The Nurse.com 2011 Nursing Excellence Awards gala on May 11 at the Boston Marriott in Newton, Mass., honored outstanding nurses from the New England region, including facility honorees and 30 finalists, six of whom were chosen as regional winners. More than 300 nurses and guests gathered to celebrate RNs who exemplify excellence in leadership, clinical care, community service, management, mentorship and teaching.
Welcoming everyone to a “wonderful evening of celebrating all that is best in nursing,” said Eileen P. Williamson, RN, MSN, senior vice president for nursing communications and initiatives at Nurse.com. “It is because of you that we are here this evening and it is because of you and your fellow nurses that healthcare in the U.S. — and the lives of patients all over the nation — are made better each and every day.”
Nurse.com’s Jean Scheuer, vice president, advertising, and Tony Bonazzo, sales manager and education specialist, recognized honorees and thanked the night’s sponsors, which included The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future (National Sponsor); Brigham and Women’s Hospital, MidState Medical Center, Hartford Hospital (Gold); Children’s Hospital Boston and Tufts Medical Center (Silver Plus); and Hallmark Health System, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital (Silver). Each of the 30 finalists received a plaque for their achievements, and the six winners will advance to the national competition in October.
View the gallery at www.Nurse.com/gallery/NEGala2011R Gino Chisari, RN
Advancing and Leading the Profession
R. Gino Chisari, RN, MSN
Director, The Norman Knight Nursing Center for Clinical and Professional Development, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Through R. Gino Chisari’s vision and creativity, the Norman Knight Nursing Center for Clinical and Professional Development offers innovative approaches to orientation, inservice and continuing education programs. As director, Chisari is strategic, outcomes oriented and collaborative.
“It is an honor to work with such a dedicated group of professionals,” Chisari said upon acceptance of the award.
Chisari encourages staff to use new technology and social media in education and training, leading them to meet the unique needs and learning styles of their nurses. Recognizing the talents and contributions of his team, Chisari encourages them to maximize their potential, move beyond their comfort zones and embrace new learning opportunities.
“Our work centers around our patients and their physical and psychosocial needs, and it is a privilege for us to be there with them, whether it be as they get better or as they die,” Chisari said.Patricia Lincoln, RN
Patricia Lincoln, RN, MS, CNS, BC, CCRN
Clinical nurse specialist, cardiac ICU Children’s Hospital, Boston
“I accept this award on behalf of all nurses who are committed to excellent patient care,” Patricia Lincoln said at the ceremony.
With evidence-based practice as the cornerstone of her practice, she created a pediatric risk assessment tool for venous thromboembolism and originated practice changes on the use of anti-embolic stockings. She developed a policy for the cardiovascular/critical care manual on risk assessment and prevention of venous thromboembolism, and also developed pressure ulcer wound and care instructions and a pediatric early extubation program.
“I feel privileged to work with nurses who search for answers to clinical questions and who always look for ways to improve patient care,” Lincoln said.
Lincoln partnered with Project Hope, volunteering in Haiti with their medical team in the January 2010 earthquake. She worked with the U.S. Navy on the USNS Comfort, staffing the ICU and admitting and transferring earthquake victims, then continued her mission in November by returning to Haiti.Natalie Harris, RN
Natalie Harris, RN, MA
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Natalie Harris works nights as a staff nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital so she can work during the day at the Medical Missions for Children, a nonprofit organization in Woburn, Mass., which helps provide free medical care to impoverished youth.
Harris has worked on five missions, which focus on helping children with cleft lip and palate, microtia and severe, untreated burn scars and contractions.
“My heroes are the parents and children who place their trust and faith in us. They inspire me to do my very best,” Harris said.
She uses the majority of her personal and vacation time to travel on the mission trips as an OR nurse, and believes in the value of teaching and sharing her experience and knowledge, whether it be in the classroom or in a remote healthcare facility in India, Peru or the Philippines.
“I am grateful to everyone at Mass General, who provide such generous support to the Medical Missions,” Harris said.Patricia Ide, RN
Patricia Ide, RN, MS
Director, patient care services
Tufts Medical Center, Boston
“It is a team effort, and there are so many people who deserve to be standing here with me to receive this award,” Patricia Ide said. Serving as leader, educator, mentor and patient advocate, Ide is passionate about achieving and maintaining the highest standards of patient care.
She created a quarterly patient care services newsletter that provides stories and photos which capture the department’s focus and drive, highlight achievements and recognize the work of the multidisciplinary team.
When the hospital underwent an organizational change to improve care, enhance patient and staff satisfaction and reduce costs, Ide assumed the role of co-chairwoman. The redesign effort resulted in a major shift in the care delivery model on all inpatient units. She is instrumental in organizing retreats and encouraging that staff and patient concerns be heard.
“I feel fortunate that I am able to empower staff and the leadership team to provide excellence in clinical care,” Ide said.Christine Waszynski, RN
Christine Waszynski, RN, MSN, GNP-BC
Gerontological nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist
Hartford (Conn.) Hospital
In her role at Hartford Hospital, Christine Waszynski provides inpatient consultations and geriatric education and conducts clinical research.
She is involved in numerous hospital-wide initiatives, such as the Geriatric Resource Nurse Program, which provides specialized geriatric training to nurses. As a result of her leadership, the hospital is a “Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders” site.
“With holistic nursing care, we look at the elderly and the family as a whole, and we aren’t just focusing on their medical problems,” Waszynski said.
Waszynski founded Geriatric Nursing Services Inc. in 1988 and joined the University of Connecticut Health Center as a geriatric clinical specialist on the geriatric consultative team. She also helped start a volunteer program at Hartford called Keeping in Touch, which offers additional visits to patients at risk for delirium or dementia.
“When we spend time with our elders, we hear the real story and we find out how we can really help them,” Waszynski said.Miriam Greenspan, RN
Miriam Greenspan, RN, MS
Nursing program director
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
“I am honored to receive this award, and I will always remember the teachers and mentors who helped me in my life,” Miriam Greenspan said.
Greenspan is an inspirational leader who is on the cutting edge of nursing knowledge and advanced theory-based practice. She is responsible for the development of a supportive new nurse orientation program and helped design and implement a preceptor development program.
Greenspan also created a hospitalwide nurse director role development program and worked diligently on setting up a simulation program for the emergency and perioperative departments, along with an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses and others.
Committed to the unique learning needs of every nurse, Greenspan ensures that every learner is fully engaged in the learning process.
“In order for us to help and support nurses so they can provide excellent patient care, it is critical that we take the time to listen and hear what they have to say,” Greenspan said.