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2024 Salute to Nurses Letters N-R

Nantucket Cottage Hospital

Abigail Doyle, Nantucket Cottage Hospital

I work every day with Abby, and she shows nothing but compassion and cares deeply for the safety and well-being of the patients who come through the NCH operating room.

Recently, my father was admitted for a simple procedure. Abby made sure my father was comfortable; she explained the procedure to him and told him what he could expect during and after the procedure. Abby also took the time to explain to me how he was doing and was sure to check on him the following few days.

I cannot say enough good things about Abby as a nurse and a clinical coordinator. She stepped into her new role recently and has done an exceptional job making sure the pre-op, intra-op, and post-op areas all run smoothly. She always makes herself available to me if I have any questions pertaining to my job scheduling or ordering operating room supplies.

Nominated by Michele Cranston 

New England Baptist Hospital

Lauren Babchuck, Ed Burch, Tricia Ide, Andrea Machado, Joanne Petrillo, New England Baptist Hospital

New England Baptist Hospital (NEBH) achieved its second consecutive designation as a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). In its review, the ANCC lauded NEBH in 16 areas of excellence, including nursing leadership, quality outcomes, care coordination, safety, and patient satisfaction.

The efforts to achieve Magnet designation for NEBH were led by Tricia Ide, magnet program director, with component writers Lauren Babchuck, clinical educator; Andrea Machado, clinical leader; Ed Burch, director of education; and Joanne Petrillo, clinical nurse. This team worked diligently to capture the significant structures, processes, outcomes, and culture of NEBH.

Magnet provides a framework for the professional practice of nursing, including nursing research, professional development, and achieving quality and clinical patient outcomes. Through this framework, the ANCC evaluates Magnet applicants across a number of components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence. The foundation of this model is comprised of various essential elements for delivering superior patient care. These include the quality of nursing leadership, communication, coordination, and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care.

Following a rigorous application process and document submission, as well as a three-day site visit by Magnet-certified nurse appraisers, the Commission on Magnet unanimously voted to re-designate NEBH as a Magnet hospital.

While nurses, physicians, and staff at all levels were involved, the NEBH Magnet team provided exceptional organization, communication, dedication, and commitment in writing and conveying the outstanding achievements and contributions nurses make on behalf of their patients. The Magnet designation bestowed to NEBH reflects our strong collaboration, collegiality, teamwork, and culture that supports this work. Thank you, Tricia, Lauren, Andrea, Ed, and Joanne, for the sweet repeat!

Nominated by Mary Sullivan Smith

Mary Liz Belmonte-Segall, New England Baptist Hospital

I had the extreme fortune of having Mary Liz as my preoperative nurse for knee replacement surgery. Mary Liz went out of her way to ensure all the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed in preparation for surgery. She was kind, compassionate, and calming as I prepared to undergo the surgeries. She answered all my questions and made sure I understood everything that was about to happen and that I was comfortable as I waited for surgery. Mary Liz made the process less intense and helped me feel really ready for the surgeries. It is truly my pleasure to nominate this compassionate caregiver for Salute to Nurses.

Nominated by Mike Pankievich

Laura Morgan, New England Baptist Hospital

Nurses are advocates, teachers, leaders, scientists, caregivers, collaborators, comforters, and innovators. It takes a special person to be able to successfully synthesize these attributes. Quality performance manager Laura Morgan is such a person. Laura is an expert in orthopedic nursing and has a strong clinical background as a nurse at New England Baptist Hospital. After spending years at the bedside, Laura transitioned to the Quality and Patient Safety Department at NEBH.

NEBH is a nationally recognized orthopedic specialty teaching hospital, part of the Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) system. NEBH is the musculoskeletal (MSK) specialty center of excellence for the entity. A strategic goal of the system was to leverage the expertise of the NEBH brand by extending the care protocols for total joint replacement (TJR) to other BILH system entities that provided MSK care and services to certain geographies north and south of Boston.

The clinical affiliation initiative focused on enhancing orthopedic nursing practices in key areas: patient optimization, staff and patient education, and perioperative and postoperative nursing care. The clinical affiliation program is a nurse-led initiative highlighting the practice of orthopedic nursing, from optimizing patients preoperatively to intraoperative care protocols to postoperative care protocols focused on mobility, pain, and wound care with patient and care partner education implemented throughout.

Laura leads the review, refinement, and further development of TJR nursing care protocols to ensure that NEBH delivers the best product to patients and the BILH system hospitals and ensures NEBH brand integrity. The development of program protocols and standardized checklists that highlight nursing practice as well as orthopedic surgical practices was a product of this work. Laura’s expertise and knowledge, coupled with her professionalism and collaborative nature, ensure the success of this program and the care of MSK patients in New England.

Nominated by Tricia Ide

Tara Mounsey, New England Baptist Hospital

Tara Mounsey is an expert orthopedic nurse practitioner at New England Baptist Hospital. She excels in her commitment, advocacy, clinical expertise, and compassion. Dedicating over 20 years to patients, her presence through her multiple roles as the medical coordinator for the Boston Celtics and the clinical director for the Orthopedic Specialty Practice (OSP) clinic at NEBH is unparalleled.

Tara collaborates with Celtics team physicians, athletic trainers, and coaching staff to orchestrate the care of the players and staff. This is a critical role perfectly aligned with her own athletic skills and knowledge. She brings an understanding of what it takes to play at the elite level, as Tara was a two-time Olympian with the U.S. women’s hockey team, winning gold and silver medals. Through her role at NEBH, she is able to harmonize her passion for advocating for optimal health and respect for these athletes and their prowess, being quoted as saying, “I love having a career in medicine and continue to be in contact with expert athletes.”

Tara credits sustaining several knee injuries for giving her a unique position to assist and teach patients. “When patients know my history, they know that I have been successful in setting and achieving goals, and I help them do the same. I think that instills their confidence in me, that I can guide them through this process.”

Tara manages the clinical operations of the OSP, coordinating administrative and regulatory matters and collaborating with referring practices. Triaging referrals and the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of orthopedic conditions, Tara collaborates with physicians to develop the best plan of care. Tara is the consummate professional, lending her expertise, empathy, and dedication to surgeons, interprofessional team members, patients, and players and staff of the Celtics; she is an asset to NEBH.

Nominated by Tricia Ide

Newton-Wellesley Hospital

A. E. Lyn Ames, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

I have had to have several surgeries this past year, and Lyn Ames has arranged ambulance transport, physician exams, very timely emergency department visits, and emergency surgery, even on weekends, to help me. When I had no way home after an emergency surgery, she took me home and made sure I got settled and had my medications. She called the day after each of my surgeries to see how I was doing.

Nominated by Diane Tomassetti

Dawn Bosse, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Dawn has dedicated her professional life to helping not only those with cancer but also helping her fellow nurses. As the nurse educator at the Mass General Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley, she constantly strives to improve the lives of all of those around her. Whether infusing chemotherapy for a newly diagnosed cancer patient or developing clear policies that help guide the practice, Dawn excels at all that she does. The ability to directly help patients while also influencing policy and practice is simply amazing, and Dawn does it with ease.

Nominated by William Danchanko

Jennifer Dougherty, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jennifer noticed my adult disabled daughter in the ER waiting room, lying on the floor and crying. Jennifer called my daughter into the pediatric section of the ER even though my daughter is 30 years old. I am so thankful to Jennifer for her kindness, empathy, and ability to see that my daughter needed clinicians more accustomed to children’s behavior. In adult settings, my daughter doesn’t always get treated with empathy and patience because she doesn’t understand how to be cooperative. Jennifer was masterful at placing an IV line in my daughter’s arm — very rarely is this successful. Throughout the entire ER stay, Jennifer was able to coax my daughter into having her blood pressure taken, X-rays taken, and other necessary tests. Jennifer made such a difference for my daughter during this ER visit, and I am so grateful that nurses like Jennifer exist.

Nominated by Meagan McLean

Amy Eastwood, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Amy’s years of experience in the emergency room and the gastrointestinal unit help her to bring calm and confidence to her patients. What makes Amy so memorable and endearing, though, is her wonderful sense of humor, bright eyes, and huge smile. Her coworkers are drawn to her, and her patients love being in the spotlight of her attention. Newton-Wellesley Hospital is so lucky to have her on staff.

Nominated by Leila Ripley

Tracey Hall, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Tracey is one of the most dedicated people I have met, both toward patients and colleagues. She cares tremendously about her patients’ physical and psychological health and spends a tremendous amount of time with them to make sure they understand their care and are comfortable before they leave the practice. 

Nominated by Shari Ameri

Tracey Hall, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Tracey goes above and beyond for her patients day in and day out. This sometimes even includes checking patient messages on weekends and responding to give them the reassurance they may need. We work in a sensitive area and often see cancer patients come through our doors who may need that extra bit of love. Tracey never fails to jump in when she’s needed and help out, no matter the task. As someone newly entering the nursing field, I hope to be as great as Tracey is.

Nominated by Jordan DeMasi

Elizabeth Henderson, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Liz Henderson is an excellent nurse. She provides patients with very competent and compassionate care in the perioperative area at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

This past week, I had the honor of going with her on a medical mission trip to Peru, where we worked together to care for many patients, preparing them for surgery and caring for them after surgery. She is able to provide exemplary care while making everyone around her feel relaxed and even make everyone laugh. Liz showed that even in places where people are culturally and financially different from herself, she treats every one of her patients as though they are the most critical person in the world.

Her smile comforted patients who felt afraid before surgery, and her excellent nursing skills gave each patient the care they deserved. She overcame the language barrier and the lack of resources and left every patient and their family members feeling loved and well cared for. She is an amazing nurse in the best of times and even better with obstacles in her path. Cheers to Liz, and thank you for all you do daily.

Nominated by Jill Clifford

Irvin Hiralall

Irvin Hiralall, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Irvin is such a pleasure to work alongside. He treats his patients with the utmost respect, provides quality care, and is a valuable member of our ICU team. The hospital’s mission statement is to “treat and care for all our patients and their families as we would a beloved family member,” and Irvin is the perfect example. He uses his kind nature and wealth of experience to provide the best care for our complex patients. He also precepts our new nurses and takes students to teach them about critical care. He is kind, patient, and thorough. He goes out of his way to help other nurses and is a resource to all. Irvin deserves to be recognized for the amazing work he does every day.

Nominated by Amanda Crowell

Jennifer Lee, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Jennifer Lee has been an operating room nurse for the last 20 years. She is an unassuming, dedicated nurse who has always been the quintessential leader of advanced medical procedures. 

What makes Jennifer Lee stand out is her unwavering dedication and skills. Jennifer is loved by her colleagues and always has a smile — and a grandiose amount of lifesaving skills.

Her demeanor and communication skills with staff and the general public are superlative in every aspect of professional nursing. I have to reiterate that this young lady is far above the norm; she is a sterling role model for all who have a career in professional nursing. Jennifer recently volunteered to participate in a lifesaving mission to Peru. While in Peru, Jennifer participated in a week-long operating room setup with 12 other lifesaving colleagues. I nominate this wonderful young lady as a shining star in the field of medicine.

Nominated by Allan Mills

Stefanie Moon, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Starting my second career as a nurse in the ICU was nerve-wracking, to say the least. Being met by my preceptor, Stefanie, with such grace helped to instill a confidence in me that I didn’t know I had. Stefanie is passionate about the patients she meets and always stays one step ahead of their care. Not only does she provide exceptional care, but she’s also a team player in her unit, always willing to help out another nurse and there to answer questions or offer a laugh over her labradoodle.

She took the time to instill the policies and procedures in me and taught me to take the time to complete procedures with excellent standards of practice. Stefanie is truly passionate about nursing and prepares for precepting outside of her work hours. She’s well known in the unit to call before her morning shift to understand the patient she will be assigned and relay the best teaching points for that day. I am so grateful to have gotten to work with Stefanie for the past 18 weeks while orienting to the unit. My hope as I continue my practice on my own is that I have Stefanie’s guidance instilled in me. 

Nominated by Michaela Walsh

Karen Mueller, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

There are so many fabulous nurses working tirelessly in this demanding field, and we are blessed to have one of the best working for our practice. Karen Mueller is not only a nurse practitioner but also our childbirth educator, high-risk breast consultant, and certified lactation consultant. She is always the first to arrive and will stay late when needed. She will come in to care for patients on her day off without a second thought if we are shorthanded due to an illness or family emergency.

Karen is dedicated and compassionate. She will see a day of obstetrical patients, deal with the worries of a new breastfeeding mom, and still choose to make the time after hours to stop to congratulate a new mom and dad, reassure a nervous preoperative patient, or follow up with a postoperative surgical patient. 

She is our beloved “Mama” Mueller. Her devotion to her profession shines through every single day as she continually makes a profound difference in the lives of every patient and staff member she touches.
Nominated by Lisa Alden

Donna Mullen

Donna Mullen, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

After an illustrious nursing career spanning five decades, Donna Mullen will retire this May. She has solely practiced at Newton-Wellesley since 1973 and is also a graduate of Newton Wellesley School of Nursing.

When thinking of Donna’s attributes to nominate her for this recognition, common phrases among her peers were: “Fantastic resource nurse”; “Compassionate care to all her patients”; “Mentor”; “Preceptor to many new graduates”; “She sets the bar for the highest standard of care”; “Has traveled through many blizzards and hurricanes to get to work”; “Stays beyond her shift or comes in on a day off to support her colleagues and to ensure our patients are getting the attention they need”; “Donna’s empathy and advocacy are unmatched”; “She goes above and beyond for her patients and their families every shift”; “She has made a difference to thousands of patients and their parents during the most difficult times of their lives.”

Pediatric hospitalists often call upon Donna to share her expertise and experiences with residents, interns, and medical students. She is the most thoughtful and supportive team player. She is the first one to take up a collection for a staff member in need or celebrating a milestone. She is humble and doesn’t ever want the praise for doing so. 

Donna has received many awards over the years, solidifying that she is truly a remarkable nurse. But even more important than her commitment and love of nursing is the wonderful 50 years of marriage to her husband Dennis, her pride in being a mother to Colleen and Dan, and being called “Nana” by her three adoring grandchildren.

We will miss working alongside Donna, but her friendship and legacy will last forever.

Nominated by the 4 South Pediatrics Nursing Staff

Kathryn Roche, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Katie is an amazing nurse who deserves to be recognized. She practices with compassion, critical thinking, and patient advocacy at the forefront, ensuring that each of her patients gets the absolute best care possible. To patients, their families, and other nurses on our unit, her depth of knowledge is a resource and one she shares graciously. 

With a passion for education and furthering the nursing profession, she has also been an incredible preceptor and mentor to new nurses and nursing students on our unit. Katie is a nurse who cares deeply and has made an impact on so many throughout her time as a nurse. She is an invaluable member of our unit and truly an incredible nurse.

Nominated by Colleen Stapleton

Christina Squeri, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Christina is the nurse director of a medical-surgery unit. Her unit often cares for patients with very long lengths of stay. What separates Christina from other nurses is the deep compassion and attention she brings to her job. There was a patient with dementia who had been in the hospital for months. He was becoming restless, so she and her team set up a movie night. They gave him handmade tickets, set up the solarium as a movie theater, and offered popcorn and snacks. The nurses joined in intermittently so that he could have friends accompany him. 

Another patient was a huge Patriots fan, and they arranged to have a watch party in the solarium, complete with take-out appetizers from a local restaurant. Lastly, a patient was in the ICU for a month and came to her floor. The patient was assisted in getting a shower, and Christina delivered a bag of special body washes, shampoo, and a poof to make it as comfortable and spa-like as it can be in a hospital. Christina would tell you that it is a team effort, but the leader sets the tone, and that tone is one rich in humanity and care. What a pleasure it is to see her recognize and attend to the needs of others. It feels good to truly take exceptional care of others, and this feeling is so needed in a world of burnout and fatigue.

Nominated by Julie Koskey

Kari Wagner, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Kari has always been a great nurse in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), but she went above and beyond today. She provided warm and compassionate care to the mother of a patient. The mother has mental health issues and was quite upset by seeing her young son under anesthesia. Despite the mother’s verbal and behavioral escalation, Kari remained calm and focused, helping to de-escalate the mother and keep her focused on the safety of her child. Public safety officers were on standby, but Kari’s caring and compassionate approach to the family meant a safe and easy recovery.

Nominated by Camilla Sutter

Michele Wescott, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

As the night permanent charge nurse in the intensive care unit, Michele is always going above and beyond for our patients. Whether it’s advocating for their care, jumping in during emergency situations, or being creative to make their hospital stay more positive, Michele does it all! She leads by example and helps teach our new graduate nurses to be the best they can be. 

Michele is the first person to decorate a patient’s room with homemade signs for their birthday to make them feel a little more at home. She even celebrated a patient’s 100th birthday this year in the ICU! More recently, during the holidays, she bought a small Christmas tree and decorated a patient’s room who had a long stay with us to boost his spirits. She did this on her own time. We are very lucky to be working with such a smart, ambitious, and caring nurse like Michele.

Nominated by Amanda Crowell

Northeast Arc

Kelly Bardales-Lopes

Kelly Bardales-Lopes, Northeast Arc, Clinic Services

I am a 29-year-old young adult with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair, and I use a Tobii Dynavox communication device, which is a speech-generating computer, to talk. Aside from my medical needs and assisting me with my daily care, nurse Kelly learned my communication system very quickly. She is very patient in waiting for me to talk. She learned how to troubleshoot if the technology is not working properly. She can fix the issues and get it working pretty quickly. She is so attuned to my needs and is always one step ahead of what is required next.

More importantly, she is my friend. We talk and laugh together. She comes to work every day with a gigantic smile on her face. She is so kind and understanding. Kelly makes my world a better place. I’m so incredibly thankful that Northeast Clinical Services recruited her for my care.

Nominated by Austin Lam

Heather Giangregorio, Northeast Arc, Clinic Services

Heather has been my daughter Katie’s nurse for six years. In addition to being the kindest, most thoughtful, and caring nurse, she has always gone way above and beyond. She was severely injured in a car accident when leaving our house after her shift. She worked so hard after her surgery and physical therapy and was back to work again. She just had another surgery on the same arm and is returning again! There truly are no words to express how grateful we are for her continued dedication to Katie’s care. She is beyond amazing; she has seen Katie at her worst and done everything she can to make her better and rebound with her caring touch.

Nominated by Judy Cooper

NVNA and Hospice

Rebecca Primmer, NVNA and Hospice

Becky came into my grandfather’s home on his 85th birthday — just a couple of weeks after finding out he had end-stage pancreatic cancer — as an admissions nurse to set him up with hospice services. Instead of leaving it there, she came back every day after that to support him and my family because she knew we needed a kind soul such as herself to help him stay as comfortable as possible so he could be at peace in his home with his family. Every step of the way, she showed us grace and empathy as we navigated how to quickly step into the role of caregivers. We can’t thank Becky enough for being so wonderful to our grandfather and father and for all she has done for our entire family.

Nominated by Katelyn Cornelissen

Plymouth Community Intermediate School

Judy Duarte, Plymouth Community Intermediate School

Nurse Judy Duarte has been helping me with my diabetes at school for three years now. She is a hardworking and intelligent woman who will do everything in her power to make sure people are alright. You can tell her anything and everything about your life. She is so kind and selfless, and she always has a smile on her face. She gives her all and assists with everything.

Nominated by Kaleigh Allen

Judy Duarte, Plymouth Community Intermediate School

I feel compelled to express my heartfelt appreciation for the exceptional dedication and care provided by nurse Judy Duarte, the school nurse at the Plymouth Community Intermediate School. As a parent and a principal of this school, I have witnessed firsthand the invaluable support she provides to students and my own children, not only in matters of medical and physical health but also in nurturing their emotional well-being.

Judy goes above and beyond her duties, demonstrating compassion and professionalism in every interaction with students. Her tireless efforts extend beyond the confines of the school day, as evidenced by her initiative in organizing the Yellow Tulip Project to raise awareness about mental health issues among students. This after-school club was so well received that Judy spread it throughout the district. Now, all the schools in Plymouth have the Yellow Tulip Project. 

The Yellow Tulip Project serves as a beacon of hope and support for students struggling with mental health challenges, providing them with a safe space to express themselves and access resources for support. Nurse Duarte creates a nurturing environment where students feel heard, understood, and empowered to prioritize their mental wellness.

I am truly grateful to have Judy Duarte as a pillar of support within our school community. Her dedication to the holistic well-being of our students is both admirable and inspiring. It is reassuring to know that our children are in such capable and compassionate hands.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly commend nurse Judyt Duarte for her outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of our students. She is a shining example of the difference that one dedicated individual can make in the lives of many.

Nominated by Brian Palladino

Quincy College Nursing Programs

Cheryl Proffitt

Cheryl Proffitt, Quincy College

I am fortunate to have met an individual making an incredible impact on the lives of those of us studying to be nurses. Professor Cheryl Proffitt has a love and passion for her role as a nursing educator at Quincy College and inspires us through her years of professional knowledge and experience.

Professor Proffitt’s top priority is the success of her students. I see the time and effort she puts into keeping us engaged and eager to learn firsthand. Her teaching strategies reflect a deep knowledge of the ever-changing nursing profession. She is dedicated to ensuring that her students understand and possess the core competencies needed by the nurse of the future. In the classroom, she is leaving footprints for future generations of nurses to follow.

Thank you, Cheryl Proffitt, for choosing a career that allows you to deliver your knowledge and endless encouragement to future nurses and, most importantly, for the impact you’ve had on my life.

Nominated by Lizbeth Lopez

Rhode Island Hospital

Viannelly Perez, Rhode Island Hospital

When I met Viannelly, she asked both about my health and me as a person. She wanted to know who I lived with, what I did for work, and my dog’s name. She was warm and welcoming to my husband and children when they visited. All of this made me feel like she saw me as a person. 
Viannelly consistently monitored my physical and mental health. She listened when I explained what I was feeling physically but also asked me about my concerns and how we could manage those concerns together. For example, when we began to talk about discharge, I worried about how I would manage the few steps up to my front door. She suggested we try stairs she could make available in my room so I could see how it felt. I felt cared for, but also like I was actively participating in my own recovery.

Nominated by Tracy Ramos

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