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2021 Salute to Nurses letters: Hospitals E-M

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

Kelly Hennessy Gordon, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

Kelly has worked tirelessly through this pandemic. In the beginning, she organized, set up sites, and tested clients in the East Boston, Chelsea, and Revere area for COVID-19 testing. She showed up every day with a smile and worked diligently and compassionately to accommodate as many people as possible. Her kindness helped patients to be at ease as their noses were swabbed. One year later, Kelly and her staff are still continuously working hard to help as many people get vaccinated as they can. Kelly works day in and day out, still having that same great attitude with the patients. You just have to talk to Kelly to see that her priority is to get the people vaccinated. I salute Kelly Hennessy Gordon because she is industrious, compassionate, and conscientious. She is one great nurse.—Nominated by Beth Fowkes

Emerson Hospital

Christina Bonanno, Emerson Hospital

Christina compassionately cared for my dad while he died of COVID-19. When we made the decision to switch to comfort care over life-sustainment, Christina was on duty. She emanated calm, her presence alone offering relief after such an excruciating decision. Christina was in full PPE, but I memorized her eyes. Through her mask, she told me she had recently lost her dad and would be present for mine. No one believed he’d survive the night. Goodbyes were scheduled via iPad, over the loud and menacing sound of the ventilation unit. Every shift change brought anxiety: updating new nurses, giving personal accounts of my dad, and reiterating my desire to be with him at the end so he wouldn’t die alone. Each nurse promised they’d do their best, but—this feels wrong to say—I wanted him to die in Christina’s arms. She was my surrogate: when I said I was holding his hand, she did so; when I told him I was stroking his head, she completed the task; needed meds, done. He lasted for five long days. That last morning, I barely noticed when someone scooted in past the others to sit by my dad’s side. Then we locked eyes. She didn’t interrupt me as I spoke, just nodded. Together, we witnessed his final breath. I later learned Christina was not assigned to him—her supervisor thought it’d be too difficult, after her own loss—but she was determined. She even called to check on him on her days off. She kept the promise that she had made to me on the first night of a week-long nightmare. My dad’s final gift to me was a superhero friend.—Nominated by Sharon Cronin

Tabitha Brand, Special Care Nursery, Emerson Hospital

Tabitha was absolutely amazing when our son had to go into the special care unit. She was extremely kind, compassionate, and professional. She helped us understand what was going on with his condition and reassured us at each step. My husband and I are beyond grateful to have had Tabitha as our son’s nurse.—Nominated by Caitlin Katisch

Sue Brault, Emerson Hospital

She is a kind, bubbly person who has a great outlook on life, and you can feel that when you interact with her. She is nurturing and informative. I have had the pleasure of knowing this nurse outside of the hospital, too, and she carries those same qualities to all those around her.—Nominated by Kim Clymer

Ashton Cetto, Emerson Hospital

I work with Ashton and she constantly shows compassion for her patients and their families. She serves as a charge nurse on nights and is an amazing resource for me as a nursing student.—Nominated by Chloe Spedden

Lauren Decoste, Clough Birthing Center, Emerson Hospital

Lauren was incredible during our postpartum stay in the Emerson Hospital Clough Birthing Center. After a very long labor and a tough delivery with some complications she took such good care of our little family. She checked on us often, always with the happiest demeanor. She explained every single test and wellness check she performed on our son as well as all of the responsibilities and precautions to take as a new parent. Lauren gave us the most wonderful experience and made us feel like we had just had a baby—not had a baby during a global pandemic.—Nominated by Allison Stateler

Casey DeWalt, Emerson Hospital

My dad was told he had a tumor in his lungs and needed a biopsy. He is also diabetic, and he wasn’t allowed to eat due to the testing. Nurse Casey cheerfully checked his blood sugar when I asked, and responded appropriately when she discovered it was low. My dad was scared, even at 73, and she was so sweet to him. She treated him with kindness and humor, exactly as if he was her own dad. She laughed at his jokes and tolerated his frustration and uncertainty. When she left the room my dad said, “she is so nice.”  I was glad that he was comfortable with someone who was caring for him. She was his nurse a few times after this procedure and he always lit up when he saw her despite his fear of cancer and whatever procedure he had to undergo that day. When I told her “I want to get you something as a thank-you” she said “all I needed to hear you say was thank you.” Thank you, Nurse Casey.—Nominated by Kim Kendall

Anne Douvris, Labor & Delivery, Emerson Hospital

When I was in labor with my own child, she was the only person I saw for hours, and she stayed until the baby arrived. I think of her often. She was like a guardian angel when I needed the support.—Nominated by Stephanie Wrocklage

Kristen Duran, Emerson Hospital

Kristen was a nurse in the labor and delivery unit. She was the first nurse I met during my non-stress tests and the nurse who made sure I had a delivery plan in place. Because of her, my medical complications and the delivery of my daughter were managed without consequence.  She was amazing. Almost six years later, I still sing her praises!—Nominated by Kerri Horgan

Kelly Flynn, Jessica Nason, Suzanne Rodrique, Karen Stone, Emerson Hospital

On Saturday, Feb. 20, I slipped on ice and fell. Right away, I knew I’d broken my wrist. I had to walk home, rouse my neighbor, and go to the emergency room, where the first of several wonderful nurses cared for me. In the Emergency Department, Jessica Nason was so kind and efficient. Kelly Flynn, and Karen Stone prepared me for surgery. In recovery, Suzanne Rodrique cared for my pain. They all functioned like a finely tuned orchestra—with needles, IVs, and electrodes, but most of all with kindness and very good and much-appreciated humor. When you are in the hospital, a team of professionals cares for you, and I was fortunate to have a stellar team. I can honestly say that I look back on this experience with a certain amount of joy. These nurses were great.—Nominated by Melissa Saalfield

Lyndsey Hammond, Special Care Nursery, Emerson Hospital

While our twins were in the Special Care Nursery, Lyndsey made it seem like our children were the only ones in there. That was the level of care she gave us. She answered all our concerns, loved our twins, listened to us, and educated us. She was very personable—easy and fun to talk to. After special care she still came into my room to check on me and my one twin who left special care before the other. She just made that extra effort during a tough time. I will forever remember the care and the way she made us feel.—Nominated by Suvi Hills

Linda Hedblom, Emerson Hospital

Linda was an amazing nurse on the labor and delivery unit. She did her job with efficiency, professionalism, and compassion. She had a technique that made me more comfortable than I thought possible during labor. Her passion for her patients was evident and made the process so much easier. She was awesome!—Nominated by Kerri Horgan

Dee Lombardozzi, Emerson Hospital

Dee was one of our maternity nurses after I gave birth at Emerson. This was my first child, so I needed all the help and advice I could get. Dee made me feel so comfortable, patiently answered all my questions, and even managed to make me laugh during difficult and exhausting moments. She not only made sure my baby and I were cared for, but she also taught us so much, giving us tips and tools that we still remember seven months later. She made my whole family feel like we were in great hands and treated us like friends, not just patients.—Nominated by Olivia Craigen

Christine Malette, Emerson Hospital

Christine is one of a kind. She comes to work with her heart on her sleeve, giving her all for her patients, her coworkers, and her unit. She is dedicated and always gives 110 percent.  Not only does she care for patients, but she advocates for them. She treats them with respect and dignity and always makes them feel well cared for and loved. She is one of the best nurses I know.—Nominated by Serena Foss

Amanda Milinazzo, Emerson Hospital

Amanda provided exceptional care for an adolescent who went out of control and threatened to harm herself or others.—Nominated by Laura Capehart-Hall

Ashley Perez, Emerson Hospital

Ashley Perez has demonstrated outstanding nursing in her time at Emerson Hospital amidst a pandemic. I work closely with her as a patient care technician and have seen her take the time to comfort patients when their family cannot be present.—Nominated by Ashley Antonellis

Katie Perrone, Emerson Hospital

Katie treated me with respect and dignity after I gave birth to my first child. Katie took care of me mentally as well as physically and I will never forget her kindness.—Nominated by Sarah Miller

Nicole Potter, Emerson Hospital

Nicole Potter, a coworker of mine, shows excellent care and compassion for all patients, even the most difficult and those severely ill with COVID-19. As a student nurse, I hope to be as skilled and kind as Nicole is when I start my career.—Nominated by Jocelyn Marshall

Kaila Proulx, Emerson Hospital

I had my daughter on March 11, 2020—right when the pandemic began. After that, visitors weren’t allowed. Kaila was sweet, helpful, and great company. Emerson is lucky to have such a kind nurse.—Nominated by Kerri Lebel

Nancy Schaub, Emerson Hospital

I witnessed superb care of an elderly patient who can’t advocate for herself. Nancy teaches new nurses while taking excellent care of patients.—Nominated by Michael Soliman

Bob Searl, Emerson Hospital

When I speak with Bob he’s always passionate about his work, his coworkers, and the patients. To me, he seems to care like someone just starting out. He was also a part of our son’s success as an occupational therapist.—Nominated by Paul Sampson

Christina Simpson, Emerson Hospital Home Care

Christina exhibited a positive attitude and real interest in my struggle to recover from major surgery. Christina always checked with my doctors for the latest requirements. She made sure that my medical supplies were available and measured my vital signs to make sure they were in a normal range.—Nominated by David Schlatka

Deb Stitt, Emerson Hospital

Deb is a very educated nurse. She is very compassionate and thorough with her patients. She goes all-out to help her coworkers, too.—Nominated by Heidi Garcia

Kaitlyn Taylor, Emerson Hospital

Kaitlyn shows extreme care and compassion for her patients and her fellow workers. She always has a smile and goes beyond her official duties. She always thanks the security staff when we help out around the Emergency Department. Emerson is lucky to have her.—Nominated by Thomas Alfonso

Kaitlyn Taylor, Emerson Hospital

I work in Patient Access at the Emerson Hospital Emergency Department in Concord. The Emergency Department is lucky to have Kaitlyn. Whenever Kaitlyn is here, she is the charge nurse. No matter how busy it is, Kaitlyn stays calm and collected. She has every patient’s best interest in mind. Her bedside manner is impeccable, and she’s a role model to her colleagues.  Kaitlyn treats her patients kindly and respectfully, and—most importantly—she listens. In addition to her compassion to patients and their family members, Kaitlyn also advocates and listens to her coworkers. She has been a tremendous resource for myself and other colleagues when needed. Kaitlyn will offer solutions for everyone to help each other, in order to provide the best patient care. In addition to medicine, patient care should be the main focus of any health organization. I know Kaitlyn has helped provide our patients with the best possible care they could receive.—Nominated by Devon Morgan

Scott Taylor, Emerson Hospital

Scott demonstrates outstanding psychiatric care, compassion, loyalty, professionalism, and a strong moral compass.—Nominated by Laura Capehart-Hall

Karen Thatcher Birthing Center, Emerson Hospital

Karen was amazing our first night with our newborn son. She did all she could to help me feel comfortable, relaxed, and confident, and provided wonderful support for nursing my son as well. She was so friendly and made a very tough night enjoyable.—Nominated by Kaitlin Sorensen

Damiana Toscano, Emerson Hospital Concord

Damiana is the poster woman for nurses: compassionate, super-efficient, professional, and knowledgeable. She took care of my beloved Jack after he broke his leg at age 94. With Damiana’s TLC and watchful eye, Jack rebounded quickly. Jack walks without his cane now, and is back to a normal life. On Damiana’s last day with us she arrived with a batch of her delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies. We are so grateful to have encountered this remarkable nurse.—Nominated by Joy Bonner

Damiana Toscano, Emerson Hospital Home Care, Emerson Hospital Concord

I have had the pleasure of working with Damiana both professionally and personally. As a colleague, she is always professional and committed to high-quality care. Since December, Damiana has been caring for my mother. It has been difficult for me to trust other health-care providers with my own mother’s care over these past few months. Damiana has consistently provided my mother with compassionate and knowledgeable care. I am very grateful for her calming demeanor and wealth of knowledge.—Nominated by Elissa Huber-Anderson

Sue Walsh, Emerson Hospital

Sue epitomizes what a nurse should be during the COVID-19 crisis. She cared for patients more than she took care of herself, providing them with the utmost care and respect. We need more nurses like Sue, God bless her!—Nominated by Laura Capehart-Hall

Wheeler 4 Nurses, Emerson Hospital

Over the past two years I’ve had numerous abdominal surgeries that required long inpatient stays. With every surgery, I am a patient on Wheeler 4. Every nurse and patient care tech who’s helped take care of me has been phenomenal. They’re all so compassionate and caring. They go out of their way to make sure I’m always comfortable, happy, and have what I need. They always remember my likes and dislikes and details about my family. They were very accommodating when my young son came to visit me (prior to COVID, of course). Every time I’m there, I know I am in good care thanks to the wonderful staff.—Nominated by Tracey Pisano

Garrett Wisuri, Emergency Department, Emerson Hospital

The Emergency Department is a constantly shifting landscape where you can walk in one room to treat a routine matter and then straight to another where it’s a matter of life or death. Garrett navigates the range of issues with an exceptional balance of care, efficiency, and strategy. He handles complicated situations with a deft and steady manner, maintains his sense of humor, and has an astounding memory for clinical information.—Nominated by Sarah Gupta

Emerson Primary Care Associates

Heidi Doreau, Emerson Primary Care

While sitting at my desk at work, I started feeling intense chest pain that ran down my arms and up into my jaw. I was unable to call for help, or even breathe without pain. I tried to stand up to get help but ended up on the floor. Heidi stopped what she was doing, immediately grabbed the EKG machine, and calmed me down even as I clutched my chest in pain. She determined that it was gastric-related and offered me over-the-counter Tums. Within 15 minutes, I was back at my desk. In short, Heidi came to my rescue. She held my hand and told me I was going to be OK, she knew to check the EKG and supply medication, and she explained what was happening to me. I put my trust in her as she served as my advocate—the patient came first.—Nominated by Robyn Brandy

Judy Larson, Emerson Primary Care

Judy Larson treated me as a person first, and helped set me on the health journey that’s right for me—a very humane (and refreshing) approach to medical care, in my view. She deserves to be recognized for her excellence, for taking her patients seriously, for her listening and communication skills, and for following up.—Nominated by Julia Emery


Falmouth Hospital

Ethel Cusolito, Falmouth Hospital

She has maintained a high level of care for her patients. She’s also very supportive of “her” hospital.—Nominated by David Cusolito

Fenway Health

Peg Nelson, Fenway Health

A shout-out to all the selfless nurses, and to all who came out of retirement to help with frontline nursing during this pandemic, for their tireless efforts. The pick of this incredible list is Peg Nelson, for her untiring pursuit of her patients’ health concerns. When the first dose of the vaccine became available, Peg reached out immediately to book my first appointment. I couldn’t believe she thought and cared enough to reach out to me to get my first vaccination. I’m overjoyed at having been in the thoughts of someone as caring, concerned, thoughtful, and helpful as Peg.—Nominated by Ernie Berardinelli

Franciscan Children’s Hospital

Katie Blanch, Franciscan Children’s Hospital

Katie has shown true dedication and leadership in her time working on both the psychiatric and medical units. She’s dedicated, strong-willed, and advocates for every decision to enhance the patient’s experience and care. She exceeds expectations and everyone on either unit trusts her to take control of the most difficult situations. I look up to Katie and eventually want to emulate her in my own work.—Nominated by Liz Warren

Children’s Nursing Team, Franciscan Children’s Hospital

I have never witnessed such dedication and commitment from a team of nurses as I have throughout 2020. Franciscan Children’s Hospital cares for children with complex medical, mental health, and educational needs. It often meets with the response, “I’ve never heard of it.”  After being part of the Franciscan family, I believe everyone needs to hear about it. From the outside it might look like an old building blending into the Brighton landscape, but once inside it’s impossible not to see the significant impact of our programs and immediately be overwhelmed by warmth and compassion.

Last year, as we started to chart an unknown territory filled with fear and anxiety, I watched a team come together like never before. Every nurse throughout Franciscan Children’s, regardless of role, immediately put aside personal challenges and emotions to do everything possible to keep our patients safe. As doors locked, screening tents went up, teams moved remotely, and masks went on, the nurses remained focused on caring for the kids. Every day, a new challenge increased the stress and burden on the nurses: new PPE requirements, contact tracing, visitor restrictions, etc. Despite it all, patients remained top priority. The nursing team’s strength, resilience, and perseverance awed me.

Caring for a fragile population of children and knowing the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 motivated our nurses every day. The result of their work and unwavering dedication? Zero positive patients for COVID-19. This team’s work reflects our mission to help every kid belong, believe, grow, dream, learn, and reach their greatest potential. Our patients and families experience life in a different way thanks to the compassionate and outstanding care they receive at Franciscan Children’s Hospital.—Nominated by Elizabeth Smith

COVID Vaccine Team, Franciscan Children’s Hospital

Franciscan Children’s COVID-19 vaccine team came together quickly to administer 160 vaccinations to staff in one month. Without these nurses, we would not have been able to roll out the vaccination program. “Thank you” is not strong enough for the dedication and compassion this team demonstrated for their fellow co-workers, our patients, and the families we serve.—Nominated by Aimee Lyons

Lauren Kanelos, Franciscan Children’s Hospital

Lauren goes the extra mile for her patients and their families. Best nurse evah!—Nominated by John Barber

Lindsey Kelly, Franciscan Children’s Hospital

Lindsey graduated from Boston College last May. One might think that the nursing job market would be great during a pandemic, but the opposite was true. Most hospitals had hiring freezes.  Lindsey was nevertheless fortunate to get a job working on a pediatric psych floor. She doesn’t talk about it much, but the pandemic has affected children more than we realize. Lindsey works tirelessly caring for these children. Her compassion is abundant and endless. Lindsey is my hero.—Nominated by Doris Kelly


Good Samaritan Medical Center

Emily Owens, Good Samaritan Medical Center

Emily is an ICU nurse at Good Samaritan Medical Center. During the height of COVID-19 pandemic, Emily was six-to-nine months pregnant while fighting the pandemic with the rest of her team of heroes.—Nominated by Ron Owens

Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center

Chekesha Carter, Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center

Nurse Kesha has taken care of my family and me for the past several years. She makes us comfortable. She and I have worked together as a team when it comes down to vaccinating my children, coming up with strategies to get the job done. Kesha puts the patients first! If any of us are experiencing symptoms that can be contagious, she makes sure we are all considered when accessing treatment options with our primary care physician. Kesha is a great advocate for her patients and her work is greatly appreciated. Nursing schools should offer Kesha 101 as a required course! Thank you, Kesha, for all that you do!—Nominated by Angela Isaac

Greystone Farm at Salem

Lisa Collins, Greystone Farm at Salem

When COVID went through the nursing home, Lisa didn’t run away. She stayed and helped limit the spread of the virus and saved many lives this year. She tested every person in the building, and even contracted the virus herself along the way. Her brave stance of staying there when others left is why she should be recognized and saluted.—Nominated by Brian Collins

GROW Associates Inc.

Beth Crowley, GROW Associates Inc.

Beth has provided medical care to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the pandemic. Her individualized attention to each person she serves shows her compassion. Beth has consistently called the individuals in her care weekly to check on their well-being, as well as providing on-site medical care. She talks with their families, caregivers at home, and guardians to ensure their needs are supported. She has been integral to maintaining our compliance with the highest safety standards related to COVID-19. She has been instrumental in writing our protocols, as well as being the lead person with the State Board of Health, Department of Epidemiology, as well as Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services liaisons. Because her communication is contemporaneous and specific to details relating to potential COVID exposure, both internally and with external stakeholders, we have managed to keep the contagion in check. She coordinates information and requirements relating to both COVID and regular medical care among all ancillary caregivers. She advocates for individuals based on their specific medical needs in “person-first” language and philosophy. She abounds in the knowledge of preventative care while also responding to emergent medical situations or crises that happen outside our facility. Through Beth’s efforts, we have maintained the fidelity of our services and the trust of the people we serve. She is honest, consistent, and provides exemplary care. Her work is a significant “strength” in our most recent Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities certification. Simply stated, she is exceptional in every way a nurse can be measured, and her caring and compassion exceed any measurements that could exist. Such qualities are measured in the hearts of the individuals she serves, their families, and our staff.—Nominated by William Wasserman


Harrington HealthCare System

Rachel Denis, Harrington Memorial Hospital, Harrington HealthCare System

Rachel and I have been friends since kindergarten and, at 30 years old, I find that alone to be special. I have been there for the good times in Rachel’s life (like when she married her high school sweetheart), for the not-so-good times (like when she was not accepted into an extremely competitive nursing school), and for every milestone in between, including obtaining our Certified Nursing Assistant certificates together in high school.

In 2019, Rachel had been employed at Harrington Memorial Hospital for just over five years after completing her bachelor’s in nursing when she and her husband welcomed their first baby.  Coming full circle, Harrington is the same hospital Rachel and I did clinical rotations at 15 years ago while training for our CNA certificates. 

I know she wanted to stay home with her family when the COVID-19 virus spread; however, she took on extra shifts when there was a shortage in staffing, knowing how critical it was for her to be at the hospital for her team and the patients. She is beyond compassionate and an advocate for every patient. We are so fortunate to have her to take care of us in more ways than one.—Nominated by Jennifer Kantor

Hathorne Hill

Theresa Birmingham, Hathorne Hill Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation

Terri is a one-of-a-kind human being. She is a compassionate, dedicated and tireless leader. From the start of this pandemic, Terri has led her team, her residents, their families, and her peers through this storm, all while maintaining her strong core of ethics and grace. Terri’s most valued quality is her empathy and her ability to take a pause, hold your hand, and even share a cry—to be quickly followed by a plan to move forward. She is as real as it gets and being a nurse is her superpower. As a colleague and social worker, I am proud to work beside some of the best.—Nominated by Alyson Hall

City of Haverhill

Mary Connolly, Community Health Nurse, City of Haverhill

Not only is Mary the nurse for Haverhill, she is also the director of our Council on Aging. Since COVID-19 she works six or seven days a week, as well as attending evening meetings with city leaders. She helps other cities with vax clinics and assists the homeless. She is smarter than every doctor I’ve ever had, and the most compassionate person I’ve ever known. I don’t know what Haverhill would be like without her.—Nominated by Patricia Costello


Taryn Sheehan, HealthSouth

Taryn went to work every day after the pandemic started. She worked the COVID floor with limited PPE, and eventually got COVID herself. She was (and still is) a single mom. She always put her patients first and kept working even after her health suffered. She never stopped caring. Because COVID kept her out of work for over a month, she struggled with financial issues. Through all of this, she continues to help and care for COVID patients. She’s my hero, she’s my daughter, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my nurse during this pandemic.—Nominated by Susan Marri


Hebrew SeniorLife

1 Berger Team, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

In spring 2020 the 1 Berger unit was hit hard by COVID-19. At that time, we didn’t know what we were dealing with. It was very overwhelming and scary. Both patients and staff contracted the virus. Throughout this very challenging time the 1 Berger team maintained a sense of professionalism and compassion. “Grace under Fire.” There were so many instances where their calming and compassionate behavior made patients feel at ease. As team members had to stay out due to the virus their fellow team members worked extra shifts without hesitation in order to maintain coverage. My comments apply without reservation to each and every member of the 1 Berger nursing team.—Nominated by Robert Treiber

5 Berger Nurses, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

I nominate Judith Eyma, Kathleen McSheffrey, Carline Cenat, Godofredo Torres, Jeanine Chery, and Lorraine Notice as a group. During the early days of COVID-19, working on the memory care floor was like a war zone without weapons. These nurses worked tirelessly to protect their patients. When the family members couldn’t come to visit, these extraordinary nurses gave their patients the same time and love the patients would get from their own family. This group did not think of their own families; they gave all they had to their patients. They deserve to be saluted for what they did then, and continue to do now.—Nominated by Fana Hailemichael

Tatyana Arber, Medical Facility, Hebrew SeniorLife

She also always goes all-out for her patients and advocates for them and the team. She is a strong team player and a strong leader on this floor. She always helps everyone on the floor without hesitating and would do anything for her patients and staff.—Nominated by Lisa Lopes

Stella Asirifi, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Stella is a night shift charge nurse. She’s constantly patient rounding and following staff to make sure the needs of the patients are met and satisfied. Stella is an excellent communicator and makes sure her team members are updated. She epitomizes “24-hour nursing—nursing never sleeps.”—Nominated by Robert Treiber

Nover Baoengan, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Nover is a great team player who is always willing to help where it is needed. He always has a positive attitude and is willing to go the extra mile for the patients and his team members. In times of high stress, Nover maintains compassion and professionalism.—Nominated by Robert Treiber

Stephanie David, Medical Facility, Hebrew SeniorLife

Stephanie is an amazing charge nurse and always supports the floor at all times. She always is there for her patients and patient’s families whenever needed and makes sure that everyone is satisfied and safe at the end of the day. Stephanie is so compassionate with her care that I receive many compliments from families, saying how her love and care has made them so happy and makes them feel like their family members are being well taken care of. She goes over and beyond for her colleagues and her patients at all times. She and I have worked together strongly recently to enforce team-building, and her ideas for the floor have come a long way to ensure all patients receive the highest quality of care here at HSL.—Nominated by Lisa Lopes

Elina Dubovsky, Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care, Hebrew SeniorLife

Elina is my 95-year-old mom’s visiting nurse. Elina treats my mom with respect and dignity, encourages her, listens to and validates her concerns, and clearly explains what treatments she is doing and why. And she calls me after her visits, because I still can’t visit the facility where my mom lives due to COVID-19 restrictions. Elina is everything a nurse should be: competent, kind, efficient, and a great communicator.—Nominated by Paula Angell

Debra Dunlap, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center NewBridge, Hebrew SeniorLife

Deb is one of the hardest-working nurses we have, providing comprehensive nursing care with the utmost compassion for each patient, especially during these very tough times. Her thoroughness and thoughtfulness are just outstanding. She communicates with families every step of the way, which gives families a sense of security and relief, especially during COVID-19, and advocates fiercely for patients to give them the best quality of life possible. Deb truly gives 100 percent all the time.—Nominated by Laura Hunt

Margaret Egbueze, Yetunde Ojo, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Yeti and Margaret are excellent charge nurses who ensure that the basics of patient care are followed up on and that patients are taken care of at the highest level. Whenever there is an emergency, they are right there to make sure the patient is stable and comfortable, because for these two outstanding nurses, “It’s all about the basics.”—Nominated by Robert Treiber

Contrina Glynn, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Perseverance is Trina’s middle name. She perseveres through the many challenges a nurse has to deal with, and this makes her a great nurse. During the spring of 2020, when we were overwhelmed with COVID-19, Trina maintained a high level of professionalism and compassion. There were so many instances when Trina spent 1:1 time with very sick patients to make them feel at ease.—Nominated by Robert Treiber

Susan Graff, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Susan started just one month before the beginning of the pandemic. She came to the organization as a clinical specialist, ready to educate. Little did she know that just six weeks after starting her new job, she’d be teaching staff about COVID-19, PPE, testing, and fit testing, helping to staff the COVID-19 units, and then doing it all over again. She took the challenge with a “can-do” attitude that was upbeat and positive. This had an enormous impact on the staff. She was able to help them smile even during the worst of times. And now, a year later, her leadership and problem-solving skills have resulted in her leading the department. Her resiliency was remarkable, and she became the new employee everyone knew by name as a result of her efforts during this pandemic.—Nominated by Tammy B. Retalic

Janet Graham, Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care, Hebrew SeniorLife

When I think of Janet, what comes to mind is her depth of experience in the home-health setting and the skill that she brings into our patients’ homes. One example occurred last spring, in the early days of COVID-19. We were one of the few home-care agencies performing home COVID testing. We received an urgent call on a Friday afternoon with a request from an MD to have a nurse perform a COVID test on a patient whom we currently had on service. Our call went out to Janet. Even though this was late on a Friday and she had completed her day, she immediately agreed to assist. It took a great deal of collaboration between the MD, our office, and Janet, but were able to arrange for the doctor to hand the test off to Janet at the patient’s home. Janet donned full PPE and obtained the sample while reassuring the patient that she was in good hands. The MD was waiting outside, and transported it to the lab.

Janet did not think twice about assisting. She was calm and comforted this very concerned patient. This is just one of many examples of why Janet should receive this recognition. I am so thankful to have her as part of our team, and our patients are so lucky to have Janet advocate for their well-being.—Nominated by Kim Portello

Kendra Grimes, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center NewBridge, Hebrew SeniorLife

I have had the honor and privilege to work alongside Kendra for the past five years, and continue to be amazed by her work. Kendra has the natural ability to combine her brilliant clinical skills with a great sense of compassion and empathy. This not only applies to her beloved patients, but to their families and our staff as well. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed her work full-throttle, but she operated with even more drive and fervor. She is the clinical gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Kendra.—Nominated by Christina Ypsilantis

Nuray Harkins, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Nuray is a loving, caring, and compassionate nurse who always goes all out for her patients. When working with challenging patients she maintains a high level of patience, professionalism, and “Compassion Beyond Care.”—Nominated by Robert Treiber

Bozhena Kogan, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

I usually consider bedside nurses when I nominate for Salute to Nurses. But it’s the nurse leader who provides guidance and resources to support bedside nurses, particularly during challenging times. The pandemic, despite its challenges, showed who would lead and rise above the challenges. Bozhena rose above the chaos and provided the gentle, but firm, leadership needed to carry her teams. As a result of her rolling up her sleeves, listening, and supporting the bedside nurse during times of great distress, and always leading with calm reassurance, Bozhena made everything possible. Even during a pandemic. She made sure that both quality of care and quality of life were always considered, and above all else, that the nursing staff felt cared about and could do what needed to be done. As a result, the teams are stronger than ever and always ready to move forward.—Nominated by Tammy B. Retalic

Rose Arlene Lagman, Hebrew SeniorLife

She is dedicated and passionate. She loves taking care of her patients in a holistic manner. She’s a good team player and gets along with anybody.—Nominated by Rebecca Needham Prince

Pamela Lambert, Home and Community Based Services, Hebrew SeniorLife

I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Pamela for the past two years. Her clinical expertise and patient advocacy are top-notch. Compliments from her patients, their families, and peers are frequent and well-deserved. She stays kind and calm during intense situations. Because she always has things under control, the atmosphere is always calm. Because Pam is always thorough, she does an exemplary job anticipating her patients’ needs. Therefore, their symptoms are always very well managed.

Pam functions extremely well within an interdisciplinary team, is an excellent patient advocate, and always communicates her patients’ and their families’ needs. Sometimes, as nurses, we feel we can do it all, but she does not hesitate to bring in the appropriate team members. Her dedication to hospice nursing is superb.—Nominated by Matthew Smith

Janet L’Heureux, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Janet is a charge nurse and the ultimate mentor for the future stars of nursing. She has been a nurse for more than 30 years and is compassionate, kind, and very smart. Janet is invaluable in her role as a mentor to our new nurses. She is generous with her time and is invested in their training. I admire her kind and thorough approach to training each new generation of nurses that comes to our unit. Her knowledge and wisdom are invaluable assets. There are many great nurses in the field, but not all make great mentors and great teachers. Janet makes the profession of nursing better, and the care of our patients better too!—Nominated by Robert Treiber

Maliaka Lindsey, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center NewBridge, Hebrew SeniorLife

Maliaka has been with HSL for 27 years, most recently working for our Hinda and Arthur Marcus Research Institute in Roslindale. She came to HRC-NewBridge to work as a nurse on the floor, something she hadn’t done in many, many years. She came to the second floor exactly when we needed her. She is a natural nurse, and this was clear, as her practice seemed absolutely up-to-date and it was hard to believe she hadn’t done floor nursing in that long. Maliaka impressed everyone who observed her excellent clinical and communication skills. She has since been promoted to charge nurse, and she is absolutely making a difference.—Nominated by Laura Hunt

Jacquelyn Mello, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Jackie is relatively new to nursing. She demonstrates excellent clinical competence, professionalism, and compassion. She is an excellent listener and communicator, and always makes sure that patient-centered care is delivered to its highest standards.—Nominated by Robert Treiber

Emilie Metellus

Lindsay Burke, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

Emilie and Lindsay were just a few months off orientation as newly graduated nurses when COVID-19 affected patients on 3 Berenson Allen. They acted like seasoned nurses, doing what they were expected to do on the floor in full PPE attire: communicated with families, provided 1:1 care, exchanged ideas with other team members, administered medication, organized the environment, and complied with doctors’ orders. They worked in tandem. When 3 East was finally converted to the COVID-19 unit, they each embraced the decision with a positive attitude. Most staff aligned and cooperated with their contagious positivity. They agreed to stay overtime on many days just to cover staffing needs. Their actions and way of thinking as professionals were exceptional. I could not ask for better staff during that scary and uncertain time on our floor. I am very proud to nominate Emilie and Lindsay as new—but very competent—nurses!—Nominated by Ross Mangilog

Nadezda Musatova, Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care, Hebrew SeniorLife

Nadya is extremely knowledgeable, professional, and responsive to every need. She is also very personable, reassuring, and brings light into our lives. She is a champion as she advocates for her patients. She takes her patients to heart, and sees to their caregivers as well.—Nominated by Criss Nigro

Candelaria Nichols, Orchard Cove, Hebrew SeniorLife

When a patient lost her husband to COVID-19, Candy focused on the patient’s emotional needs and provided the support that her daughters would have given, if COVID-19 hadn’t prevented them from being with their mother. Day after day for many weeks, Candy’s presence was like family to this patient. Candy comforted her when she was sad and served as a distraction when the grief became too much. Person-centered care comes naturally to Candy as shown in her gentle nature and kindness toward all. Her positivity is compelling and was a ray of sunshine during the darkest days. Candy is truly an example of what an exceptional nurse is, she is genuinely worthy of this recognition.—Nominated by Diane Chisholm

Corazon Panganiban, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Hebrew SeniorLife

Cora gives her patients her all. She goes beyond the call of duty when caring for her patients. They all are sad when she isn’t here; you can see the disappointment in their eyes and voice. She is a very caring and giving person, always ready to help everyone without hesitation. She is also a teaching nurse. It is a pleasure to work for her.—Nominated by Earlene Williams

Zachary Ruby, Hebrew SeniorLife, Newbridge

Zachary Ruby, Hebrew SeniorLife, Newbridge

Zach is a relatively new nurse who has jumped into care during the COVID-19 pandemic with tremendous compassion. When our organization started our first COVID unit at the Roslindale site, he volunteered to go there when there was so much fear and so little was known. Zach does so much to reduce the isolation that patients and families feel. He spends extra time with patients who are in isolation and stuck in their rooms. He has also learned so much about the details of COVID care. When an older woman dying of COVID mentioned how much she loved a certain ice cream, Zach brought it to her on his day off. Sometimes those little things make all the difference in giving comfort. Zach is young, and is already an expert.—Nominated by Lauraine Davidson

Zachary Ruby, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center NewBridge, Hebrew SeniorLife

We had a beloved long-term chronic-care hospital patient transferred to the COVID-19 unit. She was not doing well, and eating very little. She loved chocolate! Especially chocolate ice cream. This patient was lactose-intolerant and we only had vanilla Lactaid and milk-based ice creams on hand. Zachary Ruby drove from his home—a good distance from HRC-NewBridge—with a quart of chocolate Lactaid ice cream for her. This drive took more than three hours out of his day, but that was the furthest from his mind. His only goal was to make this patient happy. He, like so many others, reminds us of the beauty of humanity.—Nominated by Stephanie Ifezue

Sarah Sjostrom, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center NewBridge, Hebrew SeniorLife

Sarah moved out of her home for five or six weeks and stayed in a cottage on our NewBridge campus in order to provide 24/7 coverage during the height of the pandemic. She left her three children in her mother’s care and only saw them via Zoom. Admittedly, she was very concerned for her family due to her front-line work with COVID-19 patients. Thanks to her intense onsite coverage and close clinical leadership, HRC-NewBridge quickly contained the spread and recovered. Sarah was a role model for all the staff, providing education, guidance, and comfort during this stressful and uncharted time. She was able to reach many of the families and manage their fears and anxieties. Sarah gets my vote for her outstanding commitment to leading her staff, her patients, and their families through those difficult days.—Nominated by Mary K. Moscato


Judith Tasang, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center NewBridge, Hebrew SeniorLife

Judith has been with HRC at NewBridge on the Charles since November 2010. I have had the honor of working with her as her nurse manager for the past year. She’s an exceptional nurse who upholds Hebrew SeniorLife’s cultural beliefs at all times. She advocates for her patients as well as her peers. She leads by example and has her patients’ well-being and safety at the forefront of her practice. This is also true for her peers. She always put their needs ahead of her own and ensures that her household runs smoothly with teamwork on her mind. She embodies everything that a nurse should be. She has proven to be a leader this past year, with the pandemic consuming everyone’s professional and personal lives. She never let this difficult year get to her or break her composure. She approaches all with motivation, teamwork, and professionalism—a quality that she has perfected with her practice. Judith is constantly looking for innovative ways to improve the care that she delivers. She approaches everyone with respect and compassion. I constantly hear from family members that they rest assured that their loved ones are well taken care of when Judith is working. She also strives to be a mentor to newer nurses and patient care associates. She takes this on wholeheartedly, knowing that she will have an impact on new staff on her household, to ensure that the best care is given consistently.—Nominated by Joseph Rodriguez

Elizabeth Terhune, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Hebrew SeniorLife

Beth is not only an excellent nurse practitioner who practices evidence-based palliative care, she is also an authentic and caring person who positively impacts her patients, families, and colleagues. Beth has a unique ability to foster relationships, build trust, and alleviate suffering in difficult circumstances. She moves gracefully between settings and shows compassion and understanding to all she encounters. In this difficult year, we appreciated her skill and commitment more than ever.—Nominated by Emily Palmer

Laurie Terp, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale, Hebrew SeniorLife

We all recognize that roles were completely blurred during the pandemic. Nurses, especially, were tasked with performing jobs that needed to be done because there was no one else to do them. Laurie, a nurse who worked with the quality team, understood early on that her skills would be needed in a very different way. Nurses who have critical-thinking and strong problem-solving skills are equipped to respond to the unknown. Laurie led the opening of a COVID-19 unit within a week, equipped with everything needed to care for those seniors who acquired a disease that was still mysterious. Working with fearful staff, she provided support and education and worked beside them for long hours every day to provide the necessary care. By the end of the first surge, her team was proud and knowledgeable. She handed off the oversight of this well-established team to another leader so she could then take on developing the employee testing surveillance program. Starting from scratch with this program, she asked questions, pulled together resources, and created a new team that was well-equipped to take on testing. As she continued to lead the oversight of this essential new program, Laurie pivoted once again to establish the in-house vaccination program.—Nominated by Tammy B. Retalic

Annette White, Medical Facility, Hebrew SeniorLife

She goes the extra mile for her patients and makes sure that all her team members are doing OK. She is always willing to help the floor, no matter the situation. She is the voice for this floor and advocates for all the patients and staff. She is a role model for many of the new nurses and always is there to support the staff.—Nominated by Lisa Lopes

Annette White, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Hebrew SeniorLife

Annette has consistently shown compassion to the patients and families on the Medically Complex Unit at HRC. She always provides excellent nursing care, kindness, and communication to those who need it most.—Nominated by Erin Koenig



Linda Crompton, HMEA

Linda works providing medical care for a number of group homes. This extended pandemic has been very difficult on everyone, but especially the group home population. Linda has been extraordinarily diligent, checking in not only on all of the residents, but on the staff as well. She also has been amazingly creative in helping all group home people to get through these difficult times.—Nominated by John Crompton

Holyoke Medical Center

Stasia Ragoza, Deceased

I would like to nominate all three nurses in my family, starting with my recently departed mom, Stasia Ragoza, who was a nurse at Holyoke Hospital in the late 1950s. Then there’s my wife Rita who, although past retirement age, works 50-60 hours a week as an operating room (OR) nurse at Huntsville Hospital in Alabama, and a vaccine administrator. Even COVID-19 didn’t slow her down much. Finally, our daughter Mallorie works during the week as a OR nurse at Spectrum Health in Michigan and on weekends as a home health aide, caring for multiple special-needs children. Throughout their lives, all three of them have demonstrated continuous and loving care for patients, as well as for all those around them.—Nominated by Mike Ragoza

Home Care Nurses

Ironwood Team, Home Care Nurses

The nurses on the Ironworks team covering the Lynn and Saugus demographic area are true heroes. In the midst of the pandemic, they continue to visit patients in their homes on a routine and regular basis. Many of them are also juggling children with remote learning demands. The nurses show up at work every day with smiles, dealing with whatever obstacles are thrown their way. They work tirelessly to better the lives of their patients and improve their outcomes. The kindness and compassion they continuously display is unmatched. Their goal is to keep their patients at home, where they are most comfortable and safe, out of the acute care setting. I cannot say enough about this wonderful team of nursing professionals. I am honored to work with them.—Nominated by Mary Beth Perry

Bridgid O’Brien, Home Care Nurse

Bridgid is a Yale-educated nurse practitioner who could have worked anywhere she wanted. She put compassion over paycheck and came to our aid, moving in with us for six months and quarantining with our family. She administered 45-60 hours a week of life-saving care for our nine-year-old daughter. She cut herself off from family and friends to maintain strict social distancing to keep our family safe. Bridgid is still with us a year later, and although we know we will soon lose her to a hospital job, we will never forget her sacrifice and commitment, providing compassionate care when the world was upside down.—Nominated by Dawn Oates


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

Jessica Verrochi, Home Health VNA

Despite being pregnant, Jessica Verrochi has been caring for COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic. She administers and organizes their medications, takes their vitals, treats wounds, and communicates with doctors and the pharmacy. One older, non-English-speaking gentleman was sent home from the hospital with an IV, a feeding tube, and no medications or instructions. Jessica spent hours on the telephone with the doctor to arrange medication delivery and taught the family how to care for the feeding tube and deal with the IV, all despite the language barrier. She has helped so many people and I want to salute her.—Nominated by Jennifer Cronin


Mel Barboza, HopeHealth

My husband, Randy, was receiving hospice care for over three months when he died at the age of 56 from metastatic bone cancer. Our hospice nurse was Mel Barbosa, and he was simply amazing. 

We started hospice at the beginning of the pandemic. Mel visited two or three times a week with good humor and kindness; his concern for our safety was paramount. He made us laugh at almost every visit, which may seem like a small thing, but it wasn’t to us. Mel answered questions about death and dying truthfully and thoughtfully, allowing us to digest the information in our own time. He was a tremendous support to our children, explaining what was happening and what to expect, always so patient, never rushed. 

Seeing someone so young and vibrant dying at what should be the middle of his life is difficult to comprehend. I think Mel has a special gift for hospice nursing, but I imagine it does not come without some personal toll. Our family is incredibly lucky to be the recipients of Mel’s outstanding care.—Nominated by Christina Greene

Janeen Bouchard, HopeHealth PediPals, HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center

Our family is in the pediatric palliative care program (PediPals) through HopeHealth. Janeen has been our nurse for the past four years. We meet with her quarterly about our daughter Shelby’s complex health needs. Janeen is always kind and knowledgeable about Shelby’s health and has given us great advice about different things to pursue. But what makes Janeen the best is that she cares for our whole family. When she checks in, she makes sure that Shelby’s siblings, me and my husband are also taking care of ourselves.—Nominated by Nicole Feeney

Janeen Bouchard, HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center

She’s a passionate nurse who loves what she does.—Nominated by Juliana Oliveira


Johnson Elementary School

Cheryl Dilisio, Johnson Elementary School

I’m the part-time team chair in the Special Education Department at the Johnson Elementary School in Nahant. I am happy to attest to the hard work, dedication, and compassion that our school nurse, Cheryl Dilisio, shows to our students, families, teachers, and staff, especially during the pandemic. Thanks largely to Cheryl’s hard work, attention to detail, and consistent communication, the Johnson School has been open with in-person instruction throughout the 2020-21 school year. Cheryl’s responsibilities have grown over this school year and I want her to know we appreciate all that she does.—Nominated by Linda Lehman

Joslin Diabetes Center

Ashley Keating, Joslin Diabetes Center

In 2014, our lives changed forever when our youngest daughter Emma was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We floundered a bit with finding the support we needed to help us navigate this new diagnosis. One of my students had texted me while I was in the hospital to say, “Mrs. Sabourin, I have Type 1 diabetes and everything will be okay. You will eventually go to Joslin Diabetes Center and they will take care of you.” 

I will never forget those words. Three months after the diagnosis, we found ourselves in the amazing care of Dr. Hanono and Nurse Practitioner Ashley Keating, who would become our family lifeline. We found the support we needed; instead of letting diabetes rule her life, Ashley and Dr. Hanono gave our daughter the tools to rule diabetes. 

When our middle daughter was also diagnosed two years later with Type 1 diabetes, I got Sarah up to Joslin Diabetes Center and the doctors and Ashley took over. I cannot imagine anyone with Type 1 diabetes not having a person like Ashley Keating in their lives. Because of the support we have received from Joslin, my girls are thriving.—Nominated by Julia Sabourin

Ashley Keating, Joslin Diabetes Center

Ashley has been with us for several years and has been the best nurse I’ve ever had. She makes me feel like she genuinely wants the best for me. I feel like she understands what I go through and always tries to show me that she does. She makes me want to take the best care of myself. Ashley is very lovely and sweet, I wish the best for her always.—Nominated by Ava Sledzik

Cara Kilroy, Joslin Diabetes Center

This NP at Joslin is incredibly dedicated to being a team player for her patients. Time and time again, Cara solves the never-ending issues that come up when living with a chronic disease. Especially during this pandemic, she has been an amazing support for both physical and mental health.—Nominated by Anthony Gatti

Cara Kilroy, Joslin Diabetes Center

The entire health system has been strained throughout COVID-19, and so many health-care professionals have sacrificed so much to help our communities through. Cara has been a consistent, calm, realistic, and relatable nurse before and during this crisis. She helps patients feel seen, which is essential in managing chronic conditions. Particularly when it was unclear what the risks were to patients early in the pandemic, Cara was approachable, collaborative, and clear about how much she cared about me and all of her patients with diabetes. I am always grateful for her guidance, but especially throughout this pandemic.—Nominated by Sarah Gatti

Katherine Wentzell, Joslin Diabetes Center

I’ve been seeing Katie for years now and she’s always considerate, listens fully, gives honest feedback, does what she promises, and is on top of her work. When I left for college in Texas I could still communicate with her about my diabetes, or new technology recommendations that were always personalized for my needs. She helped me understand what was safe and what wasn’t so that I could get home during the initial months of COVID-19. She has always been so supportive and shows her attention to detail and remembers personal information that she brings up each visit. Especially during the pandemic, she showed her concern with mental health. She’s amazing in so many ways. She has shown me what the perfect health-care provider is with her genuineness, compassion, and attention to me as a person.—Nominated by Sarah Douglas


Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford

Victorine Nduku, Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Victorine always goes the extra mile for her patients by making sure they are not only comfortable but feel safe and happy on the floor with others.—Nominated by Katie Byrd

Lifespan Health System

Chelsey Poisson, Lifespan Health System

Chelsey advocates for the veteran population, always asking why and how, diving deep into their history to find the root cause of their illness. She asks about their experience and exposures, correlating them to the symptoms and acting on that information to help find a cure, a care pathway, or resolution to their problem. She is devoted to educating veterans, service members, and other members of the health-care community about military exposures and how they impact wellness. She’s even started a research-based nonprofit for veterans, called HunterSeven Foundation, that educates about military exposures.—Nominated by Megan Thatford

Lighthouse Nursing Care Center

Nursing Staff, Lighthouse Nursing Care Center

Lighthouse nursing staff has worked beyond their duties and abilities to keep our loved ones safe and well cared-for through the hard times of this past year, and they’ve always done excellent work for their residents.—Nominated by Claudel-Jimenez Family

Lowell General Hospital

Bonnie Boie, Lowell General Hospital

Bonnie isn’t “just a nurse.” She is “THE NURSE,” and she’s made a big difference in my life. My first six months of wound care elsewhere were often painful, and there seemed to be no end in sight. After consulting my doctor, I was sent to Bonnie to see if she could make a difference. Immediately, her compassionate manner and confidence in her ability to help me gave me hope. Her persistence led her to correctly diagnose a rare condition, and I’ve gone from daily wound dressings to once a week. I can definitely see that the end is near (the wounds are nearly healed). Bonnie is the greatest.—Nominated by Jeanne Wagner

Stefanie Karpiniski, Lowell General Hospital

My daughter Stefanie has been a nurse for 11 years at Lowell General, where she’s currently an Operating Room nurse. She is also the service leader for ENT [Otolaryngology]. Stefanie takes great pride in her work and always puts the patient’s safety first.  During the early COVID days, she was redeployed to the Emergency Room, as the Operating Room was not doing surgeries. Stefanie had previous ER experience. She said it was a very tough and emotional experience. However, she was glad she was able to be of assistance to the ER staff. She is back in the OR now. She has a great team and is well-respected by her peers. She is a mother of two young children who works four days a week and is on-call several times a month. Stefanie is proud to be a nurse and she’s always up to date with new procedures and competencies. She’s a great leader as well. She orients many new OR nurses to the department. I admire my daughter’s courage and ability to care for patients. She’s been with her organization a long time, as she started as a junior volunteer and then worked her way up through college. She is incredibly dedicated and loyal.—Nominated by Cheryl Satryb


Maine Medical Center

Jacqulyn Babb, Maine Medical Center Portland

Jacquelyn works in the cardiothoracic ICU, where she takes care of patients after open-heart surgery. She gave of her time to assist and support her grandfather, David Nocella, who was being treated at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. She often traveled from Windham, Maine to Burlington with her grandmother to attend medical meetings and consultations with the cardiac specialist and the pulmonary specialist who were treating her grandfather. Jacquelyn’s expertise enabled her to listen and respond carefully. She was respectful and interacted with them on a professional level that impressed the doctors. They, in turn, respected her, and allowed her to call them with any questions and concerns, or to receive general updates on David’s progress. She could therefore report to the family in clear, concise, non-technical terms exactly what treatment was being provided, why it was being provided, and what the expected effects might be. Her daily communications gave everyone (especially the family) a sense of security. Her updates were plain, without building up hope or causing them to give up hope. The family found her involvement a blessing that took away an unnecessary burden of worry.

After many ups and downsgoing from intensive care and being on a respirator to leaving the ICU to recuperate in a standard room a couple of timesDavid could no longer breathe on his own. His family had to make the difficult decision to take him off of the respirator. Although this story does not have the ending we would hope for, it would have been a heavier burden had it not been for Jacquelyn’s thoughtful and timely support.—Nominated by Suzanne Nocella

Maine Seacoast Mission

Sharon Daley, Maine Seacoast Mission

Living on an outer island off the coast of Maine has given Sharon Daley a first-hand perspective of how vulnerable island people are to COVID-19. Her job as the medical director of the Seacoast Mission provides her with a way to help. Sharon toiled over a mountain of logistical details to successfully deliver COVID vaccines to the isolated population of more than six Maine offshore islands. The lack of immediate access to health care on the islands adds to the stress, worry, and risk of this aging and isolated population. Sharon heroically assembled a crew and collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local hospitals to provide vaccinations to the grateful islanders.—Nominated by Maureen Griffin

Marlborough Public Schools

Halie Lopez, Marlborough Early Childhood Center, Marlborough Public Schools

Halie Lopez, the school nurse at Marlborough Early Childhood Center, exceeds expectations every day. She ensures each child is feeling well and she visits various classrooms to do wellness checks throughout the school day. She is always available for students unless she is in a mandatory meeting. She is so polite and professional to all students and staff. It is with great enthusiasm that I proudly nominate my coworker and school nurse, Halie Lopez, for the Salute to Nurses.—Nominated by Grace Hartwell

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Patricia Quast-French, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

When you think of a nurse, you think of a person who is compassionate and caring. Patty demonstrates compassion, caring, and dedication every day with all of her patients. Recently, a patient broke their ankle and required surgery. Patty knew that the patient lives alone and has no help from family or friends. On her own time, she went to the patient’s house to check on her and to bring a wheelchair to help her get around. This is just one example of her going the extra mile. She has done acts of kindness too numerous to mention. She deserves to be recognized for being an exceptional orthopedic nurse.—Nominated by Anthony Piland

Patricia Quast-French, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Patty is kind and caring. She has as a great sense of humor and goes beyond to help our patients.—Nominated by Geany Rolanti

Elizabeth Reid, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Lizzie is an excellent nurse. She goes above and beyond for all her patients. But the other day we had a patient whose wishes were not to be intubated. The entire staff wanted to intubate, but Lizzie advocated for the patient the entire time, while trying to save her life. She was professional in every sense of the word.—Nominated by Patricia Bergeron

Claire Seguin, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Claire is a longtime patient care advocate in the quality department and has become the director of nursing in our hospital, and now chief operating officer. She is helping patients and nurses as a whole and has impressive skills both with patients and the community to be a leader.—Nominated by Ellen McMahon

Pamela Thomas, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Pamela has been the nurse at our COVID drive-through testing site for the past year, six days a week. I have seen her out there in the freezing cold, blistering heat, and everything in between. Her patients are of all ages, from nervous elders to screaming toddlers, and she handles them all with efficiency, caring, and a little well-placed humor. We are a small critical-access hospital, and I know she has made a difference during these crazy times.—Nominated by Mary Alley

Jean Vinci, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital

Jean is a wonderful outstanding and caring nurse who goes above and behand to help others. She listens patiently and finds the best solution to help all patients she comes across. There’s no one more deserving of recognition than her.—Nominated by Janice Richardson Coke


Massachusetts General Hospital

Angela Abate, Massachusetts General Hospital

At the start of the pandemic, one of Angela’s co-workers, who was pregnant and with a toddler at home, came down with COVID-19 along with her husband. Angela not only organized a fundraiser for the family, she brought her colleague food, took her to doctor appointments, cared for the toddler in her own home while the new baby was being born and the husband was still in the ICU. Angela would say, “It is what colleagues and friends do for one another.”—Nominated by Carol Geyer

Kristen Ambrose, Massachusetts General Hospital

Kristen is a pediatric radiation oncology nurse who brings fun and light to the lives of children getting radiotherapy. She also has deftly trained a new nurse, and is a can-do, exceptionally smart, caregiver. She is fabulous and fun but also great at coordinating the often-difficult schedules of these kids getting chemo, radiation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, neuropsych, and speech. Making the experience fun for kids relieves stress for the parents. She does this day in and day out, no matter how busy we are. You can always count on Kristen. It is a joy and pleasure to work with her.—Nominated by Torunn Yock

Jill Burke, Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jill is the most caring, compassionate, knowledgeable, and effective nurse I have ever had the honor of knowing. Jill managed the care for my husband, Chuck, as he fought multiple myeloma for nine years. In his last days of life, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jill drove from her home on the South Shore to our home in Natick at 11 p.m. to help me provide comfort care and pain relief to Chuck. The nursing agencies and hospice care were short staffed due to illness. Hence, I was alone and desperate for help to make Chuck’s final hours as peaceful and pain-free as possible.—Nominated by A. Sharon Deehan

Janice Camuso, Massachusetts General Hospital

My mom is the best nurse I know. When I was a nervous bride in February 2020, my mom was there every step of the way, calming my nerves. In the end, we had to postpone our wedding, but my mom made the decision easy. She worked her way from nothing to become the lead VAD [ventricular assist device] coordinator at MGH. I believe every single one of her patients would back me up in saying that she’s incredible and simply one of the best at MGH. She’s led teams that saved so many people with heart failure who otherwise wouldn’t be alive today.—Nominated by Kelly Camuso

Jeffrey Carboni, Massachusetts General Hospital

I have never met a more compassionate person. Jeff has willingly volunteered to work directly with COVID-19 patients. Jeff puts his patients before anyone. He is the one who will hold someone’s hand when there is no one else there, he is the one who pushes his patients in a wheelchair in the Boston Marathon. From the first time I met Jeff, I knew he was a one-of-a-kind person. Jeff deserves recognition for all the work he does with his patients, his coworkers, and anyone who crosses his path.—Nominated by Jill Duffy

Kelsey Conley, Massachusetts General Hospital

I have known Kelsey since nursing school, and her commitment to excellent patient care has been notable since the beginning. Kelsey works in the trauma ICU, which was designated the COVID-19 ICU at the beginning of the pandemic. Though this initially caused fear and anxiety for all, Kelsey took it in stride and continued providing excellent patient care throughout the first, second, and third waves of the virus. Kelsey also serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Counsel, where they champion efforts to improve equity both within the health-care workforce and in patient care. Kelsey is an excellent nurse whose humility prevents them from getting the recognition they deserve. We salute you, Kelsey!—Nominated by Emily Sullivan-Miller

Kristine Cote, Massachusetts General Hospital

Kristine is a seasoned nursing professional who has mentored many new nurses. Even before the pandemic, she pivoted from working with strictly surgical patients to medical patients on her unit. From the start of the pandemic, she coached nurses who were frightened to come to work. Every day, she put her own needs and fears aside to be present for her colleagues and patients. As she led by example, Kristine embodied all the characteristics of nursing: knowledgeable, caring, patient, compassionate, and understanding. Kristine is a “nurse’s nurse,” the person you want standing over your bed caring for you or your family.—Nominated by Christine Saba

Jackie Covino, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jackie is a very caring nurse. She stepped up during the pandemic and went to MGH to help in the COVID-19 unit. She is always available to all her family and friends when they call with any health concerns. On top of working every day, she also took time to take care of her brother-in-law, who was ill at home. With hospice care, Jackie spent nights with her sister and was always there to help. She lost her brother-in-law in February. On top of all this, she has four kids, and two of them got COVID-19. Her husband is a policeman so he also was an essential worker. Jackie is extremely caring and always there if you need her.—Nominated by Patty Anderson

Jyl Dedier, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jyl Dedier, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jyl is compassionate and professional. Her primary specialty is oncology, but she also comforts patients at my office, doing IV infusions and laser therapies. She is confident and strong, yet gentle and caring. Her clinical judgment and understanding of the patients’ needs is impeccable. She is beautiful inside and out—a noble, God-fearing woman who’s also an exceptional mother, wife, and daughter! There’s no one better.—Nominated by Dianne Quibell

Sophia DeNucci, Massachusetts General Hospital

Sophia, a junior nursing school student from the University of Connecticut, spent her entire summer volunteering and working with COVID-19 patients at MGH. Her dedication and passion toward everyone she worked with deserves recognition. Her coworkers and all her patients were totally enamored both with her work ethic and her desire to help these very ill patients. – Nominated by Kevin Marden

Stephanie Dumas, Massachusetts General Hospital

Most of Stephanie’s patients in this past year have not been in a situation to nominate nurses. They probably weren’t aware of the care that was offered as they fought for their lives.

Nurses carry the burden of seeing death’s menace, from the virus that ripped through their work environment to the worry of carrying it home to loved ones. While I don’t know the details of Stephanie’s experience, what I do know is that the battle that she and her colleagues endured was unimaginable. It was a war zone. As an ICU nurse, she was temporarily deployed to a new floor, underequipped and understaffed and left to figure out how to make it through the devastation. 

Nurses are a special breedthey care for the ill and injured, and leave their floor focused on the reward of having made a difference. With the pandemic, any reward they might have occasionally found was lost as they watched people die, day after day. In addition to caring for their patients, nurses connected with the patient’s loved ones at a most traumatic time. From a cellphone or tablet, nurses cared for the family members. These hard-working nurses have the same inner lives we havethey are only human. If this pandemic has shaken us inside, imagine how it has ripped the frontline nurses.

Most of us can now see a light at the end of the tunnel as the vaccine rolls out and we get back to normal. I can only hope that Stephanie, her colleagues and friends, and all other frontline nurses can heal from the scars they endured from this pandemic.—Nominated by Penny Dumas

Laurie Eschelweck, Avon Comprehensive Breast Evaluation Center, Massachusetts General Hospital

My mother died of breast cancer, so for the past several years I’ve agonized while waiting for the results of my annual mammogram, having convinced myself that this was the year the results were positive. This year, when I explained the situation to mammography technician Laurie Eschelweck, she quietly replied that she would see what she could do. After the exam she asked if I could wait a few moments. I said that of course I could. Shortly thereafter, the radiologist took me aside to assure me that the results were normal, and they would see me next year. I cannot explain how relieved and grateful I was that Laurie compassionately listened to my request and enabled me to leave the facility without having to worry for a week or more about the results.—Nominated by Barbara Madden

Teresa Farrow, Massachusetts General Hospital

Teresa is an oncology nurse who had to suit up from head to toe to treat cancer patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were suffering daily with not one, but two life-ending health issues. She, and other nurses, traveled from suburbia to the hospital daily, without a break, to ease their patients’ pain and discomfort. Meanwhile, Theresa is a single parent with three teenagers, and she was seriously concerned that her children had to be schooled online and could only attend classes one day a week. And yet, she loves her job.—Nominated by John Farrow

Lauren Fitzgerald, Massachusetts General Hospital

My godchild was reassigned from Interventional Radiology to COVID care at MGH and has remained strong and steadfast through the entire pandemic, doing whatever is asked of her.—Nominated by Julie Pappas

Jessica Freitas, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jessica’s an extremely smart and compassionate COVID-19 hotline nurse with emergency room training.—Nominated by Richard Splaine

Claire Gardner, Massachusetts General Hospital

Claire grew up across the street from us here in Ipswich. She was a “doer” right from the start, with a generous heart and warm personality. Currently she’s a “rookie nurse” at MGH, who took a vacation day to volunteer at a local COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Claire was involved in vaccinating 1,100 people that day, which rivals the numbers posted at some of the larger sites. Always thinking of others first, Claire is a credit to her profession.—Nominated by Connie Millard 

Kate Hehn, Massachusetts General Hospital

As an older individual (81), I’ve had my share of medical problems that have brought me under the care of many great nurses. I recently spent time at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where I met and was cared for by Kate Hehn, the best nurse I have ever had. From the beginning of her first shift as my nurse, I was impressed with her professionalism, her open and friendly demeanor, her concern for not only my health, butjust as important to me and most other patientsmy comfort. Even during the busiest time on her station, I felt that she made the effort to let me and the other patients know and feel we were not ignored. In fact, my time under her care left me feeling that I was almost under the care of a member of my family.—Nominated by Joseph Boro

Nadage Joseph-Vital, White 8, Massachusetts General Hospital 

“Nady” found me at my rock bottom at 10 p.m. on Martin Luther King Day, when I was admitted to her wing—having arrived in the ER at 9 a.m. that morning. I mentioned that I’d missed dinner. Talk about above and beyond. She rustled up toast and peanut butter and hot tea. It was perfect. Nady later told me she came to the United States at 12 years old and has been with MGH for 21-plus years. Nady, I will never forget you or the rest of the awesome nurses on MGH White 8.—Nominated by Paul Fehrenbach

Jennifer Lisciotti, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jennifer has done an outstanding amount of work throughout the pandemic. As an oncology nurse, she has helped thousands of people by giving them their COVID-19 vaccinations. She has been constantly working overtime in order to keep up with the doses of vaccines. As my mother, Jennifer serves as a huge role model to me—I aspire to be like her. She gives me hope regarding what I, a college student, can do in the future. Thank you for everything you do, Mom, and to everyone in the medical field. You all do amazing things!—Nominated by Lauren Lisciotti

Jennifer Lisciotti, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jennifer Lisciotti is a spectacular nurse with such a caring and warming heart. She is nonjudgmental, which makes her one of the most approachable nurses I have ever met. She truly cares about the well-being of not only her patients, but also her family and friends.—Nominated by Victoria Thibeault

Shauna Martin, Lunder 9, Massachusetts General Hospital

Shauna Martin, Lunder 9, Massachusetts General Hospital

Just before last Christmas, my grandmother was admitted to Lunder 9, which happens to be the floor I completed my senior clinical rotation on in 2018 as a Boston College nursing student. With no visitors allowed due to COVID-19 precautions, l reached out to my former preceptor and fellow BC graduate Shauna Martin to see if she might be working around the holidays. I hoped that she could lay eyes on my “Mimi” while we couldn’t spend time at her bedside ourselves.

To the great relief of my family and myself, and to the great benefit of my grandmother, Shauna was not only working, but expressed the utmost devotion to my grandmother’s care. Her attentiveness to my grandmother’s needs allowed her to feel safe and known while she spent the Christmas season removed from family.

As a nurse now working in New York, I’ve always felt lucky to have been trained by Shauna, as she demonstrates great aptitude and grace in caring for her patients. I never imagined that Shauna would one day be caring for my own family member, but I am now more grateful than ever for her strength in her vocation. Mass General has been revered and loved by my family for many years now, and Shauna exemplifies the excellence and kindness MGH nurses provide their patients every single day. Thank you, Shauna, from your former student, from my family, and from my Mimi.—Nominated by Kate Mignosa

Medical Infusion Center Nurses, Massachusetts General Hospital

The Medical Infusion Center at MGH is staffed by a core group of 12 nurses. Each nurse continues to work with patients with a variety of immunocompromising diseases, coupled with medicines that weaken their immune systems. Most had to come in for their infusion to remain in remission. But the fear of developing COVID-19 was paramount to all of them. The nurses often became their only contact during the height of the pandemic. Patients have to come appointments alone, so the staff became their primary support system. We celebrated 90th birthday parties and an impromptu Christmas exchange between infusion-made friends. For many, the unit has become their family. Had we closed during the pandemic, not having access to lifesaving infusions could mean development or advancement of debilitating chronic disease, such as multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, ALS, rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn’s disease. The staff continues to ease anxiety and support every patient. It is an honor to nominate this group of individuals who often go unseen.—Nominated by Meg White


Annette Moore, Massachusetts General Hospital

I have seen Annette work with countless patients. Her nursing skills are unimpeachable. Her patient dedication is unbounded. Her work is consistently reliable. Her compassion and caring, inspiring. As an example, she provided an office haircut to a patient who came back to our office in the fall, after months of sequestration. He could barely get out to check his wounds, much less get a haircut. All his food came from Meals on Wheels. Annette gave the needed trim using the small scissors from a suture removal set. It took a while, but the patient felt much better knowing that he was not so shabby.—Nominated by John Goodson

Heidi Nichols-Baldacci, Massachusetts General Hospital

Heidi has served families across the Northeast for nearly four decades, most recently as a scholar nurse at MGH. Providing compassionate care for the smallest and sickest babies in the special care/newborn intensive care unit, Heidi’s unfailing dedication to the highest standards in her profession and commitment to mentorship of younger nurses was evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Heidi is beloved by her patients and families, serving as an informal godmother to countless children and their appreciative parents who placed their hopes and faith in her steady hands.—Nominated by Marlena Baldacci

Amy O’Boyle, Massachusetts General Hospital

Amy  and the nurses at MGH Ellis Post-anesthesia Care Unit 3 and Ellis Floor 7 are the most outstanding nurses in the state. My father was having a very extensive Whipple surgery during COVID-19, and it is so hard when you can’t be with your family 24/7.  I was so comforted when Amy and every other nurse answered the phone when I called for updates. You could hear the compassion in their voices, and they always knew immediately every vital sign I asked about and shared all medical updates. Their expertise is second to none, and when coupled with their nurturing and compassionate care makes the nurses of MGH Ellis 3 and Ellis 7and especially Amy O’Boylethe best in the state. I know they not only did this for my dad but for every patient in the most trying time in medical history. And I honestly believe it helped thousands of patients recover and live during COVID. We are abundantly grateful.—Nominated by Gretchen Manning

Alisa Perry, Massachusetts General Hospital

Alisa is an exceptional nurse practitioner who calmly, compassionately, and competently cares for both pediatric heme/oncology patients and radiation oncology patients. Children come from all over New England, the United States, and other countries for treatment and Alisa deftly navigates their various social and financial challenges to make sure they have all the supportive medications they need from home (when insurance doesn’t allow them to fill prescriptions here.) She helps to orchestrate communication between the home team and the multidisciplinary team here. She is always putting in extra hours and helping out whenever needed, even though it isn’t in her job description. She is Wonder Woman with nursing and nurse practitioner skills. She has done all this in the pandemic, when everything is more difficult. She is a treasure and a gem and has really improved the coordination and quality of care we are able to offer. Patients, staff, and fellow nurses love her. She is an unassuming powerhouse.—Nominated by Torunn Yock

Krista Rubin, Massachusetts General Hospital

Cancer stinks, but thanks to nurses like Krista, going to the hospital isn’t so bad. Krista is always smiling, caring, and compassionate. Her smile made even the worst days as a cancer patient better. Thank you, Krista, for helping me become a cancer survivor.—Nominated by Joanie Cullinan

Meredith Salony, ICU, Massachusetts General Hospital

Meredith has never complained about the work, even through in the beginning PPE was in short supply. She spent many shifts with multiple patients who were at the end of life. Once again, no complaining. In the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, she truly believed that she and her fellow nurses were in great health danger. After each shift she returned home, left her clothes outside, and went immediately to the shower. This confused her two toddler sons, who would see mom enter the house after a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift with no contact. They would position themselves outside of the bathroom door, crying for their mom. Throughout this past year, this dedicated professional and amazing mom has maintained a dual life: ICU nurse, and loving mother and wife. I know that my son and grandsons are very proud of her, and it is on their behalf that I nominate Meredith for her quiet heroism, her tenacity and her commitment to her patients. Despite her personal anguish, she always kept the work/family life balance alive and well in her home.—Nominated by Christine McGrath


Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Julie Conlin, Mass General Brigham, Boston

All of the nurses on Yawkey Center Infusion Unit 8E are extremely dedicated to assisting patients in whatever way they can, and their friendly smiles help all who come in for treatment. 

My nurse, Julie Conlin, goes out of her way to always ask how I’m doing, and is more than willing to take the time to answer my questions and suggest helpful solutions. The infusion unit is a very busy place, but she somehow finds time to have a quick chat and discuss any issues you might have. She also is willing to check with the doctor when necessary. Julie looks for alternatives that might work better on whatever the issues are that day. She reviews your medications and evaluates how they are working. All of these traits, plus her natural, friendly personality, help so much. She is a true professional who performs a difficult job and still has a passion for it—not an easy thing by any means. I truly appreciate her dedication. MGB is lucky to employ her.—Nominated by Diane Connors

Gina Coughlin, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Gina treated my husband for months and months and he was always happy to see her. She was kind, calm, compassionate, efficient, and unflappable. Under very difficult circumstances, she always had a quiet and reassuring demeanor. She even arranged a birthday party for him one day during chemo, knowing how much he loved cake. She appreciated his dry sense of humor and they shared their love of dogs. Quite frankly, though, every single nurse in the cancer care center was spectacularour unsung heroes. I will never forget them for their kindness and care. All of them deserve our gratitude.—Nominated by Shelly Levine

Mary McGlynn, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Mary McGlynn goes the extra mile for our Radiation Oncology patients every day. She knows every detail of their medical care and reaches out directly to other members of their care team when appropriate. She makes sure patients are referred to physical therapy when they could use some help improving mobility or reducing swelling. Just last week, she noticed that one of our cancer patients needed some help financially during a difficult time, and she provided her with gift cards for basic needs. In the past, she arranged for free clothing for a patient who had no winter clothes. For another patient who had unexpectedly high blood pressure unrelated to her cancer treatment here, she contacted the primary care physician and sent the patient directly over to his office. During the same week, she spent 45 minutes reassuring an anxious patient on the phone. Mary is not only an exceptionally skilled nurse; she constantly thinks about the whole patient. She goes to bat for each person, depending on the circumstances, and treats each patient as a beloved family member.—Nominated by Gayle Tillman


McLean Hospital

Paula Bolton, McLean Hospital

Paula Bolton, McLean Hospital

In psychiatry, our patients can often be misunderstood or forgotten. When the state began rolling out vaccine, individuals with mental health issues were not identified as high priority. Paula staunchly advocated on behalf of our patientsmany of whom are among the most vulnerable, because individuals with a schizophrenia-spectrum diagnosis are nearly three times more likely to die from coronavirus complications. She was able to secure vaccine for them. I have worked closely with Paula over the last year, and I have never met a more compassionate and passionate nurse, who gives her patients and her colleagues everything she can. I wholeheartedly believe that without Paula’s dedication, the past year would have been a lot more challenging for all of us.—Nominated by Adriana Bobinchock

Paula Bolton, McLean Hospital

Paula led McLean through the pandemic, serving as the infection control expert for all hospital programs. She has worked tirelessly since the moment it was announced that we would be retooling the hospital for this crisis. Her public health knowledge, experience, tenacity, and communication skills kept McLean on top of the virus and minimized the outbreaks among patients and staff. We all appreciate her expertise and commitment to McLean.—Nominated by Cecelia O’Neal

Kate Kieran, McLean Hospital

Kate considers many aspects of a person and treats all with respect, kindness, and wisdom. She advocates for inclusive language and asks questions to be more socially responsive. Kate volunteered to be at the hospital during weekends in the wake of COVID-19. She considered ways to make the building as safe as possible while keeping up with current science. She adapts quickly and responds to crises with clarity. I looked forward to talking with Kate about the news, as she would always add another perspective.—Nominated by Shannon Dover

Medford Public Schools

Karen Breen, McGlynn Middle School, Medford Public Schools

My mother is a school nurse in one of Medford’s highest-needs school, the McGlynn, which serves over 1,000 students. When school went remote, my mom, who is also a caregiver for my brother who is on the Autism spectrum, volunteered at the school to ensure that those students who rely on school not just for education, but for their meals as well, were taken care of. The care and commitment she shows to her students is second to none. When things were uncertain, they knew that, even with school not physically in session, they could show up at the school and receive food from a trusted advocatemy mom. She now is on the front lines, testing hundreds of students and teachers and managing the massive undertaking of COVID in an urban school.—Nominated by Natalie Breen

Laurie Borriello, Karen Breen, Carla Constanza, Pat Cooney, Peggy Donahue, Ashley Donnelly, Brittany Gunn, Avery Hines, Breanna Hughes, Allison MacGilvray, Stephanie McCann, Karen Roberto, Jennifer Silva, School Nurses, Medford Public Schools

The school year 2020-21 brought many challenges to school nurses. Under the veil of COVID, they put aside their traditional community pediatrics-based role and shouldered public health surveillance, contact tracing, and education. The school nurses wrote, rewrote, and interpreted COVID policies and protocols according to the frequent updates provided by the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Elementary and Secondary Education. They organized satellite nurses’ offices and provided quarantine observation for ill students while they waited for dismissal home. 

When school started in mid-September, the school nurses educated staff and students about key COVID mitigation strategies such as the use of face masks, social distancing, and hand washing. Virtual classrooms were developed to provide information to parents about new immunization mandates, proper use of face masks, signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and quarantine procedures. Accurate COVID information was crucial to help allay fears of teachers, students, and families as they returned to hybrid learning. Compassion was evident in every interaction with anxious staff, students, and parents. The Medford school nurses’ most significant accomplishment was implementing PCR testing for staff and students, which occurred twice a week. 

Working in partnership with the City of Medford Board of Health, Tufts University, and Northeastern University School of Nursing, the school nurses led efforts to collect an average of 2,000 tests per week. They identified asymptomatic positive cases and completed contact tracing during evenings and weekends. As a result, in-school transmission of COVID-19 in the Medford Public Schools remained very low, with a positivity rate of just 0.4-0.5 percent. The program became a model for other districts across the Commonwealth. As more students returned to hybrid learning, the nurses seamlessly folded their traditional school nursing responsibilities back into their public health regime. Medford school nurses clearly demonstrated their investment in and impact on student learning and school community wellness. As their supervisor, I am extremely proud of their professionalism, enthusiasm, and commitment to the health and welfare of the Medford school community.—Nominated by Toni B. Wray


MelroseWakefield Hospital

Sharon Adler, MelroseWakefield Hospital

When I needed some information, Sharon was right there with a smile and very eager to assist. The information she gave me was quite valuable and helpful. She truly has a gift of knowledge in her vocation.—Nominated by Richard Perlman

Marian Barry-Ravagni, MelroseWakefield Hospital

From the first time I met Marian, she immediately became instrumental to my physical and mental recovery. Not only were her nursing skills exceptional, but she also cared for the part of me that was traumatized by having a colostomy bag. Marian gave me hope. She was an angel in my life for many, many months. Throughout the next two years, I had multiple issues and complications from various surgeries, and often had to be attended to by visiting nurses. Lucky for me, Marian was a big part of that team. Unfortunately, I ended up having a huge complication and ended up with a wound VAC [vacuum assisted closure]. Once again, Marian was there for me, even when she couldn’t be there physically. She came through COVID, she was always willing to change her schedule if I needed her, she was always available for me in one way or another. To say that Marian is an exceptional nurse doesn’t do justice to all of what Marian is. She is more than just a nurse, she is an angel.—Nominated by Elisa Langston

Nathalie Calderon, MelroseWakefield Hospital

The computer system was down and a patient urgently needed blood transfusion. The standard blood transfusion consent was missing from the chart. Nathalie recognized the patient’s need, communicated with the attending physician and her superiors, and managed to obtain the necessary consent using telemedicine. Her professionalism was outstanding. —Nominated by Richard Perlman

Lizabeth Chockley, MelroseWakefield Hospital

Beth works with first-time parents in the community. She is trained as a pediatric nurse and has spent her career caring for children and families. She oversees three para-professional home visitors, a supervisor, and a support person. She supports her team though many challenging situations, especially in this year as staff needed to work remotely, home visits became WhatsApp, and groups were through Zoom. Despite these changes, Beth found time to support the needs of the staff as well as the families enrolled in her program. Her compassion and thoughtful leadership have been evident throughout these long months. She is available to her staff and supervisor for whatever is needed, often working longer hours to complete her own duties. For some of the most challenging families, Beth provides a safe harbor for the home visitor and supervisor to help them support families through unexpected pregnancy loss, family abandonment, gang involvement, and other harsh realities in the lives of young parents. Beth is trusted by her staff, peers, and colleagues alike. Her rich years of experience make her an amazing colleague; she readily shares her time, talent, and knowledge. There is no better advocate for these young families. She coaches, mentors, and takes great pride in their success. Many of the program graduates now work as nurses, community leaders, and in social service agencies. Beth’s guidance and nursing leadership truly makes a difference every day.—Nominated by Eileen Dern

Patricia Conway, MelroseWakefield Healthcare

Pat is the occupational health nurse here. She has always done a great job, but for the past year she was a one-woman department, taking on the Herculean task of caring for all our employees through the pandemic. I cannot stress enough what a fabulous job she did in every aspect of her care and interactions. Through fit testing, assessment for COVID-19, tracking exposures, and so much more, Pat always has patience, attention to detail, compassion, and a smile. I have no idea how she did all that she did this past year. She is truly amazing.—Nominated by Mary Anne Thompson

Allison Hamner, MelroseWakefield Hospital ok jm

Allie has climbed the nursing ranks at MelroseWakefield, from aide to ICU to (now) educator at the school of nursing. In the past year she has advocated for her students’ education and safety while adjusting her schedule and style to give them the best. She volunteered countless hours, enthusiastically vaccinating many of her colleagues for the novel coronavirus. During both surges (and in between), she went back to bedside to provide top-notch care for the sickest of the sick while supporting her colleagues. Allie is the ideal nurse.—Nominated by Kristen Aprile

Michelle Harrington, MelroseWakefield Hospital

Michelle is my nurse manager and of a step-down ICU, ICU, and cardiac catheter lab. Throughout the pandemic, she never hesitated to take patient assignments to help the nursing staff. She would come in at all hours, helping with patient care, giving emotional support to the nursing staff, and providing excellent care to the patients. She always facilitated calls between the patients and their families, including FaceTime when available. Her compassion and support for the staff and patients is unparalleled.—Nominated by Andrea Lopez

Michelle Harrington, MelroseWakefield Hospital

Michelle is director at MelroseWakefield Hospital. But you won’t find her sitting in her office. She is at someone’s bedside—helping a nurse, helping a patient, teaching, demonstrating, comforting, rounding, medicating, or reviving. Michelle has the well-earned reputation as a hard worker and true leader. She leads by example and displays professionalism and competence at every turn. It is a privilege to be on her team and to watch her work. Michelle worked tirelessly through the COVID-19 peak—nights and weekends, too! She never let her staff down and was a constant presence and support for them while countless patients suffered and perished. It is an honor to Salute her publicly. Michelle, thank you!—Nominated by Sara Schreiner

Nursing Staff, MelroseWakefield Hospital

I cannot select only one nurse. They worked as a team in rotation to take care of me in delivering my baby in January 2020. It was my first time giving birth. We weren’t in a serious COVID-19 phase yet, but I remember watching a local reporter describe how this virus could potentially spread around Boston. 

All of the nurses were cheerful, caring, and very professional. One night, one of the nurses offered to leave me alone for few hours while she looked after my newborn. It was very soothing—for a few special hours I didn’t have to pay attention to my baby and could have a deep sleep. I am sure she could offer that because other nurses were covering for her, so it is certainly teamwork. I will choose MelroseWakefield Hospital again if I have a second child, so they can look after me, my baby, and my husband.—Nominated by Kanako Deyrup

Angela Panevino, MelroseWakefield Hospital

I have seen Angela and the hard work she does. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has been working very hard to care for COVID-19 patients by making their well-being her top priority. She is selfless and very caring. Even though there is a charge nurse for her floor, many nurses come to Angela for assistance because she’s a veteran nurse. Angela never cuts corners and does not only what is right, but exceeds that by working back-to-back 12-hour shifts to protect our community.—Nominated by Niccolo DeSilva

Angela Panevino, MelroseWakefield Hospital

Trusted care.—Nominated by Donna Rosato

Kimberly Principato, MelroseWakefield Hospital

Kim stepped up as a leader during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide staffing in the MelroseWakefield ICU. She has worked there for years in many capacities, but her skill, dedication, passion, and compassion shone brightly in an otherwise dark time. Working closely with all her brave, intelligent, quick-witted, and empathetic colleagues on the nursing, respiratory, and therapy teams, she charged through each surge. She’s an asset to the unit.—Nominated by Kristen Aprile


Michael J. Perkins Elementary School

Julianne Ahearn, School Nurse, Michael J. Perkins Elementary School

In ordinary times, Julianne kindly and efficiently attends to a broad spectrum of need, from those of young children looking for a smiling face in the midst of a school day to more significant and complex physical and emotional needs of the entire communitystudents, families, and staff. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen Julianne take on an incredible leadership role in the most trying of circumstances. Nurse Ahearn manages to attend every training, wade through CDC and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidance, listen to staff and community fears, and come up with clear, steady advice. Julianne offers strong solutions to problems, and advocates effectively with school leaders for what the community needs to make it through to the other side of this incredibly trying time in our collective history. We are all so grateful to her for always doing all of this in the kindest and calmest of ways.—Nominated by Nancy O’Malley

Milford Regional Medical Center

Denise Celli, Whitinsville Medical Center, Milford Regional Medical Center

A nurse educator named Denise was my first mentor as a young nurse. I was new to oncology nursing, and she was the unit-based educator. Denise had a master’s degree in nursing education and was a certified oncology nurse. She was a clinical and subject-matter expert who demonstrated her love for oncology, oncology patients, and oncology nurses. When something new came to the unit, she provided classes to ensure that staff understood the changes in practice, then followed up with 1:1 coaching. She made sure that all staff understood and felt comfortable with the changes.  Denise responded to patients, families, and staff alike with professionalism and caring. The doctors respected Denise. She listened to and worked with them to develop safe and caring practice. Denise was professional and inspiring, provided clear and directive feedback, and focused on learning.

Denise inspired the nurses to become certified in oncology. She worked with a collaborative of Boston-area hospitals to teach chemotherapy administration and more. Denise communicated a shared responsibility for nursing leaders to help all nurses learn, and how important it is to share expertise and knowledge. I completed the certification exam in oncology nursing and then went on to complete a master’s in nursing education. Denise was inspiring. Denise was committed to improving nursing practice and articulated the importance of becoming certified. Denise used coaching in team-building, change management, and professional development.

She worked with the international professional nursing organization Oncology Nursing Society.  This professional organization had patient and staff educational materials. One of these was entitled “Putting Evidence into Practice (PEP).” Although these practices have developed over time, they used systematic reviews, original research, and clinical trials. This was the first time I had seen nursing leaders publish clinical information and explain the research. PEP noted the recommendations and unsubstantiated treatment options. Patients and families with cancer sometimes come to treatment with ideas they’ve read about, so having access to the research that does or doesn’t support their information is helpful. Denise helped us create nursing care plans based on this same kind of evidence-based practice. She ensured that care was aligned with our professional organization.—Nominated by Fiona McCaughan

Millis Public Schools

Diane Danehy, Millis Public Schools

Thanks to the professionalism, hard work, and long hours of our nursing team—and especially of Diane Danehy, our head nurse—the Millis Public Schools have been able to serve students well in a hybrid model for most of the pandemic. Diane has been an incredible support to students, staff, and families, and has done so with a smile throughout the pandemic. She has trained staff, served students, and provided valuable information to everyone, thus ensuring that there is no transmission of the virus in the schools. She collaborates daily with the Millis Department of Public Health nurses to do contact tracing and ensure that everyone remains as safe as possible. She was instrumental in planning and leading safety efforts to ensure the health and wellness of the school community. During her long hours of work, I have never heard her utter one negative word. She often wears fun and inspirational sayings and jokes with everyone to help us through these difficult times. The entire Millis community has relied on Diane and her colleagues.—Nominated by Nancy Gustafson

Minute Man Arc

Carol Lesneski, Minute Man Arc

Imagine you have a family of 43 to care for, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some of them have major health issues, some of them can’t clearly communicate how they feel, some of them caught COVID-19. All of them depend on you to care for their medical needs. You care for them, you evaluate them, you send them to the hospital when they need emergency treatment. That’s Carol’s job. Throughout the pandemic, Carol monitored everyone’s temperatures and oxygen levels, went to homes to provide nursing care for those who were sick or needed further evaluation, and communicated with doctors, families, house staff, and social workers about everyone’s health concerns. Even when people were positive for COVID-19, Carol was there to provide the care they needed. Carol’s gentleness, kindness, and compassion are evident in all she does for her “family.” Nursing is a nurturing profession, and all nurses are to be held in high esteem, but among her peers, Carol is Supernurse.—Nominated by Jean Goldsberry

Minuteman Regional High School

Maureen Berry

Mo is a compassionate and knowledgeable hospital nurse with intensive care and orthopedic expertise. She migrated her practice to education and achieved success with students in health occupations. Ask her about the “heart” and you will pique her interest.—Nominated by Mike Berry


Morton Hospital

Lillia Ellison-Parrott, Morton Hospital

Lillia worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines as an ER nurse. Every time she would take care of a COVID patient, it was with utmost compassion and dignity. She FaceTimed her patients’ loved ones and held hands when her patients didn’t make it home. She deserves all the recognition in the world.—Nominated by Courtney Whyte

Ashley Germaine, Morton Hospital

Ashley demonstrates the utmost compassion and dedication for her patients.—Nominated by Luisa Cerar

Ashley Germaine, Morton Hospital

Well, she’s my daughter. Ashley is a single mom of three children. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2020, she helped with doctor appointments, rides, shopping, housework, and more. She’s one hard-working nurse.—Nominated by Gail MacLean

Mount Auburn Hospital

Phylis Butler, Mount Auburn Hospital

Phylis Butler is a legend at Mount Auburn Hospital, working in labor and delivery for 37 years. She delivered hundreds of babies over many decades, including pandemic babies. She retired on Dec. 4, 2020. In her career she helped thousands of women in the Cambridge area and taught hundreds of nurses. Phylis could have retired when the pandemic started, but she wanted to stay to help all the moms who were coming through the door alone because of COVID-19 rules. She inspired every new mom and every nurse. She stayed way longer than expected to help everyone through the pandemic.—Nominated by Elizabeth Dragone

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