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2021 Salute to Nurses letters: Hospitals A-B

Aberjona Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

Dina Surpris, Aberjona Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

Dina sat with every nurse and certified nursing assistant and helped them with their vaccination decision in such a way as to get these people comfortable with the vaccination process.—Nominated by Richard Salter

Advocates Inc.

Emily Donahue, Advocates Inc.

In the years Emily has been working for Advocates, a nonprofit multi-human-services provider, this year stands out. Emily is senior health-care coordinator for day services, and she was right there to educate, console, and just listen to all those who needed support. When Day Services closed onsite services in March 2020, Emily took on the role of a teacher. She stepped up to teach Zoom classes, design video trainings on hand-washing, mask-wearing, etc. She also took part in our wacky lip syncs that brought smiles to so many. Remote services lasted for five long months as we prepped to reopen.

With all of her amazing qualities, what stands out is the personal time Emily has taken to talk with families. She has helped find testing sites, talked through details of COVID, and consoled the parents of those who have lost loved ones or are in a hospital. Emily took time to visit individuals in their homes and deliver activities to keep them busy while chatting through the glass of the front door. She is an excellent nurse, leader, and team member.—Nominated by Elizabeth Bardasz

All Care VNA, Hospice & Home Care

Kelly Combs, All Care VNA, Hospice & Home Care

Kelly has been treating patients in the home-care setting for over 10 years. When she started with All Care VNA, she had no home-care experience. She quickly proved that she possessed the skills, knowledge, and bedside manner to care for patients at home. Kelly goes beyond expectations every day. As an LPN, she typically does not manage a caseload of patients; her daily assignment changes often. She treats every patient as if she has known their story forever. She makes herself familiar with their history as well as their present illness. She always looks beyond the current issue and encompasses all aspects related to their well-being. Kelly was seeing a patient for non-cardiac reasons and assessed a low heart rate of this pacemaker patient. The patient was unsure who his cardiologist was, or when was the last time the pacemaker was checked. Her diligence in digging for information, calling various providers, and persistence in not waiting for answers allowed this patient to avoid an ER visit and hospitalization. He was scheduled promptly for a new battery.—Nominated by Kristine McAloon

Hospice Team, All Care VNA, Hospice & Home Care

I would like to recognize and acknowledge the hospice nurses that I have had the honor to work alongside for many years. Specifically, I want to highlight their tireless and devoted work during COVID-19. Each nurse I work with continued to visit patients in their homes/nursing facilities/assisted living, regardless of the patient’s COVID status. They continued to provide the same level of care, and additionally ensured that loved ones had the opportunity to “see and hear” their mom/dad/sister/brother/friend via FaceTime or telephone interactions. All of the nurses who worked on the hospice team visited many of these newly isolated patients daily to assure their loved ones that they had someone watching over and supporting them. Whenever I praised my coworkers for their devotion/bravery, the common response was, “This is what we do.” —Nominated Deb Amato

Allerton House at Central Park

Joan Cunningham, Melanie Cosato, Jessica Canuto, Kristen Dehay, Claire Quilty, Allerton House at Central Park

To each of these unsung heroes, thank you for your dedication, compassion, and caring. They have tirelessly put their own and their families’ health at risk to care for each and every resident in the community. They are the strength for so many. Words can’t express my gratitude for everything they do, but I hope they always remember that they make a difference for so many every day. I admire their courage, sacrifices, and dedication. They remind me daily what it means to be a nurse.—Nominated by Ellen Laramee

Anna Jacques Hospital

Deb Burke, Anna Jacques Hospital

Deb is the director of our Cardiac step-down unit. But she is much more than that. She is the first to help any patient, employee, or volunteer when they are in need. She will take on any shift that needs to be covered, day or night. If an employee is sick or in need she is the first person to ask “how can I help?”  She worked tirelessly through the whole COVID-19 pandemic. She is always the first to advocate for a patient in need. She always goes the extra steps to make sure everyone around her is getting the best care possible. She is not only a great nurse, but a great mother, grandmother, and friend. She is a great asset to not only Anna Jaques Hospital, but to the Newburyport community.—Nominated by Marcie Dow

Barbara Green, Anna Jacques Hospital

Barbara is the smartest, funniest, fastest-moving nurse I have ever worked with. She started as my clinical instructor at the University of New Hampshire 20 years ago. Now we work side-by-side as Emergency Department nurses, saving lives together. She is the reason I became an ED nurse. She’s the best.—Nominated by Erin Russo

Michelle Petryk, Anna Jacques Cancer Center

Michelle stepped in from being a staff nurse during a pandemic to become the interim director while the clinic was looking for a permanent director. She managed to care for our patients while making the best decisions for our staff.  She gives her all every day to keep staff supported and patients safe. I have had the pleasure of working side-by-side with Michelle, and honestly would have been lost this past year without her. Her passion for nursing shines every day.—Nominated by Bethany Hurrell

Arbour Hospital

Molly Rowe, Arbour Hospital

She talked me through a panic attack during my time as an inpatient.—Nominated by Brenda Nguyen

Dieu Truong, Arbour Hospital

Dieu “Kim” Truong is an excellent nurse who always goes the extra mile for her patients. She is charge nurse on an adolescent inpatient psych unit. When many of these kids are at their lowest points, Kim is always there to support them. Thank you for being the best charge nurse, Kim.—Nominated by Molly Rowe

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Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment

Deirdre Arvidson, Barnstable County Department of Health

Deirdre leads the Barnstable County Public Health Nurse Division in the COVID-19 testing and vaccination response. She manages all the vaccination clinics in obtaining vaccine from the state, documentation, scheduling, and staffing in the most efficient, compassionate, and ethical manner, all in compliance with state regulation and policies. She’s a behind-the-scenes unsung hero, and this work is nowhere near completethe beat goes on. Recognizing the true contribution of public health is long overdue. Now is the time to recognize Deirdre, as well as all the nurses in public health.—Nominated by P.T. Peterson

Bay Path Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

Adilio Paiva, Bay Path Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

I’d like to recognize Adilio for his outstanding care, skill, kindness, and compassion in caring for Terry Zaccagnini. Our Nana has been on the Standish Unit for over three years. Her care has been personalized, and the staff work hard to meet her individual needs. Before COVID, Adilio always gave personal updates with a big hello and smile. Adilio is a team player. He comes to care meetings prepared and open for information on Nana’s likes and dislikes, and for suggestions to keep her “content.” As COVID greatly restricted our ability to visit and communicate, I know that the team—from front door check-in staff to all team members—were working together, with Adilio often at the helm. These are challenging times to care for our loved one and we appreciate all the team’s efforts.—Nominated by Linda Zaccagnini

Baystate Health

ER and Second Floor Nursing Staff, Baystate Wing Hospital, Baystate Health

I was evaluated in the ER and admitted to BayState Wing Hospital in August 2020. My critical hours there met with great expertise by the nurses, ER technicians, and medical staff. I don’t usually tell staff that I am a nurse, so as not to make them uncomfortable. I am very new to being an inpatient, and I was not disappointed. In nominating Wing Hospital, I hope to give a shout out to both the nurses and the facilities in Western Massachusetts. Having worked the bulk of my 38 years in Boston, I can see how this area can be overlooked in the nursing/medical community. That needs to change. Both Wing and the main Baystate campus in Springfield have definitely made a difference in my life. Thank you seems inadequate, but I’ll say it anyway. Thank you.—Nominated by Joseph Naughton

LeAnn Fenney, Baystate Medical Center, Baystate Health

As a 20-year-plus inpatient oncology nurse, LeeAnn shows compassion during this COVID-19 crisis daily. We recently had to admit a newly diagnosed leukemic patient who was just above the pediatric guidelines, leaving him isolated and alone. She went out of her way to allow this young, struggling teenager’s parents to visit him during his new chemotherapy treatment—she educated him in a way he could embrace and understand. He had fevers, asked if he would die and what that would that would be like, yet he also laughed with us. He’s still working at beating his cancer and my friend LeAnn empowered him, during a very difficult time, to be strong and endure! He looked up to her and she worked so hard to save him! We all loved him and he was a shining light during a dark time.—Nominated by Jennifer Vecellio

Amy Person, D’Amour Cancer Center, Baystate Health

Amy and her colleagues are incredible advocates for their patients and so very skilled in their clinical work and understanding of each patient’s medical issues. Amy made all the difference in my chemotherapy treatment and I am forever grateful for her caring and compassion. Many nurses have been wonderful, but Amy stands out as she provided the care needed to get me through my course of treatment. Thank you, Amy!—Nominated by Jean Wyld

Beacon Hospice 

Dan Isenor, Beacon Hospice Care

My six younger siblings and I nominate Dan Isenor, an RN who cared for our dad over the months leading up to his death. Our father played in competitive tennis leagues until his 80th birthday. He had a rewarding career as a teacher, principal, professor, and college president, and conveyed the importance of education to his seven children and 19 grandchildren.

After turning 80, he was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), which meant he would lose his gross and fine motor skills, as well as speech. Dad accepted hospice, as he knew it would extend his quality of life. That is when Dan Isenor came into the picture and assumed a big role in our dad’s life as his hospice nurse, care manager, and advocate. 

One day in particular, Dan was our hero. Our dad decided he would be safer in assisted living, as he needed 24-hour care. A doctor who had never seen our dad spent 10 to 15 minutes with him, and left. We found out a few days later that the doctor had filed a form taking away Dad’s power of attorney and assigning it to our brother. Dan said that was not justified, as he was of perfectly sound mind, and although he struggled to speak, he had no signs of cognitive decline. We had it nullified that day, and would never have known about it without Dan’s advice.—Nominated by Maureen Cronin Peterson

Catherine Roth, Beacon Hospice

I salute Cathy Roth for her care and kindness to our family member, Terry Zaccagnini, who’s a resident at Bay Path Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Cathy and so many other Beacon Hospice and Bay Path staff have been outstanding in caring, communicating, guiding our family on care needs, and offering support regarding Nana’s options. It’s challenging enough to have a family member in long-term care, and as Nana’s health deteriorated and she required hospice care, our journey has been difficult. Add in COVID restrictions—outdoor visits in summer, then moving briefly indoors, and then onto no visits at all…it’s been tough. 

As Nana, age 96, continues her life journey, I’ll find some comfort knowing she’s receiving care from an outstanding team, with Cathy as one of the leaders.—Nominated by Linda Zaccagnini

Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

Nicole Murphy, Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

Nicole bravely led the National Guard into the facility to COVID-19 test the whole building. She did so with poise and compassion.—Nominated by Marie Achilles

Belmont Medical Associates

Carolyn Hickok, Belmont Medical Associates

Even on her day off, even with her own health concerns, Carolyn Hickok will make an appointment, order and schedule tests, and phone my mother (Carmela) to make sure she’s OK and well-set for her medications. One day, Carolyn was scheduled for a medical procedure of her own, yet she made the time to check on my mother. She does this often, and is frequently just a phone call away. An above-and-beyond nurse: that’s who Carolyn is.—Nominated by Ernie Berardinelli

Benchmark Senior Living on Clapboardtree

Lydia Fitzgerald, Benchmark Senior Living

Saying that Lydia is a good nurse would be an understatement. Time and again, Lydia has proven herself to be exceptional in her field and an amazing asset to our senior living community. When COVID-19 hit, many frontline workers were called to action, and she was one of them. When several of our residents were affected by COVID-19, we saw Lydia’s true calling step into action. She was first in line to offer to directly care for those who had the virus. She did not hesitate for a moment—knowing that these residents couldn’t see family, friends, or even the other associates and residents in the community, she had to be their warm smile, reassuring touch, and voice of comfort during a very scary and lonesome time. Lydia came into work each day like a warrior going into battle—determined to bring our residents back to good health and also protect others from contracting this unpredictable virus. Residents and families alike have made comment after comment about how Lydia impacted them by her compassion, kindness. and competency.—Nominated by Andrea Lopera

Benchmark Senior Living at Waltham Crossings

Doreen Nakiyemba, Benchmark Senior Living

Doreen, our mind and memory program director, exemplifies what an outstanding nurse should be. She has been dedicated to the residents of this community during the COVID-19 pandemic as evidenced by her working seven days a week and even sleeping here sometimes.

Throughout this ordeal, Doreen never lost her cool. She maintained her composure during remarkably challenging times and ensured that all residents’ needs were met. Doreen is a skilled nurse who can both provide care and manage and lead a team. Doreen is led by her strong work ethic and her impressive set of values that ensures she “always does the right thing.” I have worked with many nurses over the years, but Doreen is a remarkable and outstanding nurse. She’s too humble to ever ask for this type of recognition, but I know that it would be incredibly meaningful.—Nominated by Ashley Studley (on behalf of Rafael Wainhaus)

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Berkshire Medical Center

Alex Huber, Critical Care Unit, Berkshire Medical Center

I was hospitalized with COVID-19 for 86 days, from April to July of last year. I was vented, and given last rites four times. Alex did everything she could to keep me comfortable and well cared-for, knowing that my family couldn’t see me except on FaceTime. So many on both floors were there for me—I owe them my life. Alex would whisper in my ear. Although I have no memory of being so ill, she gave me that personal touch that only a nurse can give. She is my angel.—Nominated by Michele Drysgola

Beth Israel Lahey Health 

Margret Burke, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Margret was the most caring nurse I encountered during my surgery and recovery. She worked in the recovery area and stayed by my side the entire time. I was very nervous because the patient next to me was possibly COVID-19-positive, and I didn’t want to be in the same space. Margret managed to calm my fears and tended to my mind and soul as much as she tended to my medical needs.—Nominated by Donna Zimmerman

8 Stoneman Nurses, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The nurses on this floor have been amazing during this pandemic. They show up every day and take care of people at their worst. They did everything for our patients at their most vulnerable times when their families and friends couldn’t be there.—Nominated by Lindsay Duphiney

Colleen Ahearn, Beverly Hospital, Beth Israel Lahey Health

Colleen Ahearn, Beverly Hospital, Beth Israel Lahey Health

Over this past pandemic year, Colleen has demonstrated ingenuity, compassion, clinical competence, excellent communication, trust in care, and patient advocacy. In her role as manager of clinical informatics, she has been tasked with major initiatives that impacted patients, staff, and the community. She created and trained a team to correctly swab patients and staff for COVID-19. Many of these employees were originally going to be furloughed last March, but she saw them as vital team members who were needed to help our patients. She personally trained them so they felt safe in doing this new high-risk task. After helping create it, she spent many hours in the drive-through outdoor swab clinic. The team became a safe, efficient, most-needed staff to meet the needs of patients and colleagues. Her next project, once we had enough N95 masks, was to get staff fitted on several N95 respirators. 

Her last project was to set up COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics. A total of 5,500 vaccinations were given with no doses wasted. Her background was working as a behavioral health nurse, which I feel gave her the ability to adapt, understand staff, communicate, and genuinely care. She just received a plaque from her COVID-19 vaccine staff that says “Chaos Coordinator.” I think this sums up what she accomplished.—Nominated by Sara Barnum 

Greg Almeida, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Greg is an excellent nurse who showed immense courage and compassion during the COVID-19 crisis. He fearlessly volunteered to work in the ICU during the worst of the surge. Despite fear and all that was unknown, he worked with enthusiasm. He challenged himself to learn new skills and worked daily to update families who could not visit their loved ones. We could not be prouder of him.—Nominated by Kirsten Courtade

Trina Amaru, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton

Trina Amaru, Beth Israel Lahey Health

Trina has been a nurse and a colleague for the past 17 years. Over the years, I’ve seen her caring and compassion show through the toughest times. She treats everyone as if they were family.  Not only is Trina a wife, mother, and nurse, she’s also an advocate for patients who can’t advocate for themselves. She is the epitome of what a nurse represents, and I am proud to be standing beside her in this profession.—Nominated by Andrea Hayes

Marc Baker-Bourgeois, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

Marc was an incredibly compassionate provider and I am grateful for his expertise and demeanor. The way he communicated with me and held himself put me at ease about my procedure. Although it was routine, I’m a disabled veteran with severe anxiety, and I owe it to Marc for helping me get through the experience.—Nominated by Leah Vincuilla

Louise Bernard, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Needham

Louise is an amazing nurse and a superhero for many reasons. During the first surge of the pandemic, the hospital had a 30 percent increase in ED volume. It was a major challenge to staff the department on a daily basis. The hospital could not hire staff fast enough. Louise was a preadmission testing nurse preparing patients for surgery, and had prior ED experience. Her department was redeployed, and she volunteered to assist in the emergency room. Not only did she assist for the first three months while surgeries were deferred, she transferred there for almost a year—she was a lifesaver. The ED staff were so grateful—she worked tirelessly, fearless of the coronavirus, and was an incredible patient advocate. Nurses found themselves in situations never seen before, not knowing how COVID-19 would impact their health or families. Nurses reinvented the way they delivered care, with full PPE and under incredible stress and fear of the unknown. Louse was a role model for the core values of our institutions—compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence.—Nominated by Kathy Davidson

Terri Burnell, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

Terri has cared for many ICU/Critical Care Unit patients for over 10 years. On April 19, 2020, she cared for my husband who was hospitalized for COVID-19. I had to leave him at the front door of the ER with low oxygen levels, as I was also battling COVID-19 myself. Having worked in the ICU alongside Terri for many years, I was relieved to know she was inside on that terrifying day. Our future was uncertain, and I had to face telling our six children that their dad was hospitalized. This was not easy, but we all felt better knowing he had people like Terri being our eyes and ears when we couldn’t be there with him. Terri made all of the difference in his stay. She supported him emotionally and physically when he was unable to care for himself. She gave him much-needed pep talks to get through each day when he wasn’t sure he could do it. Terri is unusually short, so he could recognize her despite all the PPE, and he was always relieved to see her. Midway through his stay, after weeks of high fevers, he had one good day and wanted to shower. She helped make it happen and cleaned his room, wiping everything down and changing his sheets for the first time. He was thankful, as the little things quickly become the big things when you’re fighting for your life. She is an excellent nurse, friend, and advocate. We are fortunate to have her doing all the little things that make the biggest difference!—Nominated by Karen Waisnor

Lauren Call, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Lauren joined Beth Israel Hospital’s nursing staff in 1985. In her cohort of impressive new graduate nurses, Lauren stood out. She had an amazing intuition for when patients would decline and could jump to action to prevent deterioration. Clinically astute, she could also make meaningful connections with her patients. These qualities kept her in bedside nursing longer than any of her new graduate cohort, who long ago left bedside nursing for graduate school and different nursing career paths. Lauren went on to graduate school herself, and has been a nursing instructor for more than 10 years. She uses her wisdom and compassion to develop the next generation of excellent nurses.

One of the most amazing things about Lauren is that she has been a bedside nurse since the early days of the AIDS crisis and continuing through COVID-19. Her career began at a time of risk for nurses caring for patients with AIDS. This was before universal precautions for protective equipment (e.g., gloves) were required and before there was an effective treatment. I’m sure that she relied on her experiences during the early days of the AIDS crisis when she again put herself at risk providing direct care during the early days of the COVID crisis, volunteering to work on a COVID-19 unit. As a nurse caring for patients with COVID, she relied on friends and colleagues to soothe the sadness she felt after caring for young people who died many years too early. It seems very unfair that this same disease took the life of her beloved father this year. Humble, caring, and heroic over many years, Lauren Call deserves recognition.—Nominated by Karen Dunn Lopez

Stacy Campbell-Matthews, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

On a daily basis, Stacy provides care and compassion to people with serious or minor skin cancer and provides leadership to the staff at BIDMC Dermatology. She is loved and respected by her patients and staff.—Nominated by Thomas H. Campbell Jr.

Jaclyn Cinelli, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

My dear friend Anne Nightingale died five weeks after being admitted, having been diagnosed with blood cancer. Alone and frightened, with no visitors allowed, our sweet Anne found a friend in Nurse Jackie. It was a good day for Anne when Jackie was on duty. Her care and compassion were treasured by Anne’s family, who could not see her. Jackie was there during chemo, subsequent complications, and palliative care. She’s very deserving.—Nominated by Ruth Jacobson

Jaclyn Cinelli, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

My friend Anne was under Jackie’s care from the day she went into the hospital, not knowing what was wrong with her. Jackie provided Anne with information, care, and comfort beyond the call of duty. She made Anne feel happy when she was scared by what was going on. In this awful time of COVID-19, when none of Anne’s family or friends could visit, she had one person to count on. All of us who loved Anne could not appreciate Jackie more.—Nominated by Louise Manna

Jaclyn Cinelli, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Jackie’s thoughtful, compassionate, and stellar competence provided us the support our sister Anne desperately needed as she succumbed to cancer on Feb. 12. From the beginning, Nurse Jackie was our primary contact. She developed a caring relationship with Anne and our family. She explained the course of treatment in terms that we could relate to.  She sat and joked with Anne (who appreciated it and joked back). She spoke frequently with our sister Susan, our primary contact, to keep the family apprised of Anne’s condition.

We all couldn’t be with Anne because of COVID-19 restrictions. Nurse Jackie’s clear explanations of Anne’s treatments and her responses to them helped us develop a strong trust. Anne’s initial response to chemotherapy was positive, but she soon developed an infection. Nurse Jackie helped set up Facetime calls with other siblings during Anne’s final day on earth. Anne’s affection for Nurse Jackie was deep.

When we held a wake in celebration of Anne’s life, Nurse Jackie attended. She wanted to meet the rest of Anne’s family, and to represent the entire nursing team at Beth Israel Deaconess. What a representative she is!—Nominated by Jack Nightingale

Elizabeth Cotter, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

Beth has been with Lahey for about 36 years. She is the first one to help out, no matter what the task may be. She is kind, caring, compassionate, and a very hard worker. Beth handled the COVID-19 pandemic very well. She followed all protocols and made sure everyone was kept safe while taking care of her patients. She deserves appreciation for all that she does.—Nominated by Lauren Correnti

Amelia Coyle, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, Amelia stepped up to lead a newly formed COVID Surveillance Team, which helped triage and provide care for all pregnant patients who had a COVID-19 diagnosis, exposure, or symptoms. For the past year, this team—made up of physicians and other nurses—called every patient who met this definition daily to check on symptoms and coordinate care as needed. They also provided education related to quarantining and treatment, and served as an overall support system during a time with many unknowns. This close follow-up care helped keep patients and staff safe, and helped expedite hospital care for those who needed it most.—Nominated by Kate Armano

Joanne Devine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Joanne is a certified nurse in addiction medicine. She’s been in the hospital every day since COVID began, making sure that her patients are not neglected. Joanne makes sure that patients are seen and heard—their needs and concerns listened to and addressed. She does not ask for acknowledgment, is in no need of praise, and tirelessly fights for patients to be treated with respect and compassion. I’ve never met anyone who works so compassionately for patients. She gives her coworkers and patients care and respect at all times.—Nominated by Johnna Marcus

Lindsay Duphiney, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Lindsay has been working on a COVID-19 floor for the past year. She did not originally “sign up” to work with patients who are so critically ill, but she stepped into the role gracefully. Even though she has two young kids at home, she sometimes has to sacrifice family time and give it to her job to make sure that things on her floor are running smoothly. In addition to being a super mom and a health-care hero, Lindsay is also currently pursuing her master’s degree. Lindsay, much like other nurses and health-care workers during this pandemic, has quietly risen to every occasion without complaint, and she deserves to be recognized for her hard work and dedication to her patients.—Nominated by Jennifer Hilton

Larissa Englemen, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Larissa cares for many patients who have limited English and speak primarily Russian. Anytime there is any question, we know that she will clarify the situation with a quick phone call.  

In March 2020, COVID-19 hit us hard and made things far more challenging than we could have imagined. Larissa came over to our department like an angel, had a crash course on our inpatient population, and hit the ground running. She supported those of who were personally affected by COVID and provided so much to our families when we needed it. (She even drove nightly meals to stricken colleagues’ homes to feed their families) Her thoughtfulness, dedication, and compassion to her patients as well as her colleagues is like no other. She is an asset to BIDMC and should be recognized as one of this year’s phenomenal nurses!—Nominated by Karen Waisnor

Dannielle Eramia, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Throughout a 26-day hospital stay during the pandemic, without being able to have any family or friends visit, and with a new cancer diagnosis, there were not many bright spots in our sister’s day. From Day One, Dannielle Eramia, an RN on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, was that bright spot. Dannielle set up Zoom calls for our sister to see her husband and family. When her phone broke, Dannielle had someone fix it. Every day that Dannielle worked, we could count on her to check in, provide updates, and advocate for our sister’s needs.

Dannielle provided our essentially bedridden, exhausted, and frightened sister the support she needed to confront her diagnosis and her fears. At the end of a long 12-hour shift early in our sister’s stay, Dannielle chose to get her into the shower. This meant Dannielle practically got into the shower herself! Showering is usually delegated to a nurse’s aide; however, Dannielle took this on herself.

Our sister had multiple medications, blood products, and chemotherapy coursing through her body 24 hours a day. Dannielle advocated for medications to counter the side effects and found the only thing that helped with her mouth sores.

When the long-awaited discharge day arrived, Dannielle was there. After providing us with the education we needed to start caring for our sister at home, Dannielle chose to push the wheelchair out to the car herself (again, an act usually delegated to an aide or transport). Being able to meet Dannielle and thank her in person was great.

We are so grateful to the entire staff at Lahey Beth Israel, from the Emergency Room, Radiology, Physical Therapy, Nutrition, and everyone else who worked to diagnose and treat our sister. There were other outstanding staff, including physicians, aides, and nurses. Without a doubt, Dannielle Eramia is our hero, and we salute her.—Nominated by Ellen Sharpe

Sandra Fudge, Beth Israel Lahey Health at Home

Sandra is a clinical manager with Beth Israel Lahey Health at Home. Although not on the front line, Sandra led her team through the day-to-day challenges of navigating patient care through a pandemic. Leadership has a duty to remain positive even when faced with tremendous stress and challenges. Sandra came to work each day dedicated and smiling. The organization, as many others, faced significant nursing staffing challenges, which is a stress for not only direct care clinicians, but leaders as well. With support and guidance, her team provided exceptional patient care. Often homecare is overlooked. Nurses from Beth Israel Lahey Health at Home were not only working with COVID-positive patients but caring for patients in the community with many unknowns involving COVID diagnoses. The nurses worked with resilience and I am truly humbled and honored to be a part of their team.—Nominated by Caitlin Angiolillo

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Denise Gallagher, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

Denise Gallagher, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Our son was in the Neonatal ICU for 74 days this past summer. In that time, we interacted with dozens of nurses, all of whom were professional and personable. But Denise will always hold a special place in our hearts, as she called our son a “chubster” (without the r, of course) and cared so lovingly for him and us. Having a premature baby in a pandemic is a lonely, terrifying experience. No one in our extended family could help us, so Denise had to be both nurse and surrogate family. Our baby’s NICU days are long behind him, but we will cherish Denise’s care and spirit forever.—Nominated by Elizabeth Englander

Nicole Gardner, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

I had a very complex pregnancy and was admitted into the antepartum unit multiple times. Nicole always seemed to work the days I was admitted. She educated me on what was going to happen and made me feel in control in situations where I had none. Since it was during COVID, sometimes it was just me and the nurse. When you’re not allowed visitors, the nurses become part of your family. After I had given birth to our twins, I had a postpartum complication and needed to be admitted again. Luckily, Nicole was the nurse who admitted me. It was like she welcomed me home. She put me at ease and made me feel comfortable. I am so honored that Nicole was my nurse before and after giving birth. She embodies everything that it is to be a nurse.—Nominated by Emily Pietrowski

Allison Gendron, Bone Marrow Transplant, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

Allison Gendron, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

I was in total shock and denial after my leukemia diagnosis. Allison’s confident abilities, along with her empathetic approach, and advocacy for me with the entire medical team, were brilliant. Her broad knowledge and experience left me feeling much more at ease. She was totally honest about how hard some things would be, so I felt well-prepared for the best and worst I had to face. She understood the essence of a therapeutic relationship—I had some other very intense, stressful personal stuff going on at the same time that could have impacted my recovery, but she kept me focused on my treatment and the need to stay positive. I’ve been an inpatient for months at a time over the last two-and-a-half years, and whenever I walk through those doors and see her it’s such a relief and comfort. I have two young kids and she took them under her wing, too, and made this whole ordeal much easier for them. I can’t even begin to imagine what this horrendous process would have been like without her. I’m tearing up just writing this, thinking about the impact she’s had on me and my family.—Nominated by Jim Butler

Mallory Green, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

My daughter Mallory is an ICU nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess’ West Campus. She wanted to challenge herself, but had no idea how overwhelming her job would become with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mallory is hard-working, professional, caring, and knowledgeable. She is a real patient advocate, especially for patients who cannot speak for themselves. She is a superhero and warrior who cared for all her patients like they were her own family. She puts her own health and needs aside every day to care for strangers. I couldn’t be more proud of her.—Nominated by Joanne Powers

J5 Nurses, Beverly Hospital, Beth Israel Lahey Health

J5 nurses worked the COVID-19 floor for many months. The teamwork was incredible, and our patients got the best possible care.—Nominated by Doreen Bedard

Nancy Littlehale, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Nancy has been our True North during the pandemic. She has led the Beth Israel Deaconess Health Care Chelsea COVID Testing Site operations since last summer. She has worked tirelessly on drafting scripts to provide patients with the highest quality support, education and counseling. She has created a team of RNs who provide an invaluable service to patients in need.

Nancy emailed the group one weekend, when a single father of two small children was diagnosed as positive and had no support. He needed help feeding his children. Within two hours, Nancy connected the family to much-needed services. She was also working in the testing tent that day. She did all of this without hesitation and without missing a beat. Nancy is the most understanding and supportive NP I have ever worked with in my 25-year career. 

Nancy has enhanced our health-care center’s credibility in our community. She is a fierce advocate for patients in need. She lives the maxim “treat people the way you wish to be treated.” Our organization and our patients are blessed to have her on our team.—Nominated by Kelina Orlando

Rebecca Longo, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

She’s one of the kindest, most compassionate people I’ve ever met. She’s absolutely the best.—Nominated by Carol Sidabras

Jennifer Longval, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Jennifer joined our practice a short time before COVID-19 changed the world. Since then, she has been a phenomenal support to the practice. She has fielded questions from pregnant patients who are anxious about COVID; she has worked tirelessly to educate our patients about ways to keep themselves and their families safe; she has counseled patients about the COVID vaccine. She is kind and energetic and is incredibly efficient. Patients routinely tell me that after speaking with her, they feel reassured and heard. She is completely dedicated to our patients and comes in early and stays late. Once, she reached out to me at 6:30 p.m. because she was following up on ultrasound results (from home) for a patient she was worried about. She caught that the patient had a life-threatening finding on ultrasound (an ectopic pregnancy) and reached out to me before the radiologist had even alerted me so that I could call the patient and coordinate a plan for care; the patient needed emergency care right away, and we were able to get her the care that she needed because Jenny was so prompt in following up. Jenny is one of the best nurses I have worked with in my decade-long career as a physician, and every day, I am so thankful that our patients have a nurse who is so completely dedicated to advocating for them, counseling them, and listening to them.—Nominated by Huma Farid

Jennifer Longval, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Jenny brings her extensive expertise and compassion to every patient interaction. She is meticulous with details and follow up, so we trust her completely to move care forward every day. She creates processes to improve efficiency and quality. She goes the extra mile for our office and our patients.—Nominated by Alice Shin

Theresa Malone, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Plymouth

Terri is a mother, a nurse, a teacher, and a patient advocate. During this past year, Terri has seamlessly blended all her roles. Nursing is tough on the practicing person, but it’s the conflict with her other roles that is the stuff of superheroes. She stayed the course and cared for her patients and family. She is truly the definition of caring.—Nominated by Christopher Malone

Caitlynn Marcotte, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Caitlynn took so much time to prepare herself with COVID PPE. She took the time to care for me and make sure I was comfortable. She’s doing wonderful things and I hope other patients get to have her provide for them.—Nominated by Brook-Lynne Marcotte

Kiera Kraus Maurillo,, Beth Israel Lahey Health at Home 

Kiera Kraus Mauriello, Beth Israel Lahey Health at Home

Kiera built trust with a patient who for months refused to see anyone because of COVID-19. When the patient finally agreed to have a visiting nurse come, she discovered that the patient had severe metastatic breast cancer, with the skin over the area gone. The patient let Kiera take pictures and contact her physician, and she began treatment with Kiera’s support. The patient recently passed away, but she did not die alone—she was surrounded by medical staff who cared for her in her last days. Had Kiera not gained her trust, this sweet lady might have died in pain from cancer and isolation.—Nominated by Jana Huff

Sheila McKenna, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

My daughter, Sheila, works as a staff nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). Sheila works on a 44-bed medical unit and has been at BIDMC now for over four years. Since spring 2020, when BIDMC decided to disband the dedicated COVID-19 units and disperse COVID-19 positive patients to the various medical units, Sheila, like her coworkers, has been on the front line in this epic battle against a hideous virus. Early in the pandemic, we went 108 days without being able to hug our daughter, but with better access to testing we’ve been able to see her more frequently and hug more often. In an effort to reduce the isolation of families and patients, Sheila, like many nurses caring for patients in hospitals during the height of the pandemic, would speak by phone with patient families and then hold the phone up for the patients so they could communicate with one another. Most individuals don’t understand what a nurse truly does during their shift until they need one, then suddenly they’re in awe of the impact nurses have on patients, outcomes, and families. Sheila has worked long hours wearing restrictive PPE to care for patients. Now, thanks to Moderna, Sheila’s completely vaccinated and safe. To our family she’s our Health Care Hero. We owe all these health care heroes, as well as the brilliant scientists who developed these lifesaving vaccines, a huge debt of gratitude. Be well and stay safe.—Nominated by Brian McKenna

Sheila McKenna, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Sheila consistently demonstrates selfless compassion to her patients. She enjoys getting to know them and be a companion during their most difficult challenge.—Nominated by Mary McKenna

Sheila McKenna, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

My wife and I got to live with my sister Sheila three years ago. In pre-COVID times, I was blown away by the expectations that were placed on nurses. As I worked my day job as a health-care administrator, Sheila literally kept people alive and had to watch sick people pass away. I couldn’t believe the responsibility and the grace with which my little sister handled her career. Sheila’s an old soul and always gets along best with elderly patients. 

When COVID hit, my sister was in the front lines. Sheila has been doing regular rotations on the COVID floors throughout the pandemic. This disease has been extra devastating for Sheila, seeing so many of her patient-friends hit hardest. My family and I are endlessly proud of Sheila, we’re so grateful for her service, and so fortunate she’s vaccinated.—Nominated by Patrick McKenna

Sheila McKenna, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Sheila McKenna is the most caring nurse I have ever met. Her kindness and personality make any patient smile, no matter their circumstance.—Nominated by Jonathan Sanders

Erin Sexton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital

Erin, a liver transplant nurse coordinator, is an amazingly dedicated and compassionate nurse who pours her heart into her work every day. She is an amazing support, taking time with each patient and their family, advocating, encouraging, and comforting them at every opportunity. She works tirelessly to ensure that patients receive the best treatment for a successful recovery.—Nominated by Michael Curry

Suzanne Silvestri, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital

She puts her patients first, and makes them feel comfortable.—Nominated by Heidi Ricker

Tarsha Soares, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Tarsha was amazing during the pandemic, answering anxious patients’ concerns about their own health, that of their family members, the services our hospital could offer, and testing access and protocol. She was level-headed, calm, and—despite the ENORMOUS increase in call volume—kept up with her extremely thorough evaluations and compassionate care.—Nominated by Kelly Ford

Ellery Spencer, NICU, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

Ellery was our son’s nurse in the Neonatal ICU. After my wife gave birth to twins by cesarean section and we arrived on the postpartum unit, our son Archie needed to go up to the NICU. Ellery is one of the kindest people I know. She treated Archie like he was her own. Ellery made sure that I was there for rounds each morning. As I was sleep-deprived, she took the time to explain whatever I was unsure about so that I could update my wife. The day we thought Archie should have been able to join his sister in the newborn nursery, he was unable to keep his oxygen levels up and needed to stay in the NICU. Ellery called my wife first thing in the morning to let her know what was happening and that he wasn’t going to be joining his sister yet. She did Archie’s footprints for us and wrote a sweet note (“from Archie,” apologizing for not making it down). She later came down and did our daughter’s footprints so they would match and we could have them as a keepsake. She advocated for Archie to have a brief reunion with his sister, and she helped us hold a twin photo shoot for birth announcements. Those pictures mean so much to us. Even when Archie stepped down to the special care nursery, she continued to stop by and check on him. Ellery is by far one of the best nurses I have ever come across and anybody who meets her is lucky to have her in their life.—Nominated by Nicolas Pietrowski

Surgical Intensive Care Unit Nurses, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Like many nurses across the world, these Surgical ICU nurses really stepped up to the plate this year. Many were afraid for their parents, their children, and their own health, yet still came to work every day and gave this awful virus their all. We ran out of meds, supplies, and even places to put all of our patients, but we never ran out of heart. This past year may have jaded us on the inside, but I still watch these nurses go all-out for patients and their families every day. I am so honored to work bedside them, and I am so proud of their hard work.—Nominated by Ashley Wiseman

Krista VanDohlen, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital

During our baby’s nine-week Neonatal ICU stay, Krista was a compassionate presence in our lives. We felt at home in the NICU, which can be a very scary place for first-time parents. Krista was our daughter’s primary nurse and took excellent care of her, but also ensured that we were taken care of as parents. We still keep in touch with her and know that she deserves this award for her competency and compassion.—Nominated by Lalitha Ramachandran

Karen Waisnor, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Karen is the hardest working nurse I know. She is always there for her patients and coworkers. Whenever anyone needs help with anything, or an extra set of hands, she is there without complaints. She raises six kids with the support of her husband and works hard every day.—Nominated by Mackenzie Waisnor

Lynda Walsh, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center

In her role as director of capacity management and care transitions, Lynda and I have worked side-by-side for the past year. Her leadership of our hospital’s float pool nursing team, transfer center nursing staff, and our nursing supervisor team was imperative in our response to the COVID-19 crisis. These teams were directly responsible for creating capacity for our hospital to receive critically ill patients from many other hospitals. Lynda worked nearly every day in order to support our capacity management, contribute via her incident command role, and ensure that her staff were supported. Lynda was also integral in using feedback from her teams to support planning for a second surge. With this key work, our hospital was able to reshape our planned COVID response and form partnerships with other hospitals in our system to best serve the most patients. The synergy of Lynda’s clinical knowledge and dedication to simply doing the right thing makes her a successful and effective leader. She is able to consider patients’ clinical conditions with her teams and quickly identify optimal care locations and services for patients.  

Lynda’s successes are too many to count, and her clarity, work ethic, and transparency for her teams is exceptional. Most importantly, these characteristics help our organization take better care of patients. Thank you, Lynda, for being who you are, every single day.—Nominated by Susan Stempek

Nancy Wilson, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

Nancy is a familiar face as a rapid response nurse who responds to any and all emergencies within the hospital. When COVID-19 hit the hospital, Nancy’s role became even more vital than before. All six critical care units would soon be filled with intubated patients, leaving sicker ones out on the med-surg units, where Nancy became the keen eyes and ears in the building. She was to identify any patients who were deteriorating and expedite their transfer to an intensive or progressive care unit.  

I was home in my own bed, after contracting COVID-19 myself and sharing this evil virus with my husband and three of our six children. My husband, 47, was admitted to a med-surg floor with many nurses who had been redeployed and were less familiar with this level of acuity. I knew he was in trouble when I received a text message from him telling me that his oxygen level was below 80. He was alone in his room. I Face-Timed him, and quickly realized that I was the only one who knew he was declining. I knew I needed to help him and immediately called the rapid response phone and asked for a “MET (Medical Emergency Team) CALL” to my husband’s room. Nancy was at his bedside in no time. She advocated for him in my absence and got him transferred to a higher level of care. He was there for days, and fortunately survived. We are forever grateful for Nancy’s efforts in saving my husband’s life and enabling him to come home. She is truly an asset to Lahey, as well as to each and every patient she cares for!—Nominated by Karen Waisnor

Laurie Young, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

Laurie is a critical care nurse who has worked in the ICU and Critical Care Unit for many years. Laurie is also a nursing instructor for Lawrence Memorial/Regis School of Nursing, teaching the nurses of our future. I have had the privilege to work alongside Laurie for over 20 years. Her passion for nursing and standards for patient care is impressive. When COVID-19 invaded the walls of the hospital, Laurie’s nursing skills were put on overdrive! She worked her usual shifts in the ICU/CCU and then took on the additional role of helping as a second rapid response nurse. This allowed her to share her critical care skills with nurses and patients throughout the building. This COVID nightmare needed experts just like her to help care for the sickest of sick. 

What I never planned was that one of those would be my husband, who was 47 and had contracted COVID-19. I had been working in the ICU, and unfortunately shared it with him and three of our six children. I remember when the hospital called to say my husband wasn’t doing well and that he might soon need to be put on a ventilator. I asked them to do their best to save his life. I knew he was in good hands, and found great peace in knowing that Laurie was at his bedside. Despite all staff being unrecognizable in full PPE, as soon as my husband heard Laurie’s voice, he was immediately at ease. She supported him through this evil virus when I was unable to be at his bedside. We are forever grateful for her compassion, support, and care during such a difficult time. Nurses like Laurie Young are true assets to Lahey and to the nursing profession.—Nominated by Karen Waisnor

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Blue Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center

Kimberly Ferris, Blue Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center

Kimberly Ferris is the director of nursing at Blue Hills in Stoughton. She led us through the first wave of COVID-19 with as much compassion and grace as anyone could have during those trying days. She is a wonderful leader and nurse. I am proud to nominate her and honored to work beside her.—Nominated by Pamela Hill

Blue Hills Regional Technical School Practical Nursing Program

Nursing Faculty, Blue Hills Regional Technical School

This year has been challenging for nurses in all fields. The nursing faculty at Blue Hills Practical Nursing Program in Canton took on an exceptional challenge this past year to ensure that students could continue their education and become strong members of the nursing profession. We went from hands-on clinical and classroom to fully remote learning for the last three months of the 2020 school year. Despite this, our graduates have been very successful in passing their licensure exam and taking vital nursing jobs. The faculty met most of the same obstacles this school year, and through hard work and perseverance found all-important clinical placement experiences despite the inability of many of our clinical sites to take on students.

All of this meant discarding the old ways and finding new and creative ways to educate the nurses of the future. The Blue Hills nursing faculty advocated for patients by instilling in students the importance of caring, and integrity in their practice. The faculty exemplify the courage and dedication needed to engage students, and help them thrive in this new world of nursing. Please salute Nancy Finnell, Catherine Mohan, Betty Diane Lyons, Ruth Murphy, Paula Haddad, Patricia Greene, and Melissa Ganthier, all RNs.—Nominated by Betty Tangney

Boston Children’s Hospital

10 Northwest Nurses, Boston Children’s Hospital

Throughout this difficult year, this home-away-from-home has proven to be unshakable. We have persevered through the single most difficult year in history for any nurse and we have become stronger, smarter, and closer. This is not just a salute to one, but to the many who make a difference day after day. Ten Northwest is full of deserving nurses for this year’s Salute to Nurses. Keep your head up, guys—you make a difference!—Nominated by Kristen Carraher

Mags Adamchek, Boston Children’s Hospital

To put it succinctly, Mags—along with the rest of the Cardiac ICU team at Boston Children’s Hospital—is the reason our son is alive today. Born with a rare and severe coronary heart disease, our son (Fin) has spent more than half of his nine months of life in the hospital, and Mags has been by our side throughout our journey. From the moment she walked us down to see him off to his first open heart surgery at just two days old, she’s been a strong advocate for him, a shoulder to lean on, a voice of reassurance, and even a source of levity in trying times. 

After quickly recognizing that Fin’s condition would require careful management, Mags helped to build a consistency-of-care team to ensure that everyone on his watch was well-versed in both his condition and unique “preferences.” They’ve collectively helped him conquer countless surgeries and procedures, skillfully managed numerous medications, supported in developmental rehabilitation efforts, seen him through more than his fair share of Code Blues, and even acted quickly to resuscitate him during a cardiac arrest.

Fin has gone through more in his short life than most do in a lifetime and would not be here today if not for the talented team at BCH. Despite earning the title of “Feisty Fin,” he’s built quite the fan club at BCH, and “Mama Mags” has truly been the heart of it. We’re so thankful to have met her. She and the rest of our CICU family will always have a special place in our hearts for helping to mend Fin’s.—Nominated by Cheryl St.Don

Pamela Hamilton, Janet Weaver-Holleran, Allison Scalia, Anne Patsio, and Rebecca Hutchings Allergy Program Nurses, Boston Children’s Hospital

The Boston Children’s Hospital Allergy Program nurses—Janet Weaver-Holleran, Allison Scalia, Pamela Hamilton, Anne Patsio, and Rebecca Hutchings—have been amazing patient advocates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They have made sure to provide a safe and compassionate environment for Allergy/Immunology patients. At the start of the pandemic, we had to suspend allergy shots. As soon as possible, Janet, Allie, and Rebecca were there to start giving their shots again. All of the nurses worked tirelessly to contact families, do COVID screening, and help with dose adjustments. They also really stepped up for our little ones who need food challenges, giving up so many Saturday mornings to do milk, egg, and peanut challenges so the children can hopefully add these foods to their diet. A big thank you to them all.—Nominated by Lynda Schneider

Ellen Barth, Boston Children’s Satellite Hospitals, Boston Children’s Hospital

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched everyone in either a simple or dramatic, personal or professional, way. For me as a nurse, it dramatically changed all aspects of my life. COVID-19 came fast and furious, leaving many of us scared, unprepared, and forced to take on new roles to support each other. The tension and uncertainty were palpable; were we doing enough to keep patients, ourselves, and each other safe? 

And then I received a phone call from my mother. My sister had been taken to the hospital with respiratory distress from a suspected COVID-19 outbreak in her group home. Within 24 hours, she was intubated and struggling to breathe in an ICU in Connecticut, far away from me. I was unable to be there to support my mother, interpret this complex medical situation, or even simply hug her. We quickly had to make decisions regarding her code status and Do Not Resuscitate. Nobody was allowed into the ICU, so our information was relayed by compassionate nurses and doctors. She was on a roller coaster, getting better and then relapsing. Finally, we decided to terminally extubate my sister. She tragically lost the battle to COVID-19 on April 8, 2020.

I’ll be thankful forever for the support I received from my colleagues, and I can’t thank them enough. My masked colleague, friend, and director Ellen Barth drove me down to Connecticut to see (but not hug) my mother after my sister died. She supported me through my sadness, anger, and depression and helped me find gratitude and hope as we continued to support our patients and families at Children’s Hospital Boston. We invested in keeping staff and patients safe and healthy like never before.—Nominated by Samantha Killilea

Elizabeth Burke-Roberts, Boston Children’s Hospital

Elizabeth is a compassionate, highly skilled nurse practitioner with whom I have had the pleasure of working the hospital’s Allergy Program. Her excellent clinical skills were readily apparent, as was her attention to detail with our research studies. She also cared for some of our most difficult allergy patients. In early 2020 she took over as our division nurse coordinator—just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic. Elizabeth has been an amazing nurse leader. There have been many patient care and staffing challenges during this time, and Elizabeth solved these in a wise and calm manner. She has been a fierce advocate for all of our allergy/immunology patients by making sure we can get them to clinic safely for their allergy shots, biologics, and other care. She has also been an amazing advocate for all of the staff by making sure we all have a safe environment in which to work.—Nominated by Lynda Schneider 

Frances Calapai, Boston Children’s Hospital

Nurse Fran has been my daughter’s favorite nurse since she was four years old (she is now 13). When Catherine was four she began intravenous immunoglobulin infusions. She was scared and sick and it was just horrible. Nurse Fran was Catherine’s primary nurse for the first few years, while she had  infusions every three weeks. Catherine would get very upset and cry. Fran was caring and attentive and made her feel safe and comfortable. She made a point of telling Catherine exactly what she was going to do and, when possible, let Catherine choose where the IV was going. Fran is still our go-to nurse on the CAT/CR. At 13, Catherine is a pro at an IV now, so we often get a newer nurse. But Fran still comes in for a visit. We think of her as family. She is one of the most compassionate nurses we have ever encountered and I trust her with my child’s care, physically and emotionally.—Nominated by Rachel Novak

Cindy Campbell, Boston Children’s Hospital

In the 30-plus years I’ve worked with Cindy, she has demonstrated compassion, concern, and love for all her patients. She is an extremely hard worker who puts her heart and soul into the care of each and every patient. She often says “I come to work for the children, not for any other reason.” She has inspired many in her years at Children’s. It has been an honor to work with her.—Nominated by Elizabeth Robertshaw

Leah Carr, Boston Children’s Hospital

My daughter was born Sept. 4, 2020 and transferred to Children’s Hospital, where she had surgery at 2 days old to correct a problem with her belly. She did well and was transferred out of the Neonatal ICU to one of the surgical floors. Her primary nurse, Leah, took such wonderful care of her. It put my husband and me at ease knowing that when we had to go home to our older child, our new baby was not only being well cared for, but getting the attention and affection she needed as a newborn. As a nurse myself, working during COVID is particularly challenging, and we so appreciated Leah and how normal she tried to make our hospital stay. We will never forget her.—Nominated by Caitlin Loughlin

Lauren Crook, Boston Children’s Hospital

During four serious admissions to hospital, Lauren went out of her way to make my daughter feel safe. She is dedicated to her profession. She works hard while carrying a baby herself. She cares for people in hospital and out; even stopping on at least two occasions to help people stranded on the street, staying by their side until help arrived. She is kind, positive, and energetic, and Children’s wouldn’t be the same without her.—Nominated by Sara Leahey-Benjamin

Meghan Deighan, Boston Children’s Hospital

When our 19-month-old son had to be admitted to the inpatient neurology floor, Meghan was the kindest nurse with the biggest heart, and our biggest advocate to the doctors. She went out of her way to make sure we had what we needed and ensure our son, Matthew, was stable enough to go home. While doctors are important, nurses spend more time with inpatients. Meghan listened attentively and made appropriate suggestions, and conveyed her observations to the physicians. Most importantly, Meghan clearly loves her job, and her happiness at being there transfers to her patients, even when they are not feeling well.—Nominated by Ashley Basile-Osgood

Shannon Derderian, Boston Children’s Hospital

It was the day after my laparotomy for a cyst removal, and I was lucky enough to draw Shannon as my nurse on 10NW. Shannon was very kind, professional, and compassionate, with an amazing bedside manner. She checked in with me multiple times throughout her 12-hour shift. She explained everything and reassured me. She was always on the dot with my medications, and helped me if I needed anything. As a nursing student myself, she inspired me. We are incredibly thankful to all the nurses who provided amazing care on 10NW during my stay.—Nominated by Colette Miller

Alex Gelaides, Boston Children’s Hospital

Even with the remote world we live in, we’re still in touch with Alex regularly and speak at least monthly. He knows Emma (and me) so well, and it’s incredibly comforting to know we still have her team to count on. I will always be grateful for the care my daughter received.—Nominated by Colleen Johnston

Elizabeth Gulla, Boston Children’s Hospital

Our 19-year-old son, Logan Todd, had been a patient of Boston Children’s Hospital for 19 years, with many inpatient stays for different medical reasons. On the night of Dec. 6, 2020, Logan was flown to Children’s Hospital with COVID-19. Logan was immediately placed on a ventilator and his condition was extremely critical with numerous complications. Logan’s condition would improve and then decline very quickly while he remained on a ventilator for days. We were fortunate to have Elizabeth as his nurse for most of that time. Over those years, we met numerous terrific and talented nurses, but Elizabeth was special. She truly cared for Logan as well as our family. Logan and my mother both came down with COVID just one day apart, and I lost her while he was hospitalized. Elizabeth saw that I was grieving for my mother while watching my son suffer through the same disease. Elizabeth was there for Logan during his ups and downs. When it became clear that Logan, too, was going to pass away from COVID, Elizabeth stayed close by for our family and was there for Logan. As I said, we had many positive experiences with various nurses over 19 years, but Elizabeth was truly a blessing to our family, and especially to Logan, with her genuine compassion. We hope she knows how much we appreciate her, and how lucky Logan was to have her by his side right up to his passing.—Nominated by Brian Todd

Suzanne Ianelli, Boston Children’s Hospital

Suzanne courageously showed up month after month to care for children in Boston Children’s ER. She exhibited selflessness and a deep sense of commitment to her patients even as she herself experienced significant risk and was exposed to COVID-19 multiple times prior to being vaccinated. She did not quit and she continued to give the same care and kindness to families in crisis throughout the pandemic. She is a Boston hero.—Nominated by Kylia Garver

Deb Johnson, Boston Children’s Hospital

Deb is amazing and compassionate. She provides the most thoughtful, meticulous care. She wears her heart on her sleeve, always thinking of what is best for her patient. We are so lucky to have her.—Nominated by Elizabeth Robertshaw

Jennifer Judge, Boston Children’s Hospital

Kalea, our 6-year-old, underwent her second bilateral brain surgery in 18 months. Jennifer has been with us throughout the diagnosis and both surgeries. She’s not only taken time to get to know our daughter, but our other five children as well. She has advocated for our other children to be screened for the genetic brain disease Kalea has. She has spent countless hours talking with our insurance company explaining the complexity of the situation and the importance of MRI scans. Thanks to her time and persistence, insurance ultimately approved the diagnostic scans we needed. 

When Kalea was in the hospital in December, Jennifer spent as much time as we needed helping Kalea recover as quickly as possible. When I struggled with how to transition from hospital to home, Jennifer saw a bigger picture and made things happen more naturally, while also being encouraging and supportive of my fears. Jennifer’s ability to treat patients and their families as both a medical professional and on a personal level is what makes her such a valuable asset to Boston Children’s Hospital neuro surgery team. Her expertise is just as valuable as our surgeon’s abilities. We are so incredibly grateful for all she provides.—Nominated by Brianna Doo

Micaela Lebeau, Boston Children’s Hospital

Micaela is amazing. I was going through a hard time mentally and physically and she made it so much easier. We always love 8E but she made it better. We were there for about two weeks, and every time she was there, we felt more relaxed.—Nominated by Angela Penn

Virginia Leon, Boston Children’s Hospital

I have had the pleasure to work with Virginia for over 30 years. She has been a tremendous mentor not only to me, but to all her colleagues. She has been a resourceful charge nurse in an extremely busy ICU. She has been providing loving care to an amazing patient for many months, advocating for his family and his best interest. I am constantly amazed by her dedication.—Nominated by Elizabeth Robertshaw

Brooke Lucier, Boston Children’s Hospital

Brooke is everything a nurse should embody—kind, caring, compassionate, and most of all, patient. She is excellent at communicating with her coworkers, patients, and family members. Her attention to detail and problem-solving skills are admired by everyone. She often covers for her fellow nurses and is a great leader—one of her old managers once said that she would be their boss someday. For such a young nurse she is so mature and will have a long career committed to patient advocacy.—Nominated by Natalie Paicopolis

Samantha MacIsaac, Boston Children’s Hospital

Samantha’s always smiling, willing to do anything, has a great attitude, and puts everyone (especially her patients) first. She is a breath of fresh air on our floor and is a joy to work with. Her coworkers are grateful for her compassion, empathy, determination, and communication, along with her ability to work with the team. We can always count on Sam for anything, even when there is an unpredictable pandemic!—Nominated by Alyssa Oldfield

Rosemary Martin, Boston Children’s Hospital

Rosemary’s a first-rate person. Dedicated and compassionate—a person one doesn’t forget.—Nominated by James Lane

Jen McCrave, Boston Children’s Hospital

Jen is a nurse in the Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic. I first met her when my daughter Mia was born. When my daughter began having seizures at three months, Nurse Jen was there to guide our family and give us support. She always responds and is ready to help. I have cried and laughed with Nurse Jen. She has been through our tuberous sclerosis complex journey with our daughter from multiple seizures, brain resection surgery, seizure relief, and now back to seizures again. We’ve been in contact through the years, but unfortunately our daughter, who is now 11 years old, began having seizures again last February. She had been seizure-free since she was 3—she’d had seizures here and there, but this time they were really back! I panicked and emailed Jen. When Jen called me back, I was relieved. She got our daughter the appointments she needed and kept in touch daily. She knows our daughter, just as she knows all her patients. When I talk to Jen, I know Mia will be OK because we have such an amazing team at Children’s. Jen does an amazing job at coordinating all of my daughter’s needs. We’ve gone back to touching base daily and it reminds me of the early years. Nurse Jen was always there to help and she’s truly amazing. She is the backbone of the clinic. Nurse Jen is truly an angel and we are so grateful to have her be part of Mia’s care, along with all of our daughter’s specialists.—Nominated by Marcia Ardita

Samantha MacIsaac, Boston Children’s Hospital

She’s always smiling, willing to do anything, has a great attitude, and puts everyone (especially her patients) first. She started as a CA and moved her way up to be a nurse, which shows her hard work and dedication to the job. She is a breath of fresh air on our floor and is a joy to work with. Her coworkers are grateful for her compassion, empathy, determination, and communication, along with her ability to work with the team. We can always count on Sam for anything, even when there is an unpredictable pandemic!—Nominated by Alyssa Oldfield

Rachel Moore, Boston Children’s Hospital

Rachel did everything she could to help cheer up my daughter and make her comfortable. My daughter came to look forward to having Rachel as her nurse, as she was always happy and helpful.—Nominated by Tricia Ruschaupt

JoAnn Morey, Boston Children’s Hospital

JoAnn is always there for everyone. She is caring, thoughtful, and consistently goes the extra mile.—Nominated by Avi Traum

Suzanne Niro, Boston Children’s Hospital

Suzanne was very helpful and kind when I contracted a viral infection in my throat. She was compassionate and helpful every step of the way and made me feel 10 times better by just being by my side.—Nominated by Sam Niro

Christine Shusterman, Boston Children’s Hospital

While I received outpatient treatment that included an IV, Christine was sure to strike up conversation to ease my nerves and distract me. Not only did she comfort me and my mother when I wasn’t feeling good during treatment, but she followed up once we got home to make sure I was OK. Her ability to connect with me on a personal level is something that I will never forget, and is that main reason I was able to complete my treatment that day.—Nominated by Hailey Lennon

Marisa Silva, Boston Children’s Hospital

Marisa Silva, Boston Children’s Hospital

Marisa treated me weekly for months last year. Her friendliness brightened my day, no matter how sick I felt. She kept up with my treatment as I went through inpatient admissions and came back for infusions. Marisa listened as my doctors gave the plan, and was always willing to explain things in a way we could understand. She was one of my favorite nurses because she could always get my IV on the first try, and do it without me passing out. Marisa was a very special nurse who did a lot for me and my family.—Nominated by Mikaela Radochia

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Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Paola Martinez, Boston Health Care for the Homeless

Paola is a school nurse, patient advocate, nursing advocate, parent, COVID-19 vaccine clinic supporter, and so much more. She is fierce, passionate about nursing, a strong team player, and has a natural uplifting spirit and strong work ethic. During this pandemic, she has collaborated with other school nurses and organizations to run flu clinics for her community, organized events for safe return to school campaign, and served as a bilingual interpreter. She is a force to be reckoned with; nothing can stop her. I am honored to call her a friend and compañera.—Nominated by Mary Paulino

Boston Higashi School for Autism

Tracy Shepherd, Day and Residential Programs, Boston Higashi School

Tracy Shepherd is the head nurse at the Boston Higashi School. She manages the Health Room and is on call 24/7, but during COVID-19 she’s faced a list of tasks that require never-ending diligence. With her take-charge attitude and attention to detail, Tracy distinguished herself by coordinating bi-weekly surveillance testing of all staff and assisted with contract tracing and quarantine protocols for positive students and staff, all while fielding endless calls and emails from anxious parents and staff. When it was time for congregate care settings to receive vaccinations, Tracy worked tirelessly to find an organization to administer vaccinations for eligible staff and students, and then set about coordinating a seamless schedule. Tracy’s dedication to the school and her advocacy for the staff, students, and their families is second to none. Her leadership abilities have been nothing short of extraordinary in these extraordinary times.—Nominated by Marilou Wilkinson

Boston Home Infusion Medical Services

Leah Paquette, Boston Home Infusion Medical Services

My nurse Leah performs infusions at my home every week for a few hours. She is wonderful. She goes above and beyond her duties, she helps with my medications, she advocates for me with other health professionals, and she is always caring and compassionate. She is very observant of my situations, and when she notices an issue she makes the necessary outreach connections to fix it. I feel very fortunate to have had such a warm, caring, and competent nurse taking care of me. Thank you, Leah!—Nominated by Jerry Seeco

Boston IVF

Susan Barry, Boston IVF, Brookline

Through an incredibly difficult journey of IVF, Susan was compassionate, caring, and sensitive. She answered every one of my questions, no matter how often I called, and she gave me reassurance every single time.—Nominated by Chelsea Carrier

Jackie Brindle, Boston IVF

Jackie (and her team at Boston IVF) are amazing! They’re so knowledgeable and so compassionate. Jackie is awesome with communication and never left any of my questions unanswered. She and the rest of the nurses all deserve to be acknowledged!—Nominated by Pamela Asiimwe

Michelle Cioffi, Albany Center, Boston IVF

During the most vulnerable years of my life, Michelle has changed my entire outlook on health-care providers. It has been overwhelmingly empowering to have a nurse like Michelle in my corner, rooting for our success. Michelle has given me a voice—always making sure my feelings are validated and I am being heard. Michelle is trustworthy—doing everything to give us relief and peace when we need it the most. In the heaviest moments of our journey with IVF, Michelle offered support, kindness, compassion, and—most importantly—hope. Thank you, Michelle, for reminding me every day that the fight is worth it, and that makes me a beautiful and strong mother.—Nominated by Jordan Cleveland

Wendy Craw, Boston IVF, Providence

The journey of IVF is exciting and terrifying, all at the same time. It’s such a special yet challenging time, and having a medical team behind you that you can trust is so important. Wendy has made sure our journey goes as smooth as possible. My husband and I just found out that our first round of IVF did not end in a pregnancy. Hearing the genuine support in Wendy’s voice, helped to ease the loss and ground us. Whether it’s simply returning our phone calls, or taking the time to stay on the phone with the insurance company for what feels like forever, Wendy continues to be the calm during this emotional roller coaster. Thank you, Wendy for all that you do.—Nominated by Alison Rodino

Wendy Craw, Boston IVF, Providence

My husband and I had just switched fertility clinics. We were frustrated, emotionally drained, and devastated. Our first appointment at Boston IVF we met Wendy Craw, our doctor’s nurse.  Wendy assured us she would be there for us every step of the way, and she was. Sometimes I called multiple times a day to ask questions and Wendy answered every question thoroughly and with compassion. She made sure I understood every procedure and medication plan. 

After we were successful and had our daughter Emmy, we received the sweetest package of little baby girl clothes from Wendy. I didn’t expect her to also be there after the baby was born. Emmy is now six months old and Wendy checks in with me frequently to see how we are doing and for updated pictures. Thank you for being you, Wendy. You made a difference in my life and I appreciate you so much.—Nominated by Jessica van Luling

Barbara Del Signore, The Maine Center, Boston IVF

Barbara Del Signore, The Maine Center, Boston IVF

Barbara is one of a kind. Her empathy with her patients is remarkable. She demonstrates patience and kindness when answering all our questions and has guided us through this process seamlessly. We can’t thank Barbara enough! A true asset to the Boston IVF team!—Nominated by Hannah Roy

Barbara Del Signore, The Maine Center, Boston IVF

After losing our son at 17 months old it was hard for my husband and I to see the light at the end of any tunnel, and Barbara always made sure to map out the positives for us. I emailed and called with questions daily and she always got an answer for me, I wouldn’t have gotten through IVF without her. Because of her, I’m writing this while snuggling our IVF miracle—every time I wanted to quit, Barbara made sure we didn’t.—Nominated by Vanessa Tillson

Kylie Henderson, Boston IVF, Quincy

Being a patient is not fun. Being a nurse AND a patient is a lot less fun. Never having physically met our IVF nurse, Kylie, we are so fortunate she is on our team. Kylie earned our trust immediately, treating us as people, not just a number. Every conversation includes respect, humor, trust, and belief. She is able to take the “scary” unknown away, filling it with hope and confidence. are thankful, blessed, and lucky to have Kylie fighting for us.—Nominated by Samantha Clark

Kim Kulzer, Boston IVF, Albany

I had three nurses during my treatment and Kim was the only one who took the time to get to know me. Kim showed me how to navigate my insurance—specifically, my pharmacy benefit. She helped me get free samples of medications, which was a huge financial help as my pharmacy coverage was very limited. Kim never rushed me off the phone and always took the time to answer my questions. Also, although she was not my assigned nurse at the time, she was the one who called me to let me know I was pregnant, which really meant a lot because she was genuinely happy for me and the one who helped me the most. Kim was always very kind and made it clear how much she cared about her patients.—Nominated by Kathleen Winnie

Jennifer Iordachescu, Boston IVF

Due to COVID-19 I’ve never even had the opportunity to meet Jenn in person, but I feel like she is a part of my family. I cannot wait to thank her face-to-face for her compassion, patience, and advocacy.—Nominated by Heather Segal

Jennifer Iordachescu, Boston IVF

I am about to start my third IVF cycle after two failed cycles in the last five months. As you can imagine, infertility is so personal and emotional. Jennifer has always taken time to explain things, eased my fears, and shown compassion for what I’m going through. She has also given me tips on how I can save on costs of the meds, since we are self-pay. Jennifer is always quick to respond and if she doesn’t know the answer will look into it and get back to me. I wish all nurses could be like her.—Nominated by Stephanie Doyle

Dawn Nugent, Boston IVF, Waltham

Dawn was so caring after my retrieval procedure, and made sure I was really comfortable. She was understanding, especially since I was there on my own because my spouse couldn’t come in due to COVID-19 restrictions. Dawn called to check in a day later to see how I was doing. She provided excellent care during my time there. Nurse Nugent needs to be recognized and awarded for her service and care.—Nominated by Sonali Biddiah

Nicole Ouellette, Boston IVF, Bedford, New Hampshire

Nicole has been amazing, encouraging, and compassionate throughout our infertility journey.  She always made me feel comfortable, cared for, and supported. This year was exceptionally difficult and incredibly wonderful. We learned in February that we were finally pregnant after years of trying to conceive and five rounds of IVF.  Sadly, we miscarried just before shutdowns at the end of March. When things reopened and we were able to continue treatment, Nicole was right there, more encouraging than ever. When we became pregnant again—this time with a healthy baby girl who is due in two weeksNicole could sense my worry and did everything she could to help reassure and comfort me.  

She was the empathetic voice that shared difficult news when cycles didn’t work and the one who joyously shouted “You’re pregnant!” through the phone and ran to hug me when I arrived at the office. Nicole grieved and celebrated with us. Our conversations always ended with “I’m always here to help,” and she genuinely meant it. Over the past two years, I heard Nicole’s voice daily throughout six IVF cycles. I’ll never forget her voice, and how it made me feel. I can’t wait to tell our little girl about the wonderful woman who held our hands and cheered us on as we waited to become parents. I call her and the team our “fairy godmothers” and can’t imagine having gone through this with anyone else. From heartbreak to happy tears, Nicole has been a rock during the long road to meet our baby. We’ve kept in touch throughout my pregnancy, and Nicole will be among the first to know once our baby arrives. She’s such a special person to me and my husband.—Nominated by Candice Hollenbecm

Nicole Ouellette, Boston IVF, Bedford Center, New Hampshire

Nicole has been our main point of contact as we begin our IVF journey. At times, this journey can be overwhelming. Nicole has been there for us every step of the way. She is professional, and always responds to our questions in a timely manner. Nicole has made this journey feel less overwhelming by providing us professional guidance and support. Thank you Nicole!—Nominated by Rachel Raymond

Bryna Runeman, Boston IVF

Bryna has been an absolute lifeline for us during our fertility journey. She has been there through losses and disappointments and celebrated every positive step with us. We have appreciated her honesty, willingness to answer many (many!) questions, and her unending empathy. We always felt like she was just as invested in our quest to grow our family as we were. Bryna has truly been the seatbelt for our rollercoaster—we were on this journey no matter what, but we felt more secure with her in our corner.—Nominated by Alison Hawes

Bryna Runeman, Boston IVF

Brynna has been the most helpful nurse during the worst time of my life. She has shown so much compassion and empathy during my struggles with infertility. She is prompt in her responses and is so knowledgeable. I appreciate her positive attitude the most. Thanks for everything you do, Brynna.—Nominated by Jennifer Morais

Bryna Runeman, Boston IVF Waltham

As a nurse myself, being patients at BIVF has been especially difficult for my husband and me. Since Day One, I’ve felt like Bryna has known me for years and always acknowledges our questions and concerns, then finds a solution. She checks on her patients on her days off and answers emails even if it is 7 p.m. on a Sunday. We would be lost without Bryna’s care and compassion during this infertility process. I always knew how special nurses are, but there is no one better in this field than Bryna. Even though we are still going through this process, she will always have a special place in our hearts.—Nominated by Julie Wilson

Nikki Getek, Boston IVF, Lexington

I never met Nikki in person. My husband and I tried to get pregnant for a year but it didn’t happen. We looked into Boston IVF and met Dr. Pauli. For a year-and-a-half we underwent intrauterine inseminations, blood tests, ultrasounds, four retrievals-and-transfers, a miscarriage, and finally got pregnant with twins. The night before our 12-week appointment we lost one. The other one was OK, thank God. We lost “the other one” at 33 weeks to a freak umbilical cord accident. She was fine and healthy. Her name is Noelle. She was beautiful and perfect, so we decided to pursue IVF again. After multiple failed cycles we got pregnant. 

I will never forget the many phone conversations with Nikki as I walked to and from my car to teach each day. She called me with bad news so many times. We would cry and laugh and vent. She had experienced the worst heartbreak, too. She had a stillborn baby. She told me to call her any time. One time I got the courage to. Again, we laughed and cried at how wonderful and awful it was, how much pain and love you can feel at the same time for a baby you never really got to meet.

When we got pregnant with Paul a year-and-a-half later, we sent pictures and emails to Nikki. We send funny videos of Paul laughing, and Christmas cards. She immediately writes back with joy. My pain was her pain. My joy was her joy. I hope I can meet her “for real” someday. —Nominated by Alana Juneau

Tiffany Tifft, Boston IVF, Portland, Maine

Tiffany was amazing through our three rounds of IVF. I was nervous the first time, but Tiffany answered all my questions and made me feel relaxed. When going through a process that is so emotional, you don’t want to be that annoying patient who worries about everything—and trust me, I was—but Tiffany answered every email or phone call. After we had our son, she was one of the first people I emailed a picture to. I will forever be grateful for her compassion.—Nominated by Jade Freeman

Jessica Young, Downtown Boston, Boston IVF

Infertility treatment is a really emotional process. It’s stressful, time-sensitive, and physically and financially draining. Jess was the perfect nurse to have on your side through the ups and downs. She was always a phone call away and replied promptly to the many questions that came up. She would check in after bad news and was our biggest cheerleader with good news. If we needed information from the doctor, she would personally make sure she got the answers relayed quickly. Jess exhibited such compassion every time we interacted with her. It has meant so much to have a nurse who will go the extra mile as we navigate this journey.—Nominated by Katie Shipman

Donna Zimmerman, Boston IVF

When you are going through IVF (especially during a pandemic) there is nothing more reassuring that a “familiar” voice on the phone every few days, giving you updates and next injection instructions. Every time she called, I felt like she really cared, and she was always reassuring. She took the time to answer or return my calls, even when I called multiple times a day. When I got the call from Boston IVF that my hCG levels [a hormone indicating pregnancy] were rising after an embryo transfer, I felt like it was my mom calling me with good news. Donna has a Boston accent you can never forget, which automatically puts you in a good mood and always made me smile. I never met her in person because of the pandemic, and she probably doesn’t remember me, but I hope she knows that she was a glimmer of hope through one of the hardest times in my life. While all the Boston IVF nurses are truly angels, Donna is the one who stuck in my mind.—Nominated by Lauren Griffin

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Boston MedFlight

Kristin Gallagher, Boston MedFlight

Kristin is the most senior duty flight nurse at Boston MedFlight. I have had the pleasure to work alongside her through the pandemic, even completing Boston MedFlight’s first COVID-19 transport together. She is a consummate professional who treats all patients with the dignity and respect they deserve. Her vast clinical and operational knowledge and abilities are a critical resource for Boston MedFlight, her coworkers, and the region’s hospitals and emergency medical service agencies.—Nominated by Michael Manganaro

Nursing Team, Boston MedFlight

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Boston MedFlight, I would like to express my admiration and gratitude to every one of the organization’s nurses for all you have done during the past year in caring for patients in need. In over 35 years associated with Boston MedFlight, I have never been prouder of you.You are all key members of the regional teams that have been battling the coronavirus. You and your colleagues are putting yourselves in the path of COVID-19 every day, as you remain on the frontlines of this health emergency. Your dedication, commitment, and courage deserve our deepest appreciation and support.—Nominated by Ann Prestipino

Boston Medical Center

Cara Abbanato, Boston Medical Center

Cara has been a Perinatal Float Pool RN at Boston Medical Center’s Women and Infant Center for the past seven years. She is a highly valued member of the team who floats to all maternity units. She is an outstanding professional who provides comprehensive care to high-risk mother-and-newborn couplets, displaying the utmost care and compassion at every encounter. Cara is eager to support her novice nursing peers and has remained consistent throughout the toughest time in the history of nursing. She most recently obtained her Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Intermediate Fetal Monitoring Instructor certification to participate in training the entire team. Cara is well-respected among her peers and a strong patient advocate. Cara deserves a salute for all of her hard work and dedication.—Nominated by Lynne Lambert

Beth Ailes, Boston Medical Center

You know that certain kid in class who always raises their hand to help the teacher and is always volunteering? Well, Beth Ailes is that person. For the past 10 years on the hematology/oncology floor, she consistently volunteers to take the complex patients. Beth is often the one pitching in to help other staff when things get crazy, and many times she’s the one offering her expertise and skill to access patients with difficult IVs.

I’m amazed that, after 35 years at BMC, Beth is still the one running around offering to help, and that is why I salute my former classmate, my friend, and my amazing nursing colleague.—Nominated by Margie Garity

Margie Baker, Boston Medical Center

My mom is an ICU nurse and a hero. Even though she works tiring days at Boston Medical Center, she is always determined to do her best and help her patients. She is caring and always wants to save everyone. COVID-19 has forced her to work extra hard, but she still pushes through to continue her heroic work. She has been battling COVID for the past year, and I want her to be recognized for her bravery and dedication to saving people.—Nominated by Ryan Baker

Astride Barnard, Boston Medical Center

Astride Barnard, Boston Medical Center

Astride is an exemplary nurse and human being. Last spring, our unit was reassigned to help in the Medical ICU during the pandemic surge. Astride was a huge example of grace under fire, always going the extra step. She made sure to shave an intubated patient before the Zoom meeting with his family. She knew it might be their last visit with him, as he was so ill, and she wanted him to “look his best.”  Astride would stay in a patient’s room long after it was safe to do so, as we were encouraged to limit our time in the COVID patients’ rooms to decrease our exposure to the virus.

Astride would stay until the patient was comfortable, no matter how long that took. The precaution gowns and masks were hot and uncomfortable, and she would have to be reminded to come out of the room to drink something so that she would not get dehydrated. 

I witnessed Astride do many kindnesses for patients, over and over. She spoke to the intubated patients with kindness and concern, always cognizant that “hearing is the last to go.” Astride is the nurse any of us would want caring for our loved one if they fell ill. There are not enough superlatives to describe her. She readily spread kindness, concern, and nursing expertise in her care of her many critically ill patients. It was a privilege to work alongside her.—Nominated by Karen Gregory

Kathleen Cochrane, Boston Medical Center

Katie’s nursing career spans close to 50 years and she’s been with Boston Medical Center for over 40 of those years. Before that, she served our country as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Katie has done it all at BMC, but I first had the privilege of working with her in the ICU. She has been a mentor to me and countless other nurses. Her professionalism is top-notch. She exemplifies what a nurse should be. Not only is she smart, she is the most caring nurse I know. She has never lost her bedside manner and caring touch. She is always willing to help a coworker, from nurses to doctors to housekeepers.—Nominated by Karen Wilson

Helen Connelly, Boston Medical Center

Helen is always running and looking out for her patient, and other nurses’ patients, too. She never says no or makes excuses for anything you ask of her.—Nominated by Mavis Larbi

Carlie Depina, Boston Medical Center

Carlie goes all-out not only for her peers, but for patients as well. She is always kind and courteous to everyone she interacts with and gives exceptional care without exception.—Nominated by Lauren Cartagena

Monica Germain, Intensive Care Unit, Boston Medical Center

Monica is a remarkably gifted and culturally sensitive nurse. She takes a patient-centric approach to her work, which enables her to go beyond her patient’s needs and to collaborate effectively with other peers. Monica has demonstrated such incredible competence that she has grown in responsibility at the BMC’s ICU and is on track to take on a leadership role in the very near future. She has demonstrated so much compassion for her patients and their families that patients request the she keep in touch over Zoom/FaceTime calls. She makes keeping these connections a priority because she has a deep understanding that every patient means something to someone. Monica started a Diversity & Inclusion committee at BMC to address the disparities in patient care and among nurses. She makes her manager’s job as a leader rewarding and effortless. Despite the unprecedented number of tragic deaths and setbacks that Monica encounters at work each day, she always shows up with a smile and a pleasant and positive attitude. She gives her patients things to look forward to, gives their families a sense of security, and gives her unit peace of mind. They really broke the mold when they trained Monica. She is so capable, so impactful, and so necessary in her unit. Nominated by Layla Ramirez

Jenna Gilman, Boston Medical Center

Jenna is an outstanding nurse who cares with all her heart. She made a very special bond with a patient who was on our unit for more than a month during his last stay. During her shift, whether she was his primary nurse or not, she always made time for him. He lit up when she came to see him. She sat with him and they talked about traveling and his life’s adventures. Jenna occasionally took him out of his room and they sat by the window, sometimes in silence. He would say, “Can you stay a little longer with me?” She always did, and I know they learned so much from each other.—Nominated by Colleen Webb

Maureen Hilchey-Masters, Boston Medical Center

For more than three decades, Maureen has been an exemplary nurse leader in almost every Boston Children’s Hospital/BMC ambulatory nursing area. Her management of specialty practices and primary care has significantly improved both patient experience and nursing care. She has mentored, supported, and nurtured countless nurses. 

When COVID-19 struck over a year ago, Maureen mobilized her ambulatory float pool to screen for COVID at all entrances to BMC, and quickly staffed a COVID testing and evaluation center, where she managed well over 100 employees. When the vaccines were rolled out last December, Maureen organized the process of vaccinating staff and patients—a monumental task by any measure, but especially in these times. Maureen now manages well over 400 staff and organizes daily coverage at three clinics inside BMC, plus several outside of BMC. Her close attention to detail and her dedication to patient care and staff support have resulted in thousands of our local community being vaccinated. I am honored to be a member of her team and impressed daily by the logistical challenge that she somehow manages to make look easy. Each time a patient thanks me for the vaccine, I realize that it is Maureen who deserves all the thanks. She has spent her lifetime as a nurse leader impacting both her staff and patients’ lives, but it is her COVID vaccination work that is most impressive, and has literally saved thousands of lives. I am proud to have worked with her and to nominate her for this award.—Nominated by Roberta Gately

Carol Hyland, Boston Medical Center

I salute my sister and fellow nurse, Carol Hyland. She has worked as an oncology nurse for 35 years. She has also been a breast cancer patient and survivor of over 10 years. She is my hero. She can treat patients in the way they deserve because she’s been on the receiving end of that care. She believed in her co-workers and placed her faith in the care she knew they were able to provide.—Nominated by Cheri Dauphinee

Jessica Jeune, Boston Medical Center

Jessica Jeune, Boston Medical Center

Jessica follows a busy caseload in our hematology/oncology clinic. Two patients she’s recently cared for come to mind. One has extensive disease, requiring admission to the hospital with multiple wounds. Jessica’s assessment skills proved invaluable, and she alerted the team to her physical examination findings, which facilitated our unit obtaining a Doppler ultrasound for future use on our floor. Jessica always stepped up for this patient, even when not on her schedule, which I’m sure offered the patient great comfort.

Jessica has created a close family bond with another patient; the family trusts her and the team. Jessica’s dedication and compassion are so evident in her daily practice. She is truly a joy to have here in our clinic. Jessica always provides exceptional care without exception, which is our motto at Boston Medical Center.—Nominated by Maureen Meisel

Claire Miller, Boston Medical Center

I have had the pleasure of being Claire’s clinical nursing educator for the past 15 years on the Mother Baby Unit at Boston Medical Center. Claire is an outstanding charge nurse who provides a logical, practical approach to decision-making. She is eager to support her nursing peers and new nurses, and actively participates in many educational endeavors to enhance professional nursing practice. Most importantly, she has been highly successful this past year helping to implement a safety bundle for postpartum obstetric hemorrhage, including simulation training, to enhance teamwork and collaboration during an emergency. This is one of the top Joint Commission Standards for Obstetric Care. Claire is well respected among her peers and is a highly valued member of our nursing team. It is with great pleasure that I salute Claire Miller for a job well done.—Nominated by Lynne Lambert

Carly Paquin, Boston Medical Center

I observed Carly as an excellent bedside nurse during the COVID-19 surges in April and January. We were reassigned to the Medical ICU to help with patient care, as our pediatric department was closed. Over many stressful shifts, I watched Carly speak to her critically ill patients with kindness, compassion, and love. She talked with the sedated patients as if they were awake. We were supposed to limit our time in patient rooms due to the infectious nature of COVID. Carly stayed longer, holding hands, giving encouragement during difficult procedures, calling families on Zoom so they could see their loved ones. One day, I witnessed Carly stay in a room with a patient who was being intubated. He was frightened, and was telling Carly all about his family and what he did for work before retirement. She constantly reassured the patient that she would take good care of him. Every day, Carly suited up for a physically and mentally exhausting shift with grace and kindness.—Nominated by Karen Gregory

Catherine Rowland, Boston Medical Center

Catherine works in labor and delivery. She loves going to work and enjoys her patients. Catherine is kind and caring to everyone. She always has her patient’s best interest in mind.—Nominated by Marguerite Guide

Megan Starr, Boston Medical Center

I have had the pleasure of being Megan’s clinical nursing educator since she came to Boston Medical Center from Wisconsin in September 2015. She was the first new graduate nurse in the Perinatal Float Pool at BMC’s Women and Infant Center. I was given the wonderful opportunity to mentor her in this new role, and she has exceeded all of my expectations. Megan is an outstanding professional nurse who provides comprehensive care to high-risk mother-and-newborn couplets. She has accomplished so much these past six years, including successfully orienting to areas including scrub RN role, obtaining specialty certification, orienting countless new nurses, and most recently becoming an Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses intermediate fetal monitoring instructor. Her patients rave about the care they receive and have requested her for their second newborn deliveries! Megan is well-respected among her peers and is a compassionate, energized, and motivated lifelong learner. It is with great pleasure that I salute Megan Starr for a job well done! Thank you for all you do for our mothers, newborns, families, and staff.—Nominated by Lynne Lambert

Katie Welch, Boston Medical Center

Katie came to Boston Medical Center with enthusiasm for excellence in obstetric care and a passion for mentoring new nurses. Katie is a caring, compassionate, “exceptional nurse without exception!” Her passion to share her knowledge with patients and new nurses portrays a shining example of dedication and commitment to new mothers and new nurses. Katie excelled in her role as an obstetrical nurse and mentor during one of the most difficult times in our history of nursing. Our new mothers and new nurses salute Katie for her gracious and sincere care.—Nominated by Lynne Lambert

Rachele Williams, Boston Medical Center

Rachele has been a Labor and Delivery RN at Boston Medical Center’s Women and Infant Center for the past seven years. She is a highly respected member of the team, who has often been in charge throughout this pandemic. She is an outstanding resilient, professional nurse who provides comprehensive care to high-risk mother-and-newborn couplets, displaying the utmost care and compassion at every encounter. Rachele’s love for teaching shines every time she orients a newer nurse to Labor and Delivery. Rachele is an excellent preceptor and takes every opportunity to share her knowledge with her peers. It is with great pleasure that I salute Rachele Williams for all of her hard work and dedication.—Nominated by Lynne Lambert

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Boston Public Schools

Amanda Bakos, Otis School, Boston Public Schools

Amanda is a school nurse in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) who has had countless interactions with students, families, and staff. What sets her apart is her social/emotional understanding of what our students, families, teachers, and staff are experiencing during this pandemic. Amanda sits on our weekly Student Support Team, and as we discuss individual students and families, she offers not only such supports as delivering groceries to families in need, she also sees beyond the scare. No task is too small or too large for Amanda. She does outreach to families and students and comforts them. Students have always relied on Nurse Bakos for her wisdom and her conviction that every student can realize their full potential, if only given a voice and someone’s acknowledgement and support. She has talked through and problem-solved many emotional issues with students, and continues to do so on Zoom now. I have witnessed many “thanks for listening” comments from our young students. When others would give up and say “you can’t,” she would always say “let’s try.” We are ALL fortunate to be her “patients” every day. She truly embodies the qualities of all our amazing nurses across BPS and the nation.—Nominated by Paula Goncalves

Boston Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center 

Martina Hanratty, The Boston Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center

My 93-year-old mother is in hospice care. She was born, grew up, and lived in Dorchester all her life—a woman of faith, loyalty, and resilience. As she became more fragile, she needed more care, and that care was also of the spirit. Martina has been a lifeline for my mother, especially during the pandemic. As a nurse myself, I recognize how everyday routines and social exchanges matter. We live in a moment when all that we love can disappear in an instant. Martina has led her staff in keeping my mother safe and cared for, but also connected to the world she once knew—the memories of her prayers, the recollections of growing up as a first-generation Dorchester girl, and the son whom she loves. Martina anticipates my questions about my mother’s health. She relieves her pain and knows what discomforts and reassures her. I know my mother is in the hands of a nurse who cares for her as she would her own. Martina is the heart, soul, and brain of a nurse who has laid hands on and led hands-on during this sad and draining time of my mother’s life. I am forever grateful.—Nominated by Anne Craman

Bridgewell

Edward Goodwin, Bridgewell

Ed is the nurse for our group home for folks with disabilities and he has gone over and above supporting us. He was instrumental in helping us weather COVID-19 at the home.—Nominated by Leslie Lemerise

Brigham Health 

Farah Abellard, Brigham and Women’s Ambulatory Care Center, Brigham Health

Interim Nurse Director Farah Abellard, a subject-matter expert in caring for patients with COVID-19, managed and directed the care of patients suspected to have had COVID. Farah’s clinical expertise and compassionate care made patients and families feel safe and well cared-for.  Farah also provided her colleagues with hands-on Resource-Intensive Care education, allowing us to feel confident and well-prepared to care for COVID patients in our ambulatory clinics. Her clinical expertise and her unwavering support to educate her colleagues gave us faith that we were ready to deliver the excellent and compassionate care that the BWH is known for. Thank you, Farah.—Nominated by Nancy Matthews

Kirsten Baran-Glennon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Kirsten shows the utmost patience and compassion with all of her patients and colleagues. She is very prompt and on top of her work. She is extremely organized and kind to everyone.—Nominated by Allyson Pulsoni

Jennifer Bartell, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Jennifer Bartell was the main nurse who took care of my daughter while she spent one month in the ICU. The other nurses call her “Mama Jen.” She represents every nurse who took care of Monica, who had just graduated from Tufts Dental School. Jennifer stood in our place as a mother and a nurse to care for and comfort our daughter through consciousness and unconsciousness, ventilators and paralysis, massaging and working her muscles. After Monica spent a month in a narrow room looking at one wall and not seeing the sun, Jen decided to wheel her up to the skywalk. Despite my daughter’s severe trauma, this was one of the most memorable days of her life; she felt hopeful with the sun shining through those big glass windows. Thanks, Jennifer, and the countless medical staff who took care of Monica those three long months in the hospital. You all went beyond your job description and we are thankful.—Nominated by Olga Hamilton

Michelle Berganza, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Michelle is an amazing nurse who goes all-out when caring for her patients; the pandemic couldn’t keep her from her calling, which is to help others. Michelle works with patients who have terminal cancer, and she’s there for them until the last breath. Michelle’s not only a nurse, but an angel for these patients who need someone to hold their hands at the end when their family members can’t be there for them, sometimes because they don’t have families, and often because of the very strict zero-visitor rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason and more, I nominate Nurse Michelle.—Nominated by Liliana Berganza

Braunwald Tower, 16B Nurses Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

I’m a nurse practitioner who was working at a skilled nursing facility (Elizabeth Seton Residence in Wellesley) when COVID-19 hit in spring 2020. PPE was scarce, and the nursing home was hit hard. We lost many residents to the virus and staff became quite ill. By the end of April, I came down with COVID pneumonia and was admitted into Brigham and Women’s on May 2. I was sick, exhausted, frightened, and lonely. The entire nursing staff on 16B was fantastic. Their empathy and kindness shone through the PPE. They realized that May 3 was my birthday and sang to me via the iPad! At shift changes I could hear chatter outside my door, but it was a positive, comforting noise. These men and women (many mobilized from different parts of the hospital, I’m sure) were dedicated in the face of this horrible pandemic. I am forever grateful for their awesome care.—Nominated by Nancy Sullivan

Rachel Butler, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

I was burned very badly. Rachel was my first night nurse, and she stayed with me to help not just medically, but also to talk to me as a form of therapy to calm me down and deal with the situation. She went the extra mile in helping me deal with talking to people, even after her shift ended.—Nominated by Sam Kaplan

Alia Carmichael, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Longwood

Alia is a very caring and understanding person who always treats you with the utmost compassion and care.—Nominated by Jeff Klain

Alison Carr, Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Alison is very knowledgeable, but as a new nurse she was very quiet with patients—efficient, but task-oriented. As a charge nurse, I see that Alison has spread her wings. She’s more comfortable talking with patients and families and very helpful to her coworkers. Now that she has more comfort as a nurse and is more efficient in the ED, she’s interested in getting involved with evidence-based practice, possibly getting on the Committee of Quality. She would be very helpful with this, as I’m sure she would bring all the information about what’s going on in the area back to her coworkers. It’s amazing to see a new nurse take this much initiative during the time of COVID.—Nominated by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Nurses Week Committee

Nicole Cherubino, Cheryl Gardner, Julie McGillicuddy, Christine Ordway, Brigham and Women’s NICU, Brigham Health 

My son Westie was born three months premature, during the height of the pandemic. He spent four-and-a-half months in the hospital. During this time, Westie had the most incredible primary nurse team at the Brigham. Cheryl, Julie, Nicole, and Christine made it easier for us to leave our baby in the hospital and go home every night to our 3-year-old son. They comforted us when we cried and laughed with us during bath times and mini diaper blowouts. They brought me warm blankets and made sure that I was comfortable and that all of the wires were in place the first time that I was able to hold my son. Combined, these four incredible women have worked in the Brigham NICU for over 100 years. They take care of these babies as though they are their own children—feeding them, holding them, comforting them, loving them. Not only do they take care of the children in their care, they take care of the whole family, and Cheryl, Julie, Nicole, and Christine are forever a part of our family. Our son recently celebrated his first birthday at home—happy, healthy, and thriving, because of these nurses.—Nominated by Myrhia Brewer

Patricia Conolly, Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Pat is always making both the patients and the staff laugh.She often tells stories of her Irish heritage that have both patients and families cracking up. Pat is the most calm and collected nurse in the ICU. She handles stressful situations casually. Her calming attitude spreads through the unit, making everyone else feel safe and supported, which allows us to provide better patient care. She often assumes the role of charge nurse. I love when Pat is in charge because she is always there to help out and to teach. She loves sharing her knowledge with anyone, especially the newer nurses. Pat is the BEST!—Nominated by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Nurses Week Committee

Pam Cormier, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Pam has brought compassionate leadership to the table throughout her career, but especially during the spring peaks (both last year and this) of this pandemic. In March 2020, she designed a process to provide patients with their COVID-19 test results. She then engaged other nurses to devote more than three months of their time—days, nights, and weekends—to talk to patients and to help them understand their test results. She headed into fall with a robust flu clinic approach that optimized vaccinations. And most recently, she has run clinics to bring the COVID vaccine to patients across Massachusetts. No matter how hard the challenge, Pam rises to it with a calm, cool demeanor that prioritizes patients.—Nominated by Kelly Fanning

Paula Criscuolo, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Paula is one of my coworkers, and the nurse in charge of my unit. She is always advocating for staff and for our patients. She has a knack for connecting with anybody she interacts with and has an abundance of health-care knowledge. She has supported me as a nursing student, a patient care assistant, a nurse, and as a person over the past six years. The love, advice, and kick in the butt she has given me over the years mean more to me than she will ever know. Paula is an amazing asset to our staff and I am forever grateful to call her my coworker and friend.—Nominated by Kaleigh McRoberts

Celeste Crowley, Brigham and Women’s Harbor Medical Associates

Celeste has demonstrated the highest level of health-care excellence through her compassion and thoughtfulness to our family during the COVID crisis. She has become our cornerstone for advice and guidance that we truly value, and that only adds to the positive influence she’s had on our family. Throughout this pandemic, she been in constant contact, taking time to answer our questions about how to stay safe.—Nominated by Anthony Meenaghan

Jon Debach, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Jon was the most sympathetic nurse—always attentive, he went out of his way to provide me with the best care. He talked with me, beyond just taking care of my medical needs. If a test procedure was late, he did it himself. He treated me as a person, not just as a patient. I have never had a nurse provide such care. I wish I could see him and thank him again.—Nominated by Maryann Sullivan

Frank Denaro, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

I’ve had the privilege of interfacing with many nurses with during my 25-plus year career. Frank Denaro is one extraordinary individual. Based on his exemplary patient care in the infusion center, Frank embodies all the attributes that make up an ideal nurse. His ability to connect with his patients and their loved ones allows him special “access” to their personal lives. Frank can assess any clinical situation and expertly provide what the patient needs in that moment. He has joined the “art” and “science” of nursing into a seamless, effortless practice. He is always willing to share his expertise and foster an atmosphere of collaboration. He is humble, versatile, and an understated presence. He is the quintessential “go-to” nurse if you have questions/concerns or just want to an opinion. —Nominated by Diane Campbell

Therese Doyle, Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

For years, I’ve admired Terry’s ability to provide compassionate care. She has her own personal touch to make the patients feel comforted in their most vulnerable states. I’ve seen her bring in Polident for patients whose dentures wouldn’t stay put, and shampoo and conditioner for female patients who had severely knotted hair. When patients are having difficult days, she spends extra time with them, making jokes to lighten the mood. I often hear laughter pouring out of the rooms of her patients. She’ll sing with them, and even dance! She grew up in Jamaica Plain, and tends to be a friendly and familiar face to many of our patients and their visitors.—Nominated by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Nurses Week Committee

Megan Etheridge, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Megan has worked tirelessly caring for her patients this year, but what people might not know is that she’s also living with and caring for her twin brother with brain cancer. All this while being a high-risk Type 1 diabetic herself during the COVID-19 pandemic. It takes a very special caregiver to be able to do all of these things and put her own fears aside, and Megan deserves a HUGE thank you.—Nominated by Marisa Etheridge

Judith Finn, Brigham and Women’s Thoracic Unit, Brigham Health

When I was at my lowest during my 17-day hospital stay following my esophagectomy, Judy was there to help me make it through. Following my surgery, I had several setbacks, and she was there to literally hold my hand and lift my spirits. My wife was only allowed limited visiting hours because of COVID-19, so my stay was extra difficult. Nurse Judy’s care made all the difference in the world toward my recovery. I still have cancer and a long road ahead of me, but nurses like her are our guardian angels. I will forever be grateful for the care and kindness she showed me and my wife. When I needed her she was there, and when my wife needed emotional support Nurse Judy was there. We could not have made it through without her.—Nominated by Robert Scott

Michelle Forsyth, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health 

Michelle is amazing. I have been an intern, resident, and now a fellow and a labor-and-delivery attending at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and I’ve interacted with her since 2014. She has always had the utmost commitment to her patients’ care and the care of everyone around her. She was also my nurse during the delivery of my son, Eli, and knew exactly what I needed—to be a patient. She is an excellent judge of character and has a special skill for getting the right people in the right place to make the safest and most wonderful delivery—even for our high-risk patients, where mom or baby’s life might be at risk. It is an absolute honor to work beside her every day.—Nominated by Rebecca Reimers

Meghan Gallagher, Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Meghan is an amazing nurse who floats to all the units. She has an abundance of knowledge and treats her patients with kindness while also educating. Any nurse who knows Meghan is floating to their unit is really happy and knows she will be a resource and addition to the floor. She is the type of resource that the night shift needs to get through some of the most difficult shifts. Meghan is calm and controlled when patients need it most. During one of the more difficult times for the nursing profession, Meghan never shied away from spending as much time as the patient may need in a COVID room. She put her own fear aside to appease those patients, and that is what a true leader and hero is all about.—Nominated by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Nurses Week Committee

Phyllis Garr, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Phyllis, my pre-op nurse, did everything to make me feel comfortable and relaxed before my surgery. She had a wonderful way of making me less nervous by letting me know every step along the way. She answered my questions and concerns honestly and without hesitation. She has been a nurse for many years and I admire her dedication. I feel very fortunate to have had Phyllis as my nurse.—Nominated by Jane Kamel

Erica Gaudet, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Erica and I worked side-by-side for years in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which unfortunately sees a lot of death and dying. I will never forget the time that Erica cared for a man dying from cancer in early 2019.

This man’s last wish was to marry his long-time fiancé. There are many resources available for patients admitted to the hospital; however, the primary nurse is the biggest advocate in employing them. Erica coordinated with the Spiritual Care department, Social Work, Respiratory Therapy, and others to arrange for a wedding in our ICU. In a place so accustomed to grief and sadness, the wedding was an uplifting moment for all, but most importantly for the patient. It wasn’t necessary for Erica to go this extra mile, but she did. Acts such as this one help to remind us what is at the center of it all—humanity. —Nominated by Angela Schrage

Kerianne Hastings, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

As a nurse on an orthopedic floor, Keri literally gets her patients moving. One patient was terrified to get out of bed following a fall that had brought him to our unit with non-operable pelvic fractures. Keri asked what kind of music he liked, pulled out her cellphone, put on Willie Nelson, and sang along while assisting him to a chair for the first time. And when our unit became a COVID-19 unit last spring, Keri did not stop moving. She was still singing and getting everyone up to a chair for breakfast, even in full PPE.

She was supporting her coworkers, fiercely advocating for her patients, and working with new medical team members seamlessly. Upon learning her COVID-positive patient had been passionately involved in Alcoholics Anonymous, she played AA daily reflections for him every morning while providing care. As he learned to speak again via a tracheostomy after a long ICU stay, his eyes conveyed his gratitude for this recognition of his personhood.—Nominated by Julie Archibald

Laura Hoover, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Laura is the nurse you would want caring for your family member. During one exceptionally difficult day for a particular family, Laura stayed with the husband of a critically ill patient. When the woman was rushed to the operating room to deliver their baby, Laura stayed with the husband. She explained everything and escorted him to where he could find his wife. She provided comfort during a time of tremendous loss to the family.—Nominated by Amanda Haimaidi

Intensive Care Unit Nurses, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

We have the opportunity to witness these nurses day in and day out saving lives, comforting, caring, and making a difference.—Nominated by Christopher Malone

Taylor Jones, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Taylor provided excellent nursing care for our son who was reaching the end of life. She treated him and his family with the utmost professionalism, dignity, and empathy. Nothing was a problem for her, and her patient- and family-centered approach was a shining example of living care.—Nominated by Pat Mullan

Madison Kelley, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Made me feel loved, and comforted me in my times of misfortune.—Nominated by Andrew Kelley

Madison Kelley, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Knew what she was doing and made me feel at home.—Nominated by Karen Kelley

Madison Kelley, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Madison approached my issues with understanding and complete compassion. She asked the right questions, as well as clarifying questions, to truly try to understand what was going on with me. I immediately felt safe and comfortable being cared for by Madison. Her warm and smiley demeanor just added to my comfort.—Nominated by Holly Norberg

Kelly Laws, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Kelly has always been an incredible Medical ICU nurse and her talent as a health-care worker has shone brighter than usual over the past year.—Nominated by Christina Accardi

Jordan Lizotte, Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Jordan displays a sense of calm in the face of extreme pressure and asserts herself when necessary. Equally important, she approaches her patients with an understanding and compassionate manner. She has a strong sense of how to use her knowledge to reach the best possible outcome for her patients. Jordan comes to work with a positive attitude and a smile. No matter how difficult her assignment, she is always upbeat and positive. She has brought an abundance of knowledge, passion, and professionalism to the unit. Jordan is a nurse to imitate.—Nominated by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Nurses Week Committee

Lauren Maher, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Lauren is a 2016 graduate of Merrimack College and the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Always smiling and with an outgoing personality, she makes her patients feel cared for during short or extended stays.—Nominated by John Maher

Meaghan McCarthy, Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Meaghan recently completed her master’s degree in nursing education. Not only is she a full-time nurse in the ICU, she is a member of unit council and a preceptor to Boston College nursing students. Meaghan has also completed her CCRN certification and openly discusses her wish to continue her education by obtaining her DNP. Meaghan was a “Magneteer” and tirelessly worked towards Faulkner obtaining Magnet status. She has also worked on countless projects formulated from evidence-based research with the unit council, one of which included a plan to eliminate catheter-associated urinary tract infections. She takes great initiative to improve the care of our patients.—Nominated by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Nurses Week Committee

Marianne Merlis, Brigham Health

Marianne is a cardiac ICU nurse who has been helping not only heart patients, but also those severely affected by COVID-19. She didn’t treat me; I’m her stepfather, who has watched her come home from her shift exhausted and almost in tears. But she goes back every day, because that’s what she trained to do. She makes a difference.—Nominated by William Hoffman

Kerri-Anne Morse, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Kerri has always focused on patient care, providing excellent communication, leadership, and responsibility as a medical/surgical nurse taking care of patients after surgery. At the start of the pandemic, without hesitation, she put on her PPE and got to work. She comforted patients in their most desperate moments while families couldn’t visit. Kerri has exemplified the best in society by acting selflessly to support others.—Nominated by Jonathan Tracy

Jennifer Mosaheb, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Jenn was my labor and delivery nurse for the birth of my first child. She was kind and compassionate. She made sure I was comfortable and championed my care. She stayed four hours after her shift ended to see me through delivery. I will never forget her.—Nominated by Jennifer Megyesy

Michelle Naslund, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health 

Michelle’s patient was a homeless man who had expressed a desire to return to his shelter so as to be a part of the Christmas celebration and receive a present. Due to his illness, he was unable to be discharged in time. With that in mind, Michelle organized a Christmas celebration for him at the hospital. She organized it herself and asked her coworkers to help. She and her staff spent their own money to get the man clothes, socks, hats, chocolates, and so on to ensure he had a wonderful Christmas and received a gift, like he had wanted. They played Christmas music while surprising him and he immediately welled up and said, “I’ll never forget this.” She spread joy to this man during an already difficult year. She’s a wonderful nurse and her patients are so lucky to have her.—Nominated by Lisa O’Donnell

Claire O’Connell, Brigham Health 

During the first COVID surge last March and April, Claire organized the nurses at the Brigham and the greater community to facilitate and gather PPE. Claire was able to acquire N95 masks, goggles, and other PPE to keep the 3,400 RNs and thousands of other health-care workers at the Brigham safe.—Nominated by Patricia Powers, Jeff Klain

PACU Nurses, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

The nurses of the Post-anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) came to the home of my daughter (a former nurse at the PACU) from the time she came home from the hospital on Jan. 6 until her death on Jan. 10. They never left her alone. They came on their own time and never showed up without a gift of food, toys for the boys, flowers, or something. They never came empty-handed and never hesitated to do whatever was needed for her or her family. They truly are nurse angels.—Nominated by Elaine McCarty

Heather Rurak, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health 

Heather was one of my nurses throughout my stay at Brigham. I was in there for a double lung transplant. I had pulmonary fibrosis, which was slowly taking away my ability to breathe. On June 6, 2019, my heart stopped while my family was visiting.  Heather called a code, and was the first one to provide CPR and bring me back from death. Surgery was performed in my room to keep me alive. Heather continued to save my life after I was stable by encouraging me to walk and to stay strong. I nominate her for saving my life in many different ways during my 130-day stay.—Nominated by Stephen Sullivan 

Elizabeth Silverberg, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

My mother, Jane Milano, was brought to the ICU with serious complications after surgery. My brother, sister, and I were told to come to the hospital at 4 a.m., as my mother was not going to recover. Beth was our mother’s nurse, and despite her condition, Beth talked to our mother in a soothing and calm tone. Beth urged us to talk with our mother while she tended to our mother’s every need, making her comfortable and monitoring her condition. Beth also made us comfortable while we prayed, laughed, and cried together, promising our mother that we would always stay together, per her request. Our mother passed at 7:30 a.m. Although we knew Beth for only three-and-a-half hours, her compassion and communication style made us feel like we were lifelong friends.—Nominated by Peter Milano

Vivian Tran, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Health

Every single day Vivian works diligently, passionately, and proudly to be a nurse. When she finishes her work or has a minute extra, she offers to help her fellow nurses. When I became sick with COVID-19, and have since become chronically sick, she checks on me daily and shows me so much compassion. The Brigham is so lucky to have her in their dedicated nursing workforce. Nominated by Paula Autori  

Elizabeth Vazquez, Faulkner Hospital, Brigham Health

Elizabeth has been a Magnet Champion through the extensive process that proved so challenging and time-intensive. She kept our department fully involved in this process and encouraged the voice of case management to be an active participant. She has participated in the advancement of nursing practice here at Faulkner as the leader of our unit council, and actively takes part in meetings to improve her knowledge of hospital process and development. She has defined herself as a strong leader and shared her knowledge of case management on 6 North as she advocates for patient and families and easily communicates with the team, making these needs and concerns clear to the treatment team. She encourages her peers to pursue higher education and certifications within our department. She is a role model in committing to this pursuit while balancing the needs of her personal life with a young family. Elizabeth has been a mentor to newly hired staff and always willing to seek leadership opportunities and advance her nursing skills. I think she strongly exemplifies the nurse that this award is committed to recognizing.—Nominated by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Nurses Week Committee

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