University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) honored three nurses and two licensed nursing assistants during the 15th annual Rose Black Nursing Excellence Awards and LNA Excellence in Clinical Practice Awards. The nursing award, established by the family of former patient Rose Black, recognizes dependable, compassionate and nurturing team players who demonstrate excellent care with a bright and positive attitude. Both awards honor exemplary communication and patient skills. Recipients are nominated by their peers.
This year’s Rose Black Nursing Excellence Awards were given to Jacqueline Bisson, Arlene Robinson and Melissa Rouse. The LNA Excellence in Clinical Practice Awards went to Mahira Verem and Catherine Bailey-Partlow.
Jacqueline Bisson, an RN on the Medical/Surgical Unit, has been at CVMC for 11 years. She graduated from Norwich University where she served in the Corps of Cadets. She credits her inspiration for nursing to her mother, a CVMC operating room nurse. In addition to her daily nursing duties, Jackie serves on the unit’s Spirit & Scheduling Council, where she is sometimes introduced as the “cruise director.” She lives in East Barre with her husband and daughter, Katelyn, 5. “Jackie makes a difference in the lives of every person she comes in contact with,” said Sarah Magdon, Medical/Surgical Nursing Director. “She’s well-loved by her patients and co-workers.”
Arlene Robinson, an RN in Adult Primary Care, Hematology and Oncology, has worked at CVMC on and off for more than 30 years. She graduated from Mary Fletcher Hospital School of Nursing and has worked in various nursing jobs from Medical/Surgical nursing to school health. She enjoys gardening, making “goodies” and traveling, especially near the ocean. She lives in Barre with her husband, Bill, and has two grown children and five grandchildren. “She works with style, class, competency and calm,” said Dr. Peter Dale, CVMC Internal Medicine Physician, who has worked with her for more than a decade. “She’s worth her weight in gold…and in M&Ms, which she distributes to our staff on a daily basis.”
Melissa Rouse, an LPN at Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing, began her CVMC career as a geriatric aide when she was 16 years old. Now, six years later, the Williamstown resident uses her passion for health care on Woodridge’s memory care unit. She considers the residents to be part of her extended family. “Melissa is an extremely special and talented nurse,” said Sharon Dillon, Interim Nursing Director at Woodridge. “Gentle, caring, kind…the residents know they have her support and they trust her.”
Mahira Verem, LNA for the Nursing Resource Pool, began working at Woodridge in 2002. Eight years later she moved up the hill to the hospital where she has been ever since. Mahira lives in Barre City with her husband and two children. “Mahira always gives 110 percent. We wish we could clone her,” said Cathie King, Nurse Manager of Nurse Resources. “She routinely goes above and beyond and gladly assists in any way she is able to – that is her way.”
Catherine Bailey-Partlow, LNA at Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing, has worked at CVMC for four years. Her co-workers describe the Northfield resident as a skillful mentor and collaborator. “Cat is an amazing young woman and a huge team player,” said Dillon. “She can do it all.”
Born in 1905 in Ukraine, Rose Black and her husband fled post-war turmoil and anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe, eventually settling in Canada. Throughout her life she dedicated herself to the service of others. She reared four children and worked as a dress designer and as an activities supervisor at children’s summer camps. Her most notable work was at St. Mary of the Fields, where she worked with delinquent female teenagers. At age 72, she took time to fulfill a lifelong desire for formal education and earned a degree in liberal arts. Rose was a patient at CVMC beginning in 2000 and spent time at Woodridge Nursing home. Her experience with the care she received led her and her family to establish the annual nursing award at CVMC. She died in 2002 at the age of 97, after a long and vital life. She was a great inspiration to many including her granddaughter, Dr. Deborah Black, a neurologist at CVMC.
Photo Caption: (From left) Arlene Robinson, Jacqueline Bisson, Melissa Rouse, Mahira Verem and Catherine Bailey-Partlow were recently honored by the UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center with nursing awards.