Certified nurse assistant Cheryl Winegar of Lowell and nurse Lisa Paris of Worcester were recently presented with the Terry Croteau Compassionate Caregiver Award for their devotion to patients at Emerson Hospital.
The award recognizes compassionate care as exemplified by the late Terry Croteau, a social worker who made an exceptional difference in the lives of her patients and co-workers at Emerson. All hospital employees, medical staff and volunteers involved in caring for patients and their families are eligible.
The concept for the award grew out of Emerson’s involvement in the Boston-based Kenneth B. Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care. The Terry Croteau Compassionate Caregiver Award is sponsored by Emerson’s Schwartz Rounds Committee, which recognizes and supports those who provide exceptional patient care in their daily practice, and the Berry Supporting Foundation.
Winegar, who works in the Wound Care department, was praised in numerous nominations for exemplifying compassionate care through her friendly, welcoming nature and good deeds, including donating clothes and food for patients in need, helping those unsteady on their feet to their vehicles, escorting patients outside under an umbrella on rainy days and braving the rain to jump a patient’s car that wouldn’t start.
One nominator described how the daughter of a longtime patient called to express her gratitude for the extra care which Winegar lavished on her father at every visit, including combing his hair and cleaning his glasses to make him feel good.
“We constantly get cards from healed patients thanking the Wound Care Center, but more often than not, Cheryl specifically, for making them laugh and going the extra mile for them,” her colleague wrote. “It is an honor to work with and know Cheryl, and to see the way she brightens others’ lives.”
Paris, who works with psychiatric patients in the hospital’s North 5 unit, was lauded in her nominations as a “first-class, competent RN with a great medical knowledge base” who personifies Emerson’s tagline, “Premium Care, Personal Touch” by always treating patients with kindness, respect, dignity and humor. A widely admired team player and educator, she is often assigned the most difficult cases because of her conscientiousness and competence.
“Lisa personifies exceptional care, advocacy and deep understanding of the whole person as a treatment focus. There is no aspect of patient care that does not receive her attention,” her colleague wrote. Another noted, “She’s almost too good to be true.”
Christine Schuster, president and CEO of Emerson Hospital, said she is proud to recognize Winegar and Paris among so many caregivers who dedicate themselves to improving the quality of life of others.
“Cheryl and Lisa are models for what this organization stands for,” Schuster said, “and examples for us all.”