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Nurses Honored at Beth Israel Deacones Medical Center

Nursing donation made to Wounded Warrior Fund

BOSTON -Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Nursing Awards are a special night held annually during National Nurses Week to honor many of the wonderful contributions to excellent patient care provided around the clock by nurses at the medical center.

This year, 64 nurses and three nursing assistive personnel were honored through 20 awards. An additional 29 employees were honored with nursing scholarships amounting to $100,000. Two are pursuing their initial nursing degree, 10 are working for their bachelors of science degree in nursing, and 17 are enrolled in master's degree programs. Additionally, a gift of $5,000 was given on behalf of all nurses at BIDMC, to the Wounded Warrior Fund, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and enlists the public's aid to meet the needs of injured service members.

"It's true that I'm a physician, but I also worked for four years as a nurse in a critical care unit," said President and CEO, Kevin Tabb, MD. "I spent two-to-three nights a week in a CCU while in medical school in Israel where almost all medical students work first as a nurse. That experience certainly gave me an incredible understanding and appreciation for what each one of you does every day."

Sam Kennedy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Red Sox, whose son and daughter were both born at BIDMC, welcomed and praised the nurses, saying, "I know for a fact this is the most important group within the walls of BIDMC."

Interim Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Cindy Phelan, RN co-hosted the awards ceremony. "We are in a sea of change, as it seems we always are," she told the nurses. "But despite the unknowns we're able to focus on what's really important - and that is our patients and our nursing practice. All things point to our successes and none of that would be possible without your hard work and dedication."

Before presenting the Internal Medicine Residency Nursing Excellence Award to Alexandra Smith, RN, Julius Yang, MD, PhD, Hospitalist, gave his heartfelt thanks to the BIDMC nursing staff for the exceptional care he witnessed as a family member when his mom was being treated for cancer.

"She was very brave, but she was very scared and watching her struggle with her cancer diagnosis I observed the way you took care of her," said Yang. "The doctors (helped) yes, but it was the nurses who truly gave her the strength, the dignity and the comfort she needed in her last years of life. My family is forever grateful for that."

In presenting the award to Alexandra "Cassie" Smith, RN, he spoke of how the award, now in its 10th year, was created at the suggestion of residents who felt that their best mentors and teachers - the nurses - were slighted when it came recognition at the annual teaching awards.

"We learn so much in how to care for patients, how to care for patients families, how to care for each other, how to manage, and how to lead from the role models we have on our units every day," said Yang. "Cassie has been a great role model for four years now. It's been great to watch her develop into an outstanding manager and leader for all of us as she's taken over the role of resource nurse; teaching not just her colleagues, but also the residents and interns. And for that we are all very grateful."

Between praising the passion and professionalism BIDMC nurses exhibit on behalf of their patients, the night was also a celebration of friendship and love shared between colleagues and friends.

"I've been a BID nurse for so long," Yole Morocco, RN, a 35-year veteran of the Emergency Department, said afterwards when asked what it meant to win the Excellence in Emergency Nursing Award, "I grew up here. I met my husband here. All my friends are here. It's like family. And it's just nice to be recognized."

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit


Aron and Celia Steinberg Endowed Scholars; James Boyns, Sarah Drosdik, RN and Diane Gilbody

C. Rose Finkelstin Nurse Scholarship: Nicole Flaherty, RN

New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association Scholarship: Judith Jorge-Leonard, RN

Alexander and Brenda Tanger Scholarship in honor of Mary Fermental: Carol Kilday, RN

Other scholarship winners: Jennifer Almquist, RN, Lauri Atwood, RN, Kara Bouchard, RN, Helen Breyan, RN., Susan Bryant, RN, Elizabeth Carvelli, RN, Israel Demenezes, RN, Maya Jose, RN, Jaimol Joseph, RN, Desiree Huckfeldt Kangsen, RN, Ashley Lowery, RN, Lynn Mackinson, RN, Cynthia Miers, RN, Gerald Morris, RN, Carolyn Murphy, RN, Dipti Ninglekhu, RN, Devon O'Connell, RN, Tiffany Phelan, RN, Claire Reilly, RN, Danielle Souza, RN, Jill Sullivan, RN, Maureen Walsh, RN and Thomas Wollenhaupt, RN


Gitta and Saul Kurlat Award for Nursing Excellence: Theresa Normile, RN

Edward and Marilyn Schwarz Awards for Excellence in Nursing Practice: Caroline Alward, RN, Bridget Cunniffe, RN, Ligaya Hannaford, RN, Allison Lamere, RN, Robin McLaughlin, RN, Mary Mulry, RN, Louise Riemer, RN, Maria Semnack, RN and Tatiana Vicente, RN

Edward and Marilyn Schwarz Award for Excellence in Ambulatory Nursing: Holly Dowling, RN

Joseph Ensign Lovejoy Exemplary Nursing Awards from the Joseph E. Lovejoy Family Gift: Christine Bookbinder, RN and Sudarat Kurtpin, PCT

Excellence in Nursing Leadership Awards: Kirsten Boyd, RN, Denise Corbett-Carbonneau, RN and Gina Murphy, RN

Excellence in Advanced Practice Awards: Jill Hallisey, RN/NP and Virginia Seery, RN/NP

Excellence in Medical Critical Care Nursing Awards: Mary Boyden, RN and Tina Ledoux, RN

CVI Excellence in Cardiovascular Nursing Award: Belinda Morse, RN

Excellence in Emergency Nursing Awards: Brittany Hanson, RN and Yole Morocco, RN

William D. Cochran Award for Excellence in Neonatal Nursing: Patricia Jan Gutweiler, RN

The Gay and Gene Crowley Excellence in GI Nursing Award: Beth Borlase, RN

Internal Medicine Residency Nursing Excellence Award: Alexandra Smith, RN

The Department of Surgery and Joseph M. Koufman Foundation Awards for Excellence in the Care of Surgical Patients and in Peri-operative Care: Tonya Boyd, RN/NP, Jennifer Larrivee, RN and Jeanne Quinn, RN/NP

Excellence in Hematology/Oncology Nursing Awards: Susan DeGiacomo, RN and Francie Sullivan, RN

Excellence in Neuro Critical Care Nursing Award: Susan Everett, RN

Harris Yett, MD Award for Excellence in Orthopaedic Nursing Care: Katie Kilroy, RN

Colette Cantin Obstetric Excellence Awards: Kristina Hunt, RN and Patricia Shelmire, RN

Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Award: Lisa Kilmer, RN

Department of Anesthesia Faculty Hour Award: Jeffrey Keane, RN

Excellence in Surgical Critical Care Nursing Award: Veronica Kelly, RN