Eileen Molina_croppedBWH and the Department of Nursing and Hematology/Oncology & Palliative Care mourn the loss of Eileen Molina, MSM, RN, OCN, former nurse director of Tower 5AB, who passed away on June 26 after a brief illness. She was 61.

A cherished leader in the BWH and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute communities for 22 years, Mrs. Molina, of Raynham, Mass., stepped down from her role as nurse director in April.

A lifelong learner, Mrs. Molina earned three degrees through the years—an associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s—and was actively pursuing her fourth, a master of science in nursing, which she had planned to use to fulfill her dream of teaching.

Long devoted to the care of oncology patients, Mrs. Molina was a nurse leader whose passion and commitment to expert end-of-life and palliative care for patients led to her instrumental role in the opening of the Intensive Palliative Care Unit at BWH.

Her interest in palliative care took her to London and Texas in search of expert practitioners in the field.  Among the many best practices Mrs. Molina brought back from her travels and research included afternoon teas for patients and their families—for which she was recognized with a Partners in Excellence Award—and designated healing and renewal spaces for palliative care nurses and their fellow team members.

“Very often, it is the soft-spoken, unassuming people in our lives who make lasting impressions and have the greatest impact on us,” said Carolyn Hayes, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, associate chief nurse of Oncology, Medical and Integrative Nursing at BWH and DFCI. “This was certainly true of Eileen. Never one to seek the spotlight or center stage, Eileen quietly led her personal and professional lives with kindness, competence, compassion and grace. It is already clear from the outpouring of sympathy and condolences that Eileen brought as much comfort and consolation to her colleagues as she did to patients in her care.”

Colleague and friend Jennifer Kales, MS, APRN, BC, ACHPN, program director for Pain Management in the Center for Nursing Excellence, said Mrs. Molina had the remarkable ability to always see the good in people. She helped Kales through some of life’s biggest challenges and milestones, including pregnancy and losing her own mother.

“She helped me through those events in a way that I never expected and will never forget,” Kales said. “Eileen made me a better person.”

Mrs. Molina is survived by her husband of 37 years, Alberto; her son, Nick, and his wife, Sarah; her daughter, Julie, and her husband, Billy; her son, Tony; and her grandchildren, Maddie, Natalie, Billy and Caroline.