Boston Globe Honors Spaulding Nurses
In this year’s edition of the the Boston Globe's annual Salute to Nurses, 13 outstanding Spaulding Rehabilitation Network Nurses received recognition. Below are the celebratory letters written by the grateful doctors, nurses, and therapists who work by their side. Each letter shares a brief story about the many reasons why Spaulding nurses are leaders in the field.
Johngelyn Alleyne, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
I first worked with Johngelyn when I was in training as a resident physician caring for stroke patients. She was a phenomenal colleague and teammate—always making sure that patients got home safely with the right medications, instructions, and follow-up appointments, while ensuring that their family and loved ones understood the plan. She educated colleagues and empowered nurses to ask questions that improved the quality of care we delivered on the stroke floor.
Since then, she became the nurse manager on the inpatient spinal cord injury floor, while I now see outpatients in the clinic downstairs. Recently, a patient who needed to speak with a nurse who was very familiar with spinal cord injuries came into the clinic. Johngelyn came down to work with them for a few minutes because our outpatient nurses have more experience with general rehabilitation. She shows exemplary compassion with patients and is a consummate leader among colleagues. It has been a privilege to work with and learn from Johngelyn over the past several years.—Nominated by Chloe Slocum
Ann Caberoy, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
In her 16 years as a nurse on the stroke unit, Ann has worn many hats. Starting as a staff nurse, she has cared for patients who went on to complete rehabilitation and returned home—some went back to work, others became long-term volunteers at our hospital, helping to educate and support other stroke survivors. Ann has touched so many lives here that even when she was accepted for a job elsewhere, she chose to stay at Spaulding because of her close-knit, collaborative relationships with nursing and other clinical staff. “It wouldn’t be the same,” she says, reflecting on a career that stretches back to when some of our senior physicians were still in training.
When she became charge nurse, and later nurse manager, Ann strove to foster a strong support network for the nurses on her floor. She says her management philosophy is “always try to meet people halfway,” and she is widely respected by the unit nurses as a result. As a nurse manager, Ann and the therapy program leader co-developed a discharge checklist that helps doctors and nurses communicate better, leading to a more streamlined discharge for patients and families preparing to return home. Her checklist is still in use, and still helping stroke survivors and their loved ones.—Nominated by Chloe Slocum
Lucy Dalusma, Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton
Lucy is not only a big support to her coworkers—I’ve heard others call her their hero, and she has saved me several times—but she also works with patients whom others consider difficult, and she does it with compassion. She is often asked to serve in other roles, and she does it for the good of our patients’ safety. It’s hard to even describe what she does, because she does it without any hoopla.
Spaulding is ranked No. 2 by US News and World Report and Lucy shows what makes Massachusetts hospitals the best. I suggested nominating her to a few other nurses, and they all agreed—she is an unsung hero, and the nurse that I would want to take care of me if I were sick.—Nominated by Winona Campbell
Amanda Davis, Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton
Amanda is my wonderful colleague on the Traumatic Brain Injury unit. She is kind, compassionate, and devoted to her patients, their families, and her coworkers.
As the team’s physical therapist, I’m in constant contact with Amanda to ensure patient safety. No matter how busy she is, she always makes time to give her teammates a fully detailed handoff. She respects others’ time and does her best to have our patients ready for therapy so that they don’t miss a minute. She is always visible on the floor and has no qualms about assisting in whatever way she can, whether the patient is hers or not. She constantly exceeds her job description to make patients and their families feel safe and cared-for.
One of my favorite memories is the time Amanda brought in an ice cream cake for a patient’s birthday. The patient had no family and his group home attendants couldn’t be there, so we bought him a cake and sang to him after physical therapy. I’ll never forget him smiling ear-to-ear, feeling so special that we remembered his birthday.
Another time, a young patient with diabetes needed very strict blood sugar monitoring, which the family was having trouble getting a handle on. Thanks to Amanda’s hard work collaborating with the doctors and our dietician, the young woman was able to return home on a great insulin regimen.
I wish there were more nurses out there like Amanda. She truly makes the world a better place.—Nominated by Alyson Moriarty
Amanda Foote, Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care Cambridge
Amanda has been a nurse on the brain injury unit with very good critical thinking and assessment skills for almost three years. One morning she received a report from the night shift nurse about a patient who was not doing well. The patient’s blood pressure was running low, and overnight interventions hadn’t helped much. Amanda was not happy with the direction the patient was going, and took it upon herself to advocate for the doctor to check labs, as well as other interventions.
Despite the physician pushing back that nothing could be found, Amanda insisted that something was not quite right. Thanks to her insistence, the source of the patient’s infection was discovered and successfully treated.
Amanda has a great attitude at work. Patients request her by name for their care team. She also works well with other team members, always willing to work with rehab, case management, and the nursing assistants to make sure that the patient’s overall needs are met. Amanda is never afraid to speak up against anything that will not benefit patients, and likewise advocates for things that will improve the unit and patient safety.—Nominated by Pauline Clarke
Jillian Keady, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Jill consistently exceeds the requirements of her clinical role as a nurse. She takes the time to provide individualized care not only to her own patients, but to all of the patients on her floor. She effectively and efficiently coordinates care with other providers to ensure that patients’ needs are met, especially for the medically-complex. Jill advocates for her patients and cares about their emotional well-being. She is the first to lend an ear and open her heart when someone is having a tough time.—Nominated by Lily Lichtenstein
Miriam Lautenschlager, Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care Cambridge
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Miriam as her nurse manager over the past several years. She works on our Transplant Unit, caring for patients with newly transplanted lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys. Our unit also houses a complex medical population requiring telemetry, dialysis, VAC dressings, intravenous therapy, and tracheotomies.
Miriam arrives eager to care for her patients every morning. She’s a strong patient advocate, and the medical staff is confident in her ability to assess and monitor the smallest changes in our transplant population’s conditions. She tackles all assignments with dedication and a positive attitude. She’s an enthusiastic learner and teacher, having oriented many of the nurses on the unit.
Miriam is a super user for the EPIC electronic record system, audits our nursing staffing documentation, and serves on the hospital’s wound committee. Additionally, she frequently serves as charge nurse. In this role, she shows her aptitude for leadership, creating nursing assignments and handling complex patient situations as they arise. Miriam is a dedicated team player and always the first to volunteer for new initiatives. She brings her best every day, and contributes amazing energy to our unit.
On top of all that, Miriam takes three courses per semester in her nurse practitioner graduate program at a Boston university, where she continues to develop her own philosophy of nursing.—Nominated by Janel Wastaferro
Mary Oberton, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Mary consistently provides exceptional care to every patient and collaborates well with all staff. She treats patients with professionalism and compassion, as if they were her own family. She brightens the day of everyone she is around.—Nominated by Laura Letellier
Kara Silva, Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton
I have had the pleasure and honor of working with Kara for the past year. She is an exemplary nurse and coworker—consistently reliable, compassionate, and dependable. She brings 110 percent every day and is willing to go the extra mile for her patients. Not only does she have solid clinical skills, but excellent interactive skills with patients as well. She is one of the top nurses I’ve known in my 30 years working in health care. Thank you, Kara, for all that you do.—Nominated by Jessica Farman
Holly Stein, Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care Cambridge
Holly has been doing her job so well that I am amazed by her work performance. She always treats the patients, her coworkers, and everybody else with so much respect. In all, Holly is one of the most caring and respectful people I have ever met.—Nominated by Roudlene Volcy
Julia Wagner, Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care Cambridge
Julia is very dedicated to her patients and pays close attention to minor details. She had a patient who required dialysis every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday off-unit in the HD suite. This patient also had an extensive wound requiring a wound VAC (a device that decreases air pressure). The VAC often gets temperamental and beeps incessantly if not attended to promptly. Julia knows this, yet even when she is very busy with her other patients she makes time to go down to the HD suite and ensure that the VAC is suctioning properly and not beeping. Not only is this good patient care; it is also being conscious of the disruption that it would cause to other patients and staff in the HD suite.
Julia comes in on her day off to work on unit initiatives such as the newsletter that promotes better patient care and/or safety. She reaches out to other disciplines if she believes they can help improve patient experiences. She is often called upon to train new nurses, which requires more patience to ensure that they aren’t overwhelmed.—Nominated by Pauline Clarke
Nora Ann Walsh, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
As a fellow nurse, I have worked with NoraAnn for the past two years and have admired her compassion, flexibility, and heart of gold from the first day. This winter she stepped into the role of wound nurse while our full-time wound nurse was out on leave. While voluntarily filling this role, she continues to work regular hours on the floor as a staff nurse, and regularly precepts students as well.
One young patient required very complex wound care that was painful and stressful, and could sometimes take hours. While I was attending to this patient, I needed a second opinion and called upon NoraAnn, whose calm confidence set both me and the patient at ease as soon as she entered the room, knowing that we had solid backup. She offered to help complete the wound care, and my confidence in her skills and demeanor helped me provide this patient with the best care. I was grateful to have her at my side, and I feel honored to work with her every day. She gives that level of respect and importance to every patient, and can always be counted on to support the unit. She’s an excellent nurse and person, and I am honored to nominate her for this recognition. –Nominated by Megan MacDonald
Wendy York, Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton
Wendy is an off-shift nurse who always exceeds expectations. She’s hard-working, conscientious, skilled, professional, and a team player. I have worked with her for years, and she should be recognized for all of these things.—Nominated by James Jones