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2021 Salute to Nurses letters: Hospitals N-R

Neponset Valley Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Lauri Smassinow, Neponset Valley Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Lauri was born premature and her mother is a nurse-midwife. She was raised in New York and went to college in Western Massachusetts for her nursing degree. We are fortunate to have had her as a loyal employee for several years now. She consistently shows attention to detail and provides loving and compassionate care to all of our patients. She is kind to her coworkers. She is smart, dependable, and mature. She is a role model to our other assistants.—Nominated by Sara Runnels

NewBridge on the Charles

Meghan Butler, NewBridge on the Charles

Over the past year, Meghan provided wonderful care to my aunt until her death in early March. She is an incredibly kind and compassionate nurse practitioner. Because of the visitor restrictions during COVID-19, my family and I had limited opportunities to see my aunt. Meghan would regularly call and update me on my aunt’s condition. It was so comforting, knowing she was there providing excellent care, and that I could call her anytime. She clearly cares for her patients and their families. Thank you, Meghan, for making such a difficult year easier for me, my aunt, and my family.—Nominated by Sharon Lane

Brenda Cuervo, NewBridge on the Charles

I am not Brenda’s patient, but I work with or around Brenda every day. Brenda is the most compassionate nurse I know, During the main outbreak of COVID-19, Brenda never showed fear. Instead, she took the challenge head-on and embraced not only her patients but also her coworkers. This is definitely a tough time for patients in a nursing home, without the presence of their family, but Brenda made sure they were always in touch virtually. The world needs more Brendas.—Nominated by Jessica Ruiz


City of Newburyport

Pam Palombo, City of Newburyport

Pam is the public health nurse for Newburyport. She took the lead in designing and establishing COVID-19 vaccine clinics for a consortium of five surrounding communities. She trained fellow nurses, dentists, and public health officials in the dozens. She did all this while still nursing her second-born. We still have our consortium vaccine clinics, now in phase 2 and vaccinating thousands of citizens.. It wouldn’t be possible without all the work Pam did.—Nominated by Sam Merabi

New England Baptist Hospital

Sarah McCaffrey, New England Baptist Hospital

Sarah is outstanding. She has been a traveling nurse. One of her assignments was in a COVID-19 ICU. She took care of COVID patients as they took their last breaths, holding their hands and communicating with family members. She is a true hero.—Nominated by Michele Daniels

New England Ketamine

Casey Brachvogel, New England Ketamine 

Casey helps treat patients with resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and pain. As a nurse myself, and a first responder during the Boston Marathon bombing, I suffer from PTSD. The stress of dealing with the recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought back my symptoms. After trying numerous therapies, I was referred to Casey. He offered a holistic, evidence-based approach to treat my disorder. Casey has made me feel like family and I always feel safe in his care. Thanks to Casey’s expertise, I now can manage my PTSD and once again live a purposeful, meaningful life. Casey compassionately treats first responders and military veterans like himself. He is a true hero.—Nominated by George Barth

Newfield House Convalescent Home

Raymond Dubois, Newfield House

Raymond was our saving grace. Our father moved facilities as we tried to find the right place for him to treat his Parkinson’s disease. Raymond welcomed our dad with humor, grace, and professionalism. He was stern and encouraging when he had to be with our father and could give him a full-bellied laugh with a sometimes-dirty joke. I don’t believe our Dad would have led such a good quality of life during the end stages without him. We are forever grateful to him.—Nominated by Sarah Leahey-Benjamin

Newton-Wellesley Hospital

4 South Nurses, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

On Jan. 12, I was transferred from the ER to Floor 4 South. Room 432 would be home for the next few days. From the moment I was wheeled into the room until I left, I was monitored by a well-trained group of nurses. From giving me shots to taking vitals and even getting me no-fat, no-sugar ice cream, they did everything with a smile. They set the tone for nursing assistants, the administrative staff that needed to see me, and more. They worked as a team. Because I tested negative for COVID-19, I was able to walk around a bit. I would hear little bits of conversation, and I could tell that they were totally focused on their patients. Even when a patient had some emotional issues and got very loud, they remained calm. They explained everything they did to me. There were no surprises.  Medicines that I took daily were always there on time. And when it came time to be discharged, they wished me well as one wheeled me down to the exit.—Nominated by Peter Chhisholm

Laurie Anderson, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Laurie is a silent soldier, a veteran nurse with over 30 years of experience. Laurie has worn many hats as a charge nurse for the emergency department and then for the nursing education department during the COVID-19 pandemic. Laurie was asked to help recruit and lead a team of former ICU nurses, and she did just that. She offered to go to the front line, even though her last ICU role was more than 20 years ago. As our lead, Laurie cared for many of us mentally and emotionally. Her presence brought calm to the COVID crisis. She cared for very sick patients, as well as many nurses who needed support while fighting the COVID war. Laurie’s masked face may have only showed her eyes, but the compassion and commitment in those eyes was pivotal to our entire crew of ICU nurses. I was one of those former nurses who joined the front line with her, knowing that her courage and knowledge would help us weather this COVID warand it did.—Nominated by Mary O’Connell

Jeanne Arthur, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jeanne is the nurse director of the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Pre-Op Evaluation Testing Clinic, Pre-op Unit, and Day Surgery Unit. She has managed to help her team be fit, fast, and flexible in adjusting to the multiple changes in practice, policy, and direction during the year-long pandemic to make patients, families, and the care team comfortable, prepared, and able to adjust to multiple demands and fluctuations in volume, direction, and care routines. She has managed all of these multiple demands with a kind smile, and very strict set of safety standards that have put our facility in the top 50 hospitals in the United States, according to Healthgrades. She has been the consummate patient advocate, the clinical expert and design engineer to keep patients, physicians, and staff safe. She is a genuine gem in the professional practice of nursing.—Nominated by Dr. A.E. Lyn Ames

Susan Baker, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Susan Baker, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Susan is an empathetic person who sees every birth experience as beautiful. I love how she always makes the patient feel like this is their experience. She is honest, loving, and always safety-first in her approach. She trained me as a new labor nurse and I hope I can be more like her. She is a selfless person and magnificent nurse overall. Thank you, Susan, for being you. You are amazing.—Nominated by Amelia Cardona

Hao Bienkiewicz, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

I have worked with Hao for a while now and each time she enters a room, she exhibits a warm and positive attitude. She simultaneously provides excellent care for the children and empathizes with the parents who are bringing them in. She is a true pediatric nurse.—Nominated by Alyssa Cooperider

Katherine Carrano, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Katie is a team player. She is always willing to help our busy department. From the day COVID-19 hit our hospital, she put on her mask, goggles, and gown and went straight into the rooms for direct patient care. She exhibited no fear and was a role model for all. She helps with team morale, leading emails to discuss feelings, and she set up a break room to snack and relax.—Nominated by Alison Curcio

Mary Ellen Castro, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s mission statement is to treat every patient as if they were a beloved family member. As the charge nurse of the unit, Mary Ellen demonstrates her clinical competency, excellent communication, and compassion with every patient she encounters. With the trying times of COVID, her respect and dignity toward patients has only been highlighted more, as their families cannot be with them. With a comfort-measures-only patient, Mary Ellen provided the best care, respect, and dignity the patient could receive as they passed peacefully by ensuring the utmost levels of comfort, privacy, and reassurance that the patient was not alone. You can see by the way she speaks to and treats patients that she truly cares for them as if they were a beloved family member.—Nominated by Sarah McDermott

Nikki Cataldo, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Nikki is an exceptional oncology nurse who always goes all-out in her care for her patients. She is kind, compassionate, and empathetic, and her patients adore her. She has also taken a leadership role in ensuring our eligible patients have access to scalp cooling to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. She is a true advocate for all of her patients and it’s a privilege to work with her.—Nominated by Amy Comander

Denise Claffey, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Denise is one of the most amazing and genuine nurses I have ever worked with. She will go out of her way to do whatever she has to make sure our patients are comfortable. She is the perfect example of team player. She is always on top of everything when it comes to making sure her coworkers have everything they need for a smooth case, or whatever it may be. She deserves a standing ovation for her hard work and dedication to being an amazing nurse here at the Outpatient Surgery Center.—Nominated by Jessica Rosenbaum

Jill Clifford, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jill has stepped into a variety of roles during 2020-21. Jill is a trained ED and Recovery Room nurse. During our first surge, from March through June 2020, she learned new skills to help in new settings in the ICU or the COVID-19 testing tent. Her flexibility was a great support to her colleagues when the days seemed unending. Jill continued to care for our most vulnerable patients in these new settings, understanding that her expertise assured many families that their loved ones were being taken care of. As the second surge came and vaccination efforts were in place, Jill again stepped up to help out in the vaccination clinics. Jill’s commitment to nursing and patients has been a great asset during this past year.—Nominated by Sandy Cho

Monique Cormier, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Monique has worked tirelessly over the past year to bring outstanding care to each and every patient she cares for. For nine months, through the height of COVID-19, Monique worked over 70 hours a week on our COVID unit. She never complained, never asked for thanks, never missed a shift. She is the best nurse I have ever met. Our country survived because of nurses like her.—Nominated by Katie Roche

Shannon Cunningham, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

My husband was admitted to the hospital in January with an acute illness. Shannon cared for him on the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift during the first nights of his hospitalization. Over his first night of hospitalization, Shannon monitored him closely and accurately identified that his condition was worsening. Although she was also caring for other patients, Shannon remained vigilant in assessing my husband’s changing status and provided him with the expert care he needed to keep him safe. Caring for an unstable medical situation can be especially stressful. To manage an unstable situation successfully, notably when a patient’s care needs are escalating, requires comprehensive nursing knowledge and skill, presence of mind, excellent communication, responsiveness, and diligence. Shannon possessed these attributes, and my family and I applaud her for the expertise and high-quality care she provided. Shannon’s nursing care enabled the wider health-care team to successfully manage his changing treatment needs, leading to his ultimate recovery and discharge from the hospital. We are very grateful.—Nominated by Carole MacKenzie

Karla DeJesus, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Karla is a force. She took over ICU management not long ago and hit the ground running. Throughout the COVID-19 surge in spring 2020, Karla consistently looked after her patients AND staff with incredible compassion, thoughtfulness, and honesty. She is always approachable, receptive, and realistic, and has been particularly attentive to the emotional burden her staff has carried over the past year. She knows how to provide appropriate and timely resources for her staff, whether it is an expert on trauma, a pause to remember a dear patient who passed away, emotional support for staff when they’re having a tough day, or a dance break in an empty hospital room.—Nominated by Alyssa Adreani


Elizabeth Foley, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Elisabeth has been the permanent day charge nurse in the Ortho department for many years. She was a good charge nurse, always with helping hands, and a good resource. During the pandemic, this floor converted to a COVID-19 ICU and stepdown rooms for COVID-only patients. Liz stayed with the team, worked hard, and showed her flexibility working with difficult patients, handling staff issues, and interacting with hospital teams to provide safer care to patients and keep our nurses calm and positive. After a full year of this pandemic, her hard work and positive attitude are still really appreciated. Her willingness to help anyone who needs it is priceless, and throughout the pandemic Liz happily worked as a bedside nurse without any complaints. I really admire her attitude, and her skills to keep the patients and staff safe are incredible.—Nominated by Rosily Varghese

Megan Grady, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Megan volunteered to work in the ICU to help the nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. She works nights and mornings. She was always smiling when we saw her going home to her kids, knowing that she’d relieved nurses who were burning out because they were incredible busy.—Nominated by Saray Lizarzo

Olivia Hamil, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Olivia has worked in the operating room at NWH for over two years. When wereceived our first COVID patients, there were a lot of unknowns and fear. Olivia stepped up fearlessly. With COVID, her role gained many new challenges, one of which was providing safe care at the bedside for patients requiring placement of tracheostomy in the ICU and other areas outside of the operating room. This was new to all of us. Olivia identified a need to provide a portable cart that would carry everything we needed outside of the operating room. Olivia embraced her new role as an ENT resource and provided exceptional care and was happy to do it. Olivia is a natural at teaching and educated the staff as needed. Olivia provided exceptional care for our patients and supported staff. As you know, this was not without risk; she is my hero.—Nominated by Sheila McMullen

Tracy Haycock, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

My husband was admitted to the hospital in January with an acute illness. Over the course of his first night of hospitalization, his condition worsened, and his treatment protocols became more complex. Tracy cared for him on the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift during the first days of his hospitalization. When Tracy assumed the care of my husband, she communicated thoroughly with his night nurse Shannon, to review his condition and plan of care. Tracy maintained the same level of diligence in patient monitoring and care, while she balanced the nursing care needs of her other patients. She also worked closely with his medical team to continue to stabilize his condition and keep him safe. In addition to providing high-quality care for my husband, Tracy set aside the time to maintain clear and compassionate communication with our family. Visitors were restricted during this time and Tracy arranged a video call with my husband and our family, affording us the opportunity to talk with him directly and offer support and love. We are very appreciative for all the expert care Tracy provided and thank and salute her!—Nominated by Carole MacKenzie

Amy Hudach, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

I have worked in the ER with Amy Hudach for over 10 years. She has advocated for patients and their families countless times. Her exceptional intuition, strong clinical competency, and commitment to integrity have absolutely changed the trajectory of many patient’s clinical pathway as they entered the emergency room. In the emergency room, it is not always crystal clear as to what is actually going on with the patient clinically. Patients are often very ill, or lack the capacity to provide a detailed history. In recent times, it has been even more challenging to obtain collateral information with the restraints of the family visitor policy in this COVID world.  With all of this being said, I can tell you that Amy continued to advocate for her patients as if they were her own family members, whether or not the patient had a family member in the room. 

In one such case, Amy closely observed a patient’s blood pressure, vital signs, and clinical status because something “didn’t seem right.” She remained in close contact with physicians the entire time, and this made all the difference as the patient’s clinical status started to rapidly deteriorate. Amy’s keen intuition definitely averted a poor patient outcome. Furthermore, Amy was also diligent in using translation services to provide compassionate communication to the patient. I couldn’t even imagine how much this must have eased this patient’s anxiety on what was probably the worst day of their life. Amy did this because she is a great nurse and an even better person.—Nominated by Christine Cournoyer


ICU Surge Nurses, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

NWH experienced its first COVID-19 patient on March 17, 2020. Over the next weeks, nurses from all departments redeployed to the ICU to help care for patients who were critically ill.

Nurses from the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Med/Surg units, case management, and pain management all showed up at the doors to the ICU, hearts in hand, ready to help in any way. Together with experienced ICU nurses, they delivered timely critical care efficiently and with expertise. Colleagues became friends, co-workers became family, and patients became unforgettable. Nurses from all specialties learned to communicate in a common language. Nurses learned how to integrate new technologies, but never lost the art of holding a hand or wiping a tear. Together, we celebrated patient successes and mourned losses. There is truth and safety and honor working in collaboration to help patients improve. We learned there is never enough time and too many tears.

On our one-year anniversary, our friends and colleagues gifted the ICU with a little succulent plant for each nurse. The story they told is that like the plant, we are strong, we are hearty, and we only need water every two weeks. Succulents, however, also need a rich environment to grow—an environment cultivated by deep roots and common threads. I will forever be humbled to have worked with these nurses. They are NewtonWellesley Strong.—Nominated by Kathleen Clark

Amy Israelian, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Amy Israelian, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

From the very beginning of the pandemic, Amy helped in any way she could. She was able to set up our COVID-19 testing tent at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. She not only ensured that it ran smoothly, she also was on the front lines administering testing. She worked seven days a week for months (in rain, wind, and extreme heat) in order to serve our community. She also helped to take care of patients in the hospital during the height of the first wave. She is so deserving of recognition, and this would be an incredible way to honor her service to the community.—Nominated by Jen Lutz

Jane Keefe, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

As detailed in Shannon Cunningham’s and Tracy Haycock’s nominations, my husband was admitted to the hospital in January with an acute illness. During this time, patient visitors were not permitted and this restriction, although understandable, compounded stress for patients and their families. As the nurse director for Usen 4, Jane fulfilled a central role in facilitating timely and compassionate communication with our family and the high-quality care my husband received. In her nurse director role, Jane is an advocate for her staff, her patients, and their families. She advances expert nursing practice and supports the ongoing professional development of her staff. Sometimes, excellent leadership can be overlooked when nursing nominations are submitted, and our family wanted to be sure to recognize the importance of leadership to high-quality patient and family care. We are most appreciative of Jane’s accomplished and compassionate leadership and Shannon’s and Tracy’s highly skilled, expert nursing care. They exemplify the best in nursing.—Nominated by Carole MacKenzie

Linda Livingston-LeBlanc, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Linda has been taking care of my mother since she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last year. She treats my mom and me like family. She is so loving and kind and incredibly compassionate. She also has a great sense of humor, which is especially important when dealing with a devastating diagnosis during a pandemic.—Nominated by Jamie Smart

Frances Lloyd, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Frances is the kind of person anyone can go to for help. When COVID-19 was surging last year, we didn’t know much about the virus, yet she was the first to volunteer to work the tent. Throughout the summer, when the weather was scorching, she was on the roof every shift with her PPEno complaints. If we had questions while she was away it was no problem to send her a text or email, she responded in no time. You can confide in her with any issues and she will try to help you fix them. Frances deserves to be acknowledged for the wonderful nurse she is.—Nominated by Marlene Castillo

Frances Lloyd, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Frances volunteered to work in the COVID-19 tent at Newton Wellesley Hospital last year during the cold winter and the hot summer months. She never complained about the PPE, the N95 masks she had to wear daily, or the long days, always eager to help in any way possible. She is an exemplary primary care nurse practitioner who is always available for patients in need.—Nominated by Kathleen Kenzerski


Frances Lloyd, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Worked for the COVID-19 tent for months, testing patients.—Nominated by Melissa Salas

Christine Lucente, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Christine shows up every day for her patients. As a provider, working with nurses like Christine just makes my job more enjoyable and (honestly) easier. We had a patient together back in January who was having a STEMI [ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a very serious type of heart attack]. I had never seen one before but she calmed me right down, gave me confidence in what I was doing, and our team that day saved a man’s life. She’s a boss inside and out.—Nominated by Giana DeNisi

Margalie Malary, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

She is a role model.—Nominated by Enel Joseph

William Mar, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Bill worked tirelessly while he was also finishing his master’s in nursing. He was always spot-on with his care and kind and compassionate. Bill always went the extra mile to give the best treatment possible.—Nominated by Cheryl Duerr

William Mar, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Bill constantly provided a high level of care to the COVID-19 patients under his care. He remained tireless despite the spikes in cases and the risk to his own health. He gave regular updates to families on the condition of their loved ones and facilitated FaceTime sessions so the sick would know their families loved them and were there for them.—Nominated by Peter Hornstra

Rachel McPhail, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

I have had the pleasure and honor of working with Rachel over the past year in the Elfers Cardiovascular Center/Interventional Radiology Department. Rachel is the epitome of an amazingly skilled nurse, always seeing what she can do for others, all the while making sure patient care is first and foremost. She is the charge RN on this unit and is in constant communication with all the respiratory therapists, MDs, and RNs under her. She is also a great mom and wife. We are all truly blessed.—Nominated by Mary Jane Van Tassell

Regina Muyuela, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Regina is extremely caring and hard-working. She is a nurse educator on a very busy cardiac medical unit. She goes the extra mile working through COVID-19, caring for patients, and supporting the nurses on the floor, frequently working overtime and missing lunch or postponing it until the afternoon without complaints, because her duty to her patients and staff is more important to her. She is always attending to something, whether it be her patients, questions from the staff, working on quality improvement projects on her unit, or (more recently) working with our newly created diversity group. She is involved in hospital committees including the Joint Educator Committee, Med Safety Council, Pharmacy + Therapeutics, NWH Pain Champions, and the Diversity Council. Sometimes she has to excuse herself from a meeting or group discussion to attend to a question from her staff or some emergency on the unit. She is also on the Rapid Response Team, responding to emergencies in the hospital. She truly cares for her staff, her patients, for everyone she comes in contact with. She is also involved in the Massachusetts Pain Initiative and the Philippine Nurse Association of New England (PNANE), serving people in the New England community as well as communities in the Philippines, where she has done mission work with the PNANE and Philippine Nurses Association of America. I don’t think you could find a more dedicated, caring, compassionate nurse who not only serves the hospital community, but the community around us, as well as her own family. I salute Regina Muyuela and all her hard work. She doesn’t want accolades, but she absolutely deserves this.—Nominated by Mary Jane Estrada-Lyder

Mary O’Connell, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Mary, the educator in our Post Anesthesia Care Unit, is an excellent, smart, dedicated nurse with a positive attitude and approach to life. When the COVID-19 pandemic began to overwhelm the health-care landscape, Mary jumped into action. Mary helped develop and implement a thorough “ICU refresher” course for anyone who had ICU experience in the past. Mary and colleagues stepped up to help staff the desperately needed ICU expansion as complicated, sick COVID patients arrived in large numbers. Mary stepped in as a frontline nurse in the high-acuity COVID ICU. 

In the pressurized environment of complex patients, Mary did what she is best atshe personalized each patient’s care. She spent extra time with each patient, filling in as a family member. One elderly patient who was stable wanted to get out of bed and sit in the chair (for the first time in days). The woman was concerned that she would expose her backside getting out of bed. With no visitors in the hospital at the time, the patient had no personal belongings. Mary explored the hospital to find underwear for the patient and then helped her move to the chair, guarding her modesty. The patient sat proudly in her chair. Mary sat with her a few moments, being “her visitor.” 

Mary used her philosophy of complete care with another gentleman, too. He was getting sicker as we fought to help him and the medical team came to evaluate him. Mary sat with him as a surrogate family member, explaining his care options in clear language. She provided the encouragement and support he needed at that moment. She then called his family and relayed the conversation for all. Mary gives her all to every patient, but in the COVID pandemic she gave more. The experience of working in the COVID ICU in spring 2020 was overwhelming and exhausting. Working with Mary and so many other nurses was amazing and awesome. Mary is a shining example of the art of nursing.—Nominated by Laurie Anderson

Mary O’Connell, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Mary is the nurse educator for the Peri-anesthesia units at Newton Wellesley Hospital. She educates patients, staff, physicians, and students. Mary is well-respected by her staff, fellow educators, and members of other health-care disciplines. Her peers call her a champion of excellent patient care. Mary has been instrumental in developing Nursing Grand Rounds at NWH. She promotes evidence-based practice and helps staff incorporate it into their practice. Mary “pays it forward” by sharing her knowledge and expertise with students as well as staff.

Mary is a creative teacher and experienced with technology. She took a medical simulation training course and has written and executed several cases in our simulation lab. She is an instructor for pediatric advanced life support, advanced cardiovascular life support, and basic life support. 

An exceptional speaker, she can address large audiences or provide one-on-one teaching. She easily adapts her presentation to the needs of her students. Her years of work in hospitals have given her a broad understanding of hospital policy and related dynamics and the health-care profession, allowing her to make informed decisions and demonstrate initiative in diverse settings. Mary’s enthusiasm and “can-do” attitude are a positive influence in every unit.  When the pandemic hit our hospital, she jumped right in and helped us in the ICU, working long hours taking care of critically ill patients with COVID-19.—Nominated by Colleen Ryan

Sheila Oppenheim, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Sheila has a way of making everyone feel special. You can often hear her infectious laugh throughout the hospital. She has spent her days off at the vaccination clinic and enjoys every minute of it.—Nominated by Elizabeth Henderson

Jeanne Quaranto, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jeanne is one of our outstanding nurse navigators in our breast center. Jeanne leads the efforts for patients who are at high risk for breast cancer. For so many patients who are referred to our center or diagnosed with a high-risk breast lesion, Jeanne’s is the first voice they hear. Jeanne cares for these patients with compassion and empathy. Her breadth of knowledge sets the women at ease. Everyone in the centermedical assistants, schedulers, nurse practitioners, and physicianslove working with Jeanne. She is a leader and the go-to clinician for many questions. It is without hesitation that I salute Jeanne Quaranto.—Nominated by Michelle Specht

Janet Reeves, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Janet Reeves works as a nurse navigator in the Breast Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital. She helps women newly diagnosed with breast cancer navigate the system, in order to ensure timely appointments with our multidisciplinary team. She is kind, compassionate, and empathetic with each patient she encounters. Many of our patients are anxious and upset about their new diagnosis, and Janet has the ability to provide a sense of calm and develop a plan for the patient. She is a true advocate for her patients.—Nominated by Amy Comander

Debra Rosenberg, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Fabulous, caring, loving, and treats everyone with respect. Debra doesn’t show any sign of racism.—Nominated by Amy Rodeline 

Kathryn Scarano, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

She is the most caring, loving, and patient person. She does everything with grace and never gets tired.—Nominated by Amy Rodeline 

Paula Spink, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Paula is a true leader in nursing and is extremely compassionate. She will stay at the patient’s bedside and treats everyone as family. Paula volunteers to do everything on the unit, scrubs, circulates, and fills in as the charge nurse. Paula remains calm and caring in all situations. Recently, there was a significant postpartum hemorrhage, and Paula was amazing with her care. The patient was very fortunate that Paula was working that day!—Nominated by Susan Baker

Paula Spink, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

A COVID-positive patient called in for an urgent cesarean section. The patient was very anxious, so Paula assured her that everything would be fine. The patient was given a spinal and was positioned. When the obstetrician started prep and went to scrub, the patient started vomiting. Paula tended to that. 

The incision was made and the baby came out with the cord wrapped tightly around its neck. The cord was cut immediately and the infant was passed to the baby nurse. Paula helped start PPV [positive pressure ventilation] and special care was called in right away. Paula went to get the baby code cart, meds, and necessary equipment to revive the baby. Special care started to resuscitate the baby, who finally cried a few times. The baby was fine, and was sent to a special care unit for further observation. 

The mother, on the other hand, started bleeding. The obstetrician called for TXA and methergine, and the bleeding was controlled. Paula saw that the needs of the mom and baby, doctors, anesthesia, and surgical techs were all met. Despite multitasking on different levels during an intense OR case, she stayed calm. Mom and baby recovered thanks to Paula’s compassion, effective communication, good judgment, and advocacy. Paula also plays the roles of charge nurse and scrub nurse. She’s a real team player in our department. She always helps with coverage and transport. Paula represents the Florence Nightingale theory of caring through compassion.—Nominated by Angeline Beaudoin

Cheryl Stelmash, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Cheryl is a beloved nurse navigator at the MGH Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley and plays an integral role throughout every cancer patient’s care journey. She is the first person our patients speak to immediately after a life-altering diagnosis, and she provides the comfort, support, and guidance that they need at a critical time. With Cheryl as an advocate, newly diagnosed cancer patients are evaluated by an oncologist within 24 to 48 hours. With her extensive knowledge and experience, she educates patients and develops resources and pamphlets to help them prepare for treatment and surgery. She helps patients overcome barriers and navigate what can be a complicated and overwhelming system. She is a resource for cancer survivors who have new questions and concerns. Our patients know that Cheryl will always be there for them, through treatment and beyond.—Nominated by Anvy Nguyen

Lauren Tullie, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Lauren is a fine example of how to take care of patients with knowledge, compassion, and a great attitude every day in our ICU. She always respects all of the professionals around here.—Nominated by Sonia Smith

Jeannie Tynan, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jeannie is superb. She cares expertly for her patients with the utmost compassion and dignity. I have worked with Jeannie for over three years and am amazed that she always smiles, even amidst the chaos that sometimes ensues. She frequently “runs the room” and seamlessly manages the patients coming out of the OR, as well as the staff. She makes sure we all get our breaks, offers help, and answers the constantly ringing phone (still smiling and helpful to whomever is on the other end). She has not been a nurse as long as some of her peers, but staff goes to her for guidance on a variety of issues. That shows the respect we have for her. Our unit is better for having Jeannie work alongside us. She deserves to be recognized.—Nominated by Patty O’Donnell

Renee Waite, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Renee Waite is not only an active nurse in our clinic, but specially trained and certified to assist surgeons in the OR. Renee is kind, patient, and very knowledgeable, and never hesitates to jump in to help anyone in need. She always has everyone’s best interest at heart. She is also a true patient advocate. Renee has worked for NWH for over 20 years and is the epitome of an outstanding nurse in every way. I am grateful and lucky to work with her. I have learned so much from Renee, my mentor and friend. We work for outstanding general and bariatric surgeons. There is great importance and sensitivity in bariatric services. Renee always makes our patients feel welcomed and comfortable.—Nominated by Doris Amaral

Jan Waterhouse, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jan is an incredible nurse. Especially during COVID-19 she has worked long hours on all shifts to cover the busy maternity unit. One particular day she worked overnight and, with her close attention to detail and her strong assessment and communication skills, she saved a mother and newborn. She is a very caring person and takes wonderful care of all patients.—Nominated by Susan Baker

Nora Watts, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Nora always demonstrates compassion and is dedicated to helping and accommodating all patients.—Nominated by Marybeth Toran

Michele Wescott, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Michelle was attentive and timely. She was warm-spirited and through as she examined me. I was initially anxious about the visit, but she made me much more comfortable.—Nominated by Toi Poole


Newton & Wellesley Alzheimer

Ashley Maguire, Newton & Wellesley Alzheimer

For the two years my mother spent at the Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer Care, Ashley Maguire was the floor nurse whom I came to depend on for knowing how my mother was doing.  Mother would break into a big smile when she saw Ashley, assuring me that Ashley was someone she counted on throughout her day. Ashley was always available to me whenever I had a concern or question. She had such a warm and welcoming attitude that made visits to the facility much easier. I am so grateful for the work she does for this most vulnerable group of patients. Dementia is terribly difficult for patients and families alike. But thanks to people like Ashley, it was much easier to endure.—Nominated by Carole Katz

North Shore Medical Center

Rowena Balisi, North Shore Medical Center

Rowena demonstrates compassion and clinical competency and strong leadership skills in our Special Care Nursery. She leads her team to safe patient care with sound clinical judgement. She always stays calm and in control in emergencies. She is well-respected by her patients and families and colleagues. She remains positive at all times. It is a pleasure having her as a nurse in our unit!—Nominated by Lisa Cavallaro

Mamir Calaunan, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Mamir is the permanent charge nurse on Pingree 4, the cardiology unit at Salem Hospital. He is an integral team member and mentor to the entire staff. He provides a vast amount of experience and educates the team on a daily basis. His support and follow-through are unmatched. As a nurse director, I thoroughly appreciate all his hard work!—Nominated by Robert Fisher

Linda Cancellieri, North Shore Medical Center

Linda is a professional and clinically competent nurse who provides comprehensive care. She is an advocate for patient safety and the safe delivery of care for our tiniest patients, and will always bring forth any concern and be an advocate for solutions. Linda teaches the Neonatal Resuscitation Program for all of our nurses in the Special Care Nursery (SCN) and Birthplace. Education is one of Linda’s strong points. Most recently, she was instrumental in assisting us with policies and procedures in the SCN. Linda also serves as a preceptor to new nurses in the SCN. Thank you, Linda —Nominated by Lisa Cavallaro

Kianna Contreras, North Shore Medical Center

Kianna is a professional obstetric nurse who delivers exceptional care. She is well respected by her patients, families, and colleagues. Kianna recently completed her master of science in nursing (MSN) and women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) certification. She is passionate about caring for women from diverse backgrounds, speaking up and improving care for these women who may struggle with health care. In addition, Kianna is a nursing instructor who engages students in learning in maternal child health. Watching her teach and engage her students is remarkable. Each semester she ends the term with them presenting a topic to the staff, something we have not had before. The staff are truly engaged with the presentations. She engages them in learning and is committed to her students with professionalism, skill, and compassion. It is a pleasure to have her on the team.—Nominated by Lisa Cavallaro

Jean Dibble, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Jean brings her “A Game” every day. She supports all members of our team who care for surgical patients. She demonstrates clinical excellence when she jumps in to care for patients or when she is showing a new nurse how to perform a new task. Jean’s passion for our patients can be seen on a daily basis as she advocates for patients and staff!—Nominated by Michael Gaudreau

Marlena Dipre, MGB Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Marlena is an expert emergency nurse who’s always up-to-date with the most recent evidence and applies it to her patient care. She has a unique ability to reach the most challenging patients and develop a therapeutic relationship. She offers comfort and knowledge to those in her care and has spent her career truly in the service of others. She has worn many hats in nursing, and has always been willing to share her experiences and expertise with her colleagues.—Nominated by Daniel Slack

Cynthia Fiore, North Shore Physician’s Group, Lynn, North Shore Medical Center

Cynthia has worked tirelessly through the pandemic in our infusion center, ensuring all of our immuno-compromised patients had their infusions safely and on time.—Nominated by Jessica DeMars


Hannah Forman, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Hannah works as a charge nurse in the Salem Hospital Emergency Department. A lot of nurses take credit for the bedside care that most of them give in a hospital setting, yet not a lot of recognition goes into who is leading them. Hannah leads a big staff in the evening shift, the busiest time for our ED. She controls the flow of up to 240 patients a day, sometimes with multiple trauma and ambulatory patients coming in at the same time. It is an art to manage that, and she does it day in and day out. I am very proud of her.—Nominated by Bogdan Suciu

John Forrant, North Shore Medical Center

Watching my brother deal with the sickest of the sick as an ICU nurse makes me proud to call him my brother. He has been a nurse in the ICU for over 30 years and without a doubt is an unsung hero. He is very compassionate with all his patients as well as their families. Since COVID-19 hit, he’s often the only link between family and patient. He cries and laughs with them. He goes about his job quietly, but efficiently.—Nominated by Nancy Forrant

Rosemary Henchey, North Shore Medical Center

Rosemary led the inpatient team while responding to the COVID-19 crisis. She is a transformational leader who worked tirelessly to make sure staff had the supplies, coverage, and protective equipment they needed to care for these very sick patients. Rosemary leads through example and rounds frequently on the units to ensure staff have what they need. She demonstrates compassion to and advocates for our patients and staff. —Nominated by Kevin Inman

Lisa Herlihy, North Shore Medical Center

Lisa is a compassionate, strong advocate for both patients and staff. Lisa quickly set up a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for our staff to receive the vaccine. Lisa coordinated education to all of the inpatient units during the influx of COVID patients. Lisa worked long hours, making sure units got the education they needed to care for these very sick patients, and she mentors many in our organization. Lisa ensures all patients have quality care and benefit from the latest evidenced-based practice for our patients. Lisa is a clinical expert and a resource for the organization.—Nominated by Kevin Inman

Elizabeth Hilton, Emergency Department, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Beth’s skill and knowledge are unrivaled and her dedication to her patients and her colleagues exemplifies what it means to be a nurse. She not only delivers expert care to patients of all ages, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, she also helps to mold new nurses into confident and competent caregivers. She is kind and compassionate in all her endeavors, whether she is tasked with running the department as charge RN or dropping everything to assist an inpatient unit with a Sexual Assault Nurse Evaluation kit and advocating for the most vulnerable of patients.—Nominated by Daniel Slack

Barbara Hodge, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Amidst ever-growing challenges throughout the pandemic, this nurse has shown leadership and remained compassionate despite the hardships the whole world faces.—Nominated by Barbara Hodge

ICU Nurses, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

When COVID-19 arrived last March, our small community hospital was the hardest hit on the North Shore—we went from being a 20-bed ICU to 43 beds in a week. I witnessed the most incredible teamwork and dedication come alive as the sickest of the sick came rolling in. Nurses were picking up extra shifts, they helped FaceTime with patients and loved ones, they sat with dying patients and held their hands. They gathered and cheered for the patients who were transferred out to med floors. They gave up contact with their own families so they could continue to care for their patients. They truly are my heroes and I am proud to call them friends and colleagues and even my second family. I love you guys.—Nominated by Honora Goodridge

Caila Kelley, North Shore Medical Center

Caila is a professional obstetrics nurse who provides comprehensive care to patients and families. She is a leader who guides her team to safe and efficient care. Caila’s patients trust her and speak highly of her care. To quote one recent patient, “We wanted to take a moment to thank you for all your care during our stay at the birthplace. We appreciate all of your kindness, and guidance during our first days as our new role to parenthood! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” Caila is well-respected by her colleagues and always raises any safety concerns to the proper channels.—Nominated by Lisa Cavallaro

Holly Levie, North Shore Medical Center

Holly is a very professional neonatal nurse and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in our Special Care Nursery. Her commitment to safe patient care and attention to detail is remarkable. She is kind, caring, professional, and extremely detail-oriented. Being an IBCLC makes Holly instrumental in providing lactation assistance to her mothers when attempting to overcome the difficulties of feeding premature newborns.—Nominated by Lisa Cavallaro

Christina Luongo, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Christina has been a clinical leader for many years on the Orthopedic/Neurology unit. Whenever the staff works with her, we know everything will be OK. She is knowledgeable in all fields and a great resource to our department. Christina is an advocate like none other for the patients. She gives excellent care and takes her time to make sure that the patient is getting all their needs met.—Nominated by Jessica Meijia

Jennifer Marshall, North Shore Medical Center

After over 40 years of working in health care, I do not believe that health-care workers are heroes. All of us try to do our jobs to the best of our abilities under sometimes extraordinary circumstances. Nevertheless, there are a few who make the floor better whenever they work a shift. Jennifer Marshall is that person to us. She is a resource to professional and nonprofessional workers. She is calm under pressure. She treats her coworkers as colleagues, which is not common during these difficult times. It would be impossible to list all the times that she made a difference with her patients or her fellow professionals. She is the best example of the nursing ideals of knowledge, organization, respect, and enthusiasm. Health-care workers work on human beings, not machines. Jennifer is best example of compassion, humanity, and science that I have seen in many years.—Nominated by Paul Sarno

Carley Martel, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Carley is exceptionally kind and compassionate. Her patients are grateful for her care. She is dedicated to her craft and remains focused on providing her patients with the best possible care and outcomes through the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Even on the most challenging shifts, Carley maintains a positive attitude and brings her kind smile and warm heart to her practice. Her love for nursing is on display in every patient interaction.—Nominated by Daniel Slack

Sonya Mason, North Shore Physician’s Group, Lynn, North Shore Medical Center

I see Sonia working with patients every day and she is very patient and caring. She is very knowledgeable. She takes the time to listen and resolves problems. I have gone to her with problems several times and she has been so kind and understanding.—Nominated by Kelly Arons

Sonya Mason, North Shore Physician’s Group, Lynn, North Shore Medical Center

Sonya went all-out to help a patient feel comfortable and safe during a vaccine clinic. She stayed with the patient and explained in detail to make her feel better.—Nominated by Catherine Casiano

Sonya Mason, North Shore Physician’s Group, Lynn, North Shore Medical Center

Sonya is outstanding. She’s always willing to lend a helping hand and she motivates her co-workers. Sonya is filled with empathy and compassion not only toward to her patients, but to everyone, including co-workers. She is an inspiration!—Nominated by Paula Claflin

Sonya Mason, North Shore Physician’s Group, Lynn, North Shore Medical Center

Sonya is one of the kindest nurses I know. She’s always willing to help patients, whether it be tweaking their time to accommodate them, explain their medication, or assist with hospital follow-ups. Sonya is a team player, always willing to help her peers and her superiors.—Nominated by Coleen Dennett

Dania Matos, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Dania has compassion for her patients, and outside of her job, too. She’s a great worker, friend, classmate, and mother. Patients fault in love with her and her outstanding work.—Nominated by Yokasta Abreu


Jeffrey McCowan, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Jeff is a clinical leader on Davenport 8, where he serves as a role model and keeps the staff’s positive energy, inspiring them to work harder if need be. He also mentors new staff. As a charge RN, he keeps his calm and composure and supports staff with their assignments. Jeff helps staff improve their knowledge and skills. As a preceptor, Jeff molds new staff to succeed. Jeff is a patient advocate. He makes his patients smile and laugh despite the challenges that they face. During the COVID-19 peak, he provided excellent care even while being afraid that he could bring the virus to his family. Thank you, Jeff, for all you do!—Nominated by Madonna Cruz

Marie McDermott, North Shore Medical Center

Marie is a role model for all as a special care nurse and lactation consultant (LC). She is warm and professional, kind, compassionate, and approachable. She displays excellent clinical judgment and is the best resource for her peers and the medical staff. She is the epitome of an exemplary nurse and LC. I recommend her highly for all her years of excellent service with patients and peers alike.—Nominated by Karen Stevenson

Annemarie Moorehouse, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Annemarie is the clinical leader for the IV Therapy Department. She is an instrumental leader with expert clinical skills. Her strong work ethic, communication, and team attitude are very appreciated among her peers. She is a strong asset and wonderful team member.—Nominated by Robert Fisher

Taylor Orlando, North Shore Medical Center

Taylor is genuine and kind. She gives her all for her patients and colleagues alike. She is an exceptional nurse who strives for excellence and achieves the goals she sets for herself with tenacity. Throughout our interactions, I have known her to be diligent, passionate about her job, a great team player, and her positive attitude is a breath of fresh air.—Nominated by Karen Anne Stevenson

Nancy Papamechail, North Shore Physician’s Group, Lynn, North Shore Medical Center

Nancy has worked tirelessly through the pandemic in our infusion center, ensuring all of our immuno-compromised patients had their infusions safely and on time. She has also been working additional hours at our COVID-19 vaccine clinic.—Nominated by Jessica DeMars

Maureen Pickard, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Maureen is an exceptional RN who always advocate for her patients’ needs. Maureen has been a nurse on Davenport 8 for 35 years, and has been a preceptor and mentor showing many new RNs how to succeed in the profession. Maureen also promotes patient safety, and is one of the Davenport 8 Falls Champions, doing multiple in-services and projects on how to prevent falls. Maureen is a huge part of the new Falls TIPS, providing one-on-one education on falls prevention. As a champion of the committee, she participates in the Falls Calls and facilitates fall debriefs in the unit. Maureen ensures that her patients’ needs are adequately met and works hand-in-hand with her team to develop patient-centered plans. —Nominated by Madonna Cruz

Kelly Rehman, North Shore Medical Center

Kelly is a staff nurse on our medical unit who also serves as our clinical leader. In both roles, Kelly demonstrates a high level of competency and compassion. As a staff nurse, Kelly is a strong advocate for her patients’ needs. She competently provides all aspects of patient care. Kelly possesses excellent assessment skills. She effectively identifies concerning signs, preventing emergent situations and prompting further assessment by medical team members. Kelly develops strong and caring relationships with her patients and their caregivers, understanding that trust is essential for optimal patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. Recently, Kelly cared for a patient who was discharged to a hospice facility. She saw that the patient had no family or contact person for visiting. Kelly supported the patient during her admission and went out of her way to visit and drop off belongings that were left behind after her discharge.—Nominated by Karen Correnti

Laura Rice, North Shore Medical Center

Working in a mental health unit could be stressful and emotionally sapping, but Laura has the kind of personality that makes parents and family members of patients feel at ease; she’s always willing to help and educate on clinical issues and concerns. She is very passionate about what she does and superbly caring.—Nominated by Godwin Nnanna

Thomas Wagner, Davenport 8, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Thom is a very experienced, savvy nurse who goes out of his way to make sure his patients get the best treatment. He’s always advocating for his patients to the doctors and fellow team members. Thom enjoys educating his co-workers, passing along any bit of information he can to make everybody better. When student nurses arrive on the unit, Thom doesn’t hesitate to offer guidance. Any day Thom is on Davenport 8, the unit is guaranteed to have a strong team member willing to face any situation he or his colleagues are faced with, head-on, in order to provide the best care for our patients.—Nominated by Malcolm Pimentel

Kathleen Watton, Salem Hospital, North Shore Medical Center

Kate is a nurse’s nurse. Working in the Emergency Department at Salem, she is a resource for other nurses and patients. 2020 began with COVID-19, and despite being at an age of risk, she never thought for even one minute of not working. She had to be there, quarantining from family and friends in order to continue working week after week with those COVID-positive patients and those in fear of COVID, all while having other emergencies. Kate is an inspirational nurse, who just keep helping, doing, caring.—Nominated by Bernice Potter


North Shore Physicians Group

Diane Furey, North Shore Physicians Group Extended Care

Diane is a geriatric DNP [doctor of nursing practice] in the NSPG extended care group. She’s at her nursing homes daily by 7 a.m. and it is not uncommon to find her working until late into the evenings and on the weekends. She is a fierce patient advocate as well as an advocate for fellow nurses. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic she delivered PPE supplies to the nursing home nurses, often purchasing them with her own money. She is instrumental in caring for frail elders in the nursing homes as well as working at NSMC in the Fragility Fracture Clinic. She has a true love for her profession and it is an honor to work with her.—Nominated by Christine Murphy

NVNA and Hospice

Helen and Kay Golden, NVNA and Hospice

Last May, after a lengthy illness, my beloved mother entered into in-home hospice care through Norwell VNA & Hospice. Helen and Kay gave my mother amazing, compassionate care. Both were responsive to every question we had while going through the process. They had such a gentle way of caring for my mother that it was as if the angels had sent them! From ordering the medical equipment such as a hospital bed to coordinating the delivery of the medications that would help to keep my mother comfortable, the process was seamless. My entire family felt supported by Helen and Kay and by the excellent and compassionate team at Norwell VNA.  Helen and Kay made us feel as if Mom was the most important person in the world—which, of course, she was to us. I will be forever grateful to Helen and Kay for caring for my mother in their gentle, professional, and highly competent way. They are ideal hospice nurses.—Nominated by Patricia Wade

Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care

Marianthe Andrews, Old Colony Hospice

At 93, my mom entered hospice care. She had been in good health until complications from an abdominal bleed caused her to fail quickly. A nurse herself, she was cognitively intact and able to verbalize that she wished to be comfortable. Marianthe Andrews came into our lives and cared for all of us with expertise and kindness. She anticipated every detail, encouraging our family to understand our mom’s needs. Marianthe listened to our concerns and empowered us to get through this difficult time. She explained the use of medications and communicated with the covering weekend nurses, knowing we were likely to need help over those days. She helped us keep our mother comfortable and make the most of her last days. After our mom died in her home, Marianthe came back out to pronounce her, showing so much compassion while helping us navigate logistics. We truly appreciate her tenderness and understanding. We thank her for doing her job with such grace.—Nominated by Margaret Julio

Ottoson Middle School

School Nurses Barker and Greco, Ottoson Middle School

The nurses manage a middle school with seventh- and eighth-grade students from summer prep school throughout this terrible time. They make sure students and teachers are safe every day. They set up testing within the school and answer hundreds of phone calls, as well as attending community meetings to make sure the students and teachers are physically, socially, and mentally safe. They are diligent in keeping Ottoson Middle School a safe place.—Nominated by Janet Maguire


Partners HealthCare at Home

Colleen Brannelly, Partners HealthCare at Home

Colleen works tirelessly every day in homecare. As a homecare nurse, you’re in the community on your own. You don’t have the friendly support of daily interaction with your nurse coworkers. On your own, you try to educate a patient and their family about how to survive their current illness. You’re often a forgotten yet crucial member of the team that’s going to make each patient well. You do not have supplies at your fingertips; you learn how to improvise. You also need critical assessment skills to know when and if more acute care is needed. Colleen epitomizes the experience and empathy required of these independent nurse heroes.—Nominated by Mary Szaro

Ironwood Home Care Team, Partners HealthCare at Home

I have had services from the Ironworks Team for over a year-and-a-half. I have gotten to know many on the team and they are all very good. These nurses treat the entire person, not just the specific ailment listed on the orders. For many folks receiving these visits, they have been a social lifeline during the pandemic. I am sure their visits have been the highlight of many patients’ days.—Nominated by Karen Dutton

Ironworks Team, Partners HealthCare at Home

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 on their faces dealing with whatever obstacles are thrown their way on any given day. They work tirelessly to better the lives of their patients and improve their patients’ outcomes. The kindness and compassion they continuously display is unmatched. They work together to teach and train each other in this very independent field of home care. 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 every day and so grateful for their amazing care to our patients! Thank you, Marie, Michele, Carmen, Sharon, Heidi, Jackie, Paula, Nicole, Robyn, Stacie, Steve, Lisa, Irina, Natali, Danielle, Penny, Shannon, and Alex!—Nominated by Mary Beth Perry

Janet James, Partners HealthCare at Home

In the 13 years that I’ve worked with Janet, she has consistently demonstrated dedication and compassion to patients, families, and co-workers. Janet is the go-to person for the team and for several other teams. One afternoon, the team was paged to see if anyone could help with a 6 p.m. visit. The patient and family needed support with a tube feeding. While Janet’s shift ends at 5, she graciously offered to see this patient. While this is just a one-time example, she consistently steps up when needed. She also helps precept new staff and assist her peers with new tasks. She routinely gets compliments about the care she provides. Just the other day, a patient’s daughter said “Janet came in, took care of everything, and is wonderful.”

As a trained preceptor, Janet takes this role seriously. She often volunteers to precept on her own team as well as others. In doing so she communicates with the manager and education department on the progress and any needs of the new employee. Janet was asked to take on a challenging case. Without hesitating, she agreed. She has been working with wound clinics, the patient, family, and other advocates to help this patient progress. Slowly, we are seeing gains. She has developed a relationship with the patient that is fostering a better understanding of her needs. I feel very fortunate to work with Janet.—Nominated by Sandy Hill

Helen Tieger, Partners HealthCare at Home

Helen’s commitment to homecare nursing is beyond honorable and highly commendable. I arrived home after two weeks in the hospital having surgery for diverticulitis, which left me with a colostomy. Helen immediately addressed my medical and psychological needs with professionalism and kindness that far surpassed my expectations. I was extremely depressed and filled with uncertainty. My life had changed so suddenly that fear was my only emotion. Helen was innately aware of my fears and navigated anxiety and depression medication through my primary care physician, who had been reluctant to prescribe. Depression had overtaken my ability to think clearly. She assured me that I could reach out to her during my care if I had any concerns—which I did, several times, and her response was always medically sound and filled with empathy. Helen was efficient, yet compassionate and thoughtful. I had lost my sense of identity, and fear left me feeling hopeless. Helen breached those fears and her calm, positive encouragement gave me strength! Those worries began to dissipate and my courage was regained. Her ability to educate the importance of self-care regarding my colostomy gave me power over my illness. This knowledge filled me with confidence, which in turn forced me to face my illness, and soon my healing began. Helen’s nursing expertise, confident manner, and gentle prose innately aided me through this lifestyle change that I had to accept. I truly believe my mental and physical health would have been impaired if it hadn’t been for Helen. She’s a gift to the medical profession and to the lives of those she touches.—Nominated by Nancy Gallugi

Helen Tieger, Partners HealthCare at Home

Helen is one of the smartest and most compassionate nurses on this planet. She was so helpful in caring for my dad after his Whipple surgery at MGH, and came to our home several times per week to not only administer medical care, but to educate us. She told us what might happen, so when it did we were not scared and knew what to do. She also was available night and day. She is one-of-a-kind and we are forever grateful to her.—Nominated by Gretchen Manning

Pembroke Hospital

Brenda Nguyen, Pembroke Hospital

Brenda is a caring and kind nurse at a psychiatric hospital. Brenda is a favorite of all the patients due to her happy-go-lucky attitude and sense of humor. She helps patients through some of their toughest times and is always a team player. Thank you, Brenda.—Nominated by Molly Rowe

Plymouth Carver Primary Care

Janet Shepard, Plymouth Carver Primary Care

Janet goes all-out in showing care and help to all her patients and coworkers. She is the epitome of a caring. loving nurse and person.—Nominated by MariaLinda Mckenna

Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Ann Pelletier, Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Ann assisted my uncle, who was 88 years old and very cranky, to put it mildly, when he was a patient. She exceeded expectations on numerous occasions. She displayed unbelievable calm in handling and helping him. A couple of times my uncle made her tear up a little, but she continued helping him right through his very aggravating manner. Her show of compassion isn’t something that can be taughtit has to come naturally, and she has that ability.—Nominated by Jerry LaFrenier


Private Practice

Mary-Ellen Meltzer, Private Practice Nurse

Mary-Ellen is an exceptional professional nurse. Her practice includes teaching, supervision, and active professional involvement with peers. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science from the University of Rhode Island, and was recently involved in the Couples Institute Training Program, which focuses on couples’ therapy. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts Boston and private practice. I’ve heard from her peers, students, and patients, all of whom have learned and gained from her knowledge and skill. She should be recognized for the influence she’s had on them.—Nominated by Phyllis Moore

Privatus Care Solutions 

Lilian Sogade, Privatus Care Solutions

Lilian Sogade, Privatus Care Solutions

My 88-year-old father was hospitalized with COVID last December. He had been independent, active, and a volunteer at the hospital, but COVID changed everything. Upon discharge, he needed oxygen and a walker and had lost 25 pounds. Rather than send him to rehab where we couldn’t visit, we decided to bring him home with 24/7 private care. 

It was clear from the moment that we met Lilian that she was exactly what my father needed. Even with a mask on, you could tell she was smiling. She prepared high-calorie snacks for my father between meals, without being prompted. She knew that grooming was important to him, so she paid close attention to assisting him with shaving and showering while always respecting his dignity. Without being told, she would change the bed linens and vacuum his apartment regularly. These all might sound like insignificant things, but to respect someone’s habits, their home, and their personal preferences is just as important to their well-being as administering their medications. Now that my father is back to being on his own, we’ll be forever grateful to the team of nurses and caregivers, but especially to this ray of sunshine, Lilian Sogade.—Nominated by Candy Costas

Quincy Health and Rehabilitation Center

Beatrice Isidor, Quincy Health and Rehabilitation Center

Beatrice loves not only her patients, but also her staff. She’s a very responsible nurse.  Beatrice touches the lives of the people in the facility, she’s happy all the time and she makes sure her patient is comfortable and safe. She would be a great leader in the future.—Nominated by Sophia Vilus


Carolyn Connors, Retired, Southborough Elementary School

Carolyn is a retired school nurse who is now convalescing at her home after several strokes disabled her. She was in the Southborough school system for 15-20 years, and received several awards for her community nursing activities. Many of her duties were not only in the Southborough elementary school system, but also as head of the community services organization that made sure families had new clothes for their kids and turkeys at Thanksgiving. In those days, school nurses couldn’t even give aspirin for a headache without a doctor’s permission. Carolyn is still our best teacher, despite being homebound, especially during COVID. She displays an amazing grace, given her limited mobility, and she’s the first to forgive someone, the first to offer words of wisdom, and the first to tell you how much she loves you.—Nominated by John Connors

Ann Gaston, Retired

Ann is a 75-year-old retired nurse who delivers communion to shut-ins every week. If a family member has medical problems, she verifies medications and sets a weekly schedule, then talks with physicians and pharmacies to make things easier for the family. Ann is always helping others.—Nominated by Mary Mackenzie

Dorothy M. Keeney, Retired

Dorothy Keeney is 82 years old and a beloved retired Boston Public Schools nurse who worked in East Boston and Jamaica Plain. She authored a 2020 book about Boston’s first school nurse, Annie McKay, and the critical role that school nurses have played by advocating for in-school education, disease prevention, and health maintenance. Dorothy gives respect to the school nursing profession in her book. She herself has over four decades of extensive nursing experience.—Nominated by Maryanne Keeney Wetherald


Revere Public Schools

Adrienne Maguire, Revere Public Schools

Adrienne has been a nurse throughout this pandemic, setting up COVID-19 swab clinics and vaccine clinics and contacting all the families in Revere to provide support. Her role as a school nurse changed dramatically when schools closed and the focus shifted to COVID and caring for people in the community. She’s the kind of person everyone can rely on, and she always helps out with such compassion. Adrienne also helped set up a way for the communities in Revere to get food because schools were closed for students. In a low-income community, COVID was not the only concern, and Adrienne made sure everyone had the services they needed.—Nominated by Michaela Maguire

Joseph A. Russo, MD

Elaine Sullivan, Joseph A. Russo, MD

Elaine is one of the most knowledgeable and compassionate nurses I have had the pleasure to meet. Elaine is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist who took care of me during two procedures. I felt so safe and cared for that my usual anxiety was at an all-time low. When I needed to have a second unplanned procedure, Elaine dropped everything and came to take care of me once again. Any patient is truly lucky to have her exceptional care and amazing bedside manner.—Nominated by Julie Kamin Russo

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