UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing honors 'Partners in Caring'

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth College of Nursing presented its first Partners in Caring Recognition Awards to eight groups of nurses in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island on April 1.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth College of Nursing presented its first Partners in Caring Recognition Awards to eight groups of nurses in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island on April 1. 

“These nurses through their caring, innovation, and creativity have dramatically improved the lives of patients who are living with a variety of chronic illnesses,’’ said College of Nursing Dean Nancy Dluhy. "It is an honor to recognize the exceptional work of our practice partners." 

The awards were a highlight of a two-day event designed to strengthen the links between the College of Nursing and the region’s health providers. The event, sponsored by the UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack’s “Breaking New Ground/A Tradition of Innovation” initiative, also included a major conference on chronic illness. 

The conference, “Reframing the Chronic Illness Experience’’ brought nurses from across Massachusetts together to discuss the issue with two internationally recognized nurse scholars - Dr. Sally Thorne from Vancouver, British Columbia and Dr. Sarah Kagan from the University of Pennsylvania. 

“The increasing presence of chronic illnesses in our society and in our health care agencies demand attention and commitment,’’ Dean Dluhy said. “The dynamism and energy of this group of students, faculty and practicing nurses was palpable. “Everyone walked away from this day feeling good about nursing and with new ideas about caring for people with chronic Illness." 

The Partners in Caring Award winners are: 

Nicole Almeida, Sandy Choquette, Joyce Dolin and Nancy Medeiros - Charlton Memorial Hospital, Fall River for implemented protocol driven Pneumococcal Vaccination Program that targets the 70 percent of acute care admissions who are both elderly and have chronic illnesses. 

Wendy Bergren - Women and Infants Hospital, Providence for her compassion and for “never losing sight of doing what is best for the patient.” 

Rose Brisson – St. Luke’s Hospital, New Bedford for developing the “Keeping Active- Staying Fi” program to enhance functional mobility among older patients with a variety of chronic illnesses. 

Katherine Chmiel and the nursing staff - Corrigan Community Mental Health Center, Fall River for achievement in promoting the psychological recovery of children and adults with the most severe mental illnesses. 

Harriet Desrochers, Joanne Westgate and Donna Wolcott – St. Luke’s Hospital, New Bedford for their systematic approach to pain management through evaluation of patients, the ongoing development of other professionals in the area of pain control, and their consistent quality of care. 

Patricia Geggatt-Midurski – Community Nurse and Hospice Care, Fairhaven for her strong advocacy and passionate commitment to community awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 

Donnetta Perkins and Diane Peckham – SouthCoast Skin Care Committee chairs for their dedication to the prevention of pressure ulcers in patients and for the significant strides they have made in this area. 

Susan Medeiros – Saint Anne’s Hospital, Fall River for her compassion and empathy and positive energy that helps oncology patients not only physically but also emotionally through their illness experience. 

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of the award winners are available upon request.) 


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