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A salute to heroes of health care and home: nurse-moms

In a year that has asked more of both nurses and parents, these women deserve special recognition.

It is fitting that Mother’s Day falls within National Nurses Week. Although more and more men are joining the nursing field, women still make up about 90% of all registered nurses. And many of them juggle their career with another full-time position: mom.

Over the COVID-19 pandemic, both being a nurse and being a mom has often demanded more from these women. As nurses, they’ve dealt with staff shortages, made due with inadequate personal protective equipment, and risked their lives in service of others. As parents, they’ve navigated uncertainty and taken on roles from teacher to virtual classroom technician to lockdown entertainer.

More than ever, nurses and moms have been pillars and heroes in our communities. That’s why we’ve compiled a special shout out to some of these amazing women, written by the people who are lucky to know them best. 

Happy Mother’s Day. Happy Nurses Week. And thank you to all the nurse-moms out there. 


Cynthia Dutton, South Shore Health

Not only is she an unbelievable nurse and a role model to many — she is my mom. Growing up, I have watched her hard work and dedication to patient care, improving patient outcomes and the nursing profession. Throughout the pandemic, she worked countless hours, and when her day was finally done, she remained committed to her profession. She is enrolled in graduate school to receive her Master of Science degree in nursing informatics. My mom loves her profession and her passion and love have inspired me. This year did not scare me; it only solidified my decision to pursue a career in nursing myself. Thank you, Mom, and happy Nurses Day! 
—Nominated by Ariana Dutton

Jennifer Lisciotti

Jennifer Lisciotti, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jennifer has done an outstanding amount of work throughout the pandemic. As an oncology nurse, she has helped thousands of people by giving them their COVID-19 vaccinations. She has been constantly working overtime in order to keep up with the doses of vaccines. As my mother, Jennifer serves as a huge role model to me — I aspire to be like her. She gives me hope regarding what I, a college student, can do in the future. Thank you for everything you do, Mom, and to everyone in the medical field. You all do amazing things!
—Nominated by Lauren Lisciotti

Irene Butler, UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton

Irene is my mother and a nurse of 30-plus years. She raised me to be a nurse, but I have a long way to go to be compared to her. She cares about everyone, deeply. She is an old-school nurse — washes every patient, challenges doctors when she doesn’t agree, advocates always. These seem like basic nursing responsibilities, but speaking from experience, it is so difficult to fulfill these tasks anymore. It takes dedication, compassion, skill, courage, and confidence. Irene has worked for the same hospital for 20 years and she is currently working the night shift on the COVID-19 unit. She works double shifts frequently to help out. She is the very person who needs to be nominated for praise because she is everything a nurse, especially during a pandemic, should be.
—Nominated by Lauren Brissette


Margie Baker, Boston Medical Center

My mom is an ICU nurse and a hero. Even though she works tiring days at Boston Medical Center, she is always determined to do her best and help her patients. She is caring and always wants to save everyone. COVID-19 has forced her to work extra hard, but she still pushes through to continue her heroic work. She has been battling COVID for the past year, and I want her to be recognized for her bravery and dedication to saving people.
—Nominated by Ryan Baker

Sally Leger with her mom and sisters

 Gail Frigoletto, UMass Memorial HealthAlliance

My mother is a superhero. She is the best, most giving person I know. Throughout my entire childhood, she would work overnights, come home to three daughters, and still be on call if her patients needed her. She puts everyone else ahead of herself. She is everything I wish I could be. I am lucky to have her in my life, and each and every patient she has ever had contact with has definitely been lucky to have her.
—Nominated by Sally Leger

Alyson Quinn, UMass Memorial Medical Center, UMass Memorial HealthAlliance 

My mom helps to manage the Oncology Infusion Center at UMass Memorial. Watching her go through the pandemic has shown me how much strength, endurance, and compassion she has. She worked 60-plus-hour weeks for most of the past year to ensure that her staff and their patients were all safe, had enough PPE, and had a safe environment of care. She opened an ambulatory COVID unit for their cancer patients in less than 10 days last spring to ensure that the oncology patients would be protected from any potential COVID-positive patients who were undergoing treatment and required support. She worked with volunteers to coordinate donations of over 500 scrub hats for her staff and many other departments. She helped to arrange meal donations for her staff members. And my brother and I volunteered with her to hand out donated flowers to hospital staff, just to brighten their day. My mom is an amazing nurse who always takes time to make people feel safe, listened to, and cared for.
—Nominated by Nourayer Karakouzian

Barbara Allen, St. Camillus Health Center

Lisa Joyce with her mom

My mother has worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She has served the needs of her patients for 30-plus years and worn many hats in her role. I want to thank her for serving not only her patients, but their families as well, by providing compassionate support. She is a role model for her ethical practice and strong leadership skills. Mom, I applaud you for being an amazing caregiver on the front lines. Thank you for being the backbone of the nursing profession and helping me to carry on the tradition.
—Nominated by Lisa Joyce 


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