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2021 Salute to Nurses letters: Hospitals S-T

Saint Anne’s Hospital

Kimberly Ford, Saint Anne’s Hospital

Kim performed all the necessary actions to help her father on his way to heaven. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and extremely difficult when it was a nurse-daughter’s own dad. Her performance now on the front line of COVID shows her love and care for many other patients at St. Anne’s Hospital.—Nominated by Joanne Leslie

Saint Vincent’s Hospital             

Carolita Scott-Burke, Saint Vincent’s Hospital

Carolita is a fantastic RN, a skilled professional, and a loving, compassionate, and caring provider with excellent communication skills and leadership abilities. She gives her all to help patients and support the staff.—Nominated by Pauline Q. Sheehan, MD

Sancta Maria Nursing Facility

Jennifer McMahon, Sancta Maria Nursing Facility

Jennifer works in the Alzheimer’s Unit. My husband is a patient there, and she’s been very supportive of him and keeps in touch with me. Whenever I call her, she never makes me feel that I’m bothering her. She goes out of her way to make sure that he is comfortable and being taken care of.—Nominated by Maureen Colomey


Scituate Public Schools

Kellie Roche, Scituate Public Schools

It’s critical that we remember school nurses’ daily work with students and staff. Kellie works tirelessly—and well beyond her contractual hours—to ensure the safety of our entire school community. She is compassionate, responsive, perennially positive, and smiling, regardless of challenges that she encounters. 

In the 10 years that I’ve known Kelli, she has conducted herself with the utmost professionalism and care for all around her. As a public school district administrator of 10 years, I honestly believe that Kellie is an exemplary nurse and leader. By the way, Kellie works part-time at Boston Medical Center, too.—Nominated by Jennifer Arnold

Signature Health Care Brockton Hospital

Cherie Medeiros, Signature Health Care

During COVID-19, Cherie has been especially caring because she listens to how lonesome and isolated her patients have been while going through their treatments, and some have, sadly, passed on. She is a grandmother and on her day off, takes care of her granddaughter and visits her mother-in-law, who is very ill. She is my hero and my little sister.—Nominated by Sharon Napier

Skin Esteem Med Spa

Dawn Naylor, Skin Esteem Med Spa

Dawn took it upon herself to create a vaccination site in her med spa to vaccinate the most vulnerable population on the South Shore. She has, along with a team of volunteers, facilitated vaccinations for thousands of people who otherwise would find it extremely difficult to go to a mass vaccination site. She has worked closely with the Council on Aging in Kingston and a few surrounding towns to assure that many of the most vulnerable people could get access. I volunteered twice as a health-care provider, so I’ve seen first-hand how much of her heart and soul she’s put into this. Dawn, with the help of her husband Matt, has brought hope to many people who otherwise feel hopeless. This nurse practitioner selflessly closes her business every Saturday, losing income, to provide something that so many people need right now.—Nominated by Marla Purciello

SMG Cardiology Associates

Joan Brady, Steward Cardiology, SMG Cardiology Associates

In the cold of winter, this nurse gave curbside service to patients who were fearful of the pandemic. Joan voluntarily braved the elements to offer this arm-out-of-their-vehicle service for monthly blood testing.—Nominated by Joseph Ferrari


Salem Hospital

Margo Georgeles, Salem Hospital

Margo and I both moved to the ICU in 2019 after having worked on the surgical unit. We both wanted to expand our knowledge of critical care in the hopes of going back to school and becoming CRNAs [certified registered nurse anesthetists]. Little did we know a global pandemic would soon thrust us into the absolute front lines for COVID-19 patients. Salem Hospital had some of the highest cases of COVID in Massachusetts, and she got through it, as most of us did. She is strong and resilient and we are lucky to have her on our team.—Nominated by Barbara Hodge

South Boston Community Health Center

Carolyn Feeney, South Boston Community Health Center

Carolyn has always been an exemplary nurse, and her clinical intellect and compassion rose to new levels during the pandemic. Carolyn triaged COVID-19 calls and followed up patients with positive results. As a provider, I knew I could trust Carolyn’s clinical judgement. If she told me a patient needed something, I followed her lead. She also seemed to know every patient at the clinic: she provided vaccines to kids, wound checks to their parents, and blood pressure checks on grandparents.

At a time when medicine can feel sterile, Carolyn is a constant and welcoming presence, putting families at ease. Lastly, Carolyn is an impactful educator, training other nurses and family medicine residents. Her knowledge, compassion, and ability are passed on to the next generation, and for that, we are so lucky.—Nominated by Jennifer Leahy

South Shore Health

Nancy Ahearn, South Shore Health

Nancy an amazing RN and nurse leader of the Critical Care Unit at South Shore Hospital. During the height of the pandemic, Nancy removed her administrative hat and proved why she chose nursing as a life path. Being a leader during one of the toughest times in her career truly shined when she worked side by side with her team, ensuring their emotional and physical well-being was a top priority. On this particular morning, Nancy donned PPE and although away from the bedside, she was right there in the rooms being present in every sense of the work for her team. Although she couldn’t deliver the clinical care, she embodied kindness and empathy, a currency that we can never have enough of during these times!—Nominated by Mark Mahnfeldt

 Janelle Azzolino, South Shore Health

Working with Janelle for the past three years has been incredible. Janelle is the kindest, most empathetic, compassionate nurse that I have ever worked with. Working at a busy outpatient clinic, the nurse needs to understand people’s feelings, opinions, and experiences in order to assess their real needs and act accordingly, offering tailor-made services. Janelle exemplifies this in every aspect. She is an exceptional nurse who truly cares about each and every patient she cares for, treating them as if they were family. I’m proud to not only call her a colleague, but a friend.—Nominated by Melissa Duffy

Caitlin Babin, South Shore Health

In April 2020, I was hospitalized for two weeks with an abdominal infection following a C-section. I had just given birth during a pandemic, and I was still reeling from a difficult delivery that hadn’t gone as planned. I was newly postpartum, readmitted to the hospital without my baby, and afraid. It was a time of great uncertainty and vulnerability, and I was so fortunate to have Caitlin by my side. Caitlin not only advocated for me, but empowered me to advocate for myself. She helped me keep track of my vitals and daily lab results so I could feel more in control of my rapidly changing situation. She shared inspiring stories and prioritized my mental health as well as physical. Caitlin repeatedly exceeded her duties as my postpartum nurse to make me feel comfortable, heard, and informed. 

About a week into my hospital stay, I was getting ready to be discharged. My labs were looking promising and based on what we knew, it appeared that I could finish my course of treatment from home with a visiting nurse. Although I felt ready to go home (and couldn’t wait to do so!), Caitlin had a feeling that something wasn’t quite right. She reported this, and as a result I had some more tests to be sure. My CT scan showed that my condition had in fact worsened despite my promising labs. Caitlin’s intuition prevented me from being sent home prematurely in a potentially very dangerous situation, and I will forever be grateful for this.

Caitlin made me feel like family during a time when I couldn’t have my own family around. She truly embodies what it means to be a nurse, and I am so thankful to have been cared for by her.—Nominated by Brittany Wagner

Courtney Barbetto, South Shore Health

Courtney is a valuable asset to the rapid response team. Courtney’s leadership skill and calm demeanor in the most stressful situations are nothing short of amazing. Like so many nurses, she showed this day in and day out over the past year. As a rapid response nurse, she is the critical care nurse for in-patient units and the resource nurse throughput the hospital. There were no protocols for taking care of COVID-19 patients, and how we cared for them changed constantly.  Courtney supported and educated the nurses. She often stayed with a patient on the floors until a bed opened up in the ICU. Courtney displayed what it means to be part of the rapid response team every day.—Nominated by Marie Larson

Paula Beaulieu, South Shore Health

Paula has been ahead of the curve her entire career. As an acknowledged leader in the emergency nursing community, Paula has long focused her talents on creating a culture of safety. She has long supported the mental health of colleagues in the emergency department (ED), and her prescience paid off when more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients and too many fatalities disproportionately impacted the ED. She facilitated colleague listening sessions and greatly advanced the Wellness Program that was already in place. The result was a safer and healthier environment, where stressed colleagues could practice safely and provide feedback to constantly evolve systems of care. We are grateful to Paula for leading and modeling the behavioral support that is now used to support the 1,400 RNs here, along with the entire care team.—Nominated by Tim Quigley 

Rachel Becker, South Shore Health

Rachel is a nurse on the Mother Infant Unit who practices Reiki and aromatherapy in addition to delivering exceptional care to the families she cares for every day. When the pandemic struck, she wanted to do something for her colleagues so she went to her manager and asked about creating a space where staff could go to decompress. With mostly donated items, Rachel created the Calm Room. A quiet room on the Mother Infant Unit with massage chairs, music, dim lights, and aromatherapy, it opened in June 2020, and now staff have a place to go for 5 minutes or 55 minutes to relax and escape, all thanks to Rachel.—Nominated by Kathleen Bruce

Joanne Bernard, South Shore Wound Center, South Shore Health

Joanne has been my coworker, first in Homecare and now in the ambulatory setting, for 30 years. Every day I work with Joanne I see her invest in her patients 100 percent, completely understanding that it is not the illness that defines the patient and that knowing the patient as a whole will allow her to help her patient improve their overall health. The time and energy Joanne puts in to educate her patients on all levels never ceases to amaze me. In Homecare, Joanne often received letters of thanks from her patients for helping them in many facets, be it understanding medication or making difficult lifestyle changes. But Joanne’s enthusiasm took much of the fear out of this new diagnosis. Even after all these years, I am amazed at what an inspiring nurse Joanne is—so much so that her daughter has gone on to pursue the career that her mother inspired her in. I am truly thankful to have such a wonderful coworker and friend.—Nominated by Eileen Stevenson

Navjyot Bola, South Shore Health

Navjyot Bola, South Shore Health

One hundred and thirty-one days. For 131 days, Nav was my son’s first family in those Neonatal ICU walls. As a 23-weeker, with us being first-time parents, Nav protected and cared for him meticulously, with unending thoughtfulness. Even while executing complex medical care for our micro-preemie, she guided us through our grief and showed us how even in the darkest of times, there is so much light.

When Nav was on, this mother’s heart did not ache that her son felt lonely, because I knew that he felt loved. She would dress him for holidays and celebrate his NICU milestones with the same joy. She advocated for him through every hurdle. Her grace transformed our trauma into gratitude for the memories cherished, and laughs shared. If that time was not testament enough, her dedication and our friendship continue to this day. Just three days ago, she shared in our celebration of 365 days since he came home after those four fateful months. Nav will forever be a part of Sufiyan’s story. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his first anniversary of coming home than to thank Sufiyan’s fairy godmother, our nurse Nav.—Nominated by Abid Siddiqui

Jeanmarie Bowler, South Shore Health

During the Covid pandemic, I was floated to the ICU to assist with high number of Covid-19 patients. Jeanmarie volunteered to rapidly train me. Jeanmarie is an exception ICU nurse demonstrating compassion, dedication, critical thinking, empathy and knowledge. Like all of the frontline staff at South Shore Health, Jeanmarie excelled under pressure. She is calm, confidant and effective. Jeanmarie and I are friends and neighbors. During the pandemic, we would sit in a parking lot, a shed or some quiet outdoor area to decompress after a shift. We talked about the effects Covid had and has on our perspectives. Never have I feared for my life while taking care of patients. We talked about the efficacy of the PPE and whether it would protect us enough when going back to our families. We talked about living separately, living together in separate areas or risk it and be in the same room, fearful we would cause transmission to our families. Jeanmarie is one of the strongest women I know and one of the best nurses I’ve worked with and that is over 30 years worth.—Nominated by Cindy Cooney

Stephanie Bradley, Rob Abbadessa, Diane Logan, Joanne Meola, Kelly Simpson, South Shore Health 

The above five superb nurses fill the key “air traffic controller” role in our 100,000-visit Emergency Department, which is also the gateway for our Level 2 Trauma Center. These smart colleagues dynamically shift a wide variety of clinical resources as 250 patients a day arrive with an even wider variety of concerns. They come by ambulance (84 a day) and about a third of them require a bed. These “Magnificent Six“ registered nurses were, and continue to be, the clinical leaders who managed and supported the entire COVID-19 patient initial point of contact, ensuring the safety of the patient and colleagues who care for them. They are great patient advocates and support worried families with their superb communication skills to make the magic all happen. We are indebted to them and thank them for their daily professionalism and tremendous work.—Nominated by Tim Quigley 

Terri Burgess, Maternal Care Special Unit, South Shore Health

Terri and all of the nurses and nursing assistants in the Maternal Special Care Unit took extraordinary care of me when I was 30 weeks pregnant during the height of the first wave of COVID-19. All of the nurses I encountered were kind, compassionate, helpful, and supportive during my almost two-week stay. I am a school-based speech language pathologist who continued to see my students from my hospital room. They ensured that I would not be disturbed so my students would not find out that I was hospitalized, causing them added worry. As I couldn’t leave my room or have family or friends visit, the nurses were “my people” during this challenging time. My family and soon-to-be one-year-old son are eternally grateful for them!—Nominated by Courtney Beckerman

Kerriann Campbell, South Shore Health

Kerri is our CNE for the CCU. During this past year she has supported the needs of the CCU through countless hours of training to take on the needs of COVID patients. She starred in video’s to explain PPE management, and in addition made sure the education needs of the colleagues she supports was not compromised.—Nominated by Donna Chase

Pamela Caron, Home Care Oncology, South Shore Health

Pam has been providing compassionate care to our oncology patients for the past 15 years. This past year, Pam was challenged with a very difficult situation. She was assigned to care for a colleague with whom she worked every day. This patient was diagnosed with a serious illness very suddenly and needed Pam’s expertise to help her understand the diagnosis and treatment options, as well as navigate a very complex medical system in the midst of a pandemic. The patient was often alone when inpatient care was required. Pam frequently checked in with the patient’s spouse, provided updates when possible, and most importantly was there to provide much-needed support and encouragement. As her patient’s disease progressed, and moved toward a more palliative approach, Pam was available, even on her days off, to visit and take calls from her spouse. She was never unavailable to them. As her manager, I know that this was an emotionally draining time for Pam, but she forged on until her patient’s eventual transition to hospice. Her patient’s family saw her as a lifeline during a very emotional and challenging time. I am proud to work with such a humble, compassionate, and caring nurse.—Nominated by Joyce Cox

Lauren Carter, South Shore Health

I’ve seen her at work and she always has a smile on her face, despite whatever situation she may be facing. With every patient she encounters, Lauren builds an amazing rapport. If a patient needs a good laugh she is there making them laugh. If a patient needs a hand to hold, she is right there at their beside.  Lauren may be a new nurse but she is a great nurse, and I have loved watching her grow in confidence and skill.  She makes me proud—Nominated by Sarah Georges 

Ali Cash, South Shore Health

Ali is a case manager on an inpatient unit at South Shore Hospital. She had a patient, SW who was admitted from a group home with generalized weakness, refusal to eat, weight loss, and presumed aspiration pneumonia. The patient is nonverbal at baseline. Ali immediately knew this was going to be a complex discharge plan and arranged a meeting with the patients’ parents, the group home staff including DDS and the care team to discuss the needs of the patient. Ali served as the advocate for the patient exploring all options. The initial plan established was to look into rehab placement but this turned out to not be an option. The only option was for the patient to return to the group home. She communicated openly and honestly with the group home staff and parents. She coordinated teaching for the group home staff on the patient’s care needs including tube feedings and transfers. Today Ali received an email form the patient’s mom thanking her from the bottom of her heart for all her support and advocacy in making this discharge happen. – Nominated by Allison Conlon

Megan Cataldo, South Shore Health

This nurse consistently in every interaction I’ve witnessed demonstrates compassion, competency, excellent communication, has wonderful bedside manner and is always very warm and kind in her interactions with others – patients and staff alike. She is someone I’ve witnessed go above and beyond on multiple occasions and she is always very calm, cool and collected even in difficult and stressful situations. She is an exemplary nurse who deserves to be honored. – Nominated by Jenny Piaskoski

Rosanne Clancy, Angela Flaherty, South Shore Health 

Angela and Rosanne use their deep nursing knowledge and operational talents to expertly manage the complex patient flow through our over-occupied hospital. This is amazing work on any day, and became even more critical during this extended pandemic. They were able to successfully cohort COVID-positive or -suspected patients throughout the entire platform for the past year and keep flow safe and moving through our busy ED, Level 2 trauma, and high-risk OB platforms. Critical care, intermediate care, operating room demands, direct transfers, and medical/surgical patients needing higher levels of care, end-of-life needs, physiological monitoring, behavioral health, hemodialysis, staff skill sets experience, and staff extender resources are all weighed, along with the new and changing infection control and COVID testing variables, to make the right bed choice. They both do this complex work well and with excellent communication skills and grace. South Shore Health is fortunate to have these two nurses “steer the ship” into a safe harbor for patients and colleagues each and every stormy day, and especially during Hurricane Covid.—Nominated by Tim Quigley

Donna Coughlin, South Shore Health

Donna works in the PACU. During the Covid-19 surge in the spring, she selflessly volunteered to support the staff the ICU. In the face of great uncertainty and personal risk, she stepped up with grace and caring. Donna spent 12 weeks deployed to care for the sickest members of our community. When the second surge hit the South Shore, she raised her hand; she stepped up again and returned to the ICU. She showed strength and courage. She knew what the next surge would entail. Donna advocated for the safety of the patients and other RN staff. She knew she had a skill set that could be immediately utilized and successful.— Nominated by Patricia Heenan

 Lynn Darmetko, Ambulatory Care, South Shore Health

Lynn is so nice and compassionate every time I have to go get my Inflectra infusion. I always have a hard time with my orders getting faxed and she calls and calls to get them from my doctor when she really doesn’t have to. She knows how much I need my infusions. I am so grateful for her.—Nominated by Carolyn Servais

Nicole Daukas, South Shore Health

I was admitted to Emerson 4 with COVID-related double pneumonia, I was very sick, on the verge of sepsis. Colie (Nicole) was the most caring and attentive nurse I have ever met. She made sure everything was taken care of, from medicines to oxygen. I was so weak that she helped me change my clothes and helped me to the commode. She made sure I had enough to drink and eat, even though I didn’t feel well enough to eat. She was wonderful.—Nominated by Laura Raftert


Janet Davidson, South Shore Health

Janet continually helps out the floor nurses and nursing aides. She has a very important role as a rapid response nurse and deals with difficult situations every day. While helping very sick patients, she also takes time to check on all the nurses, helping with transferring, answering bed alarms, and washing patients. Recently, Janet transferred a patient from another floor to the Intermediate Care Unit. She not only delivered extremely compassionate care, she also helped to get her settled and made sure that we had everything that we needed. I always feel supported by Janet. We’re very lucky to have such a caring, smart, and experienced individual helping us during emergency situations.—Nominated by Meghan Golden

Janet Davidson, South Shore Health

I have the pleasure to work with Janet on the rapid response team. Janet is a rapid response nurse. This past year has been the most challenging that many of us have faced. Janet is an experienced nurse. Rapid response nurses have protocols to follow, but this past year was beyond any protocol we have. Janet not only supported nurses throughout the organization, she also was a strong advocate for patients and family. Janet is a valuable resource nurse who goes beyond her scope of practice. An Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support instructor, she’s a pivotal member of a new BERT [behavioral emergency response team] program being started. Janet gives 150 percent every time she comes to work.—Nominated by Marie Larson

Pauline Davy, South Shore Health

She works all sorts of crazy hours in the Critical Care Unit, when she could be retired.—Nominated by Meredith Spaulding 

Cindy Deluca, Theresa Leary, South Shore Health

Infection control has always been important, and therefore an appropriately enormous focus of health care. The COVID-19 pandemic multiplied that focus tenfold, and our two infection control RNs were essential in navigating us through this morass of evolving science and incomplete information. Both Cindy and Theresa have over 30 years of wisdom, which they share during daily open conference calls, endless rounding on clinical units, skilled observation, and firm but supportive teaching.—Nominated by Tim Quigley

Jennifer Deneault, South Shore Health

When the nurses on the front line needed her to step in and help precept 39 new nurses and student nurses to help on the frontline, Jen stepped in with her colleagues to develop a plan and get these valuable resources up on the unit.—Nominated by Donna Chase

 Julie Doyle, South Shore Health

Julie is the evening operations manager at South Shore Medical Center. She is the “go-to” person no matter what the need, clinical or operational. She is always willing to take on a project whether a quality initiative like behavioral health screenings and patient follow-up or providing clinical assistance to patients and nursing colleagues. Julie serves as educator, care provider, leader, and administrator with ease a competence unmatched by others. We are overwhelmingly grateful for all that Julie gives to our patients, providers and staff.— Nominated by Joanne Hogan

Claire Duffy, South Shore Health

Claire is a dedicated nurse. She goes above and beyond for each of her patients. She takes time with them, answering questions and is thorough in her approach. She is inclusive, always considering input from her multidisciplinary team members in rehab. Claire creates a comprehensive care plan, and makes sure she knows and is up to date on what is occurring clinically with her case load. She will see additional patients as needed. She is a team player and is driven to provide excellent nursing care to all. Claire is a great example and model as a nurse who juggles many responsibilities but makes it all appear seamless. Claire faces challenges head on and does it with a smile. She is a joy to work with. We enjoy having her on our home care nursing team.—Nominated by Danielle Vinci

Cynthia Dutton, South Shore Health

Not only is she an unbelievable nurse and a role model to manyshe is my mom. Growing up, I have watched her hard work and dedication to patient care, improving patient outcomes and the nursing profession. Throughout the pandemic, she worked countless hours, and when her day was finally done, she remained committed to her profession. She is enrolled in graduate school to receive her Master of Science degree in nursing informatics. My mom loves her profession, and her passion and love have inspired me. This year did not scare me; it only solidified my decision to pursue a career in nursing myself. Thank you, Mom, and happy Nurses Day!—Nominated by Ariana Dutton

 Emergency Department, South Shore Health

Through my 24+ years of Emergency Nursing and though a pandemic, I have seen our nurses put everything on the line 24/7. Coming in early, staying late, and shouldering the burdens for each other. Aristotle said, “you are what you do repeatedly, therefore excellence ought be a habit, not an act.” That sums up the South Shore Hospital ED Nurses perfectly.—Nominated by Robert Abbadessa

Nancy Figueiredo, South Shore Health

Nancy is an experienced homecare nurse who was working evenings seeing patients not in her territory. She had a heavy schedule but took the time to call the MD office and see why a patient needed to have security for the visit. It was a “misunderstanding” that she clarified and was able to go do the admission in a safe manner without needing to involve security. She later called me and told me how grateful, cooperative and ‘wonderful” the patient was. I believe that her advocating for a patient she didn’t know was so like Nancy to always do the right thing. I am so grateful to have Nancy on my team!—Nominated by Jean Leonowicz

Kelly Fitzpatrick, South Shore Health

During these difficult times, Kelly opened her home to her colleagues to help protect their families and be close to the hospital to work on the frontlines. She is a passionate, caring clinical nurse educator who is willing to take on any challenge and help with any cause. Her work with developing and implementing the South Shore Hospital Behavioral Health Response Team will result in valuable resources being available to the many behavioral health patients seeking care at our organization.—Nominated by Donna Chase

Alison Foley, Wound Center, South Shore Health

Alison has been a nurse for over 40 years. I am so impressed at the energy level she brings to work every day. Alison is always taking on new projects with such enthusiasm it inspires the nurses. Alison is a preceptor for most of the new nurses who are hired into the South Shore Health Wound Center, and they’re amazed at the orientation provided. Alison’s nursing knowledge is fascinating to listen to and learn, even during lunch hour. If you’re eating lunch with Alison, you will learn something invaluable. The Wound Center runs most effectively as a team, and Alison is one of the main members of that team. If needed, Alison will be the first to stay late to help out. Alison will jump into a room if she sees a nurse needs assistance. It is a true pleasure to work with Alison.—Nominated by Eileen Stevenson

Nicole Giroux, South Shore Health

Nicole sought out clarification on the status of a patient who has complex needs. She is extremely thorough, and conscientious, taking the extra time to prepare herself for home care visits, and providing the best care possible. – Nominated by Gina Cassidy

Kathryn Googins, South Shore Health

Last March, during the early chaos of the COVID-19 crisis, my sister had a stroke and was hospitalized. We soon discovered that she had cancer throughout her body and the prognosis was grim. During the three weeks of my sister’s hospitalization, transfer to a rehabilitation facility, and finally to her home, my best friend of over 40 years, Kathryn Googins, was there to give me comfort, support, and assurance. Even though she had just endured weeks of working the front line in the Emergency Department at South Shore Hospital, combating a virus that we knew little about, Kathryn showed up at my sister’s house on Easter Sunday, on her day off, less than 24 hours after I brought my sister home.

My sister knew Kathryn, so when she offered to give her a bath to get ready for company, my sister agreed. My college-age daughter, whose nursing education was disrupted because of the pandemic, was also present to assist Kathryn. What I witnessed that day was not only a master class in how to give caring, compassionate care to a terminally ill patient, but also how to skillfully instruct and teach a new student nurse. Kathryn bathed and brushed my sister’s teeth, applied moisturizer to her dry hands, and dabbed perfume on her wrists. My sister was so thankful and appreciative. She said to Kathryn, “I admire you.” Kathryn nonchalantly dismissed the compliment. “Oh please! I’m glad I could make you feel better. This is nothing.” But it was everything. The following day, my sister died.—Nominated by Joanne Teliszewski 

Patrice Harrington, South Shore Health

Patrice has been a nurse for over 30 years but one would never know as she brings such enthusiasm to the South Shore Health Wound center as though it is her first day. Patrice demonstrates such compassion and amazing listening skills with her patients that she is always remembered by name by all the patients. Patrice is most proud of her profession as a nurse carrying forward the compassion of her mother, also a nurse, whose nursing pin Patrice wears proudly. Patrice precepts the majority of new nurses and they will say it was truly a rewarding experience for them.—Nominated by Eileen Huie Stevenson 

Amanda Hawkesworth, South Shore VNA, South Shore Health

Amanda started as a new nurse in home care, a challenging field due to the autonomy that it demands. I was fortunate enough to see Amanda in action as a new nurse, and now a year later. She has always provided compassionate care as she deals with complex patients on the oncology team. She has been able to coach patients and families through rigorous treatment protocols and work with them to adapt to their own perceptions of body image and loss of identity due to a cancer diagnosis and treatments. She has grown tremendously in this role and has not only compassion, but confidence and skill that helps put her patients at ease. She understands that a patient’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and brings a ray of light and hope with her on her visits to patient’s home. She is a talented nurse who gives 100 percent. Her patients and community are so lucky to have her.—Nominated by Tammie Ryan

Deborah Hoffman, South Shore Health

Deb is a rock star. Period. As the nurse practitioner who leads the critical Employee Health Department, she has expertly designed and executed a dozen employee vaccine clinics for grateful colleagues. Deb is a detailed and passionate leader who models the daily behaviors that are required to lead us through this pandemic. She uses her strong work ethic and analytical and clinical ability to care for (in the very best sense of the word) her entire community of South Shore Health colleagues.—Nominated by Tim Quigley 

Kim Hurley, South Shore Health

Kim is the “air traffic controller” of our 24-bed (pre-COVID-19 capacity) adult critical care unit. She functions as the clinical flow coordinator and ensures that we have enough staff and resources. We peaked at 45 ICU patients and 32 ventilators (pre-COVID average was seven). Many of these patients experienced multisystem failure and required specialized, resource-intensive treatments to support their failing kidneys. Kim did this complex logistics work beautifully and fairly while jumping in clinically and always remembering that the patient is in the center of all decisions. Kim was quietly extraordinary in keeping families and patients together as much as possible during this pandemic. She supported the anguished staff who became the surrogate families for many of these very ill patients, a significant subset of whom passed. Kim is a smart and kind human being who is a superb RN and that the South Shore community is fortunate to have caring for them—Nominated by Tim Quigley 

Kathryn Kearney, South Shore Health

Kathryn works in the PACU. During the Covid-19 surge in the spring, she selflessly volunteered to support the staff the ICU. In the face of great uncertainty and personal risk, she stepped up with grace and caring. Kathryn spent 12 weeks deployed to care for the sickest members of our community. When the second surge hit the South Shore, she raised her hand. Kathryn stepped up again and returned to the ICU. She showed strength and courage. She knew what the next surge would entail. Kathryn advocated for the safety of the patients and other RN staff. She knew she had a skill set that could be immediately utilized and successful. —Nominated by Patricia Heenan

 Jean Kelley, South Shore Health

Jean is an operating room nurse who assisted with our proning team in the intensive care unit during the Covid-19 crisis. The ICU nurses were overwhelmed with the number of patients so the operating room was able to send them some nurses to assist with proning the COVID patients and it required more staff to perform this function. When the operating room wasn’t busy, Jean would go to the unit to lend a hand and teach all of our staff how to best assist the ICU nurses. She made up proning packs so they were ready to go and trained all of our ancillary team members from the VNA so they could be part of the proning team as well. She provided those extra moments to patients to alleviate their fear and went the extra mile so these patients would feel supported. In the absence of their family members, Jean could be found just sitting at a bedside and making the patients comfortable. I am proud to have Jean on my team and I know she had a huge impact on many patients in the unit over the past year by going the extra mile and treating them as if they were family.—Nominated by Janine Hardman

Lisa Lennon, South Shore Health

Lisa joined South Shore Health as Nurse Manager of Internal Medicine just around the time of Covid-19. She quickly took the lead on several clinical initiatives while engaging with and supporting her staff. With much to learn in a dynamic environment, Lisa didn’t miss a beat. She learned existing workflows and created new ones, while supporting and updating her staff. She is known for her compassion and understanding, outstanding communications, and her exceptional clinical knowledge. We are grateful for her leadership.—Nominated by Joanne Hogan

Rebekah Livorsi-DePillo, South Shore Health

Rebekah is kind-hearted, compassionate, and an expert in her field. Even working in a bustling Emergency Department, Rebekah took time to meet my grandmother’s individual needs and made her feel comfortable in an anxious situation. She eased the minds of my grandmother and my family with her excellent care. Her skills and compassion deserve the highest recognition.—Nominated by Liana MacDonald 

Clarena Lundrigan, South Shore Health

Clarena is a recovery room nurse who volunteered to work in the ICU during the COVID-19 pandemic. One day, she volunteered to stay long after her shift to care for a dying patient. This patient was determined to be comfort-measures-only, and because of visitor restrictions the patient was alone. Clarena stayed with the patient so he would not die alone.—Nominated by Lisa Murphy

Leah Lyons, South Shore Health

My family nominates Leah Lyons of Labor and Delivery because of her love and dedication to her career. She can put a first-time mom at ease even in the most difficult scenarios. Leah has made an enormous impact in the lives of all her patients. Aside from being the biggest rock star the hospital has ever seen, she took extra time away from her own family to assist in Boston with the pandemic. She’s strong in heart and full of smiles. There is no one more deserving than Leah. She has such an investment in her patients that she put in hours after her shift ended to take part in a delivery, just because she was there for the other two. We love her and I’m certain there are countless families who would say the same.—Nominated by Nicome Rizzi

Mark Mahnfeldt, South Shore Health

In his role as VP of Acute Care Nursing, Mark has been a tremendous leader of nursing and led many rapid and safe changes during this entire pandemic that supported the clinical needs of our patients, the emotional and communication needs of their families and kept the colleagues safe. Mark ran daily conference calls to adapt to supply shortages, rapidly changing volume and clinical guidance’s and was superb and creative in doubling the ICU capacity, designating and then demobilizing multiple Covid-19 units, and driving the use of extenders and support systems during the different phases of this year long epidemic. Mark used this extended crisis to advance the physiological monitoring infrastructure and our remote observation systems, setting our organization up for long term success after the pandemic wanes. He is a creative problem solver who role models the right behaviors and works hard to be the very best leader that he can be. Thank you Mark for your tremendous work and in beautifully supporting your team through this “Covid white water”! — Nominated by Tim Quigley

Gabrielle Mahoney, South Shore Health

In March 2020, my grandfather Fred was hospitalized for nearly the entire month before he passed. On days where the grief seems unbearable the conversation always turns to “what would we have done without Gabrielle?” Like many families during the pandemic, we couldn’t visit my grandfather, so when he decided to switch to comfort care we knew there was no way we could choose just one family member to be with him. Fred only had two wishes: a cup of tea, and to come home. Despite many obstacles, Gabrielle made sure he got what he wanted. 

With a day’s notice, Gabrielle ensured that all the hospice equipment was delivered to our house. She sat with my grandfather while he enjoyed his last cup of tea. When there wasn’t a hospice nurse on such short notice, Gabrielle allowed me, an ICU nurse, to care for him. She came to our house in tears to make sure I was fully prepared to take on such a difficult role. When Fred began to decline and the ambulance company wasn’t sure they could get him home before he passed, Gabrielle made it happen. Around midnight on March 21, two ambulances pulled down our street, and my grandfather was greeted with applause from all of our neighbors and their children, who held signs that read “Welcome home, Fred.” 

Gabrielle gave my family human connection in a time of isolation. She never stopped advocating for my grandfather, and because of that we have such a peaceful last memory with him. She is everything a nurse should be. There truly are no words to ever express our gratitude.—Nominated by Ariana Cellini

Kelly Malick, South Shore Health

Kelly works in the PACU at South Shore Hospital. During the Covid-19 surge in the spring, she selflessly volunteered to support the staff the ICU. In the face of great uncertainty and personal risk, she stepped up with grace and caring. Kelly spent weeks deployed to care for the sickest members of our community. When the second surge hit the South Shore, she raised her hand. She stepped up again and returned to the ICU. She showed strength and courage. She knew what the next surge would entail. Kelly advocated for the safety of the patients and other RN staff. She knew she had a skill set that could be immediately utilized and successful.—Nominated by Patricia Heenan

Kelly Mattar, South Shore Health

Kelly is a South Shore Health nurse educator in ambulatory care. During the Covid-19 pandemic not only did she prepare and educate many colleagues, she also contributed to direct care and vaccination clinics and went above and beyond in transitioning to the hospital environment to support our labor pool which was largely comprised of ambulatory nurses and MAs. She not only oriented them to the hospital environment and acute care, she also provided encouragement and emotional support during to sustain our caregivers. —Nominated by Joanne Hogan

Gina McCollem, South Shore Health

Gina has put patients and families first during this entire pandemic. She is one of our wound ostomy certified nurses who makes home visits for South Shore VNA. Gina has helped countless patients heal their wounds and get confident in caring for their ostomies.  Gina changes the quality of patient’s lives and has safely cared for her patients during this very difficult time without hesitation. She is admired by all and has the respect of our medical community as a highly skilled clinician. It is an honor to work with her!—Nominated by Jann Ahern

Sharon McLean, South Shore Health

Sharon practices in a very busy primary care department. She goes above and beyond to meet patient needs and contribute to quality and safety efforts. When Covid-19 vaccines became available she received a frantic call from her patient. He needed to receive his

vaccination on a specific day due to his cancer treatments and could not find an appointment. Sharon’s tenacity persevered and despite many challenges she secured not only a vaccine appointment but one that was able to be administered in the comfort of the patient’s home. He was extremely relieved and grateful having one less item weighing heavy on his mind. It’s the small things like this that Sharon does every day that makes her a special nurse not only in her direct care-giving but also in her advocacy, caring, patient relationships, and quality improvement work. She is an outstanding nurse worthy of recognition.—Nominated by Joanne Hogan

Kelsey Mills, South Shore Health

Kelsey is the best ER nurse around. She makes every one of her patients feel so calm and relaxed when they are going through a difficult time.—Nominated by Alexandra Marden

Erin Molito-Fox, South Shore Health

Erin is an outstanding labor and delivery nurse who helped deliver both my son in 2017 and my daughter this past June. She’s kind, compassionate, knowledgeable, and was one of my greatest supporters during both labors. She helped to keep me calm and relaxed even though I was very nervous while delivering a baby in the middle of a pandemic. She was always a consistent advocate for my well-being and that of my baby. I feel so very lucky that she was a special part of both my children’s birth stories!—Nominated by Christina Nolan

Erin Molito-Fox, South Shore Health

Erin is the gold standard for a Labor and Delivery nurse. From the moment we were introduced, Erin was calm, clear, relatable, and supportive—everything one could hope for as they prepare to welcome their newest family member into the world. Erin played a critical role in helping us to feel at ease throughout our stay. Her friendly demeanor, sense of humor, and expansive knowledge and experience in her field made the pressure and stress of the day feel much more manageable with her on, and quite literally by, our side. Erin has obvious passion for her work and truly cares for her patients—both physically and emotionally. We have Erin to thank for making the birth of our child such a smooth and enjoyable process, and are forever grateful to her and the SSH L&D nurses as a whole for their undeniable compassion and commitment to their work.—Nominated by Valerie Sturtevant

Serena Nash, South Shore Health

Serena is a nurse who provides exceptional care to her patients in the home. During this past year being a home care nurse has become even more challenging. Not only is she trying to keep her patients safe but as a team leader she is a support for her

colleagues. Serena has a case load of patients who are clinically and socially complex which is challenging normally but even more so this past year, It is that reason it is impossible for me to choose just one patient or one instance Serena has shown how exceptional she is as a nurse. I would rather summarize the reasons I am nominating her. On November 18th Serena had to step into the role of manager when her own manger had to unexpectedly take a leave from work. This would mean not only would she have to provide care to a case load of 20-25 patients but she would have to serve as a resource and support to her colleagues guiding through a very difficult holiday period.—Nominated by Kim Mello

Lorie Neil, South Shore Health

Last Christmas Eve, Lorie Neil, recovery room nurse, cared for me post-operatively. From the moment I awoke, she provided quiet, gentle words that made me feel safe. She demonstrated professionalism, genuine kindness, clinical knowledge, and confidence in everything she did. Lorie reminded me she was “right here with you” when no family support was permitted. No one is happy to have surgery, but I would not change one thing about my experience. Lorie provided exemplary care and earned my trust under difficult circumstances.—Nominated by Sharon Stemm 

Stephanie Nessralla, South Shore Health

Stephanie is an ambulatory nurse educator at South Shore Health. During the Covid-19 pandemic she contributed to numerous policy and procedural changes, provided direct care, administered Covid vaccine to colleagues, participated in QI efforts and provided leadership during our first ever drive-through flu vaccine clinic. I don’t think we could have accomplished all we did for our patients and colleagues without Stephanie’s expertise and leadership. SSMC is eternally grateful. —Nominated by Joanne Hogan


Lisa Nolan, South Shore Health

Lisa is a very experienced ICU nurse who is often sought after for her clinical and professional knowledge. She is an expert nurse and a leader on the unit. She has been a Magnet Champion along with being a member of the Massachusetts CSI Nursing Delirium Collaborative. She fosters teamwork and a positive collaborative working environment. She always works on behalf of her patients and is a role model for patient/family-centered care.  She is not afraid to speak out to get what she needs for her patients and their family. Lisa shows compassion in her daily care and always goes the extra mile. She is not afraid of death but cares about her newer nurse and how this may affect them and is always there as a coach mentor and a friend. But above all she is there for her patients!—Nominated by Nancy Ahearn

Mary O’Brien, South Shore Health 

Mary took care of me post-op for a mastectomy and tissue expanders. It’s major surgery, but because of COVID-19, a two-night hospital stay turned into outpatient. Just hours after I came out of surgery, she had to teach me how to give myself a shot, empty drains, and do a lot of self-care. Again because of COVID, I wasn’t able to have anyone with me. She made me feel empowered, cared-for, and brave.—Nominated by Susan DeMinico

Caitlin Oliva, South Shore Hospital, South Shore Health

Amazing, compassionate care in the midst of a pandemic.—Nominated by Michelle Peterson

PACU Nurses, South Shore Health

This past year has been challenging for nurses everywhere, so nominating single nurse is difficult. I’d therefore like to nominate the Post-anesthesia Care Unit staff of South Shore Hospital for an amazing job during the COVID-19 pandemic. With elective surgeries on hold, many PACU nurses were deployed to the ICU, and remaining PACU nurses worked all shifts to cover the unit. We had a mix of new PACU nurses who transferred from ICU still on PACU orientation, as well as previous ICU nurses who came to PACU many years ago, all returning to ICU to care for these very sick COVID patients. This was stressful for all, given the nature of infection exposure they were walking into, with disease information constantly changing as more was being learned. PACU was deemed to be a COVID-free ICU and those critical care COVID-negative patients were sent there. Many of us needed educational review regarding the varied ventilators being used, vasopressor infusions, and the many algorithms used in critical care. Nurses were functioning outside their comfort zone, but we got the right people to educate the staff. Besides the work stress being experienced, home was also stressful with children learning remotely, elderly parents unable to see their loved ones, and a general fear of bringing the infection home. During the initial wave in 2020, some staff said temporary goodbyes to their family and rented houses or stayed in a hotel to avoid infecting their family while caring for the sickest of the sick in the ICU. The pandemic has changed us all forever, but the PACU staff of South Shore Hospital deserves a salute.—Nominated by Elaine Campbell

Julie Paul, South Shore Health

Julie and her colleagues created an incredibly successful Perinatal Behavioral Health Program from the ground up, assisting women on their journeys toward better mental health. Their focus allows the often-underserved population of soon-to-be and new mothers to receive the care they need and deserve at key touch points before, during, and after childbirth, positively impacting not only the new mother, but her entire family. Their influence is truly far-reaching. Julie and the entire program team are an outstanding resource, and the South Shore is fortunate to have their expertise. Julie is not just an advocate, she is THE advocate that a patient wants. She is encouraging, caring, knowledgeable, and above all else kind. Her approach is always thoughtful, and her mild manner is a bright spot in what can be one of the most fragile times in a woman’s life. Julie and her team highlight the importance of maternal mental health, and in doing so they foster the dialogue, care, and attention that it needs and deserves.

I cannot speak highly enough of them or the work they do, and consider myself extremely lucky to have had Julie and her colleagues as a part of my pre- and postnatal care team.—Nominated by Valerie Sturtevant

Maureen Plant, South Shore Health

I could not have gotten through my labor without Maureen. She was with me during my hardest time, when medication wasn’t helping with pain. She stayed by my side almost the entire time.—Nominated by Jessica Page

Timothy Quigley, South Shore Health

The Year of the Nurse quickly became one of the most stressful years many nurses ever have or will have lived through. All of the nurses at South Shore Health showed tremendous compassion, innovation and dedication in their response to the pandemic. I was privileged to witness these amazing people step up and care for their patients and each other. Nurses stayed with patients at end of life when families couldn’t visit and use their own phones to FaceTime patients’ families. One Nurse Manager bought dozens of note cards and had her staff write inspirational messages to the ICU nurses, then hand delivered them. Another nurse is collecting donations to purchase cupcakes (individually wrapped) and delivers them to staff on the Covid floors every few weeks. And, with patients’ permission, staff lined the halls to cheer them on as they were discharged after long, lonely admissions for Covid. I can’t nominate all of the SSH nurses, so I am nominating their leader, who has created a culture where nurses doing extraordinary things every day is the norm. —Nominated by Kathy Bruce

 Patricia Reilly, South Shore Health

This has been a difficult year for everyone. The pandemic beat us down and wore us out, and no one would blame a semi-retired labor nurse who gave 40 years of service for sitting back and waiting out the quarantine. However, sitting back and doing nothing is simply not in Pat Reilly’s toolkit. So, when the childbirth education classes were canceled, Pat did everything necessary to assure that our patients (“her” patients) would have access to the education they needed. With her help, we resumed classes in a virtual format, and both patients and providers are delighted. In her usual open and honest fashion, Pat starts every class by letting patients know she is not a computer expert but she knows labor and delivery, and if they bear with her, she will tell them everything they need to know…and she does.—Nominated by Kathy Bruce

Brianna Robbs, South Shore Health

My family could not have been blessed with a better labor nurse than Bri. Despite COVID-19, she made our labor-and-delivery experience amazing, and truly one to remember. Bri spent endless hours at the bedside getting to know her patient, easing the minds of both the patient and her significant other and providing top-notch labor support. She was attentive, enthusiastic, and fun. Bri loves her career, and it is evident in her compassionate care.—Nominated by Liana MacDonald

Stacy Rogers, South Shore Health

Stacy Rogers has done an amazing job in her key role as the clinical flow coordinator of the Pratt 6 unit, which is both an intermediate care unit and one of two non-ICU COVID-19 units. Who knew she would take on a pandemic in her new role after 20 years as a great ICU nurse? That means that this 26-bed (pre-COVID) unit surged to over 40 beds, and the nine IMCU beds had very acute respiratory patients on high-flow oxygen. The evolving medical science after Phase 1 meant that many patients are now not intubated, and aggressively treated with dexamethasone and remdesivir. These frightened patients required significant emotional, physical, and family support. Stacy led a superb team who trained up new extender roles and supported their emotional needs as these colleagues bonded closely with these patients, a significant subset of whom did poorly after seeming to be on the long road to recovery. Stacy is a staunch advocate for patients and nurses and has enormous and justified respect as we have seen her integrity in action each and every day. Thank you Stacy.—Nominated by Tim Quigley

Dianne Stanton Sanchez, South Shore Health

Dianne, who works the Emergency Service night shift, displays unyielding devotion and commitment to her patients and community. Dianne is an unsung hero. Many of our patients have shared how much she has meant to them—and Dianne will be the first to say it is her honor to be their nurse, because this is what she has been called to do. Dianne has had a very impressive military service—one she is very proud of. Diane retired after spending 16 years rising to the rank of commander in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. However, the military has never left her mind or heart—she has continued her service by volunteering for the Veterans Association women’s shelter, “Shelter without Walls.” Dianne shares that volunteering and helping others was instilled by her family in her early youth, she shared with me recently that she spent her early years working with Paul Newman at his “Hole in the Wall Gang” camps, spending many summers volunteering. Dianne is passionate about those facing adversity, disadvantages, and homelessness. She worked at the Boston Hope field hospital at the Convention Center this past year supporting those with COVID-19, all while working at her full-time ED job. Dianne also has spent the past 15 years at the finish line medical tent for the Boston Marathon, and continues to connect with colleagues who were on duty with her on April 15, 2013. It is no wonder or surprise that during this past year, this exceptional nurse answered the call of duty many times to support her community and emergency department. We celebrate her devotion to her patients, and we see her compassion and brilliance displayed each and every night shift!—Nominated by Paula Beaulieu

Genevieve Sarro, South Shore Health

Genevieve was one of the nurses that was involved with my son’s Neonatal ICU care for 18 days. Her care was exceptional. She was so thorough, and took so much time to explain everything as many times as we needed. She also demonstrated so much compassion and always made us feel that we and our son were cared for and loved.—Nominated by Sarah Nickerson

Brooke Shaw, South Shore Health

I nominate my daughter, who has worked full time—while pregnant—throughout this pandemic and never once complained. She works on a cardiac floor and has healed some of the sickest patients. She is kind, compassionate, trustworthy, and a true team player. I’m also a nurse, and know how hard this year has been physically and emotionally for all the staff, patients, and family members. Honestly, I think anyone who works in health care should be nominated.—Nominated by Tracee Morse

Jill Smith, South Shore Health

Jill is an excellent Critical Care Nurse. Her patients always come first and her clinical practice is top notch and her critical thinking skills saves lives in our ICU. She shows compassion and caring to all. She was often the voice of optimism during COVID-19 and inspirational to her peers. —Nominated by Nancy Ahearn

Andrea Stephen, South Shore Health

Andrea is an Ambulatory Nurse Manager at South Shore Health. She led several Covid-19 related projects over the past year, changing and developing new clinical protocols insuring the safety of our patients and colleagues. She contributed her expertise to the

development of our first drive-through flu vaccine and helped to oversee our colleague Covid-19 vaccination clinic. She always goes above and beyond for her staff and patients insuring a safe environment, proficient nursing care, and compassion to everyone.—Nominated by Joanne Hogan

Amy Timmins, South Shore Health

Amy is one of SSH’s newer managers. She is engaged, motivated, and shows her compassion and caring to all the nurses that report to her each and every day. She was able to open a floor and take on additional patients with colleagues that were not from her home department. These nurses came together under her leadership to take on the needs of our elderly patients unable to return to their long term care facilities.—Nominated by Donna Chase

Laurice Vallancourt, South Shore Health

Laurice was caring for an elderly gentleman who lived at home with his wife of 50 years and suddenly became unresponsive at their home. He and the wife were brought in by EMS and was found to have a large cerebral bleed. The wife was so frightened and was being asked to make very difficult decisions concerning his care. The restrictions due to COVID did not allow additional family members to be present. Laurice worked with the providers and was able to advocate for the wife to have her children involved in the decision making. The family was so grateful to be able to be with their mother and help support her. The family was so grateful for Laurice’s kindness and advocacy for not only the patient but for their mother. Laurice had just gone through a very significant illness with her own family member and knew the importance of having family support during these difficult times.—Nominated by Jenifer Green

Mikaela Walsh, South Shore Health

Mikaela has worked tirelessly to help patients during this crisis. Her long hours and dedication across the board with all patients and their families, and being their touchstone, have impacted so many people. Each nurse deserves to be recognized for what they have done and will continue to do during this country’s time of need.—Nominated by Margie Livingston

Dorothy Wisdom, South Shore VNA, South Shore Health

After receiving treatment at Dana Farber for 10 years for cancer, my husband, Edward, was referred to hospice. His health was failing fast. South Shore Visiting Nurses sent Dorothy Wisdom, a palliative care nurse, to our home. After he struggled with pain for months, she has helped him become pain-free and has improved his quality of life to a point I didn’t think would be possible. I’m not sure my husband would still be here if it weren’t for Dorothy. We feel blessed to have Dorothy on his team.—Nominated by Jeanine Bradsher


Southcoast Hospitals Group

Michelle Aguiar, Southcoast Hospitals Group

Michelle is a gifted, compassionate nurse who works tirelessly as an educator to keep patients and staff informed and safe. Early in the pandemic, Michelle implemented a proning program [placing patients to lie on their stomach] for three hospitals to assist COVID-19 patients and enhance their breathing. Michelle worked for months to implement this evidence-based program. She volunteered most of those long hours, and was diligent and compassionate so those patients could live.—Nominated by Donna Conneely Wencis

Southern New Hampshire Medical Center

Michelle Ryan, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center

Michelle advocates for every one of her patients, and this is one of the reasons I am nominating her. She gets translators for those who speak other languages and checks in with patients she is no longer caring for after her shift ends. She works to comfort families when they can’t be there with loved ones and she feels deeply for each and every one of them. She’s also incredibly knowledgeable and resourceful. She is the best nurse.—Nominated by Meghan Ryan

Spaulding Hospital Rehabilitation Network

4 West Nurses, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Since my husband arrived at Spaulding on Oct. 9, due to a fall, he and I have received nothing but amazing care from all of nurses on his care team and all of the nurses on 4 West—truly an inspirational floor of team players. They have been with us through all of the good, bad, and ugly days, especially during the three-month COVID-19 lockdown. The no-visitor rule started on Dec. 2, 2020 and ended March 1, 2021, so we couldn’t see each other for the winter holidays or for both of our birthdays. The nurses decorated Mark’s room for every missed holiday, and bought me candy, flowers, and a card from Mark for Valentine’s Day, all signing it with special heartfelt messages. They all have held Mark’s hand when he needed company during lonely times. They lifted his spirits with friendly banter to make him laugh, and helped him to Zoom or call me to get us through tough days. Even when they do not have the time, they always make time for us. The nurses on 4 West are our angels, and we are so blessed to have them all in our lives right now, during such a difficult time. We truly cannot thank them enough.—Nominated by Mary Ellen Fraser

Kristen Andrea, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

When the first employee COVID-19 vaccine clinics were being planned, Kristen volunteered enthusiastically to vaccinate her colleagues. Whether the clinics started early or ran late, Kristen was there. She developed a camaraderie with her coworkers at the clinics and was a welcoming presence as staff came for their injections. Kristen demonstrated her usual dedication, patience, and kindness during the clinics. In addition, Kristen also floated to all the inpatient units, providing compassionate care during the pandemic.—Nominated by Mary Beth DiFilippo

Bridget Blake, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

Bridget is always smiling. She has worked with her staff and the patients on her unit with compassion and determination during the tumultuous past year. Bridget is artfully able to calm her patients. She has also provided clear clinical updates and information to give families peace of mind when they couldn’t be present due to the pandemic. Bridget was quick to volunteer to perform mandated staff swabbing; with the sun blazing down, there was Bridget in the parking lot, in full PPE, easing staff fears and lightening the mood while performing unpleasant nasopharyngeal swabs.—Nominated by Jeanne Putnam

Bridget Blake, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

Bridget consistently provides high-quality, compassionate, patient-centered care. She first joined the team as a charge nurse and recently transitioned to a manager position. Bridget not only addresses the health needs of her patients, but also works exceptionally hard to connect with them at a very vulnerable time. She demonstrates solid leadership, collaboration, and communication skills to help strengthen our nursing and rehabilitation team. Her impact is evident in the way her team unites around the common goal of providing a safe, empowering environment for patients and families.—Nominated by Katherine MacKirdy

Bridget Blake, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

Bridget has taken on the role of nurse manager after successfully filling the role of charge nurse on a busy short-term rehab unit. To learn all that is involved in being a nurse manager is difficult enough; Bridget has done this during the pandemic when patient, family, and staff stress is running at its highest. Bridget is always caring, cheerful, and invested. She makes sure each of the patients on her floor, as well as the nurses and patient care advocates, have everything they need to be safe and flourish.—Nominated by Jeanne Putnam

Deborah Byrne, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Deb is the director of nursing at SCC and was excellent at advocating, planning, and setting up processes when COVID-19 started a year ago. She has worked tirelessly to keep up with the continuous fast changes to these processes, ensuring that staff are updated and have appropriate equipment for the patients and themselves. During all of this, Deb showed extraordinary compassion to a patient and his wife who were relocated due to the pandemic.

One of our sister facilities had to quickly establish a COVID unit. This required one of their residents to be transferred to our facility. Deb took the time to meet the patient and family the day they arrived. She wanted the family to know who we are, and that we would provide the patient with the best care. Deb has frequently checked in with the family to see how they are doing and if she has concerns regarding their family member. Deb also spoke respectfully to this nonverbal patient. She said good morning to him and explained what she was planning to do for his care. She set up a program for the patient to receive a shower on a scheduled basis. Deb has also taken the time to relieve other people’s fears during the trying times of COVID. This is only one story of how Deb shows her love and compassion and leadership in nursing. Many more stories go untold, and I am grateful for her strong support.—Nominated by Laurie Shippey

Caroline Cameron, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Caroline is my daughter. Last July, I suffered a heart attack and she stepped in to advocate for me, as I was hospitalized out of state while on vacation. Then her father and grandmother both came down with COVID-19. While her father was home with me and I was trying to care for him, she was home with COVID herself. When my husband was hospitalized, again she stepped up. Finally, Caroline spent the day with my mother, holding her hand in the hospital as she died of COVID. Throughout all of this, she was dealing with the pandemic every day on a COVID floor at Spaulding.—Nominated by Allie Cameron

Maria Carter, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Maria is one of the more experienced nurses on the Complex Medicine unit on the fourth floor of Spaulding Hospital Cambridge. This unit was the first to become a COVID-19 unit during the first surge of the pandemic and remains the COVID-19 unit today. Maria serves as the charge nurse on the evening shift, and although she carries her own individual assignments it is almost as if she is carrying the entire census, as she is often called to help the numerous newly graduated nurses she is working with. Maria is soft-spoken, and no one can ever say they heard her raise her voice in frustration, even when other staff members are crying and overwhelmed with stress. Maria develops positive relationships with all members of the team and is one of the first nurses that supervisors call upon help and give guidance, even on other units. Maria’s patients are always complimentary of the care she gives, often stating that they feel safe because they know she knows what she is doing. All members of the team express that they feel less stressed when she is on, and the supervisors cannot compliment her more on her calmness and her ability to run the unit. I believe Maria deserves the recognition because she is selfless, kind, and maintains a level head in chaos, all while giving excellent care to her own patients.—Nominated by Pauline Clarke


Alanna Collins, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

Alanna volunteered to work on the COVID-19 unit. She was nervous; however, she felt confident with her nursing and PPE practice. She wanted to care for the COVID patients. She is proud to be a nurse, especially in this pandemic.—Nominated by Bridget Blake

Alanna Collins, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

Alanna started at Spaulding Brighton as a new graduate and quickly developed strong clinical skills. Even though she is soft-spoken, her authentic, compassionate ability to care for her patients is always evident. Alanna has gracefully transitioned from a new graduate to a mentor for newly hired nurses, who are grateful for her patience as they experience a new clinical environment. Alanna has always delivered quality care to patients and families. However, her courage and leadership during the pandemic have certainly been noteworthy.  Alanna was one of the first nurses to volunteer to be on the COVID-19 unit. Her impact was evident in the way her team united around providing a safe, supported environment for our most vulnerable patients and families. Alanna continues to be conscientious and accountable to help build a solid nursing and rehabilitation team at Spaulding Brighton.—Nominated by Katherine MacKirdy

Jay Cronin, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Jay is an amazing nurse and team player. Every time he’s in charge, the nurses are comfortable that no matter how hard the assignment, they are supported. He is very knowledgeable and always acts in the best interests of the patient. Jay connects with people during stressful situations and encourage them to stay focused and do an amazing job. He is a great support and resource to all new nurses. Every patient who received care from Jay had only a positive feedback and a lot of appreciation. Jay is always approaches his patients with a positive and rational attitude and makes them feel safe and cared with their best interests in mind.—Nominated by Elvira Minasyan

Lucie Dalusma, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

Lucie is very compassionate toward everyone. In fact, she also wants to make sure that people are doing good. Lucie has a way of expressing her concern about both patients and staff. She’s always ready to exceed her job requirements to help somebody.—Nominated by Nesly Bien-Aime

Doreen Egan, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

Doreen always goes the extra mile, whether it’s remembering small things, like how a patient likes their coffee; being a team player, the first to help CNAs and other nurses when she sees them start to feel overwhelmed; or comforting patients, always ready to help them with whatever they need. I can’t even count the number of times patients have eagerly asked if she is their nurse for the night, or remarked “isn’t she wonderful?” after she leaves the room. With her work ethic, compassion, and experience, Doreen makes patients feel safe, comfortable, and cared for. Anyone who has worked with her or been cared for her knows how special she is.—Nominated by Junie Nelson

Erica Foley, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Erica has been instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that both patients and staff know how to provide safe, competent care and ongoing communication. This she did by developing a PPE program where all departments interacting with patients were taught safe donning and doffing of appropriate PPE equipment and how to explain to patients the need for the required equipment, which put the patients at ease. This was done in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, which are the primary languages of the facility. Through this program Erica was able to ensure that the COVID patients received safe, competent care in addition to maintaining socialization to eliminate isolation and depression. Erica also went out of her way bring patients who were able to the windows so that they could at least view their pets and family, and one time she even brought an elderly gentleman to the window to view his new truck, which was an anniversary gift. This brought the patient much joy, and that smile alone reminded Erica why she chose nursing as her vocation.—Nominated by Tamera Corsaro

Emily Granchelli, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

I am a physician on a primarily oncology unit at Spaulding Hospital Cambridge. Our patients are quite complex, with a variety of malignancies in different stages. These patients often experience side effects to their cancer treatments and develop complications, despite being cancer-free. Our unit definitely requires a special type of nurse, and we are fortunate to have many such qualified staff, but one in particular stands out—and that is Emily Miyazaki. I’ve been working with Emily for several years. Emily is extremely conscientious and compassionate. Her attention to detail is incredible. I often find myself reviewing plans for patients with her to get her thoughts on my management, and she provides her input without guile. Her communication with her physicians is on-point. But her most exceptional quality is probably her disposition. She manages critical events with poise and finesse. She never appears harried or stressed. This is critical for our patients, who have been through so many setbacks, sometimes having been admitted to the hospital 10 to 14 times over the course of a year. Emily provides the kind of care where I as a physician feel confident that she can handle such complex management, and where the patient can feel they are getting outstanding care.—Nominated by Donna Roy

Courtney LeBlanc, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Courtney pays extra attention to all her patients. In the especially busy time we’re in now, she makes sure to talk to her patients and check in with them. Courtney works on a COVID-19 floor, and that hasn’t stopped her from being kind and caring. She advocates for her patients  and fights for their needs, whether she wants lab work or just extra sleeping meds so they can rest at night. Courtney does it all while being a full-time midwifery student.—Nominated by Cecilia Chiang

Carmen Lew, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Carmen Lew, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Carmen was hired as a new graduate nurse on the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit here at Spaulding Hospital Cambridge and very early on demonstrated leadership capabilities. Carmen is passionate about her patients and a fierce advocate for their care and well-being. Carmen makes the necessary phone calls to ensure that patients are getting the care and attention that is needed for their safety. Patients and families often mention Carmen by name when they refer to their nursing team and care. Carmen’s attention to details allows her to discover issues before they become major concerns. Carmen is usually the first to arrive for the shift, and when she is the charge nurse ensures that everything is in place for a smooth transition from shift to shift. She ensures that assignments are fair and equitable and was also instrumental when the unit was temporarily converted to a COVID-19 unit. Carmen deserves recognition because she has demonstrated strong clinical and critical thinking skills, all while keeping the team together.—Nominated by Pauline Clarke

Emily Hazzard, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Emily works in the Spaulding Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic Wellesley, where she provides pre-procedure screening for patients coming to the clinic for a variety of procedures. In one case, she was screening a patient, Mr. S, who had a very complicated hospital admission back in November and resides in a skilled nursing facility. Mr. S’s medical condition interferes with his ability to communicate, including with his family. Late in December, he tested positive for COVID-19, but his inability to communicate made it unclear whether he was still having symptoms that would make him contagious, or if they had resolved. This not only dictated whether he could come in for the much-needed procedure, but also what kind of protection he and the staff would need. Emily worked with our Infection Control physician to thoroughly evaluate the situation. This included conversations with the family, caregivers, and SRH physician about the patient’s condition, timelines, and treatment priority. There was a lot of communication between clinical decision-makers. Emily was very sensitive to the family’s position, their concern for their family member to not have treatment delayed, and the pandemic-enforced distance between family and their admitted loved ones. She kept them informed, involved, answered questions, and made them a priority with Mr. S.—Nominated by Nancy Milligan

Ralph Ibalobor, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Ralph has been dedicated to Spaulding for over 16 years. Every morning that he comes in, he checks on all the staff from the night shift. Ralph frequently covers other units and helps to provide education to novice nurses. Ralph frequently covers the house pager, without compliant, even when it is not his assigned day. When patients have concerns, he is the first to try to make things better. Patients consistently compliment Ralph on his response and respect for their concerns. Ralph is always the first person to step up when something needs to be done. No one ever has to ask Ralph for assistance—whether it is on his unit, another unit, or nursing administration, Ralph always steps in to help. His dedication and work ethic have a direct effect on the unit. I greatly appreciate having Ralph as my nurse practice leader and would not be able to function without him.—Nominated by Johngelyn Alleyne

Irina Johnson, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Irina is a great teacher. She was a CNA for many years while working toward her RN. She is so gifted in her job and well-liked by her staff. She helps out at Cape Cod Hospital, too. She is one amazing lady who trains a lot of new RNs.—Nominated by Patricia Jewett

Jeanne Laurie, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Jeanne is a nurse leader whose primary focus is maintaining and improving patient safety. Her leadership style supports her staff so that they can take exceptional care of their patients.  During the pandemic, Jeanne worked tirelessly to effectively communicate best practices and changing policies to her staff. She put her team and her patients first, sometimes to her own potential detriment. Jeanne is one of our many heroes I am proud to work with every day!—Nominated by Deborah Byrne

Kristin Lawrence, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Kristin stepped into her role as the infection prevention nurse just before the pandemic began. She quickly learned the intricacies of infection prevention in the midst of the pandemic. Kristin provided reassurance and support to her colleagues and protection for patients and families. Kristin spent many hours teaching staff, fitting staff for masks, and monitoring patients for symptoms. Kristin also kept up-to-date with her other responsibilities. Although new to her role, Kristin gained the Spaulding team’s trust through her dedication and competence. Kristin continues to be a role model for staff in infection prevention practices and in the compassionate way she treats others.—Nominated by Mary Beth DiFilippo


Kristin Lawrence, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Kristin has been an amazing coworker and leader through this pandemic as the infection preventionist for the hospital. Kristin has communicated efficiently with staff, patients, and patient families with up-to-date information and guidelines. Kristin demonstrates empathy and compassion throughout all aspects of her care. She happily fields any question, from anyone, at any time. Even if she does not have the answer immediately, her follow-through is superb. Kristin is dedicated, hard-working, and goes all-out more often than not. She is one of the most underrated behind-the-scenes players—and we couldn’t do it without her!—Nominated by NoraAnn Faler

Tiana Mackin, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Tiana has an outstanding work ethic and compassion for her team and her patients. She is on the spinal cord unit, where she has become the MVP. She is a newer nurse who has risen to the occasion with her knowledge of the population. She is constantly looking out for her patients, questioning the team when appropriate to make sure her patients are getting the best care.

Patients on this unit are vulnerable because their entire lives have been altered. It is difficult at times for them to see the positives and be motivated enough to work with the therapy staff. Tiana is their biggest cheerleader. She makes sure they are ready for therapy, encourages them to participate, and cheers them on. Her patients’ level of recovery is correlated with the amount of compassion and care Tiana gives them. She sees the entire picture of a patient’s rehabilitation stay and makes sure she has a positive impact.  

Tiana is a tremendous team player. She constantly assesses the floor’s needs and how she can help. She is known for jumping in and helping patients who aren’t hers when others are busy, no matter how busy her day is. She does it all with a smile, and genuinely wants to help. Her positive energy is infectious, she makes everyone want to do better around her. She is an incredible nurse who is selfless, and kind. We are so very lucky to have her on own nursing staff.—Nominated by Melissa Gregory

Patricia Maniquis, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

Patricia always assures that patients’ needs are met. Patricia was observed speaking to a patient who needed assistance. She took her time and displayed compassion and thoughtfulness. She sympathized, and was kind. Patricia also communicates well and shows responsiveness on the unit. She has excellent work habits and is always volunteering to help others. She is a team player and has demonstrated excellent clinical growth.—Nominated by Arlene Roberts

Emmeline Nease, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Emmeline is an amazingly dedicated nurse who constantly puts the needs of her patients first. She has this wonderfully cheery disposition and brings such a positive attitude to everything she does at the hospital, from caring for patients to speaking to family members to lending a hand to fellow nurses. I feel so lucky to be able to work alongside Emmeline, and I always know it’ll be a great day and that patients will be well cared for when she’s on the unit.—Nominated by Courtney LeBlanc

Nursing Department, Spaulding Rehabilitation Brighton

For the past year, life in a skilled nursing facility has been one of constant change, frequent Department of Public Health (DPH) infection-control surveys, and hyper-vigilance. Full PPE became the norm. Throughout all of this, the SRB nursing department has shown strength and resilience. Our Director of Nursing Maureen Calnan, our infection control nurse Donna Keenan, and all of the nurses and patient care assistants have shown up and provided dedicated, compassionate care. They kept our patients safe and helped them to progress with their rehab. They have been shining stars during infection control surveys. They adapted and incorporated all mandated changes readily. They make us beyond proud.—Nominated by Jeanne Putnam

Jennifer Ojala, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Jen is an exceptional nurse; the care and compassion she shows all her patients is remarkable. During the pandemic, Jen worked tirelessly to continue to provide that excellent care, coming in early and staying late to ensure her patients and coworkers had the support required. Many weeks, Jen worked 50-60 hour shifts. During times of uncertainty and stress, Jen was a calming influence. Providing exceptional clinical care is a challenge in regular times, but during a pandemic, the challenges are immense; Jen met those challenges with laser focus, empathy, and compassion.—Nominated by Deborah Byrne

Samantha Picillo, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Sam does everything possible to heighten patients’ experiences at Spaulding. Whether it is encouraging family members to bring in pictures and personal objects to personalize their room or spending extra time explaining processes to patients, she constantly goes the extra mile. Sam is also a dependable team player. Her effective communication skills make for easy collaboration and timely implementation of ideas. The caseload we share includes many patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Sam is always willing to make the setting more accessible and inclusive. Employees like this are what sets the care at Spaulding apart from other rehabs.—Nominated by Kanella Christopulos

Teresa Reddy, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Teresa has been a dedicated staff nurse on the Pediatric program for the past 21 years. She consistently provides exemplary patient and family care. She encourages the rehab team to incorporate the patient’s family into treatment and patient care routines. She has worked with numerous medically complex patients and has provided the families with support and education for their child. She remains positive and encouraging, and recognizes the strengths of each family, even the most challenging ones. She provides very thorough family teaching and practices excellent customer service skills. She does all she can to make patients and families comfortable during their hospital stay. Teresa has trained many new nurses through the years, and continues to mentor newer nurses.   She is also a clinical nursing instructor for the MGH Institute of Health Professions. When training any staff person, nursing student, new nurse, patient, or family member, Teresa spends a great deal of time with each individual to provide a very positive learning experience.—Nominated by Josephine DiPietro

Laurie Shippey, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Laurie stands for excellence and best outcomes for our patient population. She is up-to-date on evidence-based practices and advocates for our rehab patients to receive individualized, patient-centered care. Laurie’s mission is to get our patients back to their families and communities. Laurie stands for safety, comfort, and a return to a functional lifestyle and the utmost quality of life. I am grateful for Laurie’s leadership, and she is an excellent role model.—Nominated by Martha Martin

Holly Slauter, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge

Holly Slauter started here as a new graduate nurse in September 2018. Holly exemplifies what it means to grow and develop within a facility. With patient care assistant experience already behind her, it has been a pleasure to watch Holly develop into a compassionate, strong nurse who methodically advocates for her patients in order to deliver the best patient outcomes. Holly succeeded as a charge nurse, where she actively listens to her coworkers’ needs and advocates for a collaborative environment. Holly proactively anticipates concerns and always has a methodical plan to resolve them. She is a role model to all our new nurses.—Nominated by Janel Wastaferro

Anne Woodward Smith, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

I have had the privilege of working with Anne on multiple occasions, but one particular patient relationship stands out. We were working with a confidential patient who was very scared, overwhelmed, and in pain. Anne was in her room, helping her or keeping her company, almost every time I went in to see the patient or walked by her room. She would always offer to help me assist her out of bed or jump in if the intervention required a second set of hands. The patient was sad about not being home for Christmas, and when I came in the next Monday morning, I learned that Anne had helped her put up a bunch of Christmas decorations. Anne also worked hard with me to develop an out-of-bed schedule with the therapy team to help the patient progress toward her goals. She is one of the most patient, caring, and flexible people to work with in the building and I’m so grateful our patients have the opportunity to get care from her as their nurse!—Nominated by Tarryn Teresak

Portia Sumido, Spaulding Nursing & Therapy Center Brighton

I have had the pleasure of working with Portia for a little over three years. She never ceases to impress with her quiet but confident, always compassionate, skills. Due to Portia’s empathetic nature, she has effortlessly built relationships with long-term residents and their families. The foundation of these relationships is consistently demonstrating competency and caring, which were crucial during the unexpected pandemic. Our long-term care residents and their loving caregivers were quite rattled by the need for social distancing and inability to visit over the past 12 months.  However, because of the solid relationships Portia built as an individual and a nurse over the years, both residents and families trusted her and the care they were receiving, even in their most vulnerable circumstances. In the words of Florence Nightingale, “I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls….” Portia demonstrates collaboration, caring, and consistency in even the most uncertain times.—Nominated by Katherine MacKirdy

Nina Tehranian, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cambridge

Nina is always a ray of sunshine. When you see her name on the assignment list, you know the shift will run smoothly. Nina always offers a helping hand and supports her coworkers with a smile. I can honestly say I have become a better nurse because of Nina. I hope to work alongside staff who have the same positive attitude as this great nurse. Thank you, Nina, for all you do, and keep being the amazing person you are.—Nominated by Ashley Hofmann


St. Anne’s Home & School

Nursing Department, St. Anne’s Home & School

The Nursing Department here at St. Ann’s Home & School works tirelessly every day, caring for the physical and mental-health needs of the 150-plus children ages 5-18 with serious mental, emotional, or behavioral health challenges who reside here full time. The same nurses also care for the health and welfare of the 350 employees who work in our residential, day school, and outpatient clinic. These valiant nurses never flinched or looked back when the COVID-19 pandemic struck; in fact, they seemed to “double-down” on their efforts to keep every child and employee safe from this insidious virus. Selflessly putting their own health and well-being at risk, they cared for not only the usual health-care needs one might expect of children and youth, but throughout this pandemic, they continued to provide the professional and compassionate care necessary to assess, stabilize, and protect the health of those living here full time and those who attend school here. Be it routine assessments or individuals requiring quarantine or isolation, this incredible group of nurses led the charge throughout the pandemic, from the initial effects to the current administration of vaccines to helping individuals, families, and staff understand and implement appropriate safety measures and mitigation strategies. All the while, these nurses went home and cared for their own children, spouses and partners … and themselves. The children’s eyes light up when they receive care from this wonderful, dedicated group, so integral to our mission and values. St. Ann’s Board of Trustees, administration, staff, and all the children salute these incredible nurses who make St. Ann’s a better place!—Nominated by John Rice

St. Camillus Health Center

Barbara Allen, St. Camillus Health Center

My mother has worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She has served the needs of her patients for 30-plus years and worn many hats in her role. I want to thank her for serving not only her patients, but their families as well, by providing compassionate support. She is a role model for her ethical practice and strong leadership skills. Mom, I applaud you for being an amazing caregiver on the front lines. Thank you for being the backbone of the nursing profession and helping me to carry on the tradition.—Nominated by Lauren Griffin

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Alexis VanHorn, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

My husband was on a ventilator because of COVID-19. Alexis communicated his condition to me every day. She has worked 18 days in a row because she felt the families and patients needed her. My daughter would call, and we would have three-way conversations. When we got the news that there was nothing more they could do for my husband, Alexis was there. They could try to treat more aggressively, but they didn’t think he would last more than a day. I could take him off the ventilator and medicate and let him die peacefully. Alexis stayed by his side and let me talk to him with her phone until he was gone.—Nominated by Marlene Moore

St. Joseph Manor Health Care

Ann Crockett, St. Joseph Manor

Ann is the infectious disease nurse at St. Joseph Manor. She’s also a member of my parish, where she has volunteered her expertise as we have altered our worship to accommodate for COVID. She puts in very long hours to assure the safety of both residents and staff at St. Joseph Manor, where we all depend on her deep knowledge and exacting practice. In such a time as this, Ann Crockett deserves recognition and thanks.—Nominated by Sarah Brockmann

St. Luke’s Hospital

Myra Beth Sweet, St. Luke’s Hospital

Beth is the monarch of our ICU at St Luke’s in New Bedford. If all patients were lucky enough to have her at their bedside, this pandemic would only be half as bad. She’s the brains, the compassion, the leader of the unit. She could have retired and walked away, but she’s still in it, because her heart beats for nursing. If you spoke to anyone in our unit, they’d all have the same admiration for Myra Beth—Nominated by Nancy Amaral

St. Patrick’s Manor

Debbie Cipriano, St. Patrick’s Manor

This nurse has been dedicated to an elderly patient population for years, even as she raised two children and supported a family. Her example led one of her daughters to take up the challenge of a difficult but rewarding position as an Emergency Department nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has supported her family and herself, all while dedicating herself to compassionate and loving service.—Nominated by Joseph MacCarthy


Tewksbury Hospital

Rochelle Patterson, Tewksbury Hospital

Rochelle was ordered to stay in a unit and care for 10 patients by herself. No complaining. Kept a calm demeanor. Always kept smiling. Kept her patients safe.—Nominated by Ariana ONeill 

Tufts Medical Center & Tufts Children’s Hospital

Ann Branton, Tufts Medical Center

I have had the pleasure of working alongside Ann for over 25 years. She has always approached her work with a sense of calmness and compassion. Her quiet competency puts her patients and their families totally at ease. Ann faces each day with a positive attitude, which bolsters everyone around her. She handles medical crises with efficiency and constantly puts her patients at ease. Ann would never want attention called to her endeavors, which, in my opinion, makes her the perfect candidate for this recognition.—Nominated by Laura Brodbeck

Olivia Collette, Tufts Medical Center

Olivia cares deeply for those she cares for. She is committed to her work, always taking extra shifts and working overtime whenever she is needed. She shows compassion and respect for all the patients and families she meets, regardless of the situation. She demonstrates calmness in crises where she is able to make those patients and families feel safe and secure. She is always positive, loving, and professional. She is the beacon of light in a patient’s storm.—Nominated by Gail Collette

Critical Care Unit Nurses, Tufts Medical Center

Asking me to choose one nurse among the wonderful CCU nursing staff is like being asked to choose your favorite child. They are all exceptional. On Feb. 24, my sons and I were swept into an unimaginable drama as my husband, Chris, went into cardiogenic shock. On top of that were the cruel but necessary visitor restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. These wonderful nurses provided exceptional medical care, consummate professionalism, kindness and compassion, and unwavering patience. Their experience allowed them to anticipate our needs. We knew Chris was in good and caring hands, even when we were not able to be there. These professionals care for not only the sickest of the sick, but also the family members who are suffering as well. Matt, James, and I are forever grateful for the help that we received during our difficult journey. —Nominated by Suzanne Ghiloni

Leigha Cutone, Tufts Medical Center

My daughter lost her dad to multiple myeloma while she was working as a nurse at Tufts on North 7. After her dad passed away, Leigha gave all she could to become a transplant nurse. She moved to the floor her dad had passed away on. I give all my heart and admiration to my daughter for all the love and compassion she has for all her patients. She is a trouper—it took so much courage to do what she did. God has led her in the right direction and continues to direct her steps. She has a heart of gold. Ask her patients how much they love her. She has a lot to give to someone who’s going through cancer. I find it in my heart she is so special. She is a champ. Maybe this is not her mom’s place to do, but I wanted to share her courage with you. God bless, always.—Nominated by Patricia Castaneda

Kate Dauphinais, Tufts Hospital, Tufts Medical Center

Kate Dauphinais, Tufts Hospital, Tufts Medical Center

I entered the hospital with pains while pregnant with my twins. After a long day, I was apparently in pre-term labor at 22 weeks and there was no way to stop it. From the moment I entered Labor & Delivery, Kate was the friendly face I could count on. I didn’t know what was about to change my world, and I was alone. Kate was there with comfort and care. She helped me understand what was happening when I forgot everything the doctor had said. When my husband came and they told us the tragic news, she talked with my mom while I caught my breath from crying, encouraging her to come so that I could have the love of my mother by our side. 

Kate was working with Meghan, a nursing student at the time, and when I say they were a team sent from heaven, I mean it. I fight tragedy with humor, and they made me feel like I am actually funny. They were strong when I needed them, helpful as I went through labor, cried when I needed them, and loving beyond words.

As a person of faith, Kate knew to offer my babies to be baptized. Both Kate and Meghan stayed way beyond their shift to stay throughout the delivery. Kate gave me her phone number so I could check in when I needed someone to talk to. Both Kate and Meghan came in on their day off the next morning to see how my husband and I were doing. 

When we had our son Seamus in November, they came to meet our sweet boy. I left the hospital broken after the twins, but I’ll always feel blessed for the family I gained with Kate and Meghan. The worst day of our lives was held together by two beautiful souls who I think represented our guardian angel twins, Benjamin and Cora.—Nominated by Megan Fournier

Riley Devlin, Tufts Children’s Hospital

She’s a hard worker who takes her job seriously. Her passion for each patient doesn’t go unnoticed.—Nominated by Jamie Glidden

Margaret Faison, Tufts Medical Center

I was the pastor at Grace Episcopal Church in Everett for seven years. Margaret “Peggy” Faison was one of my parishioners, and although she had retired from nursing by the time I met her, she remained, as the saying goes, “Once a nurse, always a nurse.” She was the informal nurse to the whole parish, always a part of the Healing Prayer Team, always a pastoral presence, always a support for anyone who needed to be heard. Never was there a more compassionate person. Her clinical competency was legendary, because she had been the first African American chief surgical nurse at Tufts, and she endured the usual slings and arrows from White people who assumed she was an orderly or something. She has been a stalwart of the “Women of Grace,” who are in mourning today, because Peggy died this morning. The whole parish wishes to honor her.—Nominated by Rev. Barbara Smith-Moran

Colleen Fallon, Tufts Medical Center

Colleen Fallon, Tufts Medical Center

I am a very active 74-year-old man who has gotten a great deal of physical exercise throughout my life. I thought that I was in excellent health until the afternoon of Dec. 21, when a very high blood pressure reading on a home monitor prompted me to walk to the Emergency Department at Tufts Medical Center for a blood pressure check. My blood pressure was so high that I was admitted immediately and diagnosed with coronary artery blockages requiring bypass surgery as soon as possible.

Because it was Christmas week, and because other patients were already on the schedule for cardiac surgery, I could not be scheduled for surgery until Dec. 28, but I couldn’t be discharged home because of my dangerous blockages. Thus, I spent Christmas week in a room on Proger 7 rather than at home with family, and could have no visitors because of COVID-19 restrictions.

That week could have been a grim, frightening one, but the staff at Proger 7 could not have been kinder, and the exceptional kindness of relatively new RN. Colleen Fallon deserves special mention. I was emotionally very tender during the days and nights before my surgery, but had the good fortune to be one of Colleen’s charges during many of those hours. Through her invariable kindness and sensitivity, she transformed a frightening, lonely experience into an inspiring one; for that holiday week, Proger 7 felt like a warm, sustaining home. I left Proger 7 resolved to be a better person thanks to Colleen’s example, which always will be an important part of my life.—Nominated by James Re

Deb Fleck, Tufts Medical Center

Deb has always been there for me. She is employed in Cardiology. Getting on the transplant list was a very scary process involving so much testing. Deb was so knowledgeable, but more importantly, always there to answer any question or concern I had. She is a wonderful caregiver.—Nominated by Cynthia Gillespie

Deborah Fleck, Tufts Medical Center

Deb epitomizes the best a nurse can be. Always compassionate, knowledgeable, and empathetic to her patients’ needs. She is just professional in all aspects of nursing, and when she doesn’t have an answer, she lets you know why, and when she will find out. She explains what test results and blood draws mean, and proposes solutions that the team wants to follow. She takes the time to know a patient’s fears and is sensitive to them, and tries to make you feel like things will get better, and why they should. I have been dealing with Deb for more than eight years and know that she deserves an honor from all her fellow clinicians and patients.—Nominated by Patrick Sullivan

Victoria Ford, Tufts Medical Center

Tory was so supportive and sweet to our family. She was there for our little girl every step of the way. Tory kept us updated about our child’s care and made sure we felt understood during such a difficult time. She made sure our little girl was always comfortable. It’s amazing how much she touched our lives and continues to care for our little girl. She sends a birthday card to our girl every year and always reaches out to make sure she is doing well.—Nominated by Aurora Murphy

Margaret McDonagh Gallagher, Tufts Medical Center 

It was not my best day when I first met Margaret. I am not aging gracefully, and my physical infirmities made me feel gloomy and anxious. Margaret’s response to all my questions was so reassuring. She listened to what I was saying and her positive attitude boosted my spirits. She has a wonderful disposition and a great sense of humor. She understood what needed to be addressed and took the time to connect me to the right doctors. Every time I need assistance, I call Margaret. She is always quick to respond and has found solutions for many of my medical issues Margaret makes me feel like I am the only person she has to care for. Thank you, Margaret, for all you do with such patience and gentleness.—Nominated by Sister Eileen Mary Linden

Kathleen Horigan, Pratt Diagnostic Clinic, Tufts Medical Center

Nurse Horigan has been assisting our family for many years with our parents’ declining health.  My mother recently passed away, and each and every day Kathleen answered our questions with compassion and respect. Her utmost professionalism and warmth were a godsend during these difficult times. Nurses like her are like having an angel sent to the grieving family. We thank her in our prayers daily for the comfort she extends to us even today.—Nominated by Denyce Mahoney

Michael Hughes, Tufts Medical Center

Mike entered the nursing profession right before COVID-19 shut everything down. Regardless of the unknowns that we were all facing, Mike persevered and continued with orientation and his nursing career. Mike has and continues to embrace the calling of nursing, and I am proud to serve the patients at Tufts with him.—Nominated by Blaze Hirsch

April Tak Ko, Tufts Medical Center

April was gentle and kind.—Nominated by Ada Nguyen

Rene Leonforte, Tufts Medical Center

Rene is a compassionate nurse who’s willing to take any task that she’s given. Rene can willingly work in cardiac catheter lab, interventional radiology, echocardiogram lab, or cardiovascular center. She manages her family and her profession very well.—Nominated by Alice Iyer

Katie Liuzzo, Tufts Medical Center

Katie is an outstanding nurse and person who always provides the best care to her patients. Katie is intelligent, courteous, and kind, and she pays attention to detail. If something needs to be done, Katie does it. If a colleague needs assistance, Katie is the first one to stand up, without reservation. And to boot…Katie was pregnant during the pandemic! She served as a role model to us all by displaying perseverance, bravery, and strength. A stoic face and a can-do attitude are who Katie is, regardless of difficulty or fear. I nominate this amazing nurse, colleague, and friend.—Nominated by Kimberly Schneider

Kaitlyn Madeiros, Tufts Medical Center

Kaitlyn was a bright light during a scary time in our lives. She took care of my husband during his stay in the Neuro Critical Care Unit after suffering a massive stroke at just 36 years old. Kaitlyn was articulate, attentive, and very compassionate overall. Her explanations were easy to understand and she supported not only her patient, but me (his wife) as well. She truly made the days a bit easier and I felt relieved when she was taking care of him. Kaitlyn deserves all the recognition in the world. She is an absolute gem.—Nominated by Ashley Spatola

Justine Murphy, Tufts Medical Center

Having an extensive surgical resection and reconstruction for oral cancer is never a surgery for the faint at heart. To do so during a pandemic is nothing short of terrifying for patients and families. My sister, who is a nonsmoker, non-drinker, faced such a nightmare in August 2020.  The skill and compassion of the entire team at Tufts Medical Center was superb. Justin stands out for an extraordinarily ordinary act of care, competence and compassion. On post-op day, picture a patient with a tracheostomy sutured to her neck, IV lines, bandages, oxygen (no ventilator), and her shoulder-length hair was caked with blood from her 13-hour surgery. My sister was awake, but doesn’t remember this “shampoo event,” performed with exquisite care, patience, and tenderness by Justine. She worked to get every bit of caked blood and tangles out of my sister’s hair. We called it her “spa day” in the SICU. It erased some of the horror of the swelling and distortion that marked her early post-surgical days, and her hair looked fabulous for the remainder of her hospital stay. Justine epitomized the incredible skilled competence of every SICU nurse, but perhaps more importantly, the humanity of “seeing” the person in the bed. We spoke with my sister, nonverbal due to trach, and even made her laugh once or twice. As an older seasoned nurse, I was humbled by this young nurse’s expertise. Justine, you make me so proud to be a nurse and you are such an inspiring role model for all nurses.—Nominated by Marybeth Singer

Nursing Staff, Tufts Children’s Hospital, Tufts Medical Center

To the entire nursing community: When times were dark, you were the light. Instead of fear you innovated. Instead of running away, you opened doors for all in need. Instead of staying home, you worked more. Instead of leaving your peers, you learned something new. Instead of being angry, you brought joy. Instead of giving up, you brought hope. This pandemic met its match in each of you. I’m honored to be on your team.—Nominated by Therese Hudson-Jinks

Kelli O’Neill, Tufts Medical Center

Kelli is an outstanding nurse, clinical leader, and educator in the Medical ICU. As our unit transitioned into becoming the first COVID-19 ICU back in March 2020, and then again in the second surge in December, when we doubled our bed capacity to 20, Kelli ensured that our staff had all the appropriate training and drills to provide quality, safe patient care. She had so much compassion for the patients, families, and staff as we all endured tremendous stress and sadness, caring for the most critical of those stricken with COVID. She often stayed late and came in early to be sure everyone was well-prepared and cared for! She was always finding ways to get constantly changing communication and information out in a timely manner. 

Kelli is a champion in our safety-quality initiatives, dramatically reducing urinary tract and central line infection rates with constant vigilance and teaching. Of note, the MICU also had two different new nurse managers at the beginning of each COCID surge, and Kelli was the stable foundation who never skipped a beat acclimating them to the MICU and staff, all while efficiently and effectively leading, organizing, and managing daily MICU operations to provide outstanding care! Tufts is incredibly lucky to have such a caring, compassionate, dedicated clinical leader in the MICU!—Nominated by Kathy Jones

Kimberly Schneider, Tufts Medical Center

Very professional nurse with an excellent bedside manner.—Nominated by Ellen McCann

Megan Shea, Tufts Medical Center

Megan reached out via social media to find a resource that could create a mural outside a pediatric care unit. It was not part of her responsibilities, but she knew it would enhance the patient and family experience. Megan clearly gives 100 percent every day.—Nominated by Kathleen Moschella

Paige Sirois, Tufts Medical Center

They did a thoracentesis on me. The doctors told me that it’s not painful, but “uncomfortable.” I am so glad Paige was there. She distracted me with everything she had because she knew I was in so much pain. I cried after the procedure. I wouldn’t know what to do without her help.—Nominated by Blesilda Villanueva

My Tran, Tufts Medical Center

My works in the Medical ICU at Tufts, starting as a tech for several years, then going to nursing school, and finally being hired as a novice nurse right into the ICU. I will never forget her first day as a tech. When I asked her to help me move a very sick patient hooked up to lots of lines and devices, she turned pale and I thought she was going to faint. She did not. After she completed four months of ICU training, My was a “new RN” on her own, which is scary on a good day in an ever-changing ICU.

Soon after her orientation, our MICU learned that we would move to a new space to cohort a larger number of patients. We became the first COVID-19 ICU at Tufts on March 16, 2020. As an experienced critical care nurse for over 35 years, I can honestly say there was never a more terrifying, more stressful, more emotionally and physically challenging time in my career than when the pandemic hit. The patients were some of the sickest we have ever seen. My faced this overwhelming challenge as a brand-new nurse with a level of organization, confidence, care, and compassion that was not only outstanding, but inspired many others who faced this storm with various levels of expertise. Make no mistake—she was as petrified as the rest of us in those early days, but she carried herself in a very mature and professional manner every day and night. 

My is one of the most conscientious, meticulous, caring nurses I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She very quietly and humbly goes about her work, dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” while providing safe, quality care for all of her patients. She knows when to seek help and advice. She routinely looks up the drugs she administers, illnesses her patients have, and policies and procedures to ensure nothing but the best in caring for her patients. I admire My for the nurse she is and will become, and know her patients feel lucky to have her. My will continue to shine as her career advances.—Nominated by Kathy Jones

Chris Veary, Tufts Medical Center

Chris has been one of my coworkers in the Critical Care Unit at Tufts Medical Center for over six years. A kind, compassionate, driven, and well-respected mentor, she leads by example in one of the most complex and fast-paced units. I strive to be more like her. Thank you for taking me under your wing all those years ago.—Nominated by Gillian Taglieri


Tufts University Health Services

Marianne Coscia, Tufts University Health Services

Marianne has been the nurse manager at health services for several years, and has always demonstrated great leadership skills, but during the past year she outdid herself. All areas of health care have been challenged during the pandemic, but the college population has presented a complex challenge. Marianne has been at the forefront of change to the delivery of care here at health services. She helped plan how we see students in the clinic and prescreen them, as well as following up with those that have been in both quarantine and isolation. She is the go-to person for many of us here when we have questions, as there have been so many different scenarios to track. She has been the voice of reason when students and parents alike have needed a resource for all of their questions. Her sense of humor has helped us all during this time.—Nominated by Katie Noonan

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