Among her colleagues at Brookside Community Health Center, nurse Darlin Liriano, BSN, RN, is fondly known as “the mayor of Brookside” — a lighthearted but sincere expression of the appreciation and respect they have for Liriano’s expertise, leadership and the caring relationships she builds with her patients, their families and the center’s faculty and staff.
These are just a sample of the traits that inspired multiple colleagues to nominate Liriano for a Partners in Excellence (PIE) Award this year. The annual awards program recognizes individuals and teams for their outstanding contributions to Partners HealthCare’s mission.
Hundreds of members of the Brigham community were honored during the 23rd annual PIE Awards ceremony on Feb. 27. This year, awards were presented to 81 individuals and 855 members of 40 project teams throughout Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization.
“[Darlin] is one of the greatest nurses I know. Her devotion to her nursing career is inspiring. You would think you were working with Florence Nightingale herself,” wrote one colleague in her nomination for Liriano’s PIE Award. “The patients love and request her by name, and I can see why. Darlin is an advocate, a leader and a problem-solver.”
Also recognized this year was Matthew O’Connor, PA-C, an inpatient physician assistant (PA) in the Department of Neurosurgery, who was nominated by a colleague for his extraordinary leadership in making changes that have improved professional satisfaction, collaboration and patient care within his team.
“He has demonstrated leadership skills, interpersonal skills and mentoring above and beyond what we could have asked for,” wrote a colleague in O’Connor’s nomination. “The result has been the development of a cohesive, well-trained team that feels supported and recognized. Matt has become the ‘go-to’ person for the team and is respected by the PAs, nurses, residents and attendings who work with him.”
Cierra Zaslowe-Dude, a clinical research coordinator in the Department of Radiation Oncology, was nominated by colleagues for her outstanding teaching and leadership capabilities, especially in onboarding and mentoring new research staff.
“She has made a lasting impact on these employees; even though many are no longer ‘new,’ they continue to seek her mentorship and guidance each day,” her nominator wrote. “Her contributions span across the department at all levels, and we are grateful for Cierra’s dedication to our research program, her generous heart and her compassion in serving others.”
Among the teams honored was the Garden Café’s grill staff — which includes Michael Hines, Ewa Kania, Alex Murcia and Shon Way — for their tremendous professionalism, teamwork and skill, even in the face of a peak-hour rush of customers.
“No matter how long the line is, they are always warm and friendly to everyone. It is wonderful to start the day with a smile and kind word from them,” wrote their nominator. “I watch them every morning and am astounded at how they remember orders from the ‘regulars.’ It is like watching choreography.”
Ron M. Walls, MD, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brigham Health, invited attendees to look around the room and take a moment to recognize the incredible contributions of those who make the Brigham such a special place.
“We’re so proud to have you be a part of our community,” Walls told honorees. “Walking through these doors every day, I know that whatever challenges our patients and their families face, they’re on their way to see someone really great — in fact, they’re going to see a great team of people committed to helping them.”
Paula Squires, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, senior vice president of Human Resources, who emceed the ceremony in Bornstein Amphitheater, thanked PIE Award recipients for everything they do to make the Brigham an exceptional place in which to work and receive care.
“Quite simply, and without exaggeration, because of you, we are and will remain one of the finest hospitals in the world,” Squires said. “Every day, your passion, your purpose, your skill and your innovative spirit touches the life of a patient, a co-worker or someone in our community. For that, we are all deeply grateful and proud.”