Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brigham Office of Strategic Communication has invited staff to share moments of hope and compassion, inspiring examples of teamwork, displays of community support and demonstrations of our values in action. Do you have a story to share? Send it to bulletin@bwh.harvard.edu or submit it to our gratitude board.

We hope you enjoy this collection of Shining Moments from May 2020.


Three Cheers for Facilities and Operations Colleagues

Facilities and operations employees at work

Left: Cristhian Zelaya, Hazel Carleton and Barnodis Soto-Sanchez of Materials Management; Center: Dora Arias of Environmental Services; Right: Dilia Soto of Food Services

Carmen Santos, workforce development specialist in Human Resources, took a moment to express her admiration of the outstanding contributions of Facilities and Operations staff:

“I do not have an eloquent story to share, but I would like to make sure that the non-medical staff who are showing up every day receive public acknowledgement. The people who are cleaning, cooking, serving meals, moving patients throughout the hospital, managing shipments, answering calls and securing our facilities — I thank them for making it possible for the clinical teams to fight this war!”

Taking Our Mission to Heart

Heart mowed into lawn

Photo credit: Jim Rathmell, MD

This lawnmowing artistry in Stoneman Centennial Park, recently created by our colleagues in Facilities and Operations, is a touching visual representation of what matters most — keeping our patients, their loved ones and our community at the heart of all that we do.

The Face of Compassionate Care

Left photo: Courtney Audet; Right photo, from left: Alexa Goode and Saralynne Donovan

Courtney Audet, a child life specialist in the Department of Radiation Oncology, recently noticed that children coming in for treatment seemed distressed by the fact that they could no longer see their care team’s faces under their masks.

So Audet devised a creative yet simple solution: She created large, personalized buttons for herself and her colleagues. Each contains a photo showing what members of the team normally look like — with a warm smile.

“The pediatric patients loved it, so I made them for the whole staff so that both pediatric and adult patients could see that same friendly smile of the doctors, nurses, medical assistants and radiation therapists treating them every day,” Audet says. “Going through cancer treatment is scary enough, so that smile along with the amazing amount of compassion the staff has makes everyone feel comfortable during this unprecedented time.”

Celebrating Nurses’ Week

To kick off National Nurses’ Week, Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president of Clinical Services and chief nursing officer, shared this heartwarming video with the Brigham nursing community earlier today to highlight their tremendous contributions as part of multidisciplinary teams in response to COVID-19.

A Symbol of Our Shared Commitment

Photo credit: James Rathmell, MD

Thanks to the generosity of several individuals and local organizations, the large heart on the lawn of Stoneman Centennial Park has a colorful new look. The blue outline around the heart acknowledges first responders — including police, fire and emergency medical services personnel — and illustrates our shared commitment to working together to save lives.

We are grateful to Romeiro’s Landscaping, Brent Roundy from Pro-Turf Landscaping, Steve Ziolkowski from ELM Services and Masconomet Regional High School in Topsfield for donating their time and resources to enhance this image of hope, originally created by our Facilities and Operations staff.

Gratitude in Bloom

Maddy Pearson distributes orchid plants to nurses.

As a gesture of gratitude for nurses’ tremendous contributions, nursing and hospital leaders lined up outside of the Shapiro Center to applaud nurses leaving the hospital this morning and handed out orchids that were donated to the Brigham. This gift is made possible thanks to Home Depot and ICS Plant Specialists.

PAs Step Up to Support Infectious Diseases Consults

Left photo, from left: Silas Laudon, Natasha Fortier and Chrissie Shevchenko; Center photo: Megan Krug; Right photo, from left: Bronwyn Mastrangelo, Alexis Liakos and Ross Pinter

When the number of COVID-19 inpatients began to increase, Alexis Liakos, PA-C, senior physician assistant in the Division of Infectious Diseases, quickly realized that her small PA Infectious Diseases (ID) consult team needed backup. The team normally consists of one PA, staffed by Liakos or her ID colleague Natasha Fortier, PA-C, and one attending physician. Prior to the pandemic, the team provided about five to eight consults per day.

That volume now regularly reaches about 20 consults per day, plus follow-up visits with patients. Liakos said the team couldn’t do it without the help of five PAs who were temporarily reassigned to the Brigham’s Special Pathogen Units (SPUs) to serve as interim ID consultants: Megan Krug, PA-C, Silas Laudon, PA-C, Bronwyn Mastrangelo, PA-C, Ross Pinter, PA-C, and Chrissie Shevchenko, PA-C.

Liakos recently shared her admiration and appreciation for her newest colleagues:

“ID can be challenging. I’m floored at their fast learning and dedication to ensuring they are up to date on all things COVID-19 — from the ever-changing literature to the BWH precautions to clinician guidance. I feel that ID has been able to assist more SPU teams directly in caring for their patients thanks to the efforts of these five.”

Thank You to ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Colleagues

Left: Ramona Javier, Environmental Services; Center, from left: Najib Pierre Paul, Erik Moran and Saadia Dohri, Food Services; Right: Christopher Strong, Receiving and Distribution

David Verban, MA, senior diversity and inclusion consultant in Human Resources and a member of the Brigham Experience team, shared this note of gratitude for his colleagues working to support daily operations at the Brigham:

“We have so many dedicated Brigham employees working on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the best possible care for all patients. We want to take this opportunity to recognize our employees who work behind the scenes maintaining facilities and equipment, providing security, cleaning everything from patient rooms to public spaces, providing food services, transporting patients, managing supplies and more.

Without the vital contributions of these Brigham employees, the critical work of our medical teams would not be possible. Please extend a personal thanks to them when you see them in the hallway and join us in thanking them now for their ongoing contributions during the challenging time.”

A Message from Our Echo Lab — Hit the Road, COVID-19

Organized by Echocardiography Lab staff, this lighthearted photo illustrates a more profound message — we are resolute and united in the fight against COVID-19.

“Our dedicated sonographers are here every single day. We are proud to serve on the front lines,” said Tina Wu, MD, PhD, director of the Echo Lab.

‘Truly Honored to Have Such an Amazing Team’

Left photo, from left: Heather Macaulay, Angela Kelly, Petra Clark, Maryellen Quinter and Erin Cole; Right photo, from left: Heather Macaulay, Angela Kelly and Ben Szpak

Angela Kelly, BSN, RN, nursing director of Interventional Radiology, shared these photos along with some inspiring words about her colleagues in Angiography and Cross-Sectional Interventional Radiology (CSIR):

“I wanted to share some pictures of my staff as an outstanding shining moment of teamwork, dedication, compassion and empathy. I am truly honored to have such an amazing team. We miss all of our staff who have been deployed, and I am truly thankful for the incredible care they are delivering to patients in the ICUs.

Thanks to their astounding commitment and motivation, both departments have worked in partnership and have been providing both procedural and pre- post-op care to all of our patients since April 3. The entire team has worked together to generate and develop new and innovative ways to care for our patients and deliver an exceptional standard of nursing care.”

Honored to Serve Alongside a Remarkable Team

Kristi Lutjelusche, MHA, R.T. (R) (VI) ARRT, clinical director of Diagnostic Radiology, wrote to express her profound admiration for the unparalleled enthusiasm, grit and team spirit her colleagues across Diagnostic Radiology have demonstrated throughout this crisis:

“From our leads training themselves and others on PPE donning/doffing, to our practice assistants/medical assistants going out of their comfort zone to different jobs across the hospital without complaint, to our techs understanding why rotation isolation/staying in one place had to be a thing, to N95s, to techs stepping up immediately to cover shifts at Boston Hope, to everyone for making whatever short-notice ask happen every time, to managers flipping staffing schedules on the fly, to staff flipping their schedules on the fly, to everyone for just handling every uncertainty gracefully and channeling individual fears into positive team fuel.

Coming to work at the Brigham last year was a blessing for me for so many reasons — and these people are at the top of that list. I’m truly honored to have faced this challenge with this hospital and this team.”

Thanking Blood and Platelet Donors

Kraft Family Blood Donor Center staff show their appreciation for blood and platelet donors.

One thing has remained clear to the team at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center throughout the global pandemic: Blood and platelet donors are always ready to step up to ensure that Kraft Center is able to replenish and maintain its supply of blood products, which directly benefit patients at the Brigham and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI).

Lindsey Anderson, MSN, RN, nurse flow/operations manager in Pathology and the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center, thanked the Kraft Center team for its efforts to safely accommodate donors during the pandemic, and donors for stepping up to help those in need during this difficult time.

“Our staff have been working so hard, and the outpouring of support from the community has been amazing,” Anderson said. “We are so proud of our team and thankful to the community.”

To schedule an appointment to donate at the Kraft Center, click here or call 617-632-3206. The center is also hosting blood drives at Gillette Stadium. For eligibility questions, email BloodDonor@partners.org.