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2023 Salute to Nurses: Letters S-T

Salem Hospital

Elisabeth Babeu, Salem Hospital

All too often, we think of nursing only within the hospital setting, and Liz Babeu is a post anesthesia care unit nurse who has always received accolades from her patients. But most people don’t realize that Liz also contributes to the community outside of the hospital. Last fall, Liz worked with high school students to raise supplies for war-torn Ukraine. She showed that nurses care for everyone, not just the sick. Through this role modeling Liz not only helped people in the Ukraine, but also demonstrated to impressionable high school students the importance of supporting everyone. Liz has the gift of giving and connecting people. – Nominated by Mary Samost

Tiffany Bressler, Salem Hospital

Tiffany Bressler is a stat nurse working the night shift. Her work has helped many patients’ lives, and they’re probably not even aware of it. Tiffany rounds the hospital while checking in with nurses to see if she can help with our more critically ill patients. She’s a great resource for everyone working the night shift, especially us new grads. No question is too silly to ask her, and she always answers in depth. If Tiffany’s on when my new grad colleagues and I call a CRT (cardiac resynchronization therapy), she makes sure the patient is taken care of and later provides in-depth education on what happened. Tiffany is also a passionate advocate who goes to bat for the patient every single time. Most importantly, she is an incredibly empathetic nurse during her patients’ most stressful moments. It’s a shame more patients don’t recognize her hard work because they’re probably asleep. Hopefully this salute will give her the praise she deserves. – Nominated by Katrina Blaus

William Leedy, Salem Hospital

As a charge nurse in the operating room, you must keep your eye on many things, particularly during an evening shift that is likely to have emergencies. Will Leedy, the evening charge nurse, is a proud veteran who draws on his military experience to organize the OR. We had a patient rushed to surgery this week with a ruptured spleen. This patient would quickly bleed to death. When Will received the urgent call from the emergency room, he quickly identified and organized his team of nurses, surgical techs, anesthesia techs, and the blood bank to be on point. He assigned roles for each team member and was ready when the patient, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and emergency department nurses arrived. The surgery was performed swiftly, and the patient survived. At the end of the procedure, Will acknowledged his team with a shout-out to leadership. He took no credit for the wonderful outcome. Instead, Will attributed it to the hard work of his amazing team. – Nominated by Mary Samost

Jeremy Sciascia, Epstein Center for Behavioral Health, Salem Hospital

I’ve never met Jeremy. However, as a nurse myself, I know that he was often the only ray of sunshine for someone enduring a dark period of uncertainty, worry, clinical complexity, and intense learning about a new condition. Extended hospitalizations and rehospitalizations can be stressful, sometimes without clear progress and often with setbacks. Through many conversations, I heard about Jeremy deliberately guiding, informing, supporting, and caring for the patient and family. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it was sad, sometimes it was direct. Once it was playing basketball, skillfully and painstakingly gaining the patient’s trust for necessary intervention. Jeremy celebrated as the patient stabilized for discharge and welcomed a follow-up visit with genuine enthusiasm. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I suspect he sees many families in crisis. It is the unfortunate truth. However, Jeremy, through much experience and wisdom, provided hope and constant care at a time and in a manner that requires me to describe him as an important partner, trusted adviser, and expert clinician. I salute you and thank you for your knowledge, commitment, and advocacy for those who need you. – Nominated by Eileen O’Connell

Karen Stevenson, Salem Hospital Birthplace

Karen is the Mary Poppins of nursing. She exudes a caring confidence that was exactly what I needed after giving birth. Her skills as a midwife, lactation consultant, and nurse put my husband and me at ease when my son was born. We were lucky enough to have Karen’s help when my son had trouble latching, and then she was my nurse when I developed some complications. Almost seven months later we still talk about Karen and credit her for our easy transition home with a newborn – Nominated by Lynn Hirsh

Vessela Trendafilova, Salem Hospital

Smiling blond nurse with red framed glasses wearing a black jacket and black scrubs.
Vessela Trendafilova

I had the great pleasure of meeting Vessela in the wound clinic as she cared for my father. Vessela is kind, gentle, and always listened to my father. She was interested in his stories and made him smile. He was there for a chronic vascular wound and he was in incredible pain. Vessela worked closely with his surgeon and together they created a plan to help heal his wound. My father has since passed, but he passed with his wound healed and in no pain. The time he spent at the wound center is a fond memory for me and my family. Thank you, Vessela, for taking such good care of Dad and making his last few months comfortable. – Nominated by Mary Samost

Signature Healthcare Brockton

Emergency Department, Signature Healthcare

The ED at Signature Healthcare serves a very diverse community in the heart of Brockton.  Overcrowding in the ED has intensified since the COVID pandemic. The nurses are relentlessly creative in figuring out how to care for more patients than there is space for. They don’t give up when there are over twice as many patients as there are beds. They explain and apologize for waits, crowding, visitor restrictions, and delays that they have no control over, while providing quality care and sincere compassion. They’re there on what’s often the worst day of someone’s life, taking care of them and their family. They train new nurses and teach them the importance of teamwork. They do whatever it takes  

On February seventh, when a fire occurred at the hospital, they came in on their day off and helped evacuate the ED. Within days, many of them were working the ED at Good Samaritan and Morton to help decompress their patient load and serve the community. Others helped physically set up two urgent care clinics and have been there since opening day. Whatever is needed, they are always there. I am endlessly humbled by the kindness, intelligence, and spirit of this team. – Nominated by Kate MacKinnon

South Shore Health

Sharon Perkins, South Shore Health

Sharon is a lifelong learner who willingly shares her joy of education and positivity with other prospective and existing nurses who are advancing their education. Sharon oversees all the academic placements of the 14 nursing schools at Magnet accredited and busy South Shore Health. She started as a licensed practical nurse and now has her doctorate. She uses her invaluable life experience to motivate others in a clear and step-by-step way. Thank you, Sharon, for being a great role model and partner with Nursing and Human Resources. – Nominated by Tim Quigley

Sharon Stemm, South Shore Health

As the associate chief nursing officer, Sharon leads the Professional Development Department, where she expertly guides the career advancement of 1,500 busy nurses and hundreds of colleagues in key support roles — all while managing the Shared Governance, professional certification, new graduate transition to practice, nursing orientation, grow-your-own specialty practice, workforce pipeline, academic partnerships, and placements, as well as the Magnet designation process. Sharon is articulate, intelligent, data-driven, and possesses a strong work ethic wrapped around a team orientation and enhanced by her constant focus on “the most important thing.” We are grateful for her leadership as we enter this post-COVID period during a historically unique labor market. – Nominated by Tim Quigley

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Elizabeth Adams, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Elizabeth Adams is a compassionate, competent caregiver for each of her patients. It can be challenging to care for patients going through difficult times in an oncology unit, but Elizabeth provides information and care in a way that shows empathy. She is a strong advocate who will do what it takes to ensure her patients’ voices are heard. Nurses don’t always have time to sit with patients, but Elizabeth makes that time to listen and get to know them, no matter what. She shares her thoughts and experiences with the team to ensure her patients have the best possible experience. Empathy is a powerful skill in nursing, and Elizabeth demonstrates this with ease. – Nominated by Meaghan Fahey

Jocelyn Aguirre, 3 West, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Jocelyn, the 3 West clinical practice leader, not only tries to improve nurses’ clinical skills and help them navigate difficult situations, but is also constantly engaged in different projects to improve patient care. Jocelyn brings cheer to the unit and engages staff in team-building activities. Jocelyn is a true asset to our nursing team and this commitment to excellence is greatly appreciated. – Nominated by Elvira Minasyan

Jocelyn Aguirre, 3 West, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

As the clinical practice lead, Jocelyn is passionate about making the work environment safe and happy. Five days a week, Jocelyn puts all her energy into doing the best job possible. She has increased positive patient outcomes by completely changing and enhancing the work environment. She often exceeds patient expectations, too. When one patient was finally cleared to drink liquids, he told Jocelyn that the first thing he wanted was a vanilla shake from Starbucks. Jocelyn surprised the patient with a shake that same day. He couldn’t express how much that meant to him. Motivated by his nurses, including Jocelyn, he gained the strength to move to Spaulding Charlestown for intensive physical and occupational therapy. This is only one example of how selfless Jocelyn is as a nurse, team leader, and friend. Jocelyn, thank you for all of your hard work. We wouldn’t be 3 West without you. – Nominated by Marlene Vescera

Elena Bragg, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

She supports complicated patients with both oncologic and dialysis-dependent care and trains nursing staff members. – Nominated by Louis Ercolani

Emily Fiorenza, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Emily Fiorenza works on the Complex medical unit, where the patients are very complicated and need a lot of care. They can consume a lot of a nurse’s time. Emily is one of the most patient souls. She takes her time to ensure that the patients get the care they deserve. Emily never shies away from the difficult, and her calm presence puts them at ease. Emily can usually get a patient to smile through their pain. She’s also a great teammate and very helpful to the personal care attendants. When Emily serves as the charge nurse, she ensures that assignments are fair and equitable. She reaches out to ensure that everyone is having a reasonable day. Emily does committee work and brings feedback to the unit to foster positive change. 

One day, a difficult patient was being admitted to the unit. Other nurses were nervous, but Emily was not, and volunteered to take the patient. Patients often request Emily as their nurse because she’s so positive and caring. – Nominated by Pauline Clarke

Jen Godfrey, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Middle-aged woman wearing large, tortoise shell glasses, a lab coat, and blue scrubs gives a slight smile.
Jen Godfrey

As one of the core wound care nurse specialists here, I can’t imagine a more sought-after staff member than Jen. She is our fearless leader in managing complex pressure injuries, surgical wounds, ostomies, and burns. She gets to know a patient in their most vulnerable moments and then rolls up her sleeves sometimes for hours at a time with patience and compassion. Jen puts on her thinking cap for challenging wound care situations and comes up with solutions in real time. She is a resource for all clinical team members, and patients are relieved when she shows up at their bedside. 

One particular patient has 10 complex wounds accounting for 20 percent of their body surface, which works out to a two-hour dressing change twice a week. Jen collaborates with the team and the primary surgeons at the acute care facilities. She is equal parts competent and creative. In addition to her hefty responsibilities for the skin of all inpatients, she finds time to teach and often has students in tow. Patients trust her judgment and staff nurses look to her experience and wisdom. We could not care for some of these complex cases without her. I am not sure Jen knows how grateful we are to have her on our team, but she is so appreciated and valued. 
Nominated by Christina Palmieri

Darcy Lafaille, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Darcy puts her patients and co-workers at ease. If Darcy is your nurse, you know no stone will be left unturned, every detail is attended to, communication is seamless, and you will smile even if you feel like crying. Recently, we got a late admission who was medically complicated and urgently needed food and insulin. The kitchen was closed, and the pharmacy had not yet brought up her insulin. Instead of getting overwhelmed or flustered, Darcy tackled the situation head-on, making sure the patient got the dinner she wanted and the insulin she needed. This required her to communicate with nutrition, pharmacy, medical team, the patient, and the patient’s mother. Somehow, Darcy made it look effortless. All the while I could hear the 5-year-old patient giggling as Darcy cracked jokes to help her feel comfortable.
– Nominated by Stephanie Cohen

Casey Macgillivary, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Casey provides exceptional care not only for her patients, but for all patients who need her. She makes every patient feel seen, heard, and cared for. Casey frequently goes out of her way to comfort patients who are struggling emotionally. She listens actively and is always willing to lend a hand, no matter how busy she may be. Casey is not only an exceptional individual but also an excellent team player. She takes her charge role responsibility and embraces it. She collaborates with her colleagues to ensure that all patients receive the best possible care. Her communication skills are excellent, and she ensures that the entire team is on the same page regarding each patient’s care plan. Casey is an amazing nurse and person to whom I would trust my life in any situation. – Nominated by Elvira Minasyan

Lindsay Margolis, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Lindsay strives to advocate and do what’s best for her patients. As an oncology nurse, she helps both patients and their families through difficult parts of their healing journey. When something appears to be wrong or off from baseline, she effectively communicates with the provider to get the care the patient needs. She’s a strong member of the team and highly regarded by all specialties. Lindsay is a true example of what a nurse should be and I hope she realizes how much she is appreciated by both staff and patients for all she does. – Nominated by Samantha O’Neil

Elena McConell, South 3, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Elena is a fantastic nurse and excellent clinical leader in the cardiopulmonary unit. She is patient with newer staff members, always willing to teach and demonstrate. She is great at teaching patients, specifically about their LVAD or transplant medications. [A left ventricular assist device is implanted in the heart to help it pump blood.] Calm and caring, Elena always sees all the moving parts of the unit. During times of urgency, she’ll see that a nurse is super busy and jump right in to help with wound care, repositioning, and pain management. She’s receptive to family members’ needs and ensures patient privacy and dignity. She advocates for patients, frequently coordinating several different departments to organize care to maximize patient outcomes. – Nominated by Lisa Simonian

Medical ICU, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and 3 West, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

They say it takes a village, and that’s true — it takes doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, nursing personal care attendants, and housekeeping. 

Last August, my husband Jim hemorrhaged from his blood thinners. He was in shock when brought to the emergency department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The ED staff saved his life, and he was taken to the surgical intensive care unit. From there, he went to the medical ICU for two months. All the nurses were kind and compassionate. My husband is a quadriplegic from a spinal cord injury at age 14. Because he was intubated and later had a tracheostomy, he couldn’t speak. The nurses patiently tried to read his lips. They made sure he was listened to and never ignored. He could only communicate by making a clicking sound with his mouth. One of the nurses, Helen, made signs as a reminder to never completely shut his door so he could always be heard. This made him feel less anxious and valued. Michelle comforted me when he was in one of many critical events. There was Kayla, who noticed critical changes on his ventilator settings and was prepared when he had cardiac arrest. 

Jim was critically ill and the staff kept me updated and cared for me, too. There were many bad days, but his care was always the best. Everyone rooted for him to get well. After two months he was transferred to Spaulding in Cambridge to get stronger. The staff were excellent there, too. They listened and supported us. Kara was one of the best listeners. Casey, Amanda, Jay, and Brad were compassionate and caring. They encouraged Jim to get dressed and out of a hospital gown, to just feel normal. 

After two and a half months at Spaulding, Jim was discharged to continue care at home. Deborah, the nurse from case management, arranged for us to be home for Christmas. Jim was back in the MICU this January and March and again received expert care. I know I’ve left out the names of so many nurses and staff who cared for Jim, but you are all forever in our hearts for your expertise and kindness. – Nominated by James Miczek

Annie Normile, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Annie made my stay here great. I had a rough time, but she made it easy for me. I love her as a person and am grateful for her. Thank you, Annie baby. – Nominated by Shafoni Barros

Christina Palmieri, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Christina for the past year and a half or so. She demonstrates excellent clinical competency, and great communication with patients, families, and her team. She’s a great advocate for all patients and thinks outside of the box to problem-solve and provide patient-centered care. She’s a fabulous representation of great patient care every day. – Nominated by Christine Valente

Katharine Schanda, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Katie celebrates her fifth year at the South 2 Transplant and Medically Complex Unit, and she’s the heart of South 2. Her high energy is contagious. Katie is very confident with an innate ability to lead and influence those around her, and she uses this talent to encourage those around her to better themselves and succeed. In her charge role, Katie collaborates with her co-workers to create fair patient assignments. Katie demonstrates excellent leadership and problem-solving skills and is often the go-to person with concerns. The medical staff trust and appreciate Katie’s advocacy and detailed patient care. 

Katie treats patients as family. She recently had a complex patient who was ridden by anxiety, refusing care and therapy. She persisted in bonding with this patient over a period of time and made a monumental impact on her overall outcome. The patient’s anxiety decreased so much that she was able to rehabilitate and return home — something even the medical and therapy staff did not think possible! Katie made a lasting impact on this patient’s life, as she has on many other patients. Katie is a remarkable nurse and an asset to our patients. – Nominated by Janel Wastaferro

Kelly Shine, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

Kelly has been on the 4W nursing team since August 2021. A nicer, kinder, gentler nurse is hard to find. Even in the toughest of circumstances with some of our younger brain injury patients, Kelly is always positive and kind. Kelly is loved by her team and is often called the nicest person. Kelly’s gentle demeanour endears her to everyone, even staff from other disciplines. On top of that, she pays close attention to details, notices the subtlest changes in her patients, and promptly brings them forward to the team. Although Kelly is fairly new, she tackles any task that is thrown at her. She serves as the charge nurse and a preceptor, as well as being on a nursing committee. Kelly is the ultimate team player and caring individual who deserves to be recognized for her hard work and positive attitude. – Nominated by Pauline Clarke

Thomas Wickham, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge

I am a physician on a primarily oncology unit, where our patients are extraordinarily complex and have a variety of malignancies in various stages. These patients often experience side effects and complications to their treatments. Our unit thus requires a highly capable nurse, and we are fortunate to have many, but one nurse stands out — and that is Thomas Wickham. I have been working with Thomas since he first became an RN on our unit. I have seen him work very well with some of the most emotionally complex patients. He takes the time to navigate how to best deliver care to these patients and reach their comfort level. I have also seen Thomas gain an immense amount of medical knowledge by probing to add to his knowledge base. This is one of the few times I have been able to watch a nurse go from the start of their career to prominent proficiency. As a physician, I’m confident that he can manage complexity and that the patients know they are getting outstanding care. – Nominated by Donna Roy

Lisa Grover, Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center

Most dedicated, professional, and tactful nursing supervisor. – Nominated by Natalya Vorontsova

Grace has compassion, knowledge, and clinical expertise. During her shift, Grace always ensures that the patients are taken care of, any concerns addressed, and worries are at ease. Grace is always in communication with providers to ensure her patients receive the best care. Grace consistency adds a personal touch with her outstanding nursing care. – Nominated by Bridget Blake-Mboowa

Nicole Miceli, Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center

Nicole is the nurse manager for the second floor at Spaulding Brighton. Beyond being professional and a good leader, she is warm and kind and empathetic with everyone — patients, families, and colleagues. She exemplifies what nursing should be. – Nominated by Lou Auger

Emily Hazzard, Spaulding Outpatient Center Wellesley

Emily is more than a team player; whenever you have a medical question or issue, you can always count on Emily to help, even if it’s not one of her patients. If she doesn’t have an answer, she’ll do everything in her power to find it. She goes the extra mile to make sure our patients are safe and able to drive home after procedures, whether helping them get back in their car or finding their families, and she makes sure their questions are all answered before they go home. When patients are clearly confused, she makes sure they can schedule appointments for specialty offices or get any imaging they need. Emily is an amazing nurse, and we are lucky to have her here. – Nominated by Isamar Mullin

Margareth Jones, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston

Margareth is one of the most important assets of Spaulding Rehab. She cares about her patients, treats them equally with respect and dignity, and shows empathy to each one. Margareth is very professional and communicates effectively with patients, their families, co-workers, and other health-care professionals. Margareth’s knowledge and problem-solving and critical-thinking skills make her a great leader, coach, and preceptor. She always strives to ensure patient safety, educate them, protect their rights, and double-check for errors. – Nominated by Ibtissame Fijlane

Rachel McManus, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston

Rachel recently transitioned into the brain injury charge nurse role and has grown into the role quickly. To give you an idea of how she adapts to handle such a busy, complicated patient population, consider our day on March 16. 

Rachel and another nurse were assigned to do a pressure ulcer survey on all 30 of our patients between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Rachel usually starts her shift at 7, and besides being in charge, she has a full patient assignment of her own. We had met the day before to plan for the survey and staffing, as we only had one of our five personal care assistants on that day. By morning, our plan fell apart. The second nurse helping with the survey called in sick. Rachel did the entire survey, which consisted of head-to-toe skin checks, all by herself.

It takes a lot of patience and inner strength to hold together a team that needs you. Time and time again, Rachel amazes me with how much she has grown into leadership. The staff love and admire her, and I would not be able to do my job as their director without her. I receive many thanks and appreciations from her patients and their families. Rachel is an avid member of our nurse governance council, and she is also working on a performance improvement project for her clinical ladder. Thank you, Rachel, a million times over. – Nominated by Marianna Parga

Neissa is always positive when working with patients and team members. Despite patients being rude at times, Neissa never lets this shake her. She handles every situation with grace, positivity, and strength. She is a team player and always advocates for what her patients need whether it’s to other staff and medical providers or encouraging family members to be a large part of the patient’s recovery process. There are many examples that come to mind when I think of Neissa being compassionate and always competent. I have never doubted Neissa’s ability to treat and care for her patients. She isn’t afraid to hold up transport to make sure the patient has everything they need for a successful discharge morning and that competence, dedication, and compassion is what make her such a great RN. – Nominated by Alicia MacLellan

Anna Watson, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston

It’s impossible to say enough great things about Anna Watson. She is endlessly caring and leads with her heart in all patient encounters. She embodies the values of the nursing profession as a compassionate, patient-centered clinician. One patient in our stroke unit has very little language ability and becomes frustrated easily. Anna discovered that showing up with a cup of coffee and a big smile at the start of the patient’s morning sets a positive tone for the rest of her therapies. Noticing countless small details makes her such an exceptional nurse — we are so lucky to have her at SRH. – Nominated by Ethan Lester

Susan Smith, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod

Sue consistently rises above the duties of a staff nurse. Not only does she provide excellent and thorough clinical care, but she also upholds the highest standards for kindness, compassion, and dedication. She ensures patients are well taken care of while she’s on the job and makes sure the quality of care continues on her days off (for example, she makes sure patient/family trainings are scheduled and verifies that it was completed when she returns). Sue will sit and talk with patients (and their families) if they are anxious, confused, disoriented, angry, or any of myriad emotions that they might have — without judgment or impatience. She gets her work done efficiently and still makes time to support the patients throughout their hospitalization. She highly respects all other disciplines though detail-oriented collaboration and advocates for patients during interdisciplinary team meetings. Sue is the best nurse I’ve ever worked with, and she absolutely deserves this salute! Thank you, Sue.
– Nominated by Jen Thompson

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Jeanne Ahern, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

I had my fifth child this past October. All five kids were born at St. Elizabeth’s, and Jeanne Ahern was there for all five of my postpartum stays. Jeanne has a way of making the patient feel heard. I never felt like just another patient to come through her doors. She took the time to have conversations and really listen to me. In fact, after two years, she still remembered a story we had shared! I’ll never forget her pleasant demeanor and the care with which she explained things. My husband and I hoped to see her last October, and we’re thrilled that we got that chance! She was such an important part of helping me to feel my best before I went home. I appreciate her sense of calm, I appreciate her time and conversation, I appreciate her as a nurse, and I appreciate her as a person. – Nominated by Kathleen Kane

St. Luke’s Hospital-Southcoast Health

Megan Flynn Harding, St. Luke’s Hospital

Megan is a kind, compassionate nurse who brings her best self to care for others in a genuine, nurturing, and professional manner. – Nominated by Andrew Harding

The Birches at Concord

Kerry Peters, The Birches at Concord

This nurse is always on top of her game. Kerry is funny and smart. She’s quick to respond, shows compassion for all of the residents and staff, and is always there to reach out to anyone in need.
Nominated by Victoria Markievitz

The Linden at Danvers

Jodie Donovan, The Linden at Danvers

Jodie has been serving our patients at The Linden at Danvers Assisted Living Facility/ Memory Care for about three years now, as well as in other facilities as part of our Amethyst Interdisciplinary Team. On Jan. 25, while serving as part of the care team for a particular patient, Jodie was instrumental in providing care and support to the residents and staff after a beloved resident who wasn’t on our services died suddenly and unexpectedly. As the bereavement coordinator for Greater Boston, I was impressed by Jodie’s compassion and ability to bring a measure of peace to the staff and residents at The Linden. Jodie and other members of the care team provided support, counseling, comfort, and strength to all who were in shock and mourning. As great a nurse serving on a great team, not only does Jodie excel at her medical work, but she is also a calm, compassionate, and caring presence. If she weren’t such a great nurse, I would try to hire her to work with me in bereavement. – Nominated by Robert Hagopian

The Miriam Hospital

Ann Barrett, The Miriam Hospital

The Miriam Hospital continues to deal with the fallout of COVID and the severe nursing shortage. The cost of hiring travel nurses to combat the shortage is straining an entire hospital system in Rhode Island that has the lowest Medicare reimbursement rate in the country. The emergency departments at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam take turns going on “diversion” seemingly every weekend, if not every night, just to keep up with the patient load and the strain on their bed capacity. What Ann and this talented and dedicated nursing resources team does every day to keep staff and patients safe is nothing short of heroic. – Nominated by Arthur Barrett

The Oxford Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

Elizabeth Taylor, The Oxford Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

Liz has worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift for over 20 years. She’s smart, capable, and reliable, always able to draw upon her years of expertise and training; but mostly Liz is kind, and you can’t teach kindness. Liz came into my life as my overnight nurse during the COVID-19 nursing home shutdowns, when family members couldn’t visit and residents were not allowed off the floor if they tested positive for COVID in 2020 or Omicron in ‘21. I had both, and Liz was my nurse. In fact, Liz was everybody’s nurse while we were isolated and painfully lonely. Residents’ needs were huge, between dressing changes, treatments, reports, working the med cart, and assisting residents with multiple diagnoses—not to mention palliative and emergency care needs that changed from moment to moment. Staff was critically short. Yet Liz treated her residents as individuals who deserved dignity and respect and ensured that no resident suffered needlessly. She did everything in her power to provide comfort and care, often remembering birthdays or the needs of residents who were without family. She became my confidante when night pain reduced me to silent tears. When I had a COVID-related heart attack, it was Liz who wept and laughed out loud with me. 

Liz was my nurse 40 hours a week for two and a half years. As a resident, I live my life in eight-hour shifts: 7 to 3, 3 to 11, and 11 to 7. There were many, like me, who looked forward to Liz’s shift at 11 p.m. As a nurse and as a person, Liz is among the most honorable, decent, hardworking, and selfless people I know. – Nominated by Deborah Brunet

Tufts Medical Center

Cancer Center Infusion Center Staff, Tufts Medical Center

The eighth floor at Tufts Medical Center, home to the Cancer Infusion Center, is a place healthy people prefer to avoid ever visiting. But for those of us stricken with cancer, it’s a welcoming space where the entire nursing staff offers selfless support of patients’ needs. From Sharon, the knowledgeable and compassionate coordinator (who’s never shy to offer her latest take on the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry), to Karen, who offers sublime Reiki treatment that brightens our perspective, to a host of other individuals too numerous to mention, this unit has offered us the best possible care during difficult times. While the wonderful doctors at Tufts create the treatment plans that can save or extend our lives, it’s the nurses who make the healing happen through an infusion of kindness and hope. – Nominated by Michael Rantz

Susan Cassiani, Tufts Primary Care, Tufts Medical Center

Susan is a clinical leader in our department and also a diabetes educator. She makes sure everyone is safe and well taken care of. She knows just how to help a patient and is always here to do it. One day, a patient came in with glucose in the 30s. Susan made sure everything was in place for this emergency, brought the patient’s glucose up, and got them admitted straight to the hospital. She is a great leader and we’d be lost without her. – Nominated by Kaylynn Florio

Jacqueline Cunningham, Cancer Center, Tufts Medical Center

I have had the ultimate pleasure to work beside Jacqueline Cunningham at the Tufts Cancer Center in Stoneham. Jackie is exceptionally skilled, dedicated, motivated, and knowledgeable.  She invariably puts patients at ease and takes the time to listen to their thoughts and concerns.  Jackie is a breast cancer survivor, so she truly understands the physical and emotional experience our patients go through. Her personal journey with cancer makes her the heart and soul of our center. She is an inspiration, and I am lucky to not only call her my colleague, but my friend.  Thank you, Jackie. – Nominated by Christina Cipriani

Candice Flaherty, Retired, Tufts Medical Center

I am an old man and Nurse Candice put up with my crankiness, always smiling while providing top-grade nursing care. She was always there for me, interacting with the doctors to ensure I got the meds that I needed, when I needed them. She is the role model that all young nurses should aspire to become.
Nominated by John F.

Ann Marie Melino, Neonatal ICU, Tufts Medical Center

Ann Marie was my son’s primary care nurse in the Tufts Medical Center NICU. From Day One, she showed my family trust, compassion, knowledge, and kindness. Our NICU stay was completely unexpected, as my son was born via emergency C-section at 27 weeks and six days old due to pre-eclampsia and placenta abruption. To say my husband and I were in shock when we first entered the NICU to meet our son for the very first time is an understatement. Ann Marie, along with all the other NICU nurses, provided us with a colossal amount of knowledge, comforting us in a time of extreme worry. During my son’s 79-day stay at the NICU I cried a lot, smiled, laughed, learned, and grew as a person, all with Ann Marie. She made me feel like family while maintaining a professional relationship. She was always on standby to answer questions. She took the absolute best care of my son and became his advocate when I could not be. She means the world to my family and deserves to be recognized. She played a major role in my son’s first few months of life and we will never forget the impact she made on our family. Thank you, Ann Marie, for everything. You truly are an angel on earth. – Nominated by Taylor Anderson

Roma Siemen, Tufts Medical Center

She was attentive, made me feel comfortable, and stopped the postsurgical bleeding. Roma was knowledgeable and professional, which made me more relaxed. – Nominated by Scott Payette

Tufts Medicine Care at Home

Julie Genovese, Tufts at Home, Lawrence

Julie thinks of her patients and their families in a kind and caring manner. Her experience working on a hospital medical-surgical floor, and as a visiting nursing with hospice, makes her able to anticipate patient needs. Julie can assess a patient’s condition and figure out the best course of treatment. She is calming to patients with age-related medical conditions. As an older person, I would want a nurse with Julie’s calm and capable ability. – Nominated by James O’Donnell

Marian Barry Ravagni, Tufts Medicine Care at Home

It’s hard to sum up all the reasons that we’re thankful for Marian Barry Ravagni, but we can try. She’s a true unsung hero and there’s no way to adequately thank her for her hard work and resilience. All we can say is: thank you for your sacrifices, strength, and relentless compassion. You are an amazing person and your courageous attitude really makes a difference. Our family is sincerely grateful from the bottom of our hearts. – Nominated by Patricia Ciulla

Editors: Spence & Sanders Communications, LLC.

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