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Nantucket Cottage Hospital
Annette Bell-Thompson, Nantucket Cottage Hospital
Annette Bell-Thompson works the night shift and has been super compassionate on many occasions. One patient told me that they didn’t want anyone except Annette as her nurse because she went above and beyond by providing such good, comforting care. Annette is very competent and is a great instructor and preceptor. She loves what she does so much that she shows joy in how she teaches providing superb patient care. She looks for an opportunity to teach every chance she gets and I really appreciate that, because it shows the love she has for her patients and her staff. I don’t just work under her—when I work with her, I feel like a teammate, not her do-girl. She doesn’t treat me like her inferior. She communicates with such clarity, I feel as though I know exactly what needs to be done, and more. Patients are all so happy with her work. If I were a patient, I would want Annette to be my nurse. I would also want my family to be under her care because she’s such a wonderful advocate.—Nominated by Ruthie Tonico
New England Baptist Hospital
Katie Corrigan and Lauren Koloski, New England Baptist Hospital
Katie Corrigan and Lauren Koloski are quality performance managers and infection control preventionists at NEBH. They are responsible for leading and achieving exemplary quality and safety patient outcomes, performance improvement initiatives, and regulatory compliance across the enterprise. They lead nursing and musculoskeletal care programs impacting the delivery of care and services to patients and their care partners. Additionally, they support our infection control, prevention, and surveillance program. Katie and Lauren have been instrumental in supporting NEBH physicians, staff, and patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together, Katie and Lauren provide exquisite, detailed, and focused communication. Creative and innovative in their approaches, they continue to demonstrate excellence in clinical care and consistently leverage evidence-based best practices.
COVID-19 has been a challenge. Katie and Lauren’s professional, poised, and can-do attitudes have been a tremendous resource. Their availability, dependability, and expertise aided all. As they created or updated policies or procedures regarding evolving COVID-19 practices, Katie and Lauren supported clinical teams and patients through myriad changes. They exhibit sensitivity, trust, and advocacy for health-care team members and patients alike. They are strong communicators and visible leaders, impacting quality and safety at NEBH. On behalf of the Nurse Executive team, we salute Katie and Lauren for their tireless and relentless pursuit of excellence. —Nominated by Tricia Ide
Jen Basgaard, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Jen is often paired with me for my monthly infusions. I’m a difficult “stick” for the IV—I’m thin, a Type I diabetic, and often a bit dehydrated, so I have small veins—but she can almost always get me on the first try. Over the past three years Jen has rescued me a few times by just looking at me and knowing I’m not OK—truly remarkable. But it’s her kindness and support that get me through my visits. She takes the time to know my family and what’s going on in my life. My daughter is also a nurse at Newton-Wellesley, so I know what an exceptional nurse is. NWH is fortunate to have such a competent, warm, and supportive nurse on staff and I’m fortunate to have her on my care team each month.—Nominated by Sheila Albrecht
Dawn Bosse, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
I’ve worked with Dawn across many roles and care areas—inpatient oncology, multiple COVID surges, and outpatient infusion. And in every setting, she has maintained a calm demeanor, a positive attitude, and is always around to lend a hand. Dawn often fills in as the charge nurse, and is the calm support you need during hectic shifts (especially during the COVID surges). She consistently leads by example and tackles challenges as the arise. When a patient is unstable, she is always there to assist in any way possible.
Dawn’s empathy knows no bounds. As she transitions to the Vernon Cancer Center, I will greatly miss working alongside her. Her future patients and coworkers are lucky to have such a wonderful person on their team.—Nominated by Nina Camilli
Nikki Cataldo, Mass General Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital
The challenges of the pandemic fundamentally changed the care for our cancer patients for many months. They couldn’t have a family member or friend join them at appointments or during treatment. Oncology nurses have been not only administering chemotherapy, but also serving as a patient’s companion and “support person.” Nikki has been an incredible support to our patients during this challenging time.—Nominated by Amy Comander
Joyce Ciccolini, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
On Jan. 11, I was 36 weeks pregnant, and very early that morning my water broke. This is my fourth child, but the first time I went into labor four weeks early. My son Declan was born at 1:23 a.m. the next day. Because he was so early and not eating well enough to come home, he was admitted to the. the NICU. There’s a certain kind of heartbreak when a mother is discharged without her child. I met Joyce over the following few days, and we instantly clicked. She was funny and honest and smart. She made my husband and me feel at ease, and made sure that we knew what was happening with our baby and that we were in ultimately in control. She made sure that I didn’t have any guilt when I could only spend a few hours a day in the NICU because I had three other children back home. She stood by us when the doctor came by to update us on any new developments or if there was a change in the plan of care. Even if it was just a pat on the back or a smile, Joyce reassured me that my baby and I were in good hands.
Leaving the NICU after 23 days is a strange feeling. As much as I wanted to bring my new baby home, I was sad to leave the little bubble of support that the NICU gives you. Joyce made sure that the nurses who were on duty contacted her so she could say goodbye and give us the closure that we needed from this exhausting journey I can say wholeheartedly that if it were not for Joyce and her love for her job and for “her babies,” I wouldn’t have made it through those 23 days. Joyce will always have a special place in my heart.—Nominated by Elizabeth Murray
Marla DeAngelis, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Labor and delivery at NWH isn’t always a happy place. When a patient loses a baby, it’s devastating for the patient and her family, and the staff often has a hard time, too. Marla is involved in the HEAL program. HEAL stands for Helping Educate After a Loss. This program helps the doctors and nurses caring for patients who suffer a loss guide and support them through this difficult time.
One thing we do is make follow-up phone calls to the patients after they are discharged. I recently overheard a conversation Marla had on one of these follow-ups. Her compassion and validation were amazing. The patient mentioned that she was at the hospital for a doctor’s appointment, and asked if she could come up and see Marla. Marla met her in the waiting area and sat and chatted with the patient and her husband for a while.
The patient told Marla “If there’s a silver lining to this, it was meeting you.” I am so impressed that she made that kind of impact on a patient during such an incredibly difficult time.—Nominated by Christine Weber
Deanna Fiore, COVID ICU, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
My husband, John “Biff” Jenney, was a patient in the COVID ICU from Aug. 27, 2021, until his death on Aug. 29. Deanna was his assigned nurse on Saturday, the 28th. From her first phone call to the last during her 12-hour shift, she exhibited kindness, compassion, and expertise. It was so comforting for my son and me. During that day, we heard very disturbing news from the doctors about Biff’s overall condition, which deteriorated hour by hour. About noon, Deanna asked if we would like to have a Zoom meeting at 2 o’clock. That gave us such comfort in an otherwise traumatic situation. During the Zoom she held Biff’s hand, and as we told him about our love for him, he squeezed her hand. It gave us great solace, since we couldn’t be there with him. She then suggested that we could have a second Zoom at 5 p.m. By then, because Biff had multiple organ failure, we decided with the doctors to have palliative care. The second Zoom was again a great comfort, and that was the last time I saw my husband, since I too had COVID, despite both of us being double-vaccinated. However, my son was able to be with him that evening and the next day. He died about 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon. We are so grateful to Deanna and the team of doctors and nurses in the ICU for their incredible work and the connection Deanna made with us at this life-changing moment.—Nominated by Kathleen Jenney
Olivia Hamill, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Feb. 1 was one of the hardest days of my entire life. When I suffered a devastating miscarriage of my first pregnancy, it felt like my entire world was crumbling. I had to have a procedure done in the operating room and was so blessed and grateful to have Olivia as my nurse. She held my hand, cried with my husband and me, and made us feel as though we weren’t so alone. She made me feel so safe and secure, like a bright light on a dark day. She took exceptional care not just of me, but my husband as well. Olivia even took time out of her short break to check on us in the recovery room and see if there was anything we needed.
At my follow-up appointment, my obstetrician raved about how wonderful Olivia was and the exceptional care she provided. I am so grateful Olivia was my nurse that day, I don’t think I could have gotten through the day and procedure without her kindness and compassion. I am forever indebted to her. I know this recognition would mean the world to her, but it still wouldn’t be enough to show how truly incredible she is.—Nominated by Kayla Porter
Anne Hunsicker, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Ever since Anne joined the team at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, I’m struck by her integrity, compassion, insights, and overall professionalism. She holds nursing to a high standard, and is committed to bringing her best to her patients and colleagues every day. She constantly strives to learn from her patients and experiences, and truly values a patient-centered approach to care.—Nominated by Kosha Thakore
Julia Kenney, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Julia Kenney has an incredible amount of dedication and commitment to learning a new specialty, all while maintaining a high degree of compassion for her patients. She has an innate ability to identify health inequities and advocate for, and partner with, patients to navigate systems that are built to disempower them. While there are no easy solutions to eliminate these inequities, Julia Kenney has proven herself a partner and ally to patients so they will not face these systems alone.—Nominated by Kosha Thakore
Jennifer Lee, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Jennifer has worked in the operating room for the past 20 years. Nurses there represent the unsung heroes of health care today. She exemplifies all the attributes that make our health-care facilities second to none. She has worked immeasurably during the pandemic, and returns home daily to her six loving children and an 80-acre horse farm.
Jennifer also endured the role of a lone provider while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan for over a year on assignment in the Massachusetts National Guard.
Jennifer also cares for horses, sheep, chickens, goats, and assorted other farm creatures. Jennifer goes about life in a professional manner, without fanfare and adulation. Jennifer is due for an appreciation for all she does. She is truly one-of-a-kind.—Nominated by Allan Mills
Angela Sousa, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Angela is extremely compassionate and insightful. She strives to support her patients and colleagues and is so caring in the process. During the pandemic, I’ve greatly valued her flexibility to adapt and meet the ever-changing needs of our patients, all with good humor and incredible thoughtfulness, being sure to always deliver the highest level of patient-centered care.—Nominated by Kosha Thakore
Jan Waterhouse, Labor & Delivery, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
I came into the hospital laboring with twin boys, bringing my 7-year-old son with me. We were new to the area. My husband was out of town, I had no one to help me, and then I met Jan, my L&D nurse. She held my hand that night, coached me, took photos, and Face-Timed my husband while our 33-week-old twins were born. I have never been more grateful in my life for someone. I will forever be indebted to Jan.—Nominated by Heidi Rodriguez
Melanie Weinick, Mass General Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital
The challenges of the pandemic fundamentally changed care for our cancer patients for many months. Melanie has provided great support for individuals who needed chemotherapy and couldn’t have a support person accompany them. She has also used her training in integrative medicine to contribute to our Survivorship program.—Nominated by Amy Comander
North Attleboro School District
Melissa Badger, North Attleboro School District
Missy is my nurse leader. She has led all the North Attleboro school district’s nurses throughout the COVID pandemic. She worked tirelessly to educate nurses, staff, and the public. She instituted protocols, testing, and contact tracing. She partnered with our local board of health to assist with public health information and contact tracing during the initial phase of COVID. She worked seven days a week for the past two-and-a-half years to ensure the safety of our community. She has been a true leader for me, as a school nurse, as well as an asset to our superintendent and school staff. She is a true hero.—Nominated by Joanne MacDonald
I’ve been a school nurse for 29 years and COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge of my career. COVID exponentially disrupted the stability of our school-aged children on every level. Adults didn’t understand what was to come, and this trickled down to all of our students. Family routines were disrupted, and every day there was uncertainty with individual students’ health status. There is a direct relationship between physical health, social-emotional-behavioral health, and academic achievement. It’s well known that the mental health of our youth has deteriorated with in the pandemic.
Under the leadership of School Nurse Leader Melissa Badger, all of us North Attleboro school nurses were able to maintain stamina and the most accurate quarantine/isolation guidelines throughout the worst of the pandemic. Missy was responsible for keeping her staff upbeat and educated. She designed charts/algorithms every time there was a change in COVID guidelines. It was imperative that all of us be able to accurately educate the multitude of parents who were calling school nurses for advice and health directives daily.
Missy played an enormous role in managing the safety of our students and staff while our school system was in transition with our superintendent and facility manager. She developed websites and links for the parents’ reference.
Missy was our school system’s rock—unselfish, committed, and leading us tirelessly and calmly. She lost much sleep, yet her energy never failed. Missy never complained, but listened to our frustrations with support and knowledge.
Missy Badger is a quintessential nurse leader, and her leadership is why, after 29 years in the North Attleboro school system, I continue to LOVE my job as a school nurse. The ultimate outcome is a healthy school system.—Nominated by Anne Sandland
Melissa, our district school nurse leader, has done a tremendous job during the pandemic. I joined the district recently and have been amazed at her leadership and dedication to all the people in North Attleboro. She leads with wisdom, compassion, caring, and understanding. I have watched Missy take on frequently changing COVID guidelines with conviction. Through her experience and nursing judgement, Missy has helped guide all of us district nurses during these challenging times. We are so grateful to have an amazing nurse leader for North Attleboro.—Nominated by Sandra Thom
Northeast Clinical Services
Stephanie Collas, Northeast Clinical Services
Stephanie has been our home care nurse for a few years now. She was the first nurse to come into our home to care for our son with multiple medical needs. I was nervous to have a nurse in our home. I worried that my son would not feel comfortable with someone else providing his care.
The minute I met Stephanie, I could tell that she was special. She had the perfect balance of friendliness, professionalism, and love for children. When she started working with my son, he asked for her daily and cried when she left. She has a gentle but firm approach that works well for him. Kids with medical needs have to do a lot of hard things, and Stephanie has a calm approach to any challenging behavior around treatments. Since my son is on the spectrum, it can take a lot of creativity to help him when he is upset. Stephanie makes working with him look easy.—Nominated by Bethany Adams
Katelyn Conroy, Northeast Clinical Services
Katelyn has been with Maggie for over 10 years. She is one of the most compassionate, caring, empathic women I have ever met. She is so dedicated to her profession, and especially to Maggie. She has been with us through thick and thin, new diagnoses, chronic conditions, a pandemic, and so much more. She walks into our house with a smile every shift. Leaving your nonverbal, totally disabled child, whether they are 2 years old or 29, is very difficult. I always know that Maggie will be receive the care, dignity, and humor that her family wishes for her. If you could clone Katelyn Conroy, the world would be a much better place, and so many families like ours would have some peace of mind.—Nominated by Dana King
Jessica Cyr, Northeast Clinical Services
When I lost my wife to cancer in October 2020, I needed a full-time nurse to take care of my severely handicapped daughter. Jessica was a godsend. She doesn’t treat her profession as though it’s just a job. My daughter cannot speak, but she understands everything you say, so communication is difficult at times. Jessica not only uses different ways to communicate, but also interacts with her and treats her like she isn’t disabled at all. She’s been my daughter’s full-time therapist now for 15 months and I consider her extended family. My daughter has grown to love her and I think Jessica feels the same. You have to be a special kind of person to do what she does, and she does it with so much love, compassion, and grace that I couldn’t be happier. I trust her with my daughter’s life.—Nominated by Eric Giurado
Kiki McKenna, Northeast Clinical Services
Kiki has been one of our home care nurses for a couple years now. There’s no other way to describe her but as simply magical. Kids love her, and my son fell in love with her quickly. Kiki is so much fun. Somehow she manages to do all of my son’s medical care and still make time to play his favorite games.
My son loves to build wooden train tracks. It’s become a weekly tradition for Kiki to build him an amazing track. After it’s built, Kiki crawls around behind him to give him the medications and treatments that he might need during playtime.
I feel safe having Kiki caring for my son. She has incredible attention to detail. Every time she’s here, she notices details that help keep my son healthy. Kiki reads labels and researches best practices to make sure we are storing medications properly and giving my son the best care possible.
Kiki always goes the extra mile in her care. She has often changed her schedule at the last minute to help me out or to support my son in an urgent need. I know that my son is healthier because of Kiki and I am so grateful.—Nominated by Bethany Adams
Kiki has been one of my son’s homecare nurses since September 2017. In those four-plus years she’s become a part of our family. She takes exceptional care of our son and is one of the few people in this world I trust wholeheartedly with him. My 6-year-old son Gabriel has cerebral palsy, a tracheostomy, a feeding tube, and seizures. Kiki has been right by his side through multiple hospitalizations, surgeries, and therapy sessions. She pushes him to work harder, knows exactly what songs he likes to sing, and knows how to adjust all of his different equipment. His face lights up each time she walks into our house and greets him. In addition to all of her typical nursing tasks, Kiki has helped us pack and unpack all of his medical equipment for multiple family vacations and two separate moves. Most important of all, Kiki LOVES our little boy.—Nominated by Stephanie DeGennaro
North Hill Retirement Community
Alice Rose, North Hill Retirement Community
Although I’m not a patient or family member, I’ve seen Alice’s depth of knowledge and clinical expertise in long-term, transitional, community, and academic settings for 35 years. She has been a superb role model and mentor to novice and veteran nurses and a tireless advocate for the elderly and disadvantaged throughout her entire career.
She has always used her tremendous skills in a quiet and unassuming manner in her various leadership positions and in direct care as an adult nurse practitioner. Others have addressed her heroic achievements during the recent pandemic, but I prefer to address her persistent, progressive, dynamic, and creative efforts over an exceptional 50-year career in nursing.—Nominated by Maureen Gaughan
Alice is the consummate professional nurse—intelligent, deeply caring, dedicated, visionary, accomplished, and an expert care provider. As the chief of clinical services at North Hill, a continuing care retirement community, Alice has continuously led the organization’s health-care team to respond to the changing needs of the ongoing pandemic. She worked tirelessly to keep abreast of accurate information, secure needed supplies, and guide her entire health-care team to provide self-care and support for each other. She facilitated timely, factual, decisive, and compassionate communication with residents, families, and the members of the team. Alice’s strong, informed, wise, and resourceful leadership enabled the health-care team to navigate these unprecedented times while providing high-quality care for residents at high risk from the coronavirus. It’s impossible to imagine how any health-care setting could meet their mission of quality care, especially during this pandemic, without excellent nursing leadership. Nursing leaders are sometimes overlooked for the recognition they merit, and Alice is most deserving to be recognized. She’s an extraordinary role model and true unsung hero.—Nominated by Carole MacKenzie
North Reading Public Schools
Katie Lombardi, North Reading Public Schools
Nurse Lombardi, our district’s floater nurse, has been instrumental in the success of our district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic across all five schools. She joined her team to unpack the guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Public Health and to help communicate this information to the parents and families of our district. She implemented the process of contact tracing in our schools; led symptomatic, test-and-stay, and pooled testing initiatives; and continued to do her “regular job” as a school nurse throughout all of the unprecedented challenges this year.—Nominated by Patrick Daly
Elizabeth Steele, North Reading Public Schools
Nurse Steele has been an invaluable addition to our team this year, providing assistance to all of our nurses across five schools and leading our in-district testing programs. She led her team to unpack the guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Public Health and to help communicate this information to the parents and families of our district. She implemented contact tracing in our schools; led symptomatic, test-and-stay, and pooled testing initiatives; and maintained communication with the administration to successfully distribute “at-home” testing kits to interested students and staff. Our testing programs would not have been as successful as they have been without her leadership.—Nominated by Patrick Daly
North Shore Physicians Group
Linda Cole, North Shore Physicians Group
Linda is a kind, caring, compassionate, highly knowledgeable and patient-focused professional. She has been a godsend—extremely helpful with our family. At 86 and 93, we have steady questions and concerns that she readily assists us with. Linda always has time to help. She has helped us with various daily living aids, such as a shower chair and bed rails. Linda deserves this award because she always exceeds expectations.—Nominated by Ann O’Shea
Alana Panzini, North Shore Physicians Group
Alana Panzini has an excellent rapport with providers, nurses, clinical staff, and patient service representatives and patients. Alana is genuinely interested in helping others and provides excellent patient care in a consistently positive and skillful manner. On numerous occasions Alana has taken the extra step to ensure safety while triaging calls. In the last six months she saved two lives by listening to people’s symptoms and triaging thoroughly. She acted quickly and got them where they needed to be in time to save them. During the pandemic, Alana jumped into action, helping out everywhere and anywhere that was needed, all while taking care of patients and easing their minds through this difficult time. She is overall amazing and a true role model. Her compassion and dedication make everyone she meets smile. I truly admire Alana, and I hope she continues her education to become a nurse practitioner.—Nominated by Sabrina Milisi
NVNA and Hospice
Cassidy Cataldo, Norwell Visiting Nurse Association
When my father had melanoma, he was combative and didn’t want any help. He was extremely difficult to care for. Cassidy has a way of listening and understanding, yet being firm. She looked him directly in the eye and spoke to him in a way that he appreciated and understood. She was the only person he listened to when it came to his medical care. Without Cassidy’s help, my father would not have died with dignity. It would have been an extremely upsetting struggle. Not only did Cassidy give my father a respectful end to his life, she gave my family the peace we needed to have no regrets. Cassidy is the best nurse I have ever encountered, and I have the utmost appreciation for everything she did for my family, especially my father, Neil Hammond.—Nominated by Michael Hammond
Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care
Bethany Sylva, Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care
Bethany became my wife’s hospice nurse and my guardian angel in January 2019, when my wife began her final journey in life. Having promised that I would never put my wife in a nursing home, I had no idea how I could keep that promise. After 55 years of marriage, our lives together would soon be ending. Then, a literal miracle occurred when Bethany arrived at my house. When I first met her, she felt like a lost family member whom I hadn’t seen in years. She made me feel relaxed, less stressed, and loved. She hugged Gail as if she were her own mother. She then went to work on her biggest challenge—me. She started with small talk, then gradually moved into the role of hospice, and finally meticulously walked me through my role as a caregiver. Throughout the visit, she emphasized the importance of my taking care of myself. She stressed that if I wanted to keep my promise to my wife, I had to take care of myself, both physically and mentally.
Bethany always visited as long as was necessary, even if it was on her own time. It usually started with her bringing me a cup of coffee, changing my wife, taking her vitals, addressing the length of her nails, the facial hair, and other such things that are important to a woman. And her visits would usually end by giving my wife a kiss and hugging me. I can’t even explain how I felt and the love that flowed from her.
It took months for Bethany to convince me to work with the spiritual counselor. But after a couple of visits, I knew why. Once again, a great call by Bethany. My wife has been with us longer than expected and I contribute it to the care and love that Bethany and her team have provided.—Nominated by Allen Hymovitz
Queen Anne Nursing Home
Katie Vaughn, Queen Anne Nursing Home
Katie has done an amazing job caring for the residents and managing staff during these unprecedented times. She’s been integral to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the facility.—Nominated by Kellie Clark
Katie has addressed every concern that I had about the care of my grandmother. She walked me through every detail of her care, and showed so much compassion.—Nominated by John Spada
Rhode Island Hospital
Amy Stroup, Rhode Island Hospital
In the Trauma ICU, Amy takes care of the sickest patients in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts, and she treats every one of them as if they are her own family. She brings a sense of calm and control as she attends to patients and their families on the worst days of their lives. Amy is intelligent, bright, compassionate, and a true trauma nurse through-and-through. It’s an incredibly difficult job, but it’s what’s she’s meant to do. She’s the one you want at your bedside when your whole world is crumbling, because she will be there to guide you and hold you up, pushing through the grief and gravity of the situation while she works countless drips and drains and infusions and monitors. She’s a real-life superhero.—Nominated by Michaela Quixote
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