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2024 Salute to Nurses Letters U-Z

UMass Memorial Health

Lisa Cormier, HealthAlliance Home Health and Hospice

Lisa has been a hospice nurse for our hospice agency for over 25 years. She is a calming presence for patients and families and a strong advocate for end-of-life comfort. She continuously goes above and beyond to ensure all patients and caregivers under her care receive professional attention and high-quality life support. 

Most recently, we received a late after-hours referral for a hospice admission for an actively dying patient in the community. Typically, an after-hours request would be scheduled for the next day. Lisa selflessly accepted the admission, spent time with the patient and family, and ensured comfort medications were available. This patient passed peacefully early the next morning, allowing for an at-home pronouncement rather than the patient’s family needing to call for emergency services. She is an incredible asset to our hospice team, as a mentor for clinical staff and a dedicated nurse who provides compassionate care to all of her patients.

Nominated by Jody Anderson

Nicole Miley, HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital

I have worked with Nicole for many years now, and she consistently demonstrates a compassionate, positive attitude towards staff and patients. She works full time, juggles home life with three small kids, and is a representative for the Massachusetts Nurses Association. She is one of the most passionate, positive voices in our unit and our facility.

Nominated by Breckin Collins

Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod

Diane Munsell, Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod Hospice

Words do not do justice to what Diane did for our family. My husband left the hospital in July after an aggressive one-year battle with lung cancer. At the same time, my daughter, Suzanne, age 47, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Suzanne also has Down syndrome. Our world was upside down.

We wanted my husband, Paul, to be surrounded by his family and spend his final days in the home that he had built. It almost seemed overwhelming, with both Suzanne and Paul needing so much care. Diane Munsell entered our lives at this time. When Diane started working with our family, we started to think, “We can do this.”

Diane was so knowledgeable about finding us the services we needed. She enabled us to keep Paul home. She recognized that our circumstances were very difficult. She taught my four children to care for Paul and to recognize when we needed to add more medications, assistance, and equipment. Diane connected with us as a passionate friend who allowed us to spend Paul’s final days surrounded by love and laughter, with games of chess with his grandchildren, stories of past adventures and shenanigans, and a yard full of playing kids.

The thing Paul liked most was watching the kids fill our driveway with chalk drawings — his favorite form of art — and watching the grandkids play soccer in the front yard, with the strict admonition that it was for “Guppy,” so they could not fight.

When Paul left this world to new adventures, he was secure in the love of family and that he had received expert care from our friend, Diane. Diane’s presence in our lives made this possible.

Nominated by Jean Roma

Warwick Pilgrim Senior Center

Sherry Rose, Warwick Pilgrim Senior Center, City of Warwick Division of Senior Services

Sherry is the kindest and most compassionate nurse. She has been so caring to my brother-in-law, who is challenged. She goes out of her way to meet his medical needs. She alerts me when there is an issue and makes excellent recommendations. Thanks to Sherry, we got Timmie a physical therapy evaluation, which has helped him immensely. She is such a blessing to the senior center. We are extremely grateful for her excellent nursing skills and, most of all, her dedication and kindness! She gives her all.

Nominated by Madeleine O’Leary

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital 

Julie Cole

Julie Cole, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

I am delighted to nominate Julie Cole for her outstanding work and unwavering dedication to the success of our Graduate Nurse Residency Program at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Juile’s leadership has not only set a high standard for excellence but has also impacted the professional development and growth of our newest nursing staff. 

Juile’s commitment to fostering a supportive learning environment has been exemplary. Her innovative approach to mentorship has empowered countless new nurses to transition seamlessly into their roles. Her passion for nurturing the next generation of healthcare professionals is evident in the positive feedback we get from past participants and colleagues. Salute to you, Julie!

Nominated by Christine Wyrsch

Shannon Douglas, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Shannon has been nothing short of amazing. She continues to demonstrate her medical knowledge, empathy for patients and family, and strong communication skills. Leaving our dad in her hands feels safe. She has followed through with any questions we’ve had to ensure we get answers. She makes my dad feel safe in these times of uncertainty due to illness, and that is what matters most. Even with a mask on, you can see her large smile through her eyes. Thank you to Shannon for being an incredible nurse.

Nominated by Pamela Deyo

Suzanne Hildonen, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Suzanne cared for our twins at Wentworth-Douglass. We had her multiple times during their two-and-a-half-week stay. She went above and beyond to make sure our girls were getting the care they needed. She always took the time to explain things to us and make sure we had everything we needed!

Nominated by Chelsea Skelly

Zach Lawlor, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

I have the pleasure of working with Zach every day. He is remarkably smart, compassionate with his patients, and an excellent teammate. He approaches even the most challenging situations with patience, knowledge, and deep care for everyone involved. He keeps a level head and is always willing to collaborate with his colleagues. Patients respect him for the care he provides. We are very lucky to have Zach on our team!

Nominated by Lindsey Wyma 

Matthew Rice, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Matthew has a wonderful personality that immediately put us at ease with my mom’s cardiac procedure today. He is fun and funny, and he kept us laughing. His presence helped us to relax and stay positive. We were there for the majority of the day and could see that his rapport with all the other nurses was fantastic. He keeps everyone laughing, which really is the best medicine of all.

Nominated by Lisa Amarosa

Sheila Woolley, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Twenty-four years ago, I began my career at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Standing before me as the face of nursing was chief nursing officer Sheila Woolley. She inspired me to speak my truth, trust my instincts, and advocate for myself and my patients. She cheered me on as I navigated through years of nursing school, showing me the benefits of a higher education. 

She has never hidden behind a desk or office door, always made herself available, and, most importantly, followed through on her word. This week was no exception. I was saddened to bring forward a difficult patient situation, which the nursing code of ethics deemed necessary. Sheila came to check on not only me but also the patient. She didn’t have to do that; however, she makes a daily effort to support her nurses. You get unwavering support from Sheila. 

She is the truest definition of a nurse leader and what leadership should look like. She is my role model, mentor, advocate, and, most importantly, a friend. I have modeled my nursing career after the person right in front of me. That person is nurse Sheila Woolley.

Nominated by Sara Ballard

Sheila Woolley, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Compassionate, resilient, empathetic, caring, kind, and selfless are just a few words that describe Sheila Woolley, the chief of nursing at Mass General Brigham Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. In her role as a nursing leader, she exemplifies a commitment to excellence and patient-centric care and serves as a pioneer in the development of future nurses. No patient care task is too small for Sheila, and no operational patient care barrier is too challenging for her to overcome. Her love for patient care is evident, and she consistently advocates for patient safety, rights, experience, care quality, and equity. Patients eagerly share their experiences with Sheila when she makes rounds in patient care areas, creating a positive and delightful atmosphere.

Beyond the laughter echoing in patient rooms, Sheila listens attentively to patients and their families, ensuring their needs are met during their hospital stay. She places great value on patients’ perception of their care and seizes every opportunity to learn from their experiences. Sheila is instrumental in improving patient outcomes and a driving force for positive change, aiming to ensure that the community receives the highest quality of care.

With her dedication and contributions, Sheila has been a key figure in making Mass General Brigham Wentworth-Douglass Hospital a high-caliber institution. Thank you, Sheila. I salute you for your outstanding commitment and leadership!
Nominated by Erin Wigmore

Winchester Hospital

Donald Barker, Winchester Hospital

Donnie Barker has been a staff nurse at Winchester Hospital for over 20 years. He is a tremendous support to the organization and always practices compassion in his interactions with patients. 

Donnie is a leader in his profession, ensuring patients are treated with dignity and respect. Often, he will be transitioning his patients to hospice, and he always respects patients’ and their families’ wishes. Donnie is dedicated to the organization’s team, staff, and leaders. He supports the onboarding of case managers within the department and is always the person you can count on. Donnie’s dedication and professionalism make him top-notch, and he is highly respected by all.

Nominated by Mary Tuminelli

Delaney McDaniel, Winchester Hospital

Delaney’s compassion for our patients is evident in her routine work. Her competency and clinical astuteness afford our patients the best opportunity for the best possible outcomes. Her collaborative nature and ability to effectively advocate in the best interest of our patients make her worthy of special recognition.

Nominated by Karen Keaney

Victoria Sullivan, Winchester Hospital

I have worked with Victoria over the last four years in the Case Management Department at Winchester Hospital. I cannot say enough about how patient-oriented and compassionate she is in dealing with all the patients she encounters.

Victoria deals with difficult cases and always supports our vulnerable patient populations. She works with families who face challenging situations and supports efforts to find short- and long-term resources for them. Victoria’s collaboration and clinical expertise help successfully support and transition patients to the next level of care.

Victoria deals with all patients as if she were caring for one of her loved ones. Her goal is to provide the right level of care in a compassionate and caring way while making sure the family is involved in the decision-making process. She is a tremendous support to the case management team and emergency room providers. I am so glad to have her directly reporting to me, and it is a pleasure having her on my team.

Nominated by Mary Tuminelli

Women & Infants Hospital

Kristen Couto, Women & Infants Hospital

Kristen explained everything she was doing very thoroughly. She expressed so much care and made sure I was doing okay. Her passion for nursing and caring for her patients goes above and beyond what many nurses do. You can really feel the warmth and happiness she projects to make her patients feel as comfortable as possible, like being at home. I can’t thank her enough for all her help and care. She truly is extraordinary.

Nominated by Jenna Rider

Tracy Gelsomino, Women & Infants Hospital

Tracy was with me during the COVID-19 pandemic when I had to do some testing and biopsies because it was suspected I had breast cancer. Tracy showed so much compassion and helped me through the most difficult time in my life. She was my support as my husband couldn’t be with me due to hospital restrictions. She is a very dedicated worker and a true angel.

Nominated by Lesley Almeida

Alizabeth Orellano, Women & Infants Hospital

When Alizabeth was faced with a birth involving two mothers — one birth mother and one surrogate — she was naturally caring to both parties. She constantly communicated with us and listened to any concerns we had. Alizabeth was our biggest cheerleader and always kept a positive vibe in the room. Thank you, Alizabeth, for being an extraordinary nurse on this special day!

Nominated by Vanessa Rivera

Donna Tucciarone, Women & Infants Hospital

On December 14, 2023, Donna took over care for me. I was in labor with my first baby. After suffering a miscarriage about eight years prior, I was a nervous wreck. When complications in my labor arose, she acted quickly while also keeping her composure and showing compassion. My daughter came into this world via cesarean section, and Donna was the first person she received loving care from. For that, I will never forget her. She wrapped her with such love in her first swaddle and introduced her to me and my husband. She always made us feel involved, cared for, and safe. I am so happy my baby girl and I were in such good and competent hands.

Nominated by Lindsey Verville

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