A Spotlight on PACE Nurses

During this week’s quarterly meeting of MassPACE, we had the privilege of speaking with our exceptional PACE nurses in celebration of National Nurses Week and International Nurses Day. The nurses we chose to spotlight were nominated for the distinguished Phyllis Solomon Award, established to honor the memory of Phyllis Solomon. Phyllis Solomon was a highly dedicated PACE nurse who former Governor Charlie Baker commended for her “open-minded approach to patient care” and unwavering commitment to public service. The Phyllis Solomon Award nominees hold extraordinary reputations as nurses and for having a passion for the PACE model of care.

Wendy Manseau

Our first nominee was Wendy Manseau, an experienced Home Care Nurse with 11 years of service at Summit Eldercare. Wendy described hearing about PACE through a colleague she worked alongside during her night shifts at the ICU. Her friend’s positive experience intrigued her, specifically, her description of PACE allowing her to “do more for patients and their families.” Since joining PACE, Wendy has consistently gone above and beyond her regular responsibilities, often assisting participants by picking up medications or supplies from pharmacies when they didn’t have anyone else to help. By actively engaging in the well-being of her participants, Wendy has established a deep connection with them, ensuring they receive both physical and emotional support.

Caity Boyle

Caity Boyle, an enrollment nurse at Element Care PACE, finds immense fulfillment in her job. She describes working for PACE as highly rewarding, enabling her to help others access vital services and care for the population she serves. Known as a tireless advocate for prospective participants, Caity consistently maintains a positive outlook. Furthermore, she inspires her team and continuously seeks innovative ways to enhance communication and collaboration between IDTs and center-based staff. Caity’s commitment to navigating complex paperwork for her clients is admirable, and her genuine belief in and passion for her work contribute to her effectiveness in this role.

Janene Devlin

Janene Devlin, who served as the Clinical Nurse Manager at Harbor Health for five years before retiring last year, continues to demonstrate her dedication by working a few per diem shifts for the ESP PACE team. Her colleagues describe her as someone with the astonishing ability to calm clients down with her presence. Marina Adorno, home care coordinator at Harbor Health ESP, says she was glad to have such a hardworking boss like Janene and reflects, “She is always teaching, and I am always learning.”. Dedicated teachers are always in need, especially in the nursing field; Janene generously passed along the skills, passion, and attitude needed to get through difficult days working as a nurse.

Anne Killam

After dedicating 20 years of her career to triage/warfarin nursing, Anne Killam transitioned to Mercy Life PACE, primarily driven by the focus on teamwork within the organization. Anne says she enjoys the PACE model’s unique blend of nursing, social work, and hospice care. Colleagues describe Anne as someone who wholeheartedly prioritizes the well-being of participants and demonstrates genuine care for them. Despite being one of only two homecare nurses, Anne dedicates ample time to all her patients. The emphasis on teamwork in the PACE healthcare model allows nurses like Anne to deliver comprehensive care to all her participants equally.

Shona Gibson

Shona Gibson, a nurse practitioner with an impressive 38 years of experience, left her role as a clinical director to return to more direct involvement in patient care. Jed Geyerhan, CHA PACE’s Executive Director, characterizes Shona as a clinician whose work is more of a life mission than a job. Shona’s dedication to her participants is evident in her willingness to visit them even on weekends when she is off duty. Jed emphasizes that Shona’s level of dedication represents the caliber of commitment one remembers; he emphasizes, “You all know a Shona because you know the type of dedication this represents.”

The fact that nurses like Shona chose to work for PACE speaks volumes about the program. Shona highlights the unique aspects of the PACE model that support wellness and independence in the community, foster long-term relationships, and allow care plans to adapt to changing healthcare needs, including end-of-life care. She finds the job meaningful, leveraging her nursing training and drawing upon her extensive experience and skills.

Thank You to Our PACE Nurses

As you may have noticed, many of the nominees credited the PACE model of care for their unwavering commitment to their profession. They felt that the PACE model fosters and sustains their dedication, passion, and commitment to exceptional patient care. A poignant reflection on this point comes from Wendy Manseau, who aptly states, “Everybody is valued equally whenever anything comes up, we get our heads together, and we all figure it out, every idea is valued, and sometimes things come up that you wouldn’t even think of.” The sense of support and teamwork they feel working with an interdisciplinary team motivates Wendy and many of our PACE nurses to go above and beyond in their roles.

Nurses play an indispensable role in society and within our PACE IDT teams. Nurses Week provides an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work of our dedicated nurses. This year, MassPACE has chosen to spotlight the nurses nominated by their colleagues for their exceptional commitment and love for their work, with the PACE model of care consistently recognized as a contributing factor. We thank all nurses, including our PACE nurses, for their invaluable contributions.