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2022 Salute to Nurses: Letters A-B

Always There Homecare

Louise McGrath, Always There Homecare

Louise has served me for six years in my home, initially in a full-time role and now as a team leader, supervising other home aides. I was fortunate to celebrate my 103rd birthday last December and I credit her for helping me achieve that remarkable milestone. 

Louise is extremely devoted and caring. She is proactive to all my needsfor comfort, for emotional support, and for medical evaluation and treatments. She earned my complete confidence for dealing with the complex medical requirements I’ve faced these past years. She works to improve my physical and social home-care environment to provide the highest possible quality of life. When a crisis arises, like a trip to the hospital on short notice, she extends her hours and does everything needed to ensure my safety and care. Worth noting is that throughout this COVID pandemic she stayed the course. Many in her position chose to reduce hours or opt out of health care altogether.—Nominated by Roger Campbell

 

Atrius Health

Grace Cyr, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Watertown, Atrius Health

In January, my 17-year-old daughter went for her annual physical with her pediatrician at HVMA in Watertown. Out of that visit came the recommendation to seek mental health counseling, as she was experiencing anxiety—and this is where it all began. 

A lovely nurse named Grace Cyr contacted me and gave me various resources to begin connecting with mental health professionals. I called a list of different places and went to a bunch of websites. I found resource after resource, and tried to get an appointment. It was in vain, as NO ONE had any availability. Grace told me to put my name on every wait list I could and be patient, as there is a huge shortage of counselors. So, I did. 

In the meantime, my daughter was melting down over one thing or another every other day. After a week, I fell apart and called Grace and told her about my dilemma. I explained in painful detail how sad and depleted my daughter was feeling. Grace got right on the phone with another HVMA site and requested that someone call me immediately to help me navigate this process. They did, and offered me additional resources. I got put on more wait lists. Grace called me regularly to ask about my daughter and about MY mental health. I gave her updates on all the things we were doing to help my daughter. She listened even when I was falling apartshe encouraged me, she let me rant and rave, she laughed with me, she helped me find strategies to cope, and she gently steered me back on the road when I was going off the trail. She told me over and over again, “You’re doing a great job, Mom.” 

All this from a person I have never met, whose only job was to provide me with some resources. When I finally got an appointment through the hard work and attention that Grace gave to our family, I thanked her profusely. She was a godsend! I fill with tears when I think of how kind, nurturing, supportive, warm, and knowledgeable she is. Grace knows how to heal the body and the soul. I am forever grateful to her for helping ME help my daughter. Grace wore so many hatsa health-care professional, an adviser, a friend, a mom, a teacher, and a guiding light who undoubtedly got me through some dark days. My daughter is doing great, and when I told her I was writing this nomination for Grace she said, “Yeah, you should. She’s a LEGEND!” Indeed, she is.—Nominated by Dora Vrahliotis

 

Susan DiSpena, Atrius Health Burlington

On a typical summer weekday, Susan received a call on our emergency line from the mother of a teenager who had just eaten a food containing a known allergen. She was having difficulty breathing and the mother was frantic. Susan pulled up her chart, realized that she had an EpiPen on file, and started to instruct the mother on how to administer it. The mother informed Susan the EpiPen was expired, and they were having trouble locating it. Susan very calmly had the mother wait, while Susan dialed 911. While Susan was on with 911, they found the expired EpiPen, and Susan gave the teen detailed instructions on how to self-administer. The 911 dispatcher sent the ambulance to the house, and all this time Susan stayed on the phone and witnessed the child starting to breathe more steadily and return to normal. 

Susan saved this young girl from fatal anaphylaxis. Her composure and emergency nursing skills took over and she went into action. I’m sure adrenalin helped a bit, too. I have the honor of being her nurse manager, and Susan is an asset to my triage team.—Nominated by Eileen Forest

 

Kathy Doherty, Harvard Vanguard Family Medicine Weymouth, Atrius Health

I noticed Kathy going the extra mile for a particular patient who communicates through sign language. She had just lost her mom to COVID, and Kathy showed her such concern through our system’s patient portal email. She told the patient how hard it is to lose a parent, and that it will get easier. She is in constant communication and explains certain situations clearly enough for the patient to understand. Knowing someone at her primary care physician’s office who can communicate with her comforts a patient with special needs. The days get busy, but Kathy always takes time to respond to this patient.—Nominated by Susan Brown

 

Elizabeth Wade, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Atrius Health

Whenever I see Elizabeth Wade I feel comforted by her listening ability and her compassion for any concerns I might have. I never feel rushed or like “just another patient.” I trust her to consider what I am saying and then weigh in with clear, seasoned, and deep experience as a nurse. The net is … I trust Elizabeth with my life.—Nominated by Gil Williams

 

Bear Mountain Healthcare

Paula Bearden, Bear Mountain at Reading

The residents at Bear Mountain at Reading would like to recognize Paula for always being there when they need help.—Nominated by Michelle Katz

 

Melina Hoffman, Prescott House, Bear Mountain Healthcare

Melina, our director of nursing, is very dedicated to Prescott House; she’s worked in this building for 21 years. Melina will not leave the building until she has seen every patient and makes sure the schedule is all set. Staff can call her 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Melina has committed her whole life to this building, and with COVID she has totally given up her life outside of work. Melina also has a great relationship with all the staff and is willing to help them in any way she can. Seeing her in action every day has been a true testimony to what a dedicated nurse is.—Nominated by Julie Manalaysay

 

Diann Sespico, Bear Mountain

Diann is available to the staff, residents, and families seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and still has time on weekends and when needed for her daughter of 39 years, who is challenged with autism. Diann also chairs NuPath Inc., an organization that supports her daughter and many other individuals. She literally works 12-plus-hour days with no extra pay. She has her master’s degree and probably makes less than a certified nurse’s assistant for the amount she works. She always has a smile.—Nominated by Frank Sespico

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Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

Tiffany Hobbs, Beaumont at Westborough

It’s fair to say that we all know the challenges and struggles of the nursing profession over the last two years. Those of us working day after endless day learned very quickly who we were in this with, who was a team player. I have been fortunate to work with Tiffany Hobbs over the last two years. We meet many other nurses throughout our careers, but there is one type that we never forget: the nurse who teaches everyone how to do things safely, shows compassion, makes plans of action and follows through, trains others with patience, and continues to be kind through the toughest of times. Tiffany is one of those nurses. 

Tiffany has made difficult phone calls to family members. She has cared for residents at the bedside. She has cleaned and organized, and then cleaned and organized again. She has done things that needed to get done without complaining. We stood side by side and gave monoclonal antibodies over a year ago when it was all brand new. She supported me. She continues to take on challenging roles, and she does it all with a level of professionalism that I see when she thinks no one is looking. And it doesn’t matter if no one is looking, because she wouldn’t present herself any differently anyway. I am a better nurse because of knowing her.—Nominated by Lisa Coppola

 

Rose Kamya, Beaumont at Natick

As a leader, Rose went beyond the call of duty during the Omicron COVID outbreak. As more staff and residents tested positive, Rose marched on, filling in wherever she could, working weekends, and staying on for the 11-7 shift as needed. Beyond the hours of hard work, Rose still made time to make residents and their families feel special and cared for. Despite the additional work and stress, Rose kept smiling, building meaningful relationships in difficult times. Not everyone can navigate unprecedented times while smiling and meeting resident needs. Rose is an excellent nurse.—Nominated by Nick Baker

 

Belmont Medical Associates

Carolyn Hickock, Belmont Medical Associates

Carolyn serves with care, compassion, and concern. Although she’s no longer a nurse to my 90-year-old mother, Carolyn stills finds time to check in and make sure she is feeling well, and all set on her medications and health needs. Carolyn has treated my mother as her own mother. When my mother’s doctor retired, Carolyn helped select a new doctor and get an appointment much sooner than expected. This might not seem much of a medical need, but it’s very much on the medical front for Carolyn’s patients. At my mother’s age, her health is of the utmost importance. A great nurse not only cares for her patients outside of her defined duties. A wonderful nurse cares for her patients the way Carolyn cares for my mother.—Nominated by Ernest Berardinelli

 

Benchmark Senior Living

Tammy Boudreau, Benchmark Senior Living

She’s great with my mom, always helping out—even in the bad times.—Nominated by Kathy Hobart

 

Viola Lafortune Lubin, Putnam Farm in Danvers, Benchmark Senior Living

Mom is 95 years old and lives in the Memory Care section of Putnam Farm in Danvers. Her care is excellent, but one nurse, Viola LaFortune, is exceptional. Mom suffers from an ugly rash; she has gone through multiple treatments where the rash starts to resolve, then returns.

Viola has cared for Mom through all this, keeping me well informed, even on her day off. She has researched meds and suggested a possible cause. If she is rightand it seems she may well bewe could end this cycle at last. Viola is kind, caring, capable, and efficient. She is a godsend!—Nominated by Linda Delande

 

Viola Lafortune Lubin, Benchmark Senior Living

Viola keeps me well informed about my mother and her needs. She’s compassionate and really cares about the residents’ well-being. She’s always smiling.—Nominated by Mitra Perel

 

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Celia Barselou, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Celia is a hard-working, dedicated, and very responsible operating room nurse. She plans appropriately to show up for work on time despite the challenges that go along with getting into Boston in commuter traffic and inclement weather. For example, she’s working this weekend, and because of the blizzard yesterday, she stayed at a hotel close to the hospital. When she’s on-call she also manages to arrive within half-an-hour of being called. Celia is humble by nature, so when she periodically does share stories of her work, I’m always incredibly impressed and proud of her intelligence and capability. Anyone who has the privilege to have Celia working in the operating room during their surgical procedure is one lucky patient. —Nominated by Virginia Simeone

 

Jacqueline FitzGerald, Finard 4 ICU Staff, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Jacqueline FitzGerald, Finard 4 ICU Staff, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In this unusual year, I believe the Globe should focus on groups of nurses who worked together during the COVID-19 pandemic. As one of those nurses (I retired last June), I feel that nominating just one nurse doesn’t reflect the reality. Every patient requires a team effort to get them through a crisis. Every staff member needs other staff to make it through a shift. We rely upon each other on our days off for emotional support when things get overwhelming, because no one else understands what we do and no one can help us through a rough stretch like we can.

In the beginning of COVID, we were hailed as heroes. Now, it’s gotten even more difficult; people are done with COVID, and yet we continue to take care of the sickest of the sick. COVID is not done with the medical staff. Staff members are exhausted emotionally, physically, and mentally. 

This is not about one person. This is about a team that works together and helps each other. All medical workers deserve recognition, especially now. This includes respiratory therapists, patient care technicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, the housekeepers, unit coordinators, social workers, radiology … I could go on. I offer my sincere and genuine and heartfelt thanks to all of you for all that you do. I know it is not easy. —Nominated by Pat Wenger

 

Dotty Grace, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Milton

I have had the privilege to work with Dotty for the past 20-plus years. She’s worked many different positions in her 30-year career at BILH-Milton, including the Med-Surg floor, ICU, Endoscopy, and now as the clinical nurse consultant of the Endoscopy Department. In every position, she has given 200 percent of herself to her patients. She exemplifies what a nurse and CNC should be: her kindness, compassion, strong work ethic, and love for the elderly don’t go unnoticed. No matter how sick her patients are, or how busy her day was, she always has a smile, and her patients love her. —Nominated by Andrea Hayes

 

Seble Gurmesa, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Seble was instrumental in my healing, post-cesarean section. As soon as we met, she had a plan to help my pain, and within a couple hours I felt great and was able to move around. She spent a long time helping me breastfeed my son and giving me advice and education on nursing and pumping. I still think back to the time she spent with me and appreciate it so much. And best of all, she got me a REAL coffee, since I couldn’t leave or have visitors due to COVID restrictions. I want her to know how much her kindness meant to me. —Nominated by Katlyn Campbell

 

Stephanie King, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Neurology Floor

This nurse is my best friend. She’s been with this hospital for 20 years. A couple of weeks ago, she called and told me she had tears in her eyes. I said, “Why?” BIDMC is a training hospital, and a student asked if she could study under her. Steph asked her why. The girl said, “because you are everything a nurse should be.” You see, Steph never looks special, but she is, the way she helps patients and how staff look up to her. Even with a messy family situation in progress, she puts her patients first and loves her job, yet finds time to be an amazing mom. I call her Supermomget home from night shift, drive kids to school, sleep a couple of hours, do what needs to be done at home, pick kids up, spend time, then back to work. 

One patient stands outa deaf man. She had the translator to help, and during his stay she laughed and made him feel special. For the past three Christmases he’s sent a card signed “the Li’l Deaf Man” thanking Steph. Through COVID she worked as many shifts as needed and still was a mom. She’s a very humble woman who loves her job and is the true meaning of nursing. —Nominated by Michele Bussiere

 

Stephanie Konz, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston

I am a 55-year-old, stage 4 metastatic cancer patient. When I was diagnosed two years ago, I was hopeless. I had to undergo one of the most awful radiation treatments that there is. I had burns beyond belief all over my pelvis and bottom. It was embarrassing, incredibly painful, and possibly pointless, as my life expectancy was not good. Stephanie showed respect, kindness, brilliance, and even humor when it was needed. She got me through two months of radiation, with me seeing her almost every day, except when the burns opened up and I had to pause treatment. She knew how I was by the way I walked in, and when my eyes would start to tear up she would get me into a private room to help keep my dignity.

Two years later, I am still here. Those scars have healed (mostly thanks to Stephanie and her teamI have a friend who had the same treatment at another facility, and she is still suffering from scar tissue effects). I am in palliative care now, as three surgeries and chemo haven’t worked, but I still fight. Last November I was back in her unit getting more radiation for a pleural effusion in my lung from growing tumors. 

She was the ONLY reason that I got through this last round, and even got in a trip to Disney just after my treatment ended. She worked her magic to keep me hydrated and healthy…and laughing. She knew how important it was to my son to go there with me. I had to stay behind and have treatment in 2020 while I sent my family on the vacation that we had saved and planned for. This time, she wasn’t going to let that happen, if she could help it.

Beyond all of that, what really made me want to nominate Steph was that one day before last Christmas I walked in, got my johnny on, and was waiting for my radiation. Stephanie walked out of an exam room holding an elderly man’s hand. He was laughing and so was she. He had a very strong Italian accent but I could understand enough to hear how fond he was of her and how she had made this awful process actually enjoyable for him. Her smile beamed as she spoke so kindly to him. She was telling him how she didn’t want him driving if it snowed the next day and how he could just call her and she would figure everything out for him. He left taken care of, respected, and smiling.

He and I are not the only ones. Any time that I mention Steph to anyone who has interacted with hera patient in my support group, another nurse, and even doctors at different hospitalsthey can’t sing her praises loudly enough. 

Nurse Stephanie is light when there is so much darkness. She is a wealth of read and learned knowledge and tricks that she freely shares to improve her patients’ quality of life. I’m here today and have hope for a tomorrow in large part because of my team at BIDMC, but Stephanie is one of the reasons that the quality of my life is worth living. THAT is everything for a 55-year-old, stage 4 metastatic cancer patient. —Nominated by Laura Keegan

 

Daniel Nadworny, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Milton

Daniel Nadworny, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Milton

Dan has been a nurse leader at the Milton hospital for the ICU and Emergency Department. He also is president-elect for the Massachusetts Emergency Nurses Association, where he currently serves as the chair of Government Affairs. Along with his work in the state, he also works in collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians, as well for the government through FEMA. Dan puts in so much time working as a leader, covering sick calls of stretcher-side nurses when needed, and advocating for nurses at the federal level. He tirelessly supports what is best for patients and for nursing. He’s one of the hardest-working nurses that I have ever known. Nights, weekends, holidays…patients and staff come first. In August 2020, he worked in a COVID ICU to assist those who were overwhelmed in Baton Rouge. —Nominated by Jessica Marcoux

 

Gretchen O’Brien, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Needham

Gretchen is a thoughtful, effective, knowledgeable nurse-practitioner who responds effectively, warmly, and promptly to patients’ questions and their medical needs. She’s lucidly informative on diagnostic and therapeutic issues, astute in her physical exams, and knowledgeable on therapy and pharmaceuticals. She really knows her anatomy, physiology, diagnostic procedures, and therapy of the heart and circulatory systemher specialtyand is also well-informed and helpful on other medical issues. Her responses via email and telephone are as timely and effective as she is in-person. Gretchen works smoothly with the cardiologist with whom she is associated. She practices both in Needham and at BIDMC in town, but her timely responses give no sense of where she might be on any daynot only which hospital, but even whether she’s on- or off-duty. She’s a pleasure to see or to question by email. —Nominated by Mitchell Rabkin

 

Suzanne Silvestri, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

My baby sister is the best! She took care of me when I had my gallbladder out, and for both cesarean sections! She rocks!—Nominated by Heidi Ricker

 

Sharon Rooney Wrangel, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

On the morning of Aug. 3, 2021, we welcomed our third baby at BIDMC. As Pediatric ICU nurses at Boston Children’s Hospital, it’s no accident that we chose to deliver our babies at the BI. The nursing care delivered at the BI has always been top-notch. Zoey had a traumatic delivery into this world, and we are forever grateful for the nursing care provided to all of us. From triage to labor and delivery, postpartum and Neonatal ICU, we’ll never forget the nursing care delivered to our family. 

Sharon and her NICU colleagues were some of the most compassionate nurses we have met. Their exceptional nursing practice always had Zoey’s best outcome in mind. As both parents and pediatric ICU nurses, this experience was extremely stressful, but also incredible. Sharon and her colleagues constantly addressed our concerns and involved us in their care plan. For many reasons, I constantly reflect on our experience and their model of care. I will forever be grateful. I attribute Zoey’s success story to these nurses. I write this letter with a very full and thankful heart while looking at a thriving 7-month-old who’s meeting her milestones and adored by so many. —Nominated by Molly Jansen

 

Anne Shea, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Many years ago, I became quite ill from a prescription interaction. Despite being overdue on her pregnancy, Ms. Shea stayed beyond regular hours to assess and plan treatment, including blood tests, for me.

For over two decades, she has always been very empathetic and compassionate. Her advice has been direct, but not condescending. She’s always respectful and addresses me by my last name. The nurse’s treatment has been beyond the required. Extra tests, precautions, and professional advice are always provided as needed. She has stayed on top of when I have needed to have lipids tested, as well as my nutritional needs.

Ms. Shea is a powerful example for others. Hopefully, other nurses and medical professionals will learn from her. —Nominated by Howard Mintz

 

Jiyun Shi, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Jiyun Shi, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

As an oncology nurse, Jiyun Shi has provided me an outstanding blend of mastery, compassion, and organization. I am a 93-year-old hematology oncology patient who’s had a career in nursing myself. I know nursing and can say unequivocally that the care Jiyun has provided has been exemplary. She always goes beyondfor example, providing the right kind of bandages for my older skin, offering heating pads for my sore back, helping me navigate appointments, and coming to visit me when I’m receiving treatment in another clinic within BIDMC. All these thoughtful steps are beyond what is necessary. She adds them to an already-packed schedule and yet somehow leaves me feeling that she would devote whatever time and consideration I need. Over the past two years, Jiyun has become a family friend. We treasure her and will be forever grateful for the care she provides. —Nominated by Lucy Wierum

 

Beverly Hospital

Laura Andree, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Beverly Hospital

Laura is professional in every aspect. She is caring, extremely knowledgeable in her position, and interacting with her is comforting and reassuring that your life/condition is being taken care of. She knows when to assert herself for the patient. She has a keen sense of looking beyond what’s in front to see what others may miss. She is not afraid to use her voice for her patient. —Nominated by Melanie Leach

 

Linda Healy, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Beverly Hospital

Linda has always been an excellent caregiver. When I had my first total knee replacement, she was able to get me into a private room post-surgery at no added cost to me. —Nominated by James Healy

 

Boston Children’s Hospital

Laura Grace Cardona, Boston Children’s Hospital

Laura Grace Cardona is simply a beautiful person. This mother of threesoon to be fournot only tends to the kids and parents at Children’s, but also what she does on the way into work and going back home is priceless. She calls her mom around 6:30 a.m. on the way in and around 7 p.m. on the way home. They both speak so joyfully, as if it were their first call together in years. My heart smiles when I see that it’s Laura calling. So proud and blessed to have you as our daughter. You’re such a hard worker, and a wonderful nurse. All nurses are our “angels on earth” and we have a beautiful one.—Nominated by Tim McKinney

 

Ryan Delpero, Boston Children’s Hospital

My husband, Bill, and I first met Ryan when our son, Lucas, was admitted to the Medical Surgical ICU at BCH on June 19, 2018. Lucas was in a coma and near death. He had taken a newly prescribed migraine medicine, Aimovig, and went into status epilepticus. At first, we didn’t know what caused his condition. Ryan was the first ICU nurse to take care of Lucas. Bill and I were instantly amazed at how calm and careful he was while handling Lucas in such a precarious state. We knew Lucas was in expert and compassionate hands with Ryan. Ryan also helped us deal with the crisis and fears that he might die. 

Lucas was on a ventilator with tubes and IV lines everywhere, but Ryan gave us hope that everything possible was being done, and he was with Lucas every second of his shift. Even though we could see that Ryan was extremely busy, he made it clear that we could ask him anything and he would do his best to answer. Lucas was in the ICU for almost three weeks and Ryan was often his nurse, even supervising plasmapheresis when it was administered. We had the utmost trust in Ryan’s care. He anticipated problems and dealt with them quickly.

Lucas left the ICU, but then spent two months in the hospital and rehab. Ryan kept in touch with us and reassured us that he would soon be home. Lucas did come home, but had to go back to BCH in July 2020, until he passed away that November.

Lucas was often in the ICU and Ryan was his nurse again during those almost-five months. Whenever Lucas had to go to the ICU and I saw Ryan, it was such a relief. We were friends by then and he knew the agony we felt to see Lucas so sick. He comforted us, as well as taking excellent care of Lucas. When Lucas was ready to transfer to the neurology floor, Ryan always advocated for Lucas to go back to 9 NW, where everyone knew him. We hold Ryan close to our hearts.—Nominated by Elissa Warner

 

Katie Dormans, 10 NW, Boston Children’s Hospital

Katie was my nurse when I was admitted on 10 NW after a major hip surgery a year ago. Her welcoming personality helped me through a tough admission. She put my needs first, making sure I was as comfortable as possible, and always knew what the next steps were. Katie always had encouraging words, no matter how big or small the task at hand. She wasn’t assigned to me on my most recent surgical admission, but recognized me while passing in the hallway. She was excited to see me and cared about how I was doing. Katie went out of her way to visit my room to see how I was doing after another surgery. When the two of us chatted, it was what I needed at the moment. Seeing a familiar face in a tough situation made me feel more comfortable. Her thoughtfulness made me smile when the hospital was so busy. Katie really cares for all of her patients, and I’ll always remember this small gesture and all our interactions.—Nominated by Christine Dundon

 

Genevieve McCallum, 10 NW, Boston Children’s Hospital

When Genevieve walked in for morning rounds after my hip dysplasia surgery, I knew I was in good hands. I had met her during a previous admission, but she was on the night shift then. Her upbeat personality and smile (even under a mask) helped make the tough times easier. When she walked in, she already knew my situation and wanted to know how she could best help me get through this. Together we came up with a plan, and she reassured me everything would work out. Throughout her shift, both Genevieve and the nurse she was training would check in and put my needs first. Genevieve made sure I always had everything I needed and felt comfortable with each and every decision. Being admitted is never easy, but seeing a familiar face makes it a little more bearable. I am grateful for Genevieve and the other nurses on 10 NW who supported me through this admission.—Nominated by Christine Dundon

 

Katie Noble, Boston Children’s Hospital

As an oncology nurse for the past 20 years, Katie has been caring for children who are very often terminally ill or have other life-threatening illnesses. As a mom of three young children, Katie always manages to put aside what’s happening in her life and serve those who need her the most: her patients. In addition to her job, Katie also finds the time to make sure that her elderly grandparents are getting the services they deserve. Her compassionate demeanor extends well beyond her work at Children’s. Last spring, a colleague who was three months pregnant lost her husband suddenly, and since then Katie has visited on her days off to help with her new baby and give her the emotional support that she desperately needs. She’s not only a wonderful nurse, but an amazing human being as well.—Nominated by Maryrose Noble

 

Kim Pappas, Boston Children’s Hospital

It’s hard to only use 300 words when describing this real-life hero. People think of ICU nurses or med-surg nurses first, but mental health nurses also put in the most work. Kim works full time as a high school nurse, serving a dual role in public health, and works on an adolescent psychiatric stabilizing unit. Her acts of selflessness are indescribable. She saves lives one crisis at a time and makes it look easy. Anyone who works alongside Kim is truly a better nurse.—Nominated by Melanie Velleco

Douglas Richardson, Boston Children’s Hospital

 

Douglas Richardson, Boston Children’s Hospital

Doug Richardson took care of our son from July 6, 2020, until he passed away on Nov. 17. Our son had an extremely rare and complicated disease known as cerebral proliferative angiopathy. Doug was by our side for almost five months, never once wavering in his excellent care. His compassion for our whole family was never-ending. Our son’s hospitalization was during COVID, so there were many visitor restrictions. Doug and the staff on 9 NorthWest made sure that family and close friends were by our side when needed the most.

Our son had many needs: frequent medication changes, physical care, nutrition needs, proper positioning in bed, IV and PIC line concerns, respiratory and cardiac monitoring, catheter issues, bedsore prevention, and oral hygiene, to name the most important. There were frequent emergencies and transfers to the ICU, all of which Doug handled in the most calm and competent manner. Doug not only took care of our son, but he also took care of our entire family. We asked him to come to Lucas’s funeral and he felt honored to be included. 

The morning Lucas died, I was getting ready to go home to shower, but Doug had the intuition that I should stay. Lucas died an hour later in my arms. I am forever grateful to Doug for his wisdom, nursing care, and compassion during the most difficult time for all of us.—Nominated by Elissa Warner

 

Boston IVF

Heidi Atherton, Boston IVF

In vitro fertilization is stressful, emotional, and exhausting, but having Heidi on my side made it that much better. She goes out of her way to answer questions, calls me back every time I have a freakout with my results, and even gave me her personal cell phone number. She was my rock during my journey and I couldn’t have done so many rounds without her. She is the absolute best nurse I had ever worked with.—Nominated by Ashley Doyle

 

Heather Cotter, Boston IVF, Syracuse Center

My husband and I went through a year of fertility treatment and Heather was there every step of the way. She answered every question, comforted us through all the failed intrauterine inseminations, and was a voice of reason when all seemed hopeless. Every day that we got to interact with her, we knew that we would receive nothing short of the best care. 

She helped educate us, calmed our many fears, and was our cheerleader every step of the way. Her welcoming and kind personality always made us feel safe. She made the most difficult year of our lives much easier to get through.—Nominated by Brittany Potter

 

Heather Cotter, Boston IVF, Syracuse Center

Heather was by my wife’s and my side for almost our entire year of struggling with infertility. She was cheerful, hopeful, and so full of kindness that we never felt alone, even through the darkest time in our lives. We looked forward to going to every appointment knowing that she would be around, and we knew every time we had a question, she would be there with an answer. Navigating intrauterine insemination procedures and IVF was one of the scariest things we had to do as a young couple just trying their hardest to become parents. Our experience wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for Heather. The entire staff there is wonderful, but she tops the charts. Her enthusiasm and empathy are unmatched. Our time with her will stay with us.—Nominated by Hayden Potter

 

Tami Gosselin, Boston IVF, Maine

Tami has been my not only my fertility nurse over the past several months, but she has also become a friend of me and my family. The journey of infertility is stressful, to say the least, and she’s cheerful and optimistic at every encounter. When she calls, she makes you feel like a human being, not just another number. She has been my angel through this process and I’m so glad she is my nurse. Tami, I can’t thank you enough for all the care you have provided to me.—Nominated by Samantha Vaznis

 

Jennifer Iordachesu, Boston IVF

Dear Jen, thank you for being so compassionate. From the first day I walked through those doors, you were there for me. Through the many years of questions, from heartbreaking news to the best news anyone can hear, you were there. You cried with me during the worst and cheered during the best. You are an amazing person. There are no words to tell you how thankful I am you were a constant from the first day to the last day of tears and hugs of happiness. Thank you for all the support through the years. Your patients are lucky to have you.—Nominated by Katrina Boschetti

 

Layla Kerkach, Boston IVF, Lexington

Layla Kerkach, Boston IVF

Layla has been amazing. Just hearing her voice on the phone calms me down. My husband and I went through two rounds of IVF before having success. She is always there to answer our questions, no matter how small we think they are. She understands how emotional this process is and really helps to ease her patients’ minds. We appreciate her so much.—Nominated by Jessica Corbin

 

Lisa Masciovecchio, Boston IVF, Waltham

I’m on my third IVF cycle, and Lisa has been my nurse since Day One. She has a very cheerful yet calming demeanor that makes each interaction positive. She explains all results clearly and in great detail, as well as deals with my many emails and questions. The IVF process is so emotionally exhausting that it’s helpful to have a nurse you feel comfortable with, enjoy talking to, and who always has your best interest at heart.  I am so lucky to have her (and Layla Kerkach). Both are just amazing nurses.—Nominated by Linda Navab

 

Allison McDaniels, Boston IVF, Albany

Allison was very thorough, caring, and kind. Through every attempt, she was right there encouraging us and educating us on the next steps. Allison was always available to answer questions and prompt with follow-up. We can’t say enough about how amazing she was.—Nominated by Alisa Chambers

 

Nicole Ouellette, Boston IVF, Bedford

For some, starting a family isn’t easy. I had to go through some of my lowest lows, wondering if I could ever be a mother. Nicole always comforted, supported, listened to, and believed in me, even when I couldn’t. When I finally became pregnant after so much loss, she was just as excited as we were. I am forever grateful for the love and kindness that Nicole shared with me. Without her, I am not sure I would have made it through the process. To me, being a nurse is to be compassionate and understanding. Nicole goes well beyond that and treats you as a loved one. Thank you, Nicole, for all that you do every day—Nominated by Whitney Fenyak

 

Nicole Ouellette, Boston IVF, Bedford

My infertility struggle was a five-year process, and two years of that was in IVF treatments. Nicole was our nurse and I’ve never had a medical professional be so responsive and compassionate. Nicole responded quickly to calls and emails, and even when I thought my questions were silly or over the top, she understood my anxiety and never made me feel like I couldn’t go to her. When we finally were blessed with a healthy pregnancy, Nicole was excited to tell us the great news, but it was bittersweet knowing that Nicole wouldn’t be our nurse anymore. We gave birth to our son, Jonah, in December and are so thankful to have a nurse as dedicated as Nicole.—Nominated by Sarah Horne

 

Nicole Oullette, Boston IVF Bedford

There aren’t enough words to describe how wonderful Nicole is. Infertility is hard enough, and having a compassionate nurse to communicate with makes the process bearable. I asked a lot of questions through email and she responded without hesitation. I remember one of my chemical pregnancies, when I sent an upset email hoping to get a follow-up soon. Nicole went out of her way to check with scheduling and get me an appointment the same week. When we finally got and stayed pregnant, I still emailed Nicole with updates and photos. We finally gave birth to our beautiful little girl in November and I could not wait to let Nicole know. She makes you feel like you’re more than just another infertility patient. She is the epitome of what a nurse should be.—Nominated by Ashley Sawyer

 

Bryna Runeman, Boston IVF

Bryna was assigned to me during fertility treatment. I have a blocked fallopian tube and irregular cycles, which make it hard to conceive naturally, so my husband and I underwent in vitro fertilization. It’s a grueling process, but Bryna made every step easier with her cheerful, encouraging, and compassionate attitude. She was always there if we had questions, and I felt very supported after our first embryo transfer failed. We ended up conceiving our son in August 2020 and Bryna left a sweet voicemail when we moved to a regular obstetrician.—Nominated by Tatumn Coraccio

 

Julia (Gyulyara) Rzakhanov, Boston IVF

Julia made every difficult conversation and decision a little easier. As a nurse myself, I know what it is like to have difficult conversations with patients, and sometimes have those same conversations with multiple patients. Julia made each conversation feel personal and never tried to rush through answers—despite the many questions asked. It’s important to find a provider that’s a good fit, and nurses are who you communicate with most frequently. Finding a nurse who makes you feel comfortable, especially when going through the most heartbreaking and difficult moments in your life, is so important. My husband and I encountered a number of obstacles along our fertility journey, and we are still so thankful to have experienced Julia’s compassion, honesty, and respect along the way. Julia went all-out over and over again for us, and we will never forget it.—Nominated by Colleen (Mulcahy) Mortimer

 

Nikki Seggerty, Boston IVF

Nikki was amazing. We had been working with her since May 2021 and she was awesome in answering questions and explaining upcoming procedures and tests (why they were needed, etc.). It was our first time at an IVF treatment so we had no prior knowledge and a lot of questions. When I had a biochemical pregnancy, Nikki was so kind in explaining what it was, reassuring me that it wasn’t my fault and I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it. When we tried in our next cycle, Nikki made it a point to call us, not only on her day off, but also on Christmas, with the great news of our positive test. We are happy to be onto the next phase of our journey but do miss our calls with Nikki.—Nominated by Kathleen Checca

 

Nikki Seggerty, Boston IVF

My wife and I knew the IVF process was daunting. We got plenty of bad news before we got any good news, and Nikki was there for all of it. Nikki called us on her days off, answered ridiculous and repetitive questions, and quickly became a part of our journey. We are so blessed to have worked with Nikki as we started this new adventure.—Nominated by Hannah Sieber

 

Barbara Del Signore, Boston IVF

We’re currently five months pregnant with our first baby, and I don’t think I would be here without Barbara being my cheerleader. She has held my hand through this process, answered my questions, and we still communicate because I feel she’s part of our journey until the end. Thank you for everything, Barbara.—Nominated by Hannah Roy

 

Shelby Sparby, Boston IVF

Shelby helped me and my husband navigate through our cycles of infertility treatment. She supported us constantly and remained readily available by phone and email for all of my questions and concerns (and there were a lot). She always made me feel heard, and I hope she knows how much that meant to us during that very vulnerable time.—Nominated by Molly Vita

 

Jessica Steele-Rath, Boston IVF

My husband and I struggled to get pregnant for years. We finally decided to do IVF, but it was a long road. Jessica answered every call and email, and made sure she was the one to call and say that we were pregnant. When we lost our baby, she immediately sent her condolences and did everything to support us for another transfer. When we got pregnant again, she was again the first one to call us. Through COVID and all, she was and is our No. 1 supporter.—Nominated by Shawnta Reid

 

Tiffany Tifft, Boston IVF, Maine 

Tiffany brings a sense of calm and compassion to people who are facing the toughest journey. She makes you feel confident that you’re going to get through this journey together. She is an incredible nurse.—Nominated by Brianne Bitgood

 

Chelsea Watson, Boston IVF

Chelsea is one of many nurses at Boston IVF; she, however, works with my DR. Chelsea is so compassionate and is the perfect person to work in an IVF clinic. She always speaks softly, even when giving good news. When I answer the phone and hear her voice, I feel cared for. She always answers my question and, like a mind reader, even answers questions I haven’t asked yet. When I think of an ideal nurse, I think of Chelsea. She is such a blessing in my IVF care, and Boston IVF is so lucky to have her.—Nominated by Morgan DiPerrio

 

Donna Zimmerman, Boston IVF Quincy

—Nominated by Heather Gray

 

Boston Medical Center

Kailey Atteridge, Boston Medical Center

Kailey became a nurse after graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 2019. By winter 2020, her med/surg floor was inundated with sick COVID-19 patients, many of whom had to be intubated or worse, and sent to intensive care. From the spring through fall, she also worked at pop-up COVID testing sites, eventually administering the vaccine. She has since moved to a step-down unit, also working with very sick COVID patients, and started her dream side job of working for Autumn Hospice. All this time, Kailey has kept her spirits up and worked even harder as the pandemic lingers. She is always smiling and ready to lend a hand. Kailey hit the ground running and has not slowed down.—Nominated by Lori Atteridge

 

Lindsey Anderson, Boston Medical Center

This nurse met me in the lobby to take me up for an infusion for COVID-19. I was nervous and scared, and she took all that away with her kind professionalism.—Nominated by Bethany Liese

 

Angelee Bullock, Boston Medical Center

Angie is a tremendous asset to the Ambulatory Pediatrics team. She is equally loved by her colleagues and her patients. I have had the pleasure of being both her colleague and trusting her with the care of my children. She’s hard-working, compassionate, and embodies the core values of BMC.—Nominated by Kristen Kremer

 

Mackenzie Brooks, Boston Medical Center

Mackenzie is new here at Boston Medical Center. She has presented as a professional and mature nurse with strong critical thinking skills from the start. Recently, she had a patient with subtle signs of a potential stroke. Her astute thinking and quick actions saved this patient from potentially significant poor outcomes. While proud of the entire stroke team’s work with this patient, I was very impressed with Mackenzie right from the start. She has quickly become a strong team member.—Nominated by Jennifer Jarbeau

 

Caileigh Burke, Boston Medical Center

Caileigh started her nursing career in the BMC medical intensive care unit (MICU) during the peak of a pandemic, fresh after graduating from college. During the spring of 2020, when she was sent home from college, she took it upon herself to continue working as a nursing aid in the MICU to answer the world’s call for help. In the less-than-two-years since then, she has faced many COVID waves and saved many lives while earning the respect of those around her. As a night shift nurse, she works with the newest residents in an extremely high-stress, intense environment, yet she maintains poise and patience to determine the best plan of care for her patients. 

Caileigh also has the morality and confidence to do what is right. Just last week, she noticed a patient was deoxygenating and the assigned nurse was nowhere to be found. She immediately stepped in as the patient’s condition worsened. As the assigned nurse returned and the doctors came to the bedside, Caileigh gave a report on a patient who wasn’t even hers, and provided her perspective on next steps when the medical team asked. She is truly an inspiration. As her roommate, I see her come home every day, always making us laugh somehow even after some of the toughest shifts she will face in her career. She is truly an everyday hero.—Nominated by Leah Calitri

 

Corie Clark, Boston Medical Center

Corie Clark is an amazing pediatric nurse who volunteered to work at the BMC COVID Vaccine Clinic. When the vaccines were first offered, it was a stressful process of demand versus availability, as well as efficacy versus long- and short-term side effects. Corie took the initiative to meet with patients and families to counsel them about the vaccine and disease. It was clear early on that Corie possess innate ability to be a leader and mentor.

When Corie transitioned to a lead nurse role for the vaccine clinics, she was responsible for organizing hundreds of nurse schedules. She was responsible for training and orientating each nurse, including regarding the many FDA and CDC updates. Thanks to Corie’s efforts, thousands of patients, one individual at a time, received compassionate, competent care during a worldwide public health emergency. Corie is very humble, so it’s important that she be recognized for her work and the long-term impact that her efforts in vaccination will have to finding a path out of this coronavirus pandemic.—Nominated by Maureen Hilchey Masters

 

Natasha Gross-Jean, Boston Medical Center

Natasha Gross-Jean, Boston Medical Center

Natasha is an exceptional nurse working in the hematology clinic infusion center, where she cares for oncology and hematology patients, as well as others who receive infusions or transfusions. As a sickle cell provider, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Natasha, who often cares for our sickle cell patients. She has remarkable insight into this patient population and the many co-morbidities they suffer. She is intelligent, thoughtful, and an amazing patient educator and advocate. She supports our sickle cell patients when they are having pain crises and helps them cope with anxiety while providing essential pain management. We have one adult sickle cell patient who is developmentally disabled. She’s developed a relationship with this young man, and her empathy and compassion help him tolerate his treatments. When Natasha cares for one of our patients, I know that they will get the best possible care.—Nominated by Charlene Sylvestre

 

Cathy Korn, Boston Medical Center

Cathy worked seven-day weeks throughout the most critical times of the COVID pandemic, supporting and educating nurses and clinical staff on the ever-changing requirements for safe clinical practice. She developed countless protocols and videos and did hundreds of huddles, providing just-in-time support. Cathy worked to implement best practices to prevent the spread of COVID between patients and staff. She is a true advocate for patients and staff alike.—Nominated by Maureen Diane Hanley

 

Elizabeth Lowe, Pediatric Neurology, Boston Medical Center

As the mother of a child who has epilepsy, I need someone who’s kind, understanding, and always there for any question, big or small. Betsy was my family’s lifeline in those first few years of my daughter’s epilepsy journey. She always called back and answered emails, and she always greeted my daughter and family with a big smile. She was always there to listen. She would pop in when we were inpatient to just say hi. Betsy will be retiring this year and will be a huge lose to BMC. We’ll miss her, but wish her the best in her new journey.—Nominated by Amie Martin

 

OB-GYN Staff, Boston Medical Center

The entire OB-GYN staff worked through the entire pandemic, because babies and cancer don’t stop for a worldwide crisis. These nurses and nurse practitioners treat high-risk, diabetic, addicted, infertile women, and women who have ovarian cancer and need a urogynecologist. Patients are treated with dignity, compassion, kindness, and a gentle hand. They go way beyond regular care. They all deserve to be nominated.—Nominated by Kathy McCluskey

 

Jean Powell, Boston Medical Center

Jean has been a strong example of advocacy of both patients and nurses. She is a role model and is dedicated to the best patient outcomes. Jean has been a nurse for many years and is a true team player. She’s always willing to help her colleagues and volunteers to train new staff. She received her med-surg certification this past year and makes sure she remains current in her nursing practice. One of her patients raved about her positive energy and attentiveness to detail.—Nominated by Alicia Amaro

 

James Torrey, Boston Medical Center

I would like to acknowledge my co-worker Jim’s hard work, dedication, and love for his profession. I’ve not met another person like him in my 14 years of a being a nurse. He defines nursing. He is compassionate, caring, smart, loving, knowledgeable, and just a nice, genuine, whole-hearted person. He is always the first to step up to take the “difficult “patient, lend a hand to a co-worker, or simply sit with a patient and carry on a half-hour conversation about where the patient grew up, what kind of lifestyle they’ve lived, and what brought them to the hospital. 

He makes every patient feel comfortable and “at home” in the hospital setting. Many patients are scared and uneasy about being in a hospital, but Jim always seems to get a smile and a laugh out of his patients. He’s often seen walking hand-in-hand with the elderly or cracking jokes with the bed-bound. He has a way with people that not all nurses have. He’s a team player, leader, and a dedicated person to each and every one of his patients. He has been nominated by many as a DAISY award recipient and is liked by all of his co-workers. Many nurses wish that they could have his compassion and poise. I’m glad to be a co-worker of Jim’s, and hope that I can give my patients at least half of what Jim gives to his.—Nominated by Danielle Coughlin

 

Erika Trudon, Boston Medical Center

Erika recently had a great catch with a patient. She saw that a routine EKG looked concerning, but it wasn’t very clear, so she decided to reassess the patient and perform another EKG. The patient did not have any chest pain, complaints, or other concerns that would make someone think anything was wrong, but the EKG worried her. Erika decided to call the doctor and, after further review, it was determined the patient was having a heart attack. He was taken to the catheter lab within the hour. His care was driven purely by nursing advocacy, and there’s no doubt that if Erika hadn’t followed through, he would have experienced a poor outcome.—Nominated by Katelyn Donohoe

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Brigham Circle Medical Associates

Ellen A. Raymond, Brigham Circle Medical Associates

Ellen Raymond shows professionalism and kindness, with an accent on the personal and treating me as a real person. She responds to all of my needs.—Nominated by John James Payne

 

Brigham and Women’s Harbor Medical Associates

Katherine Keough, Brigham and Women’s Harbor Medical Associates, South Weymouth

Kitty works very hard every day. She’s willing to help anyone and trains all the new nurses coming to this department and other suites. She loves her job and her co-workers and worked straight-out during COVID.  She deserves a standing ovation every day. I love coming to work knowing she’ll be here, smiling under the mask.—Nominated by Kerianne McLoughlin

 

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Lian Atturio, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Lian has worked with me on the ortho trauma unit since 2015 and recently moved to the periop float pool. Lian is so much more than just a co-worker to memost importantly, she’s a great mentor and friend. She is organized, reliable, compassionate, intelligent, and sweet. She goes all-out for her patients and coworkers, even during a tough few years for her personally. You can always count on Lian to know what to do, what to say, and how to make you smile in an instant. I am so proud of her for all that she has done for the ortho unit and will continue to do for her new patients and coworkers. I am so lucky to have her in my personal and professional life.—Nominated by Kaleigh McRoberts

 

Alexandra Cellucci, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Alex is amazing. Compassionate to all patients, she goes all-out to make sure the patient is happy and taken care of.  She is also a great team player and always willing to help out where needed. Alexandra has so much knowledge in so many different specialties here at the Fish Center, and she’s always willing to work wherever she’s needed. She defines hard work and compassion and comes to work full of energy, ready to take on the day and care for patients while her bubbly personality keeps her co-workers smiling. She is a great asset to our team.—Nominated by Paula Antunes

 

Keisha Charlot, Neonatal ICU, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

My daughter was born at 23 weeks gestation and had a difficult medical course. She was hospitalized for 196 days. Keisha was our NICU nurse. Keisha is dedicated, passionate, and undeniably supportive to all her patients. Throughout my daughter’s hospital stay, Keisha cared for her (and other infants) like her very own. Keisha is an amazing cheerleader and advocate for all her patients. She exudes positive energy that makes the NICU not feel like such a dark place. We were so blessed to have Keisha on our team. Keisha was the guiding light throughout our journey. She was present through it all and saw my daughter overcome huge obstacles. She supported us through difficult conversations; she was there through all the ups and all the downs. She taught us the skills we needed to take our daughter home.—Nominated by Vanessa Nascimento-Oli

 

Meg Cole, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brookside Community Health Center

Meg Cole is the nurse director at Brookside Community Health Center. Her leadership through this pandemicand every dayis exceptional. She is detail-oriented and organized, which were critical qualities over the last few years when workflows changed almost daily. She co-led the COVID testing and vaccines at Brookside that supported not only our patients, but also Jamaica Plain and surrounding communities. Her leadership is inspiring. She is outstanding in all that she does and, as is true of most nurses, doesn’t expect praise, or even credit. She leads the way she does in order to help our patients, support the community, and help our medical staff and teams. She is one of a kind.—Nominated by Mimi Jolliffe

 

Maureen Conley-Rogazzo, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Maureen Conley-Rogazzo, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Maureen came into our lives at our darkest moment. My husband Ed had just suffered a devastating back fracture while overseas, only to find out that it was caused by multiple myeloma, which we did not know he had. Ed was air-ambulanced from the Middle East to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Maureen was one of the exceptional nurses who cared for him during his 35-day hospitalization. Her caring, compassionate demeanor, her attention to his needs, her patient advocacy, and her seemingly endless amount of patience won her a forever place in both of our hearts. I never once worried about leaving his side while he was in her care. Maureen is truly a special nurse and we will always be grateful for the care she provided my husband.—Nominated by Christine Schultz

 

Matthew Driscoll, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Matt is one of the best nurses I have ever encountered. He was on duty when I was admitted. I was extremely weak and sick, and he was so gentle, compassionate, and encouraging. He seemed to be always by my side when I was sickest. As I recovered, he always went the extra mile to make sure I was comfortable, bringing me an eye mask and earplugs, and most notably saving me a muffin—a surgery near the end of my stay was greatly delayed, and by the time I got back to the floor, I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours. He also advocated for me when we weren’t sure what was going on with my surgery, making multiple phone calls to find out what was causing the delay and how long it would be. I was Matt’s patient during at least three night shifts, and his cheerful, compassionate competency made a real difference to a difficult hospital experience. I always felt better when he was on duty. Thank you Matt.—Nominated by Rachael Lynch

 

Danielle Desrochers, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Danielle has been an inspiration to me since I was a new grad. The perfect example of a nurse, she strikes just the right balance between empathy, compassion, strength, firmness, and love that cannot be taught. She knows how to advocate for patients, speak to colleagues, and teach others. On her days off, she’s a wife, mother to four boys, and a caring friend. She is the epitome of a nurse and I’m so lucky to know her.—Nominated by Sarah Bessuille

 

Sarah DeWick, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Sarah DeWick, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Sarah recently cared for my daughter, Leah, at the Brigham’s ICU. Leah has a complicated medical history. She’s a childhood cancer survivor who’s awaiting a transplant for end-stage renal disease and has been hospitalized 19 times in the last year. Sarah demonstrated the utmost care and compassion to Leah, checking frequently to see if she needed anything and communicating frequently with Leah and the many doctors on her team, providing updates without even being asked. Sarah was also very responsive to me as the parent. I can’t say enough good things about Sarah’s care. I’m also extremely grateful to all the nurses and staff at the Brigham for their excellent care of my daughter.—Nominated by William Rapp

 

Lisa Downey, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Lisa leads our research team and works tirelessly to be there for every patient we screen and follow. She serves as the main clinical point of contact for each patient across our many trials, as well as supporting the cardiovascular clinic with non-research patients. She helps answer their questions, directs them to their primary care physician or primary cardiologist when they reach out with concerns, and follows up with them year after year. She remembers details about each patient and advocates for them and their varied concerns. She consistently takes on more than she’s obligated to in order to help these patients feel better and feel heard. Over the past year, as our trials became increasingly complicated and demanding, she coordinated medication changes, reassured concerned family members, and even figured out travel arrangements for numerous patients so they could get treatment here. 

Lisa’s care doesn’t end with the study requirements. She consistently places the patient first in all ways, and when issues arise it’s obvious how much she cares. Noticing trends in aftercare concerns for a certain cohort of patients last month, she took it upon herself to research solutions and bring them to the team to improve outcomes and patient comfort. That initiative and compassion reflects Lisa’s overall character and how it contributes to her work. Nursing is more than just a job; it’s undoubtedly her vocation. It is inspiring to see the time and care she commits to every patient she meets, even after 44 years as a nurse.—Nominated by Sinead Coyle

 

Shannon Fagan, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Shannon made me feel so comfortable during labor with my son. I truly never imagined such an interaction was possible. Her level of care and knowledge was incredible, and is why I recommend Brigham to friends.—Nominated by Jyoti Mehta

 

Katia Jean-Baptiste, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

When I had an emergency C-section, Katia helped me with everything from getting out of bed to bringing me to the Neonatal ICU to see my baby, and everything in between. She was always smiling, and so helpful. I was elated to have her as my nurse.—Nominated by Denise Walsh

 

Katherine Keast, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Katherine Keast, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

My healthy and fit 43-year-old husband (Timmy) had a massive heart attack and went into cardiac arrest on the Cape on July 24, 2021. He got a stent put in at Hyannis Hospital and was then medflighted to Brigham, where he spent 40 nights. Katherine was by his side and was so kind and caring. She played music for him and drew inspirational drawings on the whiteboard for us when we would come in the next morning. She even got down on the floor and held me while I bawled my eyes out on a really scary day. She is genuinely invested in her patients and their families. She also was the one who helped make the decision to extubate Timmy. He responded to her voice more than any other nurse. She even downloaded his favorite book on audible on her phone to play for him overnight. She was incredible to me and my family during a terrifying time.—Nominated by Nikcole Allen

 

Heidi Braun Lally, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

We have a special nurse in our familyHeidi Braun Lally. When she’s off duty and home with her two teenage boys, she’s always available to all our family for our medical needs. Young or old, she’s always available, whether it’s for urgent care attention, answering questions, putting on a bandage, or just providing reassurance that everything is healing and will be just fine. Heidi has a joyful attitude that’s contagious. 

I’m Heidi’s aunt, a senior citizen 89 years old, and I live independently. Heidi always takes me to my medical appointments. She listens to what the doctor tells me and then explains it in simpler terms. She’s my eyes and ears, and a steady presence. 

I injured my leg in the past year. Heidi has followed my healing process and keeps restoring my confidence day by day.

I want to honor Heidi for all she does, first as a kind and loving human being caring for her patients at the Brigham hospital, and then as a trusted medical resource to myself and all our family.—Nominated by Gail Wetherby

 

Helen Lasic, Labor and Delivery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Helen was an outstanding trauma-informed care provider during my complex stay at the hospital. This baby came after six years of infertility treatmentsand before that, personal circumstances that required developing resilience while jumping over hurdles and barriers recovering from trauma.  

At the hospital, Helen saw me going through stress during my procedure. Helen assessed the situation accurately, understanding that while the doctors focused on procedure, they weren’t focused on quality trauma-informed care. Helen treated me with compassion and empathy, and also did something outstanding on my behalf: she gave me a chance to advocate for myself in the moment.—Nominated by Elizabeth Marrin

 

Paula Machado, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Paula is a shining light. She is always encouraging and a positive force. Paula picked up an extra shift one day on my busy oncology unit. A patient was going through a tough time, understandably. Paula cared for her not just medically, but emotionally as well. Paula Machado embodies Brigham excellence. It is an honor to know her.—Nominated by Jessica Dalusma

 

Ellen McKeon-Levine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

I’ve worked with Ellen for the past 10 years. She is great to all of our patients. She shows care and helps to comfort each patient. I would truly like to thank her for all of the hard work she puts in daily, never complaining. She always has such a great attitude toward patients. She tells them that they are her only patient and she is there for them.—Nominated by Angela Schiavone

 

Pete Meagher, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Pete Meagher, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Pete was an incredible resource when our 5-year-old daughter was undergoing radiation for a rare and inoperable tumor. With six weeks of daily trips to Boston for this treatment, he became like family. He did everything to make her comfortable and always found a way to make her laughthe best medicine of all. She walked with a brace due to the nerve damage from her tumor, and so he’d always challenge her to a “race” and let her win. He’d pretend to walk into walls to make her giggle and was always up for taking her to “boo.” unsuspecting techs and her child life specialist. No matter how silly her requests were, he consistently agreed if it helped make her happy. Pete is a magical soul who was born to help others—Nominated by Sara Anderson

 

Jennifer Mosaheb, Brigham and Women’s Hospital 

Jennifer is a team player with expert knowledge of what it means to be a nurse. She demonstrates patience and compassion in everything she does, always going beyond expectations.—Nominated by Yolanda Valdez

 

Nhan Nguyen, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Nhan took very good care of me and always helped me in a very friendly way. He showed great concern and I really appreciate that. He also showed great skill. He’s a great kid who deserves to be recognized for his hard work and dedication.—Nominated by Corey Cheries

 

Jeffrey Gage Powell, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Although this isn’t a traditional patient/nurse interaction, (Jeffrey) Gage Powell had a profound impact on me, my education, and my life. He served as my preceptor in my final semester of nursing school. He is a brilliant young man (I say this because I am just about old enough to be his parent) who’s passionate about oncology care and research, and highly dedicated to his patients and fellow team members. He facilitated learning each and every shift, dug in and opened up my thought processes, and provided the most competent, skilled care to his patients. I would feel privileged if he ever cares for me or my family.—Nominated by Brenna Ferrentino

 

Kathryn Reidy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

All of the nurses were amazing when my 90-year-old father was in the hospital for 10 days, but Kathryn stood out. She was kind and helpful and gave her all to take care of my dad and the whole family.—Nominated by Roseann Sable

 

Lindsay Robillard, Brigham and Women’s Hospital 

Our son Jameson was born premature at 25 weeks and spent five months in BWH NICU. His stay was tough, but his primary nurse Lindsay made the process so much better. She cared for our son as if he was her ownshe genuinely loved him. She always gave him the best care and made sure to care for my husband and I as well. She was always a listening ear on my bad days. The main reason I nominate Lindsay is because of how big of an advocate she was for our son. She always stood up for what she felt was right for him, and was always a strong advocate in our family meetingsshe even came in on her day off to be in one of our meetings. We couldn’t have asked for a better nurse.—Nominated by Rene Baker

 

Ruby Rollins, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

My husband, Taylor, was a patient on 8C after a severe reaction to a medication. While all of the nursing staff provided phenomenal care, Ruby Rollins was a standout nurse. Although I’m a nurse myself, I was overwhelmed with how ill my husband was, and Ruby’s kindness, humor, and compassion put me at ease. Ruby cared for my husband for three nights in the Surgical ICU, and when she was his nurse, I could leave the hospital knowing he was in the best hands. Ruby never minded if I needed to check in at 3 a.m. to put my mind at ease, and she did everything in her power to keep him comfortable. Ruby, our family is forever grateful to you for your exceptional care.—Nominated by Lauren Healey

 

Renee Goldberg Rotman, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Renee Goldberg Rotman, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Renee was my nurse when I lost my first pregnancy at 20 weeks, and by an amazing coincidence she later helped deliver my daughter Stella. I wept the second she walked in, recognizing her from the previous February when she consoled me and was my rock through the most devastating time of my life. There she was, walking in to deliver my daughter almost a year later. 

Both times, Renee went all-out to make me laugh and feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations. She never had to try, because that’s just how Renee is naturally. I connected with her on such a level that I consider it a friendship. 

I’m due again in the next week and pray that the world will miraculously bring us together again. I’d feel blessed to have her as my nurse when I have my second daughter.—Nominated by Laura Poillucci

 

Christina Swenor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Christina Swenor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

My father suddenly became critically ill in May 2021, and Christina managed his complex care in the ICU with competence. When it became clear he would not turn around, she was equally proficient at supporting him and my family through such meaningful personal touches as making impressions of his hand for a keepsake and printing out his final heart rhythm strip. We will remain forever grateful for her compassionate care for my father and my family.—Nominated by Karin Sloan

 

Maryssa Tripol, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

I was inpatient four nights for thoracic surgery in February. My operation was more involved than anticipated. When Maryssa walked into my room on Day One, I knew I’d hit the lotto. She greeted me with kind words and compassion and explained everything that she needed to do with her thorough knowledge of health and well-being. She confirmed that nurses continue to connect with their patients. Asking questions about life’s interests, family, travel, and my health helped with my care and recovery. She also was very positive and upbeat to be around. I was impressed with her and all the other caregivers on floor 11-A.—Nominated by Margaret Leal

 

Nori Ann Vincitorio Brigham and Women’s Hospital 

Nori has become very special in my life. She has been caring for my brother Jeff for over nine months during his chemo treatments. She answers questions for him, myself, and our family and has offered help on so many levelsspiritually and emotionally. She guided me in helping my parents cope with all of the unknowns. She genuinely cares for her patients and their families. We never felt rushed, or like she was annoyed by our questions. She provides so much motivation for healing. She is a true blessing and we feel safe knowing Jeff is under her care.—Nominated by Amy Stone

 

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

Anne Marie Bermingham, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

Anne Marie has worked in this hospital for over 36 years. She has worked as a floor nurse, an ICU nurse, a nursing supervisor, gastroenterology nurse, and post-anesthesia care unit nurse.  Anne Marie has a magical way of making her patients feel special. She is close with her family and feels like her patients should have their family members close by, too. Anne Marie has had her share of surgery. She uses these experiences to anticipate her patients’ needs.

Last fall, Anne Marie cared for a young breast cancer patient. Anne Marie sat down next to her and patiently medicated and cared for her, treating her pain and nausea until she felt better. She explained to the patient that this sometimes happens, and we have medication to improve her condition. Anne Marie is a strong champion and advocate for her patients.—Nominated by Mary Barry

 

Lusy Gonzalez, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

Lusy Gonzalez, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

Lusy has worked at Faulkner for several years, and has proven over and over that she is an asset to 6 South. As a staff nurse, Lusy gives excellent care, and works with the patient care assistants.  She teaches her patients about their diagnosis, their doctor’s orders, and the plan for each day. She helps with solutions when her patients become anxious or frustrated. She is an advocate and true team member, always placing her patient as the priority. She helps everyone. Lusy is a great resource, and handles her charge duties with ease. When she’s a preceptor, she gives “tough love” to help the new nurses become better.—Nominated by Mary Barry

 

ICU Nurses, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

These nurses are incredibly committed and dedicated to patients and their families. They are excellent patient and family advocates, providing evidence-based practice and compassionate care regardless of the pandemic. They thrive on their work, day in and day out. The ICU nurses stayed throughout the pandemic because they are committed to patient care, the ICU, and the organization. They welcomed new temporary staff with kindness, an open door, and guidance to help them provide excellent patient care. 

The ICU nurses persevered throughout the pandemic while clinical care was changing rapidly. They embraced the challenge with open arms and they always said, “We are here to help, and we are in this together.” They continued to educate themselves and each other on the constantly changing science. 

The nurses used innovative technology to connect families with their patient when visitation wasn’t possible. The nurse was often the in the room for 12 hours, wearing many hats, but their priority was always supporting patients and their families.  It was a common to see nurses hold the hands of a dying patient as they assured their families that they would not let their loved ones die alone. Despite the pandemic, the nurses continued to improve patient care by completing evidence-based practices. They deserve to be recognized for their commitment to the nursing profession, patients, and each other. 

It’s my honor and pleasure to lead this incredible team, and I can’t thank them enough for all the work they do and for their commitment to the public.—Nominated by Estier Sayegh

 

Broad Reach Healthcare

Karen Foss, Broad Reach Hospice

Karen began caring for Linda in 2020. She demonstrated compassion when she held hands with Linda, even when Linda tested positive for COVID-19. She showed clinical competence when she ordered new medicines to address sundry medical issues. She was an excellent communicator, prompt in answering emails and phone calls, even during her time off, and even when the questions were uncomfortably personal in nature. I trusted in her care, because she listened, and consulted with other experts who weren’t her employees. She advocated for Linda, her patient, and got Medicare to provide a better wheelchair and a new hospital bed. She was good at communicating with Linda’s husband and her children. She kept her care team organized and up to date on all developments. She advocated for taking Linda off insulin 10 days before Linda passed away, thus easing Linda’s transition.—Nominated by William Masterson

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Brockton Hospital

Becky Primmer, Brockton Hospital

I met Becky when she joined our ER team in 2014. At the time, I was a tech, and I knew from the moment I met her that I wanted to be a nurse just like her. I watched her with countless patients, from the difficult, mean ones to the kind, pleasant ones. Whatever type of patient you were, Becky treated you with kindness, compassion, and understanding. 

One night we had a very difficult patient with a head injury, and he was nasty as nasty can be. I watched with awe and admiration as she interacted with this patient and totally transformed his demeanor, just by being who she is. 

In 2020, Becky’s friend Shannon was diagnosed with glioblastoma, and to the surprise of no one who knows her, Becky was at her side until the end. The last week Shannon was alive, Becky made sure her friend was comfortable and her family had support. It was shortly after her friend passed that Becky decided to pursue hospice nursing full time, and those patients and their families are so lucky to have her by their side.—Nominated by Brittany Walsh

 

Cathy Shea, Brockton Hospital

Love, compassion, and trust are a few of Cathy’s many attributes. She is truly a gift to the medical community, always helping a family in need. For example, she gave a nurse with a little one coverage over the holiday so they could be home for their family, putting her own family on hold for a time. She cares for family members at home as well.—Nominated by Mary Carraggi

 

Brockton Neighborhood Health Center

COVID Response Nurses, Brockton Neighborhood Health Center

The COVID response nurses have, since the beginning of the pandemic, called all COVID-positive patients, (whether BNHC patients or not) alerted them, educated, acted as advocates, and answered their questions. There was a time we were testing the entire Brockton community, and if someone who wasn’t our patient tested positive, we alerted them, gave them the same level of education, and connected them to their primary care physician. If they didn’t have a PCP, we offered to take on that role. Brockton was hit incredibly hard and we worked nights, Saturdays, and even Sundays during the surges to best serve the community. This is dedication.—Nominated by Kristine Heap

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