ECHN Congratulates Its 2012 Nightingale Award Winners

Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN) proudly announced that eight of their nurses received the prestigious Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing at the 2012 Greater Hartford Nightingale Awards Gala held on May 10 at the Hartford Downtown Marriott.
The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, Connecticut’s largest annual statewide nursing recognition program, celebrates outstanding professionals in the field of nursing in different regions in the state: Greater Hartford, Eastern Connecticut, Greater Fairfield, Greater New Haven and South Central Connecticut. The goals of this program are to encourage retention, inspire future nurses and raise awareness of the importance and scope of the practice of nursing at the local level.
Award winners are nominated by their coworkers and physician colleagues for the unique ways they demonstrate excellence in nursing, for having a positive impact on the wider community, and for conveying a positive image of nursing.
The following eight nurses from Manchester Memorial Hospital, Rockville General Hospital and Woodlake at Tolland are 2012 Nightingale Award winners:
  • Sarah Aggarwala, RNC-NIC: Earned a reputation for providing superior care and comfort to patients and families in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) at Rockville General Hospital. She is involved in several safety and best practice initiatives, including those involving vascular surgery and IV therapy.
  • Jane Cadett, RN, CIC: Makes a powerful impact on patients from behind-the-scenes in Infection Control. She has also taken the lead when it comes to the health system’s flu vaccination programs and selflessly volunteered her time to support ECHN’s hardest hit patient areas during historic Storm Alfred in October.
  • Barbara Gelinas, RN, CNOR: Called the “Angel of the OR” by her co-workers at Manchester Memorial Hospital for the care and compassion she demonstrates for her patients and her colleagues. Barbara was one of the first nurses in the OR to obtain her certification, and she has played a key role in community education for ECHN’s successful Robotics surgery program.
  • Jill Giulietti, RN-BC: Serves as a clinical ladder nurse for the Behavioral Health Unit at Manchester Memorial Hospital. Jill conveys a positive image of nursing through her tireless advocacy for patients with behavioral health issues and her passion for providing quality care to an underserved and challenging patient population.
  • Annemarie Greenberg, LPN: Considered a “true unsung hero” among her patients and colleagues. Annemarie’s co-workers say her caring and nursing judgment are legendary and brings her “A game” everyday to Bissell II at Rockville General Hospital.
  • Ava Opalach, RN: Recognized for the care and commitment she provides the residents at Woodlake at Tolland and their families. Ava always goes above and beyond to care for the holistic needs of Woodlake residents and ensures family members have peace-of-mind knowing their loved one is in good hands.
  • Cathy O’Reilly, RN, CPAN: Known as a dedicated post anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurse at Manchester Memorial Hospital. She has been instrumental in developing and promoting “Jewels-for-Joni” which is an organization that makes and sells bracelets with the proceeds donated to ovarian cancer research.
  • Gail Szymanski, RN, LCCE: Admired by her colleagues for her family-focused, evidence-based approach to patients in the Maternity Care Center at Rockville General Hospital and the CT Breast and Cervical Cancer Programs at ECHN. Gail is  a clinical ladder nurse, is certified in childbirth education, and does educational outreach on pregnancy and parenting in the community as an ambassador for the Maternity Care Center.
“Every year during Nurses Week we are extremely honored to recognize all of our nurses for their tireless dedication to the nursing profession and the quality of patient care and excellence they provide seven days a week, 365 days a year,” said Deborah Parker, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at ECHN. “Our Nightingale Award winners are true role models for their co-workers and an inspiration for future nurses. That is why I am confident our nurses are a major reason why residents east of the river continue to make ECHN their first choice in health care.”