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2023 Salute to Nurses: Letters N-R

New England Baptist Hospital

Kristen AuCoin, New England Baptist Hospital

As a diabetic on an insulin pump, I was often alerted during the night that my glucose was low, so I needed to call for orange juice. Knowing that, Kristen always checked on me before I went to sleep, making sure that I had graham crackers and juice in case I needed it. That made me feel comfortable. When we chatted, we found we had a few connections. Again, this was comforting.

After my back surgery, I couldn’t shower or wash my hair. Before I left for a rehab center, Kristen washed me, and (to my surprise) washed my hair with a dry shampoo with a bit of water. It looked really good. I’ve had many hospital stays, and she was definitely outstanding. A year later, I still think of how kind and caring Kristen was. – Nominated by Lillian DeBenedictis

New England Homes for the Deaf

Debbie Anastopoulos, New England Homes for the Deaf

Debbie is the nurse that you want caring for your family members. Interacting with her is like being with my family. She spends time with her patients, making them feel not only well, but cared for. She puts her all into her work and takes pride in being a nurse. – Nominated by Jennifer Lebourdais

Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Mary Minor, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Surgical Triage Nurse Mary Minor knowledgeably answered all my questions relative to my follow-up care. She was upbeat and encouraging, and is definitely an asset to the reputation of Newton Wellesley Hospital. – Nominated by Susan Ritter

Northeast Arc

Gail Aucoin, Burlington House, Northeast Arc

Gail is the nurse manager of Burlington House, a residence providing 24/7 medical care to eight adults with profound disabilities. My son, Aaron, is a resident of this house, and we are both so very lucky to have her in our lives. Gail and I work together as a team to give Aaron the level of care he needs, consistently and at the right time. I think of her as a partner who sees Aaron every day and can speak competently and with compassion on his behalf. (Although he understands a lot and can be quite vocal, he is unable to speak.) These qualities are particularly important for training new house staff, and when Aaron’s health destabilizes and he requires hospitalization. Gail is willing and able to advocate for quality care for Aaron and everyone else in the residence. I value her input, her competence, and her respect for the Burlington House residents and their parents/guardians more than I can say. – Nominated by Heidi Duskey

Mary Beth Courmier, Northeast Arc

Mary Beth provides home care to our 22-month-old son three days a week. She’s the model nurse and exemplifies care, compassion, and professionalism each time she visits. She’s kind and loving with our son and teaches us something each time she’s here. We’ve been exposed to many nurses during our son’s nearly two years of life, and Mary Beth is an absolute gem. We adore her and are beyond grateful for her dedication to nursing and children with needs. – Nominated by Bethany Scalise

Heather Giangregorio, Northeast Arc

Heather has been caring for my daughter Katie for four years. Katie is 23 years old and has severe disabilities. Heather is the kindest, gentlest, sweetest nurse (and woman) in every way. Her way of treating, speaking to, and being compassionate toward Katie is beyond any words I have. Year after year, she helps our entire family with any requests (shifts) we ask of her. She was in a major car accident on her way home last May, and she worked extremely hard and had numerous surgeries because she was determined to come back and take care of Katie. My husband and I can’t express our gratitude for all she’s done to help us with a very difficult situation that we deal with daily basis. She truly is Wonder Woman and she deserves 1,000 accolades at the very least. – Nominated by Judy Cooper

Northeast Clinical Services

Suzanne Axel, Northeast Clinical Services

Suzanne has been a blessing for our son and for our family. She’s shown kindness and love to our son. And she’s very knowledgeable. Our son gets so happy when he sees her. We thank God for sending us an awesome nurse. – Nominated by Karen Parviainen

Joyce Richardson, Northeast Clinical Services

As one of our home care nurses, Joyce is very dependable and always on top of ordering supplies, making appointments, and taking great care of my 37-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy. You can see that he loves her when Joyce walks in and Joey greets her with a smile! Also, Joyce is always looking for new and innovative ways to care for Joey. She often has ideas to share and is always looking out for Joey’s best interest. She is a pleasure to have in our lives and makes it so much easier for me as a widowed single parent. Having home care nurses really helps me to be able to work, shop, and have a social life while having Joey home with me every day. – Nominated by Joanne Semenza

Jo Ann Spencer, Northeast Clinical Services

Jo Ann shines every time she enters our home to care for our nonverbal, medically complex daughter, Maggie. Her clinical skills are outstanding, but her empathy is what makes her a wonderful nurse. She takes the time to explain everything to Maggie and provides her with a safe, fun, happy environment. I am comfortable leaving Maggie in Jo Ann’s care. She knows that my husband and I need to get out sometimes, and she encourages us to do so. Maggie has a wonderful sense of humor, and Jo Ann has a knack for getting Maggie to laugh and express herself. She helps Maggie to do things for other members of our family, such as making a card for a birthday, and also takes the time to help Maggie get dressed up for a family gathering — all while making sure her medical needs are met. Jo Ann’s clinical skills are top-notch. She has helped us overcome many obstacles in Maggie’s care, especially managing her Type 1 diabetes. Our life is much easier since she joined “Team Maggie.” – Nominated by Dana King

Mulouse Volmar, Northeast Clinical Services

Mulouse, who’s very private and humble, has taken care of my boys for over 20 years. She’s one of many exceptional nurses we have in the home. – Nominated by Karen A.

North Suffolk Community Services

Julie Casey, North Suffolk Community Services

I’ve worked directly with Julie for the past few years. She is a warrior and fierce advocate for individuals with substance use disorder and mental health issues. Throughout COVID, Julie has provided vital information to our clients in order to keep them safe. As we continue to see an increase in drug overdoses across the Commonwealth, Julie always shows up and provides knowledge and education to North Suffolk’s clients and their families. She is a team player and an integral part of our community-based work. Her passion for this population shines through in every interaction I’ve seen. Our clients usually don’t feel seen or heard, but she makes it a point to let them all know just how important they are. – Nominated by Katie O’Leary

NVNA and Hospice

Stacia Crowley, NVNA and Hospice

When I started at NVNA in 2018, I quickly realized that Stacia Crowley was a nurse to emulate. Stacia has a rapport with patients that is just natural. Patients and families have called NVNA and in fact, donated to NVNA and Hospice in Stacia’s name. Stacia is just salt of the earth, genuine, calm, and so caring. She often works late and always takes on extra visits. She’s a nurse that a sick nurse would want to have, which says a lot. – Nominated by Ashley Johnson

Orthopedic Surgical Center of North Shore

Kathleen Maguire, Orthopedic Surgical Center of North Shore

My sister has been a nurse for over 40 years while also raising three daughters. As a nurse, she has always demonstrated compassion, excellence in care, and dedication to her patients. Recently Kathleen helped several immigrant and indigent patients navigate a health-care system that is complex at best, ensuring that they receive the care they need. Kathleen treats patients with respect and advocates for both their physical and emotional well-being. Kathleen truly loves her profession, and upon her recent retirement — at 72 — she said how honored she was to have been able to help others. Her intellect enabled her to be a true advocate and her heart enabled her to reassure patients during their most vulnerable moments. Kathleen never sought recognition herself, so I am compelled to nominate her for this honor. – Nominated by John Walsh

Quinsigamond Community College

Meredith Stone, Quinsigamond Community College

Meredith is our nursing education program chair. She has dedicated her career to educating and training the next generation of nurses that our healthcare system so desperately needs. She does this tirelessly, upholding the highest standards in the most recent best practices. She deserves the Globe’s recognition for the broad impact she has on our entire medical system, and because educators are often overlooked. – Nominated by David Kuhns

Roslindale Pediatric Associates

Karen Kennedy, Roslindale Pediatric Associates

Karen joined our practice (where I work as a pediatric nurse practitioner) in 2019, the year prior to the pandemic. She came from a background in adult nursing, quickly jumping into a land of newborns, toddlers, school-aged, and young adult patients and families. Primary care practices and nurses are often overlooked in a city where so many nurses practice in renowned hospitals. Karen is one of the most empathetic nurses, managing vaccine practices collaboratively with the team. She puts in hours of overtime to meet the primary and urgent care needs of those we manage in the greater Boston area. Karen’s incredible triage skills are essential, and she has exceptional respect for our team and those whom we care for. Karen has been an asset to our community during the most trying periods of the past several years. She’s a shining star and one of the most dedicated professional nurses in my 30 years of practice. – Nominated by Amy Delaney

Editors: Spence & Sanders Communications, LLC.

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