2017 Recipients

Kathleen Borge
Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing
Nurse Educator/Adjunct Instructor
Kathy has been a nurse educator (professor of nursing) for twenty years, working first at the Memorial College of Nursing, and for the last eleven years at the Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing. 

Ask any graduate of these schools of nursing, and they will tell you that Kathy is the BEST teacher they ever had. She holds a very high standard and fosters professionalism in students she helps them transform themselves into nurses. She teaches students to learn deeply and to think critically. 

Her classes and learning activities are creative, lively, interesting and well-organized. She is encouraging and empathetic in her approach to each individual student. When students complete the course that she teaches, they feel a strong sense of accomplishment and pride. As one student put it, "Kathy is excellent and provided a supportive environment which promoted learning and growth! I have learned so much!!" Other students describe her as "awesome" and "outstanding". Henry Adams said, "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."

As a nurse educator, Kathy has touched thousands of lives in the Capital Region because she has mentored hundreds of new nurses who are now practicing nurses in our community. 
Julie Catlin
Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital
Brain Injury / LPN
I would like to nominate my friend and coworker Julie Catlin for Nurse of the Year.

Julie has worked at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital for 7 years and is one of the kindest and most compassionate nurses I've ever met. I remember her being so kind and supportive of me when I was the new nurse on the unit and the proverbial "stranger in a strange land." 

To our patients, she is an absolute ray of sunshine. She is known by our unit as "the singing nurse" because she often makes up funny little songs when passing meds. When she's stressed, she never shows it and always finds a way to make a difficult day better. Julie always finds time to help her coworkers, even if that means putting herself further behind schedule. She is both an amazing nurse and an awesome friend, and I couldn't think of a more deserving person for this nomination.

Julie always comes into work ready to place smiles on our patients faces with a funny or quirky statement and rhyme. Lovely to work with, very wholesome and genuinely a good person. Takes that extra time with our pedes, giving them medicine always with a hint of love.

Doreen Collins
Saratoga Hospital
Clinical care coordinator for ICU
Doreen epitomizes what nursing is all about. She is compassionate as well as professional. She truly treats every single one of her patients as if they were a part of her family. Whether she is ambulating a post-op patient or holding a patient's hand as they take their last breath, she always exhibits kindness and aplomb. 

As a staff nurse, I feel comforted every time I work with Doreen, whether she is in charge or working alongside me on the unit. I just know that I will have the support and back-up that I need.

It isn't only in patient care and charge duties that Doreen shines. She is also an amazing teacher; she puts a lot of time and energy into making sure that the ICU nurses are up to date on competencies and educated about new policies and procedures. With 42 nurses working in the unit, this is not always an easy feat. On top of making sure that all of our practice-based competencies and education are complete, she also continuously encourages us to become certified and seek out continuing educational opportunities so that we can improve upon our practice.

Personally, Doreen motivates me to be the best nurse and the best person that I can possibly be. She truly embodies excellence in the nursing profession. 
Kathleen DeFruscio
Green Meadow Elementary School
School Nurse
I have a kindergarten daughter with type 1 diabetes. I was terrified when school started to leave my baby under another person's watch. 

The care for this disease is extremely time consuming and very difficult. I could not have asked for a better person for the job. Kathy went above and beyond by calling us and meeting with us prior to the start of the school year. When Hannah would cry about being in school Kathy would hold her and love her until she was better and send her back to her classroom. 

Hannah was having some difficulties with her vision one day due to changing blood sugars and Kathy did an eye exam and recommended a pediatric ophthalmologist for her. This was all unprompted. 

Before Hannah's endocrinology appointments Kathy will recommend things we should bring up while we are there. Kathy also recognizes how tough it can be for the parents to care for Hannah and will offer to come over and watch her while we go out to dinner. Kathy is not only an amazing nurse and caregiver for our daughter, but Hannah truly loves Kathy and I know that Kathy loves Hannah. This is what true nursing is. 

I have been in Kathy's office when several kids are in for various reasons and the front desk is calling her for something while she also has a parent on the phone. She manages to care for each person as if they are the only one in the room. My daughter is thriving at school and a large reason behind this is because of Kathy and the collaboration she does with the school staff. I cannot thank her enough for all that she does.

John Dierna
Saratoga Hospital
John has been a nurse for less than two years and is very motivated to enhance his career and the role he takes in the nursing profession.

John joined the hospitals skin care team and not only became a member but an active participant by running a meeting when one of the chairs was unavailable, helped develop an educational presentation with the new terminology of pressure injury instead of pressure ulcer, and conducts monthly patient skin rounds to observe for pressure injuries and educate staff. John also helps educate the total joint patients by presenting the pre-operative class. John is very flexible and is willing to switch shifts or pick up extra time when needed. 

The most important thing I notice with John is the positive attitude he exudes every day. I am the charge nurse on this unit and when conducting patient rounds or doing call backs after discharge I receive many compliments on John's care, patience, listening skills, knowledge, and kindness. 

Barbara McDermott
Glens Falls Hospital
Cardiovascular Manager
Barbara is our manager. We are a very busy Cath lab/ IR unit. Not only does she manage our unit, she also is the manager of our critical care unit, radiology and telemetry. 

Barbara is supportive of her nurses by providing endless time and dedication to improving the quality of care in our units. She is supportive of educational opportunities. She goes above and beyond by making sure staff has all the resources they need to be successful at their jobs. She manages not only with her head but also with her heart. She is here for us if we need, day or night to help us through the challenges we face. She has an open door policy addressing the patients and staff challenges. She is often the first in the door and the last one to leave at the end of the day. She respects the needs of her unit patients as well as staff.

She oversees Critical Care, Radiology, Interventional Radiology, Cath Lab. Any one of these areas is a highly demanding dynamic area of nursing practice. She is very responsive to her staff and their needs. I've never worked for a manager that STRIVES at great lengths to help her staff find work/family balance. She supports higher education and lifelong learning for her staff. She never asks her staff to do something she can’t or will not do. She works longer hours than anyone. Barb arrives first, and leaves last. You can find her on busy days helping with patient care in the lab or pushing a stretcher, whatever the need is she fills it.

She empowers her staff to be professional, autonomous, and achievers. In these challenging days of health care it is a privilege to work for a manager who truly embraces the art & science of nursing. Barb McDermott is a true champion of Nursing Care here at Glens Falls Hospital, and those who are privileged enough to work for her are the better for it!

Lori Metzgar
CapitalCare Pediatrics-Clifton Park
Pediatrics - Nurse Manager
Lori is amazing, just ask any of our families who she has helped over her tenure with us as well as the babies that were born at Bellevue in her 20+ years at the nursery. Lori goes well above and beyond for her families. She is exceptional in her knowledge, her warmth and her professionalism. She is an amazing educator, as well as an outstanding leader. 

I brought Lori on to our team @ 3 1/2 years ago and she has made an amazing transformation in our practice. We wanted to raise awareness on breastfeeding and all of the benefits associated with it. Lori immediately went and became certified as a lactation counselor, knowing that she would be spending a lot of time with new mommies. We created a breastfeeding room for our moms with her help and today I watched her showing a mom how to bathe her child correctly because she was so nervous.

She has come in on our days off, weekends, stays late, whatever it takes to make a new mom feel comfortable with her child. She has a special need child herself and connects so well with our families with children of special needs; she has been in their place, she knows how they feel. 

She makes every person feel like they are her only concern. She is the same with her staff, always teaching, encouraging and pushing to get them to the next level of their careers. It is with great honor that I submit Lori's name for consideration of Nurse of the Year, as she is certainly our Nurse of the Year and should be for the entire community! Thank you!

Rena Rovere 
Albany Med
Emergency Room
Rena has worked tirelessly for over three decades with Albany Med, including furthering her education and training to become a nurse practitioner. 

She also selflessly donated her time overseas to provide care for Project Hope twice- once in Haiti and once in the Dominican Republic. 

Like many nurses, she often sacrifices time with family and friends to work overtime, and to provide special care for her patients, including volunteering one day every work for a not-for-profit family practice (Koinonia Health Care).  She is the epitome of what nursing has always been - love in caring.

Rena has long been a nurse in Albany Medical Center emergency room. During this time she has not only continued her education but has been a teacher as well, working inside as well as outside Albany Med. She has worked with Project Hope both in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. She has provided support for a foundation in Uganda.

Above all Rena is a caring compassionate health professional. She is the person you want to see when you end up in the emergency room

Karen Spinelli
St. Peter's Hospital ALS Center
Director of the ALS Center
Karen has touched so many people's lives through the selfless work she does at the ALS center. She spoke to a young woman diagnosed with ALS that lived in the Syracuse area to help direct her to care in that area. Coupled with Karen's soft, caring, compassionate way, made her thankful and hopeful after speaking with Karen. 

Karen has a way about her that makes everyone love her and want to help in the fight against ALS. Every year at the ALS Pro-Am Invitational, Karen will auction off gourmet dinners for 10 which has brought in $2,300 per dinner (since we had two bidders, Karen said she would cook two dinners). This she gives of her precious time, preparing, cooking and serving the dinners at the winner's home. This is just one way Karen goes over and above her regular duties of her job. She has helped countless people who are sick, helping them, befriending them and assisting the patient and their family navigate through their illness (cancer, ALS, etc.) until the end. 

I have always been proud and admired Karen for her knowledge, dedication and compassion towards those in need. She is soft spoken and has a quiet demeanor but do not mistake her kindness for weakness. She will fight with such persistence and tenacity for her cause of which has been her patients and the ALS center since its inception. She has her family fighting in the cause against ALS right there with her, helping at the many events that are held as they have been brought up with fund raising as a way of life. 

Karen began with the ALS center when it was just a small area in the hospital to it being a standalone building where patients can go to one place for all their ALS needs, including equipment. I personally have known Karen for over 40 years and have stood by her for over a decade securing donations, and making the ALS Pro-Am the outstanding event and huge success it has become. I couldn't be more proud of her and am honored to call her my friend. She has touched my life and has taught me so much just by being her.
Jan Wintsch
Ellis Hospital Mental Health Clinic
Psychiatry/Staff Nurse
Jan is a nurse’s nurse. She has worked at the clinic for many years and is a cornerstone to the clinic's successes. She has knowledge of the patients cared for at the clinic and is someone who doesn't hesitate to get the job done. She works hard and I have never heard her say "no, I can't do it." 

Jan is dedicated, compassionate, patient care-focused and always willing to take the extra effort to help wherever needed. She goes above and beyond to ensure our underserved and high-risk population is provided with the best care possible. Jan is a joy to work with and doesn't receive enough recognition for what she does to make her patients' and coworkers' lives better. 

She will be retiring this year and deserves to be named Nurse of the Year for her numerous years of providing excellent service. She works with an extremely difficult population; cases ranging from Schizophrenia, to anxiety, depression and developmental delays, and she handles them all with poise. She teaches classes on medication management and helps those experiencing side effects, and through it all she is unflappable.

Jan is strong but calm force within the mental health clinic. She takes on tasks way beyond those she is required to do. She works well with staff of all disciplines and titles. She is compassionate with the patients while also challenging them to better themselves a little at a time. Staff come to her for all manner of questions and advice and she is always willing to lend a hand. The clinic would truly be lost without her compassion, strength, and wisdom.

Robbie Allerton
Albany Med MICU unit RN/ Angel
Robbie deserves this title because he took care of my husband while he was dying. Robbie gave us hope and was so positive and upbeat while we were beaten down. My husband was brought in with sepsis shock and was told he was going to die overnight. He survived only to die 7 weeks later. My husband died with dignity with the help of Robbie Allerton.
Kathleen Salluce 

Carol Crucetti
St. Peter's Health Partners - Troy Acute Care, Chief Nursing Officer
In 2015, Carol assumed the responsibility of Chief Nursing Officer for both Samaritan and St. Mary's Hospital. She has been instrumental in the transition of nursing services for both. She has been a visible leader in the transition and has maintained a presence in the clinical areas. Carol is a transparent leader with her decision making and has truly embraced the Shared Governance Model of nursing. 
Brenda Williams

Margaret Flanagan
Saratoga Hospital, Emergency Department- BSN, CEN, RN
Peggy is a leader, a mentor, a friend and an incredible nurse. The emergency room is a fast placed, high stress environment and in the worst possible cases you can find Peggy at the head of the bed leading the team in delivering the best possible care to those who need it most. Peggy is the nurse I aspire to be: caring, compassionate, competent, courageous and committed. 
Emily Evans

Rebecca Lally
Albany Medical Center Children's Hospital, Pediatric Nurse 
Rebecca is gifted with such a love for her patients and compassion that is felt by those she touches. She goes the extra mile to comfort and bring joy to her kids and families. She takes the time to interact with each child and discover their likes, dislikes and most importantly their fears. She goes over and beyond and finds unique and personal ways to touch each child. Although many nurses provide excellent care, Rebecca delves deeper to provide heartfelt care.
Donna and Robert Lally

Kathleen Mattice
Capital Care Medical Group, Primary Care/Ambulatory Care Chief Clinical Officer
Our Chief Clinical Officer is innovative, compassionate, intelligent and resourceful. She possesses the ability to advocate for the advanced role the ambulatory care nurse can play in the primary care arena. Her efforts in practice transformation and implementation of the care team have directly impacted thousands of patients throughout the Capital District. Her dedication, resilience and motivation make her a natural leader and role model for nurses in our organization. 
Jamie Brock

Anneesha Smith
St Peters Hospital, Cardiac Telemetry
Anneesha is truly compassionate. She has been at SPH on the cardiac floor for 16 years and she continues to be as dedicated as she was from day one. Anneesha is warm and caring, she treats all of her patients like there were her own family. She advocates for their needs and she keeps them informed along the way. I've heard nothing but excellent things from patients and families about her. 
Aleftina Turner

Abby Cook-Walkup
Glens Falls Hospital, Operating Room Nurse Manager
Abby came to our facility probably 6 months ago and has made this place a wonderful place to work again. She is outgoing, intelligent. She's approachable, and easy to talk to, even about difficult things. She's respected, and stands up for her staff and what is best for not only them, but the patients as well. She is a great leader and is a great asset to this team.  
Melissa Wern

Clifford Estaris
Albany Medical, PICU 
Cliff recently lost a long time patient of his. I later learned that the family of the patient was texting Cliff and Cliff was checking in with the family to make sure they knew he would be there for them during this difficult time. It's not every day that you see someone in the medical field care enough about their profession and their patients that they bring work home with them. 
Sarah Prediletto

Heather Jansen
Malta Med Emergent Care, Emergency Medicine, RN
“Though She Be Little, She Be Fierce” It is often said that the only expectation staff can rely while working in emergency medicine is each other. Heather’s experience, teaching technique and desire to better herself through continued education have lent to creating a stability that may never exist in emergency facilities lacking a strong and competent leader. Heather not only strives for personal acumen, but is able to quietly influence those around her to ensure standards of care are not only met, but far exceeded. 
Emily Wright

Michelle Little
Saratoga Hospital, Clinical Coordinator, D1 telemetry/nephrology unit
Michelle epitomizes the attributes of a great nurse in every aspect of her work. Michele is the Clinical Coordinator on the telemetry unit at Saratoga Hospital. She displays a dedication to the highest standards of patient care, treating each patient as if they were her own family member. 
As a clinical coordinator she is able to apply clinical judgment and skillful comportment in the domains of reasoning-in-transition, skilled know-how, response-based practice and perceptual acuity. 
Debra Fields

Michelle Murray
Eddy Visiting Nurse Association, Home Care/RN, CWON
Michelle does not know the word “NO” or “I can't”. The patients always come first. The patients feel at ease with her and appreciate her dedication, experience and sense of humor. Many specifically ask for her when they require subsequent care. Michelle makes sure the patient has everything they need as well as a complete understanding of all instructions she presents to them. Her dedication to her profession has earned her respect among her peers as well as Physicians. 
Margaret Fahrenkopf

Elizabeth Woods
Albany Memorial Hospital, Charge Nurse 5th Floor Surgical/Orthopedic Unit
Beth has worked on the unit for over 20 years. She has touched hundreds of lives, not only of our patients/families, but also of coworkers. Beth frequently makes a personal connection, and goes above and beyond in her relationships with patients. She exemplifies the true meaning of nursing and I am proud to share this profession with her. 
Kathleen Mosca

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