let the system dictate my mother’s fate. Her personality was always warm and funny, and above all, her exceptional knowledge gave me the feeling of trust that I needed under the circumstances. My mother was admitted while having a heart attack; she coded while there, and had multiple stents and a pacemaker implanted. Marie was with us the whole way. Even on her day off, she came up to say hello while she was there for a meeting. She was a steady force during a tumultuous time. Thank you, Marie, you’re an amazing woman.—Nominated by Annie Richard


Salem State University Health Services

Kalei Ensminger, Salem State Health Services

As the associate director of our clinic, she has been going without sleep and advocating tirelessly for students, so that that we will be ahead of the curve as Covid-19 continues to spread. She has put her professional reputation on the line to push for procedural changes to our office when others thought she was being “panicked.”—Nominated by Christine Williams


Seacoast Cancer Center, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Michelle Carr, Seacoast Cancer Center, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Michelle is a first-rate, compassionate person and nurse. She is extremely smart and has a way with patients that I have not seen before. Patients love her bedside manner and ability to educate and care for them.—Nominated by Jennifer Niles


Sherrill House

Nursing Staff, Sherrill House

At Sherrill House, a not-for-profit nursing home in Jamaica Plain, many of our nurses are charged with providing care to our frail elders, many of whom have Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Others have dedicated themselves to helping our short-term rehabilitation patients regain the health and stamina they need to return to their homes. While many nurses would not choose to work in a residential nursing facility, for the nurses of Sherrill House this is a special calling, and an opportunity that draws upon not only their clinical skills, but also their ability to offer comfort, compassion, and empathy.

These nurses are highly attuned to the spiritual dimension of the work they do, and they work closely with our chaplain to ensure that the spiritual needs of every person in their care are met. This is especially true when a resident is nearing end of life. In these cases, the nurses are alert to the special needs of both residents and their families, and ensure that all concerned receive the most compassionate care possible. Our nurses also serve as mentors to other staff members, especially nursing assistants who aspire to become nurses themselves. These nurse-mentors provide guidance on everything from applying to school to balancing academics and family life. The Sherrill House nursing team is exceptional, both in their approach to delivering care and in their support of one another.—Nominated by Karen Soorian


Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital

Shirlee Benvie, Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital

Shirlee Benvie has taken care of patients at Brockton Hospital for over 30 years. She has become one of the most knowledgeable and respected nurses to take care of the hospital’s tiniest patients. Whenever there is a sick baby, the nurses look to Shirlee. Parents always grow close to her trustworthy and loving way. Students grow close to her as her patience and expertise make her an excellent preceptor. Shirlee not only takes care of the babies in the level 2 nursery, but also their mothers on postpartum. Her nonjudgmental, caring, and thorough practice make her an unforgettable nurse.—Nominated by Julianne Benvie


Soldiers’ Home

Ben Cartwright

Ben is my spouse, and an amazing nurse. He has been an RN for about 20 years. He’s spent most of his career working with veterans and the mentally unstable. It takes a special person to do this. He has seen a lot of veterans suffer without help from family or our government. He has cared for the abused in the mental health field. His compassion and patience are vast. He is always an advocate for life. When Ben worked in a mental health facility, he knew nurses and nurse’s aides who saw the mentally ill as inhuman. Ben worked to change their outlook. He always says that they are human beings, first and foremost. Our friends even seek his help for minor health issues. I am biased because he is my spouse, but I see the good he does in his heart.—Nominated by Mario Pinardi 


South Shore Health

Kristin Appel, South Shore Health

Kristin was a highly skilled, extremely knowledgeable, compassionate team player who consistently displayed and promoted the highest ethical standards. Kristin demonstrated the true meaning of a “nurse” at work, at home, and in the community. She exemplified being a lifelong learner and leader by sitting on our Shared Governance Board, functioning (and excelling) in the charge nurse role, and as a super user during our go-live with a new electronic health record system. Kristin gave of her time selflessly and spent countless hours reviewing literature to ensure she and our team were practicing at the top of our skill set and that our practice was, most importantly, evidence-based. Countless projects would not have succeeded if it had not been for Kristin’s commitment, knowledge, persistence, and dedication. Kristin not only shared her knowledge and served as a leader at work, but also in the community. Kristin coached her son’s soccer team and was a tremendous community resource to those who lived near her and needed medical insight, advice, or just a friend.

We lost our friend, our nurse, our Kristin on Friday, May 24, 2019. Although Kristin’s loss was unbearable, it somehow brought our units (Pre-Surgical Eval, Pre-Op, OR, PACU, and Pain Clinic) closer together—not just by geographical “unit,” but by the measure of what a great team Kristin had made us.—Nominated by Jean Conley


Richard Breen, South Shore Health

Richard “Rick” Breen has worked as an emergency nurse in the South Shore Health Emergency Department for 15 years. Rick brings many attributes to our patients and team, and the one that stands out—besides his clinical expertise—is his extraordinary compassion and positivity. He truly is one of those rare nurses who can inspire a team with a simple gesture or shared gratitude. I admire his advocacy for his patients and colleagues and am thankful to practice with such an amazing colleague.—Nominated by Paula Beaulieu


Jamie Cameron, South Shore Hospital, South Shore Health

Jamie functions in the role of attending nurse. She consistently supports team members in a fashion that facilitates patient satisfaction, outcomes, and safety that is a step above. —Nominated by Dean Haspela


Linda Crenier, South Shore Hospital Emergency Department, South Shore Health

Linda is an expert Emergency Department RN with exceptional clinical acumen. She is our follow-up quality care coordinator and has been instrumental in the quality of care we deliver. One of Linda’s roles is to follow up with patients who have abnormal lab results after discharge to ensure they have the best outcome. She goes out of her way to contact the patients so that the follow-up plan is on target.

Linda recently came across a pediatric patient with abnormal lab values. The patient had a history of diabetes and had recently moved to the South Shore. The mother had not found a primary care physician in this area. Linda spoke to the parent and helped her find a new PCP so the child could get immediate follow-up care. The child received the right treatment at the right time with the right provider.

Linda also audits documentation and uses collected data to track trends and improve processes in the ED. She identifies areas for improvement and gives staff feedback on how to improve their documentation. When the volume in the ED increases, she is the first person to offer assistance and work as a clinical nurse. She has over 30 years of clinical experience and is a mentor to many staff members. We are proud to have Linda as part of our clinical team at South Shore Health System and would like to salute her for the extraordinary care she provides to the patients in our community. (This letter was submitted on behalf of Nurse Manager Susan Meighan, due to the organization’s limited internet access.)—Nominated by Sharon Stemm


Virginia Donnelly, South Shore Health

Virginia “Ginny” Donnelly, clinical coordinator in the busy 14-room Operating Room (OR) at South Shore Hospital, is the full-time day charge nurse and clinical leader. This is her role, but she is much more to the staff and the organization in terms of her commitment, her compassion, and her dedication. Ginny is the “go-to” person for the nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and ancillary staff. Her ability to remain calm and focused never waivers. She is courteous to all and is the person you want in charge during a significant crisis to make critically based global decisions and affect positive patient outcomes. She has been an asset to the organization for many years and sets a high bar for leadership’s expectations of the kind of nurse they want working for and with them. Ginny is a true gem, and the surgical patients at South Shore Hospital are fortunate that she has a significant role in their passage through the operative experience “behind the scenes.” (Submitted on behalf of the South Shore Operating Room and OR leadership.)—Nominated by Sharon Stemm


Emergency Department Nurses, South Shore Health

I am writing to honor all of the emergency nurses at South Shore Hospital for the extraordinary commitment they have exhibited during the Covid crisis. Each and every day, they are preparing to provide compassionate care to all of our community. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this nursing team.—Nominated by Paula Beaulieu


Susan Field, South Shore Health

I am writing to acknowledge an amazing colleague. Susan Field is one of our Emergency Department pediatric nurses. Susan is an outstanding clinical expert and is a highly sought-after international nurse educator for Critical Pediatric care with the U.S. Department of State. Susan supports our clinical nurses by hosting pediatric boot camps and facilitates simulation training sessions alongside our Boston Children’s emergency/critical providers.—Nominated by Paula Beaulieu


Erin Fox, South Shore Hospital, South Shore Health

At the the end of my third pregnancy, I ended up with a horrible infection in my foot that required hospitalization. I went to the Emergency Department at SSH to have my foot looked at, and while I was there a nurse from Labor and Delivery came to monitor me and my baby girl. I am so glad that nurse was Erin Fox. She was beyond supportive—caring, informative, and just overall wonderful. Three hundred words is not enough to express just how great Erin was to me during my four-day stay. During two painful foot procedures, she was there to remind me to breathe. She was encouraging, empathetic, and compassionate. Her excellent standard of care did not just stop with me, either. She was great to my two children, especially my 3-year-old daughter who wanted medical staff to explain why I could not come home. Erin got on my phone and Facetimed with my daughter and made her feel so much better. I was an emotional mess, worried about my baby, worried about my older two at home without me, feeling guilty for missing my daughter’s Thanksgiving show, and through every tear, Erin was there. The podiatrist even commented on how wonderful Erin is. Erin is a phenomenal nurse. Any woman delivering at SSH would be lucky to have her! She stands up for her patients, she is caring, she is informative, and she is an asset to not only South Shore Hospital but the entire population of patients on that floor.—Nominated by Nicole Vermillion


Olivia Goodson, South Shore Health

I am nominating Olivia Goodson for her commitment to continually advancing her nursing knowledge. Olivia has sought opportunities to challenge herself—she prepared and successfully passed her CEN [Certified Emergency Nurse] and ENPC [Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course]—after a particular case in which a child suffered significant burns. Olivia went into Boston to participate in Advanced Burn Life Support training. Olivia approaches the art of nursing with intellectual curiosity and always brings a spirit of positivity to her colleagues. She is supportive and compassionate, and enthusiastically participates in all ED initiatives. She is a tremendous team member and we are fortunate she has chosen to practice here with us at South Shore Health. We are proud of Olivia’s accomplishments and I personally want to recognize her efforts and dedication to her patients.—Nominated by Paula Beaulieu


Olivia Goodson, South Shore Hospital Emergency Department, South Shore Health

I am nominating Olivia Goodson for her commitment to continually advancing her nursing knowledge. Olivia has sought opportunities to challenge herself—she prepared and successfully passed her Certified Emergency Nurse and Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course exams—and after a particular difficult case in which a child sustained significant burns, Olivia went into Boston to participate in the Advanced Burn Life Support training.

Olivia approaches the art of nursing with intellectual curiosity and always brings a spirit of positivity to her colleagues. She’s supportive and compassionate, and she enthusiastically participates in all ED initiatives. She is a tremendous team member and we are fortunate she has chosen to practice here with us at South Shore Health. We are proud of Olivia’s accomplishments and I personally want to take this moment in time to recognize her commitment and dedication to her patients. (This letter was submitted on behalf of Associate Chief Nursing Officer Paula Beaulieu due to limited internet access.)—Nominated by Sharon Stemm


Jenifer Green, South Shore Health

Jenifer has been a nurse leader in the South Shore Hospital emergency department (ED) for over 20 years. Prior to arriving at South Shore Hospital, Jenifer worked as a highly skilled flight nurse in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and has had a passion for trauma since that time. Not only is she talented and an expert in the field of nursing, she is also one of the most caring and compassionate individuals I have had the good fortunate to work with. Jen is a supportive trauma instructor and has advanced her skills by attending programs for trauma and burn care. She is an instructor for the Emergency Nurse Trauma Care Course and Stop the Bleed Program throughout our community. She fosters growth and independence in our novice-to-expert nurses and instills confidence in their ability to care for the most seriously injured patients. In her role as lead clinical flow coordinator/manager of the ED, Jen advocates for her patients, colleagues, and family. She truly embraces the philosophy and concepts of patient-family centered care. Jen has also garnered the respect and admiration of our trauma surgeons and southeastern emergency medicine personnel.

As the wife of a Boston police officer, Jen fully appreciates the sacrifices and commitment that officers and their families make. Recently, Jen was the nurse in charge when tragedy struck the Weymouth community. On July 15, 2018, the unimaginable happened on an early Sunday morning—a shooting in the neighborhood surrounding the hospital claimed the life of a respected and beloved Weymouth police officer and a well-respected, cherished local woman. This devastating loss impacted so many of the victim’s family members and community colleagues. I am nominating Jenifer Green for her compassion and kindness extended for all affected by such a devastating loss and for leading the South Shore Hospital emergency services through one of the darkest times our community has suffered.—Nominated by Paula Beaulieu


Noreen Halloran, South Shore Health

Noreen is a NICU nurse, caring for the most fragile babies in our level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This past year, the NICU rolled out a new way to involve families in the case of their babies from Day One, called Family Integrated Care, or FICare. This model of care encourages family participation right from the beginning, with the goal that parents develop a higher level of confidence in caring for their infant before taking them home. Noreen was part of a team of nurses and physicians who rolled out FICare at SSH. In addition, she works on projects for the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network. She is an advocate for her patients and works hard to promote best practices.—Nominated by Kathleen Bruce


Mary Ellen Kelleher, South Shore Health

Mell is on the CPDS team in the Parent-Child Division. Mell entered the team just as Boston University was starting a Grow-Your-Own/New Grad Program. Without knowing the curriculum, Mell learned what topics were needed and found expert instructors for each. Mell led these six new-to-BU nurses through their six-month orientation seamlessly. Mell has led by example and has been an inspiration to the team. —Nominated by Karen Cumming


Sarah Kugler, South Shore Health

Sarah Kugler, a psychiatric nurse practitioner at South Shore Health, exemplifies nursing excellence and is a true mensch! In Yiddish culture, “mensch” is a high compliment referring to a “human being of integrity and honor and someone of noble character.” A mensch is the proverbial unicorn, but in this case she really does exist, and we have seen her! Sarah is a mensch because she provides compassionate, patient-centered, expert, trauma-informed, non-judgmental care to vulnerable patients. She was the first embedded psychiatric nurse practitioner in our hospital Emergency Department (ED). South Shore Health has a very busy ED and sees many patients with under-treated mental health concerns, including substance use disorder, schizophrenia, geriatric psychiatric conditions, and bipolar disease. Since Sarah began practicing in our ED, patients need fewer rescue medications for challenging behaviors, and other measures of the quality of care have also improved.—Nominated by Timothy Quigley


Maureen McAlpine, South Shore Hospital, South Shore Health

Maureen has been a nurse for 35 years. Her compassion, deep experience, and clinical knowledge stood out and also helped me through my surgery. Maureen went out of her way to explain confusing post-surgical instructions. She agreed that they were confusing and wouldn’t let me leave until she talked to the surgeon and others to confirm what she knew was true, but wasn’t written on the instructions. She didn’t simply “process” me through recovery; she cared deeply, and this, in addition to her deep knowledge and advocacy, made all the difference in my experience and recovery. She is a special person who has clearly dedicated her life to deeply caring and advocating for others. The world needs more Maureen McAlpines. I have interacted with many nurses over the years and Maureen is the best.—Nominated by Chris Donovan


Joanne Meola, South Shore Health

Not all heroes wear capes. I am 100 percent certain of this, as I work with a hero and she is key to the smooth running our busy 100,000-visit emergency department and level 2 trauma center. The last time I saw Jo Meola, she did not look like she had a cape on. However, it might have been hidden under her hazmat suit. This hazmat suit “siting” is just her latest effort to bring expert, kind, and team-based care to the 750,000 residents of the South Shore.

“HazMat Jo” was instrumental in setting up our Western Tent so that we can safely care for and separate patients with Covid-19 symptoms from the many others who enter our system. I am amazed by and in awe of this five-foot-tall ball of energy, who regularly acts in the key role of air traffic controller and manages the 170 patients and 83 ambulances that come in, on average (with peaks of 400 and 130, respectively). No matter this wide variation, Jo is consistently smart, pleasant, and a tremendous advocate for her patients and colleagues. If Jo is involved, it is always done correctly.

The Western Tent is a good example, as Jo led the physical layout, the technology deployment, the direction of the support staff, and the design of the medical/nursing triage process in a collaborative and empowering manner. We are grateful for Jo’s work on Covid and blessed to have her present each and every day. Thank you, Jo for your commitment to your nursing profession, your ongoing personal and professional growth, and your insatiable desire to achieve the best patient outcomes at all times. (This letter was submitted on behalf of Chief Nursing Officer Tim Quigley due to limited organizational internet access.)—Nominated by Sharon Stemm


Jil Nolan, South Shore Hospital, South Shore Health

This operating-room nurse is professional, compassionate, and an expert in her field. She works closely with women who are undergoing surgery for breast cancer. She is gentle and eases their worries. She is a team leader as well.—Nominated by Suniti Nimbkar


Rose Pallotta, South Shore Health

Rose always challenges the process. She leads by example, sharing her expertise and asking tough questions to help us all grow. She has been here several years and is a great asset to her team. When asked, she contributes to agency committees working on such items as med rec [medication reconciliation] and improvements for clinical documentation. She has worked formally as a preceptor as well as informally as a mentor to new staff. Rose has a wealth of knowledge in nursing and the field of home care. She consistently brings ideas forward and shares issues so that problems can be identified and worked on. She works to troubleshoot items and comes with possible solutions when problems are presented. Rose is called upon as a resource and has experience as a care coach and talents in case management, even given the dynamic forces that face health care and especially home care today. Rose is an asset to our nursing team and the field of home care, and to the community.—Nominated by Pamela Fredericks


Naomi Pollara, Critical Care Unit, South Shore Health

Naomi came to the ICU a few years ago and was amazed at the increase in workplace violence that seemed to becoming very common, especially in her ICU. Naomi’s goal was to put a stop to assaults, and she set out to decrease assaults at our organization and on her unit. She was able to work toward this goal due to her role as co-chair of our hospital Shared Governance Clinical Outcomes and Safety Council. She has partnered with Risk Prevention and Workplace Violence Taskforce to abolish workplace violence. Naomi helped develop the Sidekick for Safety initiative to enhance nurse and clinician relationships with security officers, soliciting proactive discussions about patients with potential risk for violence. Naomi is passionate about preventing workplace violence and now teaches a hospital-wide prevention program with our security team. She is working to get 100 percent of our ICU staff educated and trained in awareness, vigilance, avoidance, defense, and escape. Naomi feels very strongly about this, and her overall goal is to reduce workplace assaults, especially in the CCU. She has included the entire care team and linked with other disciplines. Naomi has cultivated interest and broken barriers to this much-needed initiative.

Naomi demonstrates the true art of nursing, combining leadership, passion, knowledge, science, and experience, and she should be recognized for this. Naomi’s attention to detail for enforcing processes, supporting staff with education, and her continued dedication to collaborating makes a real difference in the lives and safety of many at SSH. Naomi resonates the motto: “TOGETHER WE STAY SAFE.”—Nominated by Nancy Ahearn


Pauline Powers, Wound Clinic, South Shore Health

I first met Pauline when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. She was an amazing nurse. I care for an elderly neighbor who was viciously attacked and seriously injured by 275-pound dog a month ago. This required weeks in the hospital, rehab, and then months of recovery and home care. When Pauline learned about this, she volunteered to stay for the night in the hospital so we could get a night of sleep. She has touched base every day, been a wonderful resource, and shown amazing compassion. Don’t know how I would be able to get through this without her support.—Nominated by Helen Garvey


Patricia Rodgers, South Shore Health

Patty has been a labor nurse for many years, and for the past several she has also been the coordinator of the Pregnancy Loss Program. In this role, she supports patients who have experienced a loss through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death. She coordinates an annual Service of Remembrance and a Walk to Remember. In addition, she provides education and support for staff and providers who care for these patients and their families. Last fall, Patty retired from her staff nurse position, but she has stayed on as the coordinator of the Pregnancy Loss Program to assure that we continue to provide the most compassionate care to this most vulnerable patient population.—Nominated by Kathleen Bruce


Stacy Rogers, Critical Care Unit, South Shore Health

Stacy Rogers is the critical care nurse coordinator of South Shore Hospital’s Critical Care Unit (CCU) and serves as the official hospital liaison for New England Donor Services (NEDS). Stacy has seamlessly transitioned to a lead role for New England Donor Services and South Shore Health. In this role, Stacy ensures that all referrals are made in the most efficient manner possible. In conjunction with NEDS, Stacy ensures that donation data is reviewed weekly so that procedures are continuously improved and streamlined.

Additionally, Stacy leads arranging Donate Life events throughout the year. Examples from this past year have been education to leaders throughout our organization, assisting our CNO in signing the vial for the Donate Life Float in the Rose Bowl Parade, organizing Donor Sabbath here at SSH, arranging with NEDS to have recipients speak to our CCU team, participating in Schwartz rounds pertaining to NEDS, holding debriefs with staff and NEDS, and organizing SSH first team to walk in the NEDS Donate Life Walk in Boston.

Stacy’s dedication to the partnership between South Shore Hospital and NEDS is paramount to our continued success. Her attention to detail for enforcing processes, supporting staff with education, and continued dedication to collaborating with NEDS truly makes a difference in the lives of many. Due to Stacy’s leadership, NEDS, and our very dedicated staff here at SSH who are involved in organ donations, we are very proud that in the past year we had five donors who helped save 17 lives. Thank you, Stacy for your commitment to saving lives through organ and tissue donation. I would like to end by saying Stacy resonates the NEDS Motto “TOGETHER WE SAVE LIVES.” (This letter was submitted on behalf of CCU Nurse Manager Nancy Ahearn due to limited organizational internet access.)—Nominated by Sharon Stemm


Tammie Ryan, South Shore VNA, South Shore Health

Tammie is an exceptional nurse and the clinical director of our visiting nurses association. Tammie has started a new graduate program to train and mentor new nurses to work in home care. Her commitment has opened up opportunities for new nurses to learn and grow in a supportive environment while learning the skills to be a successful home-care nurse. This important work ensures that we will continue to have clinically competent nurses to deliver care at home to patients and families in our community into the future. —Nominated by Jann Ahern


Eileen Scollins, South Shore Hospital, South Shore Health

She saved my life today by providing cardiovascular resuscitation.—Nominated by Dennis Scollins


Nicohle Smith, South Shore Health

Nicohle has been with South Shore emergency services for the past eight years; before that, she practiced in the critical setting. The South Shore Emergency Department is the third-largest ED in Massachusetts and is designated as a level II trauma center. The annual volume of 98,000 includes 21,000 pediatric patients under the age of 21. Nicohle takes great pride in her ED trauma role and critical pediatric care. I am impressed by her ability and willingness to share her voice, opinion, and experiences for the safety and quality of patient care. Nicohle has advocated for her patients and her colleagues and has always impressed me with her extreme diligence to pursuing excellence in delivering care.

Most recently, Nicohle completed a project for a nurse-driven protocol for patients on anticoagulants requiring a CT [computed tomography scan]. She takes great pride in her vocation and strives to advance her skills and knowledge, as evidenced by her many certifications in critical care and trauma. Nicohle is being nominated for her dedication and success in preparing our next generation of nurses through our ED mentoring program. She has positively influenced novice nurses by imparting her expert knowledge, compassion, and leadership. She is a phenomenal role model of grace under pressure and takes great pride in fostering new nurses in an extremely challenging practice area. Calm, purposeful, intuitive, and knowing are all attributes she willingly shares. The nurses she has developed all credit their success to Nicohle’s attention to their individual learning styles. Nicohle is very much respected and valued as one of our esteemed colleagues.—Nominated by Paula Beaulieu


Nicohle Smith, South Shore Hospital Emergency Department, South Shore Health

Nicohle has practiced her art in the South Shore Emergency Services for the past eight years. Before that, she practiced in the critical setting. The South Shore ED is the third-largest emergency department in Massachusetts and is designated as a level II trauma center. The annual volume of 98,000 includes 21,000 pediatric patients under age 21. Nicohle takes great pride in her ED trauma role and critical pediatric care. I am impressed by her ability and willingness to participate in sharing her voice, opinion, and experiences for the safety and quality of patient care. Nicohle has found her voice in advocating for her patients and her colleagues and has always impressed me with her extreme diligence to her pursuit of nursing excellence.

Nicohle most recently completed a project for a nurse-driven protocol for patients on anticoagulants requiring a CT. She takes great pride in her vocation and strives always to advance her skills and knowledge. This is evidenced by her many certifications in critical care and trauma. Nicohle is being nominated for her dedication and success in preparing our next generation of nurses through our ED mentoring program. She has positively influenced novice nurses by imparting her expert knowledge, compassion, and leadership. She is a phenomenal role model of grace under pressure and takes great pride in fostering new nurses in an extremely challenging practice area. Calm, purposeful, intuitive, and knowing are all attributes she willingly shares. The nurses she has developed all praise their success due to Nicohle’s attentiveness to their individual learning styles. Nicohle is very much respected and valued as one of our esteemed colleagues. (This letter was submitted on behalf of Emergency Department leadership due to limited organizational internet access.)—Nominated by Sharon Stemm


Meghan Staples, Breast Care Center, South Shore Hospital, South Shore Health

I’d like to nominate Meghan Staples from the Breast Care Center. Meg is a compassionate nurse professional who dedicates her time to the ambulatory breast care center. Meg advocates strongly for her patients every day in her work, helping to educate patients about their care and meeting their pre- and post-operative ambulatory needs. Meg has performed well in our highly matrixed environment where more explanation is sometimes needed to help patients understand the system of care available to them. Meg always rises to the occasion during times of need, change, and growth. She is a beacon of optimism and quality in her role, mentoring junior colleagues and new hires and inspiring others. Meg is also instrumental in our patient satisfaction results, with the Breast Care Center being recipient of the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for the seventh year in a row. We can’t say enough good things about Meg Staples!—Nominated by Jennifer Croes


Andrea Stephen, South Shore Health

Andrea Stephen, nurse supervisor in family medicine at SSMC, is not only a phenomenal nurse but also an amazing leader. She is very well-respected, and stepped in when the director of nursing took another position. Someone else has since filled the position, but Andrea continues to be called upon for her knowledge, opinions, and workflow implementation. She remains calm during chaos and the voice of reason during times of change.—Nominated by Nicholle Dwyer


Traci Szwyd, South Shore Health

Traci is a tremendous asset to our patients, providers, and the overall practice. Her consistently kind and compassionate manner, even when faced with challenging patients, shows her dedication to nursing. I receive glowing feedback about patient interactions with Traci on a weekly basis. Traci works as part of our medical team to help triage the patient questions, requests, and nurse visits, which allows the providers to see a larger number of patients in the office and at the hospital. Traci is very reliable and holds herself accountable to the highest standards. She is very well-liked by our patients, providers, and colleagues.—Nominated by Cheryl Yahoub


Margie Tose, Mother/Infant Unit, South Shore Health

Margie is an asset to the Mother/Infant Unit. She is a team player who’s always available to help when needed. She is kind, caring, and compassionate. Margie belongs to the CIAC committee and is always bringing new information to the team. She is continually making changes to the downtime paperwork. She is a liaison between staff and EPIC changes. Margie collects data for the state in regards to exclusive breastfeeding rates. Margie was selected as a member of the team that escorted the Magnet folks around the organization during our site visit and was able to go to the National Epic Conference in Florida last Fall. Margie is a vital member of the MIU Team. (This letter was submitted on behalf of Mother/Infant Unit Manager Karen Cumming due to limited organizational internet access.)—Nominated by Sharon Stemm


Janet Travers, Hospice of the South Shore, South Shore Health

Janet was assigned to my husband while he was in hospice care. She showed compassion, kindness, and professionalism for the seven weeks before he passed. She took over the process, from getting the hospital equipment he needed to contacting doctors and getting his meds. Janet was a true godsend, not only for my husband, but also myself and my daughter. Janet stayed in touch with us almost daily. We could not have survived those last weeks without her.—Nominated by Dorothy McCuen


Allison Vanriper, South Shore Hospital, South Shore Health

I was in a very serious automobile accident that required hospitalization and seven hours of surgery. Allison moved in with me and provided professional and compassionate care. I avoided going to a rehab because I had Allison providing one-on-one care.—Nominated by Debbie Vanriper


Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Kara Carney, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Brighton

I started working with Kara as a certified nursing assistant two years ago, and now as a nurse for the past year and a half. She has always been very willing to answer questions/concerns, no matter how many things or distractions might be going on. She treats all staff with respect, and communicates well with all members of the interdisciplinary staff, as well as with patients. As the charge nurse, every patient on the floor knows her and respects her as a great nurse. It has been great working with her.—Nominated by Josh Brewster


Christine Chen, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Christine was in charge of my physical therapy. She pushed me not only to try harder, but to want to do even more. She prepared me to go home, for which my family and I are grateful. I don’t know if it’s possible, but if you go to Spaulding and can request someone for P/T, ask for her.—Nominated by Joe Stutto


Henry Klatz, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Brighton

My wife, Brenda, was admitted to the Spaulding rehabilitation center in Cambridge about a month ago, after suffering an aneurysm and two strokes. Many nurses have taken care of her over the course of her stay, but Henry has been exceptional. He shows extra compassion. He cares extra-hard; he always checks on her, even when it’s not his time to. Henry’s extra effort speaks volumes to me. My wife cannot speak right now, and I feel like Henry is her voice when I’m not there, and that is priceless. If the world had more Henrys in it, the world would be a much better place. Thank you, Henry, and God bless you.—Nominated by Carl Festa


Phuong Mac, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

This young lady not only took exceptional care of my medical needs, she also showed great compassion. She understood my anxiety as well. Any patient who receives care from Phuong Mac should feel grateful.—Nominated by Joe Stutto


Dane Olsen, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Dane began as my caregiver in a home-care setting while working toward a nursing degree. Even after obtaining his degree and a nursing position, he continues to care for me on his own time.—Nominated by Christina Kontz


McKayla Palladino, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

I salute McKayla Palladino for her compassion, professionalism, and strong demonstration of patient advocacy. My daughter, who is also a nurse, suffered complications after cardiac surgery. She has been at Spaulding since February 2019. She is paralyzed and ventilator-dependent. Kayla made an immediate connection with my daughter, as well as with me and my husband, especially when we have been overwhelmed. She has attended family meetings twice when she was not even scheduled to work. She helped us navigate difficult conversations involving our daughter and health-care team with such compassion and empathy. She was a strong advocate to obtain a pain management plan going into a weekend. The weekend covering physicians were reluctant to change any medications when my daughter was experiencing severe pain. Kayla persisted. My daughter did not suffer all weekend because of her. Kayla is an advocate for her peers as well. She is an excellent educator and frequently serves as a resource for the 3 West nurses. Being blessed with Kayla has helped us get through this catastrophic illness.—Nominated by Colleen Ryan


Laurie Shippey, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Cape Cod

Laurie Shippey is an amazing clinical nurse educator, manager, and bedside nurse. She spends every day advocating for patients and staff and keeping nurses up to date on clinical knowledge. She is kind, caring, compassionate, and humble. Reliable and calm in emergencies, Laurie is the one we look to when everything falls apart, and she confidently and quietly puts it all back together. I am hoping you will recognize Laurie as a clinical leader, patient advocate, and compassionate bedside caregiver.—Nominated by Jacqueline Donnelly


Laurie Shippey, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Cape Cod

Laurie Shippey is an extraordinary nurse manager. Besides her daily operations of conflict resolution, patient and staff education, process improvement, and more, it is clear that she is an advocate for the safety of her staff nurses and rehab aides. After attending numerous meetings on Covid-19, Laurie met with each nurse and aide to make sure that we were up-to-date on safe practices. She has a calm and caring approach and a sense of humor that puts you at ease. She is a skillful and knowledgeable clinician and a compassionate caregiver. Patient safety and nursing excellence is her motto.—Nominated by Martha Martin


Lauren Small, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

I was moved to this facility after a hip replacement. I was in a lot of pain. My dinner was brought to me and I couldn’t even identify it. Lane asked if she could get me something. I asked for toast with peanut butter. She personally went to the kitchen and made the peanut butter toast. It was the best I’d ever had. She checked in during the night to make sure my leg was raised and put pillows under it. She was very capable and caring.—Nominated by Sheila Tobio


Elizabeth Swomley, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Brighton

(blank)—Nominated by Katherine MacKirdy


Marc Vincent, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Marc was there for my long stay at Spaulding Rehab. He always had a smile. He was efficient, capable, and always kind. No job was too small for him. I feel he was often short-staffed, but he never complained. I will be eternally grateful for his excellent care during a difficult time. I have to add that his nursing assistant, Peter, was superlative, too.—Nominated by Sheila Tobio



Special Olympics Massachusetts

Kathy Savage, Special Olympics Massachusetts

I have watched Kathy teach Special Olympic coaches CPR and first aid to keep participants safe. She coordinates the medical personal for multiplate events for Special Olympics. She has served on the medical team for SO national and international events. Kathy’s also served as a leader on the Boston Marathon first aid team for the past 10 years. It is a pleasure to work side by side with her.—Nominated by Kenneth Dawley



St. Camillus Health Center

Barbara Allen, St. Camillus Health Center

I am nominating my mother for almost 30 years of continuous dedication to the nursing profession. For many years, she has provided compassionate care to adults and the older adult population. She is a strong patient advocate and my hero. I am so proud of her and all she has become—a true inspiration. I love you, Mom!—Nominated by Lisa Joyce



St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center 

Marykate Collins, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

I work with Marykate every day. She is so dedicated to the job and provides superb care to patients. She is compassionate, understanding, gentle, and kind. Patients specifically ask for her because she has built such great relationships. She is an asset to our department.—Nominated by Toni DeCicco


Marykate Collins, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Marykate is the nurse for the gastrointestinal department at St. Elizabeth’s. She is warm, caring, and compassionate with our patients. She genuinely cares about our patients, calling them with lab and pathology results, sending result letters, and advocating with insurance companies for prior authorizations for medications and procedures. I am nominating Marykate because she also brings a lot to the office with her cheerful disposition and overall enthusiasm.—Nominated by Julie Reedy


Lisa Haskins, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Lisa is a compassionate, caring nurse who considers the patient and family in all bedside-care decisions. She is a team leader with a unique intuition for knowing when a co-worker is struggling and needs support. She has strong communication skills and is able to advocate for all her patients’ and teammates’ needs. Lisa is constantly open to learning new advances and is a champion with new learning on the unit. Her calm, empathetic manner is instrumental in her delivery of a high standard of patient care.—Nominated by Jeanne Kelly



Sturdy Memorial Hospital

Francisco Portela, Sturdy Memorial Hospital

Francisco was so professional—he made sure I got taken care of properly when the hospitalists missed a few things. I’ve kept in touch with him throughout the years, and he’s been busy inventing new medical devices that help reduce infections. He’s the only nurse I know who’s trying to make things better than they are, and he’s just fantastic. If you have health-care questions about anything, really, he’s an expert and will try to help you.—Nominated by Stephanie Lee



The Cancer Center at Harrington

Stacey Delacruz, The Cancer Center at Harrington, Harrington Hospital

I first met Stacey five years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which is rare for a man. After my breast was removed, I began 16 weeks of intense chemotherapy, with Stacey as my nurse for each session. She demonstrated a real, honest compassion for me and all her patients receiving this treatment. She has a keen sense of humor that she adjusts to fit each patient’s state of mind. Stacey spends time learning about each patient’s life, family, and future plans, always keeping things in a positive perspective. Stacey takes time to translate what the oncologist’s notes indicate for best overall treatment and answers all questions honestly. She ends each chemo session with a “sugar hug” for each patient before sending them on their way. I was clear of cancer as I approached my five-year mark, but it has re-emerged in my liver and bones. I am now back in for additional weekly chemotherapy sessions with Stacey, whose effervescent attitude has been on full display once again. It feels like returning to an old friend who I’m happy to see each time I undergo treatment.!—Nominated by Michael Payette



The Commons In Lincoln

James Barker, The Commons In Lincoln

James Barker joined the rehabilitation facility at Benchmark Senior Living in Lincoln (also referred to as “The Commons at Lincoln”) when it first opened approximately four years ago. My wife, Ruth, and I each have spent considerable time recovering at The Commons—three times each, in the past year. My daughter spent three months here recovering from a tib-fib fracture in 2018. We all came away feeling James is a special nurse.

Nurse James displayed sincerity and concern in helping to relieve pain and discomfort. I’ll never forget the time I had a serious skin rip on my arm from a fall in the bathroom. With the competency of a surgeon, he positioned the skin back in place and applied a special clinical patch, all the while reassuring me that recovery should be considered routine. James often recommended items commonly available from a drugstore that could alleviate discomfort while at home. Considering his senior status as an RN, to watch him help feed an elderly woman in The Commons dining room was an uncommon display of human compassion and love. James is a health care giver worthy of being called a nurse.—Nominated by Ralph Mondano



The Meadows Health Center

Mary Nogueras, The Meadows Health Center, Edgewood

It has been a gift to have Mary Nogueras care for both my mother and father in the past. Mary guided my family through some very difficult times. My parents were both admitted to the Meadows prior to their deaths. During my dad’s second admission, I asked Mary if she was happy to see him back. She replied, “I am always happy to see my residents, but not happy to see them back.” When she greeted him at admission, we all witnessed a warm and welcoming smile. Mary consistently communicated with the family and informed us of any change in condition. I left the facility each day confident that he was safe, in very competent and caring hands. She helped us to navigate a confusing health-care system and optimize the care my dad received. Her warm smile and compassion were clear as she provided our many family members with a private room during my dad’s final hours, allowing us to spend quality time with him and each other and ensuring my dad’s comfort. She anticipated his needs and ensured his wishes were respected. Mary’s biggest priority was my dad and his happiness. She took the time to learn about him, his interests, and his family, and she prioritized his priorities. She made a very difficult time easier as we lost a very important role model, because she treated us all like her own family. Mary truly cares about her patients and their families, with a warm smile and caring hand.—Nominated by Mary Sue Howlett



Tufts Medical Center & Floating Hospital for Children

Caitlin Alves, Tufts Medical Center

Caitlin Alves is a dedicated and caring nurse. She takes care of some of the sickest patients with compassion and kindness, no matter what the circumstances. She frequently gets thank-you notes from the patients when they recover, or from their families when they don’t. She is dedicated to her coworkers and that is why she works in all the critical care units as a float, as she is a great helper.—Nominated by Christine Toomey


Liz Barnhart, Tufts Medical Center

Liz has been my friend for 45 years. I worked with her for two years in the 1970s, when she was a public health nurse. Since 1981 she has been nurse practitioner at Tufts. I have witnessed her dedication, compassion, professionalism, and commitment to the two generations of patients she has cared for. She is kind, selfless, caring, and steady.—Nominated by Liz Keegan


Shannon Bariault, Tufts Medical Center

In a time when I needed very much T.L.C., I could not have had a more compassionate person.—Nominated by Richard Nagle


Mariann Gibson, Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center

My sister, Mariann Gibson, is the primary nurse in the Pediatric Endocrinology Service at Floating. While I am not a patient of hers, I have witnessed—for many years now—how she fully embraces and embodies this role. She works with young children who have been diagnosed with types 1 and 2 diabetes, short stature, and other significant endocrine-related, life-altering issues. She is dedicated to each patient and their family; she is compassionate; and she works tirelessly to provide clear, understandable information and practical advice. She understands the lifestyle challenges of parents who are dealing with adolescents who have been diagnosed with diabetes. More importantly, she is an attentive and empathetic listener. At a time when health care is so focused on efficiency, the personalized attention, kindness, and support that Mariann provides are greatly appreciated by patients and families, and highly valued by the physicians in her team.—Nominated by Patricia D’Amore


Lauren Keefe, Tufts Medical Center

I Pierhave been a patient of the Heart Transplant Department at Tufts since July 2010, when I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and placed on the transplant list. Lauren has been a constant caregiver and extremely involved in my personal case. We have interacted almost weekly since 2010—that’s somewhere in the vicinity of 450 or more contacts. She’s my first call when I have a care question and has acted as my advocate a number of times. She has always made me, and my family, comfortable with the information that she provided. She’s selfless and has called me many times on her day off or late at night to follow up on test results. Tufts is lucky to have her on staff.—Nominated by Mike Ashworth


Cathy McPherson, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center

My daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. She was 4 years old. Her prognosis was not good. Cathy was an angel in disguise. The first time she met my daughter, they bonded. She took a frightened little girl and made every step of her treatment—including two stem cell transplants—a game. Everything was done with kindness, compassion, and caring. Her heart shone brightly and Maddy couldn’t wait to see her. She was her rock. Her sassy and never-be-negative attitude navigated Maddy through one of the toughest times of her life. I will never forget when a friend asked Maddy about her cancer treatment and she said, “having cancer at Floating is fun.”—Nominated by Catherine Lewis


Christine Murphy, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center

Chris is an amazing nurse who my family considers a friend. She is loving and attentive to my daughter (who’s being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia) while being informative and answering any questions I may have. I am so lucky and blessed to have crossed paths with this amazing nurse. Thank you, Chris, from the bottom of our hearts. Nominated by Kristen Benjamin


Christine Murphy, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center

Great with my niece, always makes her visits full of smiles and laughter.—Nominated by Kim Calandrella


Christine Murphy, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center

Chris has been amazing to my family, and especially my niece. She has gone beyond expectations. She treats my niece like a princess, and I could not want any more for her. It’s very unfortunate that my niece has to go through all these procedures and treatments, but Chris has really helped her through it all. She has welcomed whatever family member has brought her in and been able to show them the ropes with such patience. We are so pleased to have her.—Nominated by Lauren Calandrella


Christine Murphy, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center

Nurse Christine has shown our family (and, more importantly, my granddaughter in cancer treatment) compassion. She has exceeded what a nurse does. She has been a support person to my daughter as well. We are extremely lucky as an entire family going through this treatment to have her on our team. All the doctors and nurses have been wonderful to my granddaughter and our family, but Christine is an angel who treats and watches over our granddaughter, Paisley Benjamin.—Nominated by Mary Calandrella


Christine Murphy, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center

Our granddaughter, Paisley, and her mother, Kristen, love this nurse. She is caring and thoughtful as she helps Paisley fight her battle with leukemia. We hope that she is recognized for her professionalism and genuine compassion for all family members during their struggles.—Nominated by Steve Calandrella


Kelli O’Neill, Medical ICU, Tufts Medical Center

Throughout the transition period and turmoil being caused by Covid-19, Kelli is helping to keep the entire MICU staff calm and soothe everyone’s anxiety. She organized practice groups for donning and doffing appropriately in our new PPE [personal protective equipment] and is maintaining amazing communication with all of our staff. These are very hard times for everyone, and nurses like Kelli are the reason we will all get through this and help as many patients as possible while staying safe as a staff.—Nominated by Gabrielle Foster 


Eleni (Elly) Sangermano, Tufts Medical Center

I would like to nominate my Hematology/Oncology Clinic Nurse, Elly Sangermano, for Nurse of the Year. I have been a cancer patient since last June, and Elly has been supportive in all of my needs. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it is traumatic for the patient and their entire family. Elly has made the whole process easier, through her genuineness and kindness. She has been my crutch to get through this difficult process. Elly has been there to answer any and all questions since the first day and can always put me in a positive state, which is imperative in the healing process. My cancer treatment is now in month nine, and Elly’s care has never wavered. I feel like I am her only patient, although I’m sure that she has a large caseload. I cannot think of a more deserving person for this recognition than Elly. I only hope that every cancer patient has an Elly Sangermano in their care plan to help them get through their fight with this terrible disease.—Nominated by Brian Barrett


Kerry Seggelin, Tufts Medical Center

Kerry has been dedicated nurse for 30 years and presently is a senior nurse in the Neurological ICU.—Nominated by Larry Seggelin


Kate Smith, Tufts Medical Center

I met staff RN Kate Smith in Tufts Medical Center’s Outpatient GI Procedural Area in 2017. As an experienced nurse of 30 years, I was amazed by her compassion and leadership. At her core, Kate exemplified such characteristics of an excellent nurse as work ethic, determination, and dedication to patient-centered care. She reacted to daily challenges with sustainable and well-thought-out solutions for her patients, all while being pregnant.

Eventually, Kate went on maternity leave. In her absence, our unit experienced many changes that led to a difficult work environment. Despite dealing with the challenges that arise out of early motherhood, Kate returned, and with her came organization. She was able to flawlessly balance motherhood with patient and nurse advocacy. As an outstanding problem solver, Kate quickly identified the sources of problems and took action to organize the unit. She was able to pull fragmented pieces together and create a cohesive environment.

Kate was promoted to lead clinical nurse educator. She was a devoted teacher who focused on staff development by providing nurses with weekly in-services. Kate went beyond set expectations by single-handedly coordinating a trip to Chicago for staff to engage in an ERCP bootcamp [Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is a specialized technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct, and gallbladder.] Kate was again recognized for her intelligence, organizational skills and leadership qualities.

She was promoted to nurse manager. Directly following her promotion, the department’s Press Gainey score [a patient satisfaction rating] increased dramatically. Kate was instrumental in setting up the Marlene Neely Center for Digestive Health. She dedicated endless time and energy ordering supplies and organizing equipment. Kate has a very kind and gentle demeanor. She patiently reviews special procedures with staff until they feel confident and competent. Our staff experienced something amazing through Kate’s involvement. Her spirit, attitude, and actions make Kate a valued leader, nurse, and friend.—Nominated by Dorothy Cromp


Robin Timperio, Tufts Medical Center

She is the best mom out there. Currently, while I’m working remotely, I have to see my mom go in every day and give 120 percent. So much love and respect for you.—Nominated by Matt Timperio


Kathleen (Kathy) Zerrip, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center

This nurse has worked many years in the oncology unit at Tufts. There she cares for children with cancer and other illnesses that require continual medical care. She demonstrates a deep concern for all children, and especially tries to comfort those undergoing treatments. Many of these children spend hours receiving intravenous treatments and she gives them the extra TLC to ease their visit. Kathy always goes the extra step in treating these children.

A couple of years ago, she was part of a Channel 5 news story about her work to decorate a mailbox and encourage coworkers to leave Christmas cards for a young girl, who I think was in isolation at the time. This is just an example of the extra measures that she takes to care for children with long-term and sometimes terminal illness. It takes a special person to do this type of work.—Nominated by Michael Hickey



UMass Memorial Health Care

Jennifer Feldman, Hemophilia Treatment Team, UMass Memorial Health Care

Jen Feldman is the nurse for the Hemophilia Treatment Team at UMass Memorial Health Care. She is an ardent advocate for her patients, and puts their needs above all else. She ensures that my children receive the care they need. She is patient-centered above all else. When systems have failed, she has gone out of her way to provide treatment. She is knowledgeable in treatment options, health care systems, and resources for families. In addition, she is an empathetic listener for parents and is always available to answer questions or give suggestions. She is an incredibly upbeat person who always has a smile for her patients. She is competent and caring, which puts patients and families at ease. I am very grateful for Jen’s compassion, skill, and energy. She has worked with my family for a number of years and is an ardent advocate.—Nominated by Gwen Silka


Brittany Sampson, UMass Memorial Medical Center ER, UMass Memorial Health Care

If you were to put a picture next to the words “selfless,” “compassionate,” “caring,” and “dedicated” in the dictionary, you’d see Brittany Sampson’s face. Brittany exceeds the typical duties of an ER nurse. When she’s not working her shifts in the emergency department, you will find her selflessly helping those in need around her. Brittany devotes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help those who have been involved in traumatic events within her hospital and neighboring hospitals. She started a new crisis intervention group called “Critical Incident Stress Management Program” within UMass Memorial.

Brittany’s journey began when she found herself in a dark place, emotionally. After a traumatic scene in the ER, she found that she had no support from those elected to help hospital staff. Her idea took off beyond her expectations and has been the core of help for those nurses, doctors, janitors, and many other hospital staff who had no other place to turn. She and her team allow those who need help to speak freely, without being judged, and provide a guiding hand so all staff can feel supported and cared for. She has displayed empathy, sympathy, and compassion like no other. Brittany has given up hours with her family and friends so that all those in need around her can feel supported and able to overcome those traumatic events. People like her should not go without recognition, as her feat is so great and she asks for so little in return. She is the poster child for all nurses.—Nominated by Shari Carley



United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston 

Residential Nurses, UCP MetroBoston

UCP of MetroBoston provides community support to enable adults with cognitive and physical disabilities to live in their communities as independently as possible. The two department nurses who support 30+ people in 13 separate homes throughout the greater Boston area have dedicated their hearts, minds, patience, and kindness to ensuring the best possible health outcomes to make people with very complicated medical and psychiatric challenges safe and healthy in their homes. Melanie and John connect and advocate in incredibly meaningful ways with the patients themselves, but also as community liaisons to translate our specialized group home supports to the medical professional community, as well as training the care needs to the direct care professionals. They are an amazing team and we are so grateful for their efforts.—Nominated by Jeannette Rimsa



VA Boston Healthcare System – Jamaica Plain

Jane Jorge, Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center

Since the first day I met Jane at the JP VA, she has been the utmost professional in every facet of her vocation. She not only provides her undivided attention to her patients during treatment, but she also devotes additional personal time in following up after procedures to ensure treatments met their intended outcome. She researches more in-depth alternatives and gives you a detailed understanding of all the various aspects of your medical condition and a broad array of alternative therapies and treatments. She’s an open, willing resource for any unmet need or question. Jane stays late to ensure the highest quality of treatment and follows up to make sure your spirits are up, and you are getting every bit of positive, productive treatments and diagnosis. She is likewise a fierce advocate for her patients’ needs and rights. Jane is the definition of devotion to duty and to her patients. She leads by example in setting the highest standard of what a nurse should be, and proves every day to be the epitome of what a nurse should be. Of all the superlative professionals in the VA Boston medical staff, Jane is, by far, the best of the best.—Nominated by Doc Robinson



VA Boston Healthcare System – West Roxbury

Rosalind Killam, VA West Roxbury

Rosalind is your ordinary “extraordinary” nurse practitioner. She advocates for her men and finds them home care, a resident, drug and alcohol counseling, and care for their medical needs. Every day, she brings her 10-month-old son Baby John to the daycare on the lot. Every day, she has lunch with Baby John and then goes back to work. When it’s time to leave, she picks up the baby, goes home to her little doggie, cooks supper for her husband, and then tries to put the baby to sleep. This is an average day of an average “extraordinary” nurse practitioner. Rosalind is a silent hero, as are all the nurse practitioners of the VA hospital at West Roxbury. They are the cool shadows on the hospital floors, and where they are, there is always the sun.—Nominated by Therese Dempsey


Jonathan Leaf, VA West Roxbury

We called him the Zen healer. When he walked into the room, empty handed or with a heat pack he just thought might ease the abdominal pain, you just felt better. He listened with his entire being, seemingly never rushed, while all around him nurses and staff were rushing. He had a way of making you feel taken care of and so cared about. And he was the only one who knew how to get the nasogastric tube suction working. Long after discharge, we still felt the calm and caring he quietly, humbly, and unassumingly radiated. We were glad to know he had taken on yet another capstone student this term, because if he can teach his way of providing nursing care, we will be enriched with more Zen healers. He is what gives nursing its stellar reputation. He gets people better on many levels.—Nominated by Joan and George Kovach


Claudia Tavares, VA West Roxbury

Claudia is the most highly qualified nurse I have ever dealt with. As one of many great nurses on the coronary care unit staff, she stood out in caring for me. In addition to all the qualities you ask for, her upbeat personality always made her patients feel better, including me. What a pleasure being around her. She has spent many years at the VA helping veterans.—Nominated by Hugh McGlone



VNA Care

Barbara Burhans, VNA Care

Barbara has provided care and support that has allowed us to transition from a near-death experience to a place of recovery.—Nominated by Theresa Mitton


Walden Street School

Sarah Creamer, Walden Street School, Concord

My daughter works wonders with severely traumatized and mentally ill girls. They love her and she does a great job as their school nurse.—Nominated by James R. Creamer


Webster School, City of Everett

Debra Milley, Webster School

Debra provides daily care and concern for the children and staff at her school. She exceeds her job parameters, bringing in clothing and needed items for those who can’t afford them. She works every day like it’s her last, and has done this for almost 25 years without recognition.—Nominated by Richard Milley


Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Courtney Cavanaugh, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Courtney was my nurse when my son was stillborn. She cared for me as if I were any other new mom who’d had a baby. More importantly, she handled my son with love and respect. She cared for me physically, but also attended to my emotional needs. I could never be more thankful for her bravery, courage, compassion and care.—Nominated by Aubrey Lamontagne


Kathy Goodell, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

We had a prenatal loss at 28 weeks and Kathy was unbelievably compassionate, caring, thoughtful, and present with everything we had to go through. She took amazing care of me, and of our son. She truly is an angel.—Nominated by Nina Katkin


Hayley Junkins, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Hayley was with us for a long and difficult labor experience, but her patience and compassion never wavered. She supported us through difficult decisions when things didn’t go as we had hoped and was a calm and constant presence throughout. When our baby decided to come into the world after Hayley’s shift ended, she still came back to meet our little one. I only wish I had gotten her last name, but hope that this nomination can find her without it.—Nominated by Sarah Schulenberg


Tristin Knowlton, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Tristin did everything to keep me comfortable and never once lost enthusiasm in my labor process. She eased my anxiety. She allowed me to feel in control. She was amazing with communicating. She truly advocated for me. I was blown away in the best way. Everybody deserves to have her for a labor nurse. It’s a vulnerable time, but Tristin makes it more comfortable just by walking into the room.—Nominated by Kendra Murphy


Caitlin Kretschmar, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Caitlin was so caring and attentive as my mother spent her last days at the hospital. She transcended her nursing duties to ensure we were all taken care of, especially Mom. She is a wonderful nurse and my family can’t thank her enough.—Nominated by Nina Katkin


Katelyn Moore, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Katelyn has a heart of gold. She cares about everyone she takes care of. I am a friend and coworker. She’s an amazingly hard-working nurse who goes out of her way for her coworkers and patients.—Nominated by Joshua Williams


Marissa Nicol, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Marissa was my late husband’s oncology nurse. Marissa was his nurse, and because we knew her (she’s my oldest daughter’s best friend), she made his first treatment so easy for him. Roughly six weeks later he got sick—his body was overstimulated. She was by his and my side from the day he went into the hospital until he passed two days later. She has so much compassion for her patients, she was so involved from the minute we started this journey until it ended. She talked to me and explained everything I did not understand, she assured me there was nothing that was kept from me. I wish all nurses everywhere were as kind, educated, caring, and compassionate, as Marissa. She truly enjoys her job and the patients she cares for.—Nominated by Susan Gregory


Tracy Page, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Tracy was a nurse in the special care nursery at WDH when my son was born eight weeks premature. She showed my son, myself, and my family so much love and support over the seven weeks we had to stay there. It takes a very special nurse to be able to provide the care a premature baby needs, along with scared parents. Tracy filled those shoes.—Nominated by Kara Valinski


Cindy Spencer, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

(Blank)—Nominated by Derek Foss


Kendal Towle, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

She goes above and beyond her job.—Nominated by Laurie Neenan


Meghan Williams, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

(Blank)—Nominated by Joshua Williams



Winchester Hospital

Ashley Bouchard, Winchester Hospital

Being a nurse can lead to anxiety when I find myself on the other side. I was having surgery, and Ashley was my nurse. She was calm, kind, and caring. She put me at ease with her smile and subtle confidence. I was concerned, knowing that multiple specimens would be sent during my surgery, and her confidence relaxed my nerves. I nominate Ashley for the care and calming effect she brought to my case.—Nominated by Karen Blanchard


Pamela Linzer, Winchester Hospital

I am pleased to nominate Pamela Brown Linzer for a Boston Globe Salute to Nurses award. Pam is the assistant chief nursing officer of Inpatient, Informatics, Nursing Resources, and Staffing at Winchester Hospital. Dealing with the challenges that Pam faces every day is harrowing. Pam always has an infectious smile, a kind and compassionate word for staff, and is supportive of everyone’s needs.

On Jan. 15, Pam’s leadership abilities were put to the test. Faced with an almost fatal and difficult code, Winchester Hospital came together to save a young person’s life. After the patient was stabilized and transferred to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Pam mobilized. Pam made sure to personally touch base and debrief everyone involved in the code. Events of this magnitude can traumatize staff. There was a tremendous number of people to talk to and follow up with. Pam thanked the staff not involved in the code for holding down the fort behind the scenes. Throughout that week, she generated email updates on the patient’s progress sometime around 4 o’clock in the morning. I doubt Pam slept that week. Pam verbalized constant concern that staff should not be traumatized by the event and arranged for a therapist to talk to those who needed extra support. 2020 is a special year for nursing, and Pam Linzer has a 20/20 vision for the future of nursing leadership. Her unique compassion, caring, and understanding of the challenges that nurses are facing today is way beyond her years.—Nominated by Rochelle Ettlinger


Nursing Staff, Breast Care Center, Winchester Hospital

In December 2019, a day after my mom passed away from metastatic breast cancer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While I was grieving my mother, I had to navigate through many doctor appointments as they developed a plan for treatment. All of the nurses that I encountered at the Winchester Hospital Breast Care Center were so compassionate. Their understanding was so helpful at this very emotional time. As I have healed from surgery, and am now going through radiation treatments during an extremely difficult time in our country, I am amazed at their professionalism and commitment to their profession, and especially their selflessness as they show up to work every day so that I, and other patients like me, can continue with our lifesaving radiation treatments. When I go in for my treatment each morning, they provide a sense of calm, despite all of the closures around them. I am sincerely grateful for their dedication.—Nominated by Stephanie Catalini


Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Nurses of UMass Medical School Adolescent Units, Worcester Recovery Center

Every day, the nurses of the adolescent units at Worcester Recovery Center provide trauma-informed care to the young people they serve. Every day, these nurses show commitment, empathy, and a passion for taking care of others. These nurses are there for every holiday and every moment when the youths need support or a hug. They’re an amazing group of nurses, whom I am proud of working with every day.—Nominated by Sarah McNulty

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