Eleven East Region nurses named 2014 Nightingales

April 21, 2014

This year’s “rock stars” of nursing will be honored at the annual Nightingale Awards ceremony May 9 at Mystic Marriott in Groton. 

Seven Backus nurses, one Backus Home HealthCare nurse, and three Windham nurses will receive Nightingale Awards, which recognize the region’s best nurses for going above and beyond the call.

“We extend our sincere congratulations to all of the Nightingale award recipients,” said Dave Whitehead, President, Hartford HealthCare East Region. “Nurses are at the heart of our health system’s commitment to provide high quality, integrated patient care. Day in and day out, you make our patients’ experiences the best they can be. Thank you for your dedication.”

“Being selected as a Nightingale is quite an honor – it means that you have been nominated and selected by your peers for outstanding work,” said Mary Bylone, RN, MSM, CNL, Regional Vice President, Patient Care Services. “It is a challenging task to pare down the nominations to the maximum allowed. The Nightingales are a testament to the clinical excellence we deliver to our patients. Congratulations to each of you for achieving this milestone.”

East Region 2014 Nightingale recipients –


Angela Authier, BS, RN, CNOR Angela Authier, BS, RN, CNOR

A well-rounded professional, Backus Operating Room nurse Angela Authier makes contributions to her community both on and off the hospital campus.

With nine years of nursing experience, the roots of Angela’s nursing career are grounded in neurological research. A certified operating room nurse, Angela serves as a clinical resource specialist for ENT services and is currently preparing for the certification exam in otorhinolaryngology nursing, just to name a few.

In her personal time, Angela also chooses to serve her medical community. She’s volunteered at blood pressure screenings and vaccination clinics, and most recently, she applied as a volunteer for the Connecticut Emergency Credentialing Program for Healthcare Professionals.

In her daily work, Angela strives to lead by example. She said, “I feel that it is important that each member of the team feels important, so they can see themselves working together as one group – toward one common goal.”

Nancy Deady, BSN, RN, CPANNancy Deady, BSN, RN, CPAN – PACU

Utilizing a holistic approach has been the strategy for developing a 32-year nursing career for Backus Post-Anesthesia Care Unit nurse Nancy Deady.

During the last three decades, Nancy has gained clinical skills in a variety of clinical settings including critical care, neonatal intensive care, oncology, med/surg, post-anesthesia care and emergency services.

Drawing on her vast experiences, Nancy serves as a resource for her colleagues. Her extensive clinical practice and certification as a Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse lend way to her credibility, which spans the continuum of care. Nancy takes pride in treating patients and their families like she’d want to be treated. She believes providing good communication, comfort and professionalism offers the best patient experience.

“There is not one single event that has been pivotal in my journey as a nurse,” said Nancy. “It’s been a lifetime of watching, listening and learning that has shaped me professionally and personally as a nurse.”

Donna Faragosa, RN Donna Faragosa, RN – Psychiatric Services

“People deserve to be cared for and respected as if they were your family member” – this is the rule that has guided Behavioral Health nurse Donna Faragosa’s career for more than 30 years.

Donna’s resume is impressive. An asset to the Backus Behavioral Health team, she serves as a resource to her unit. Donna has excellent assessment skills and encourages an open door policy. As the Behavioral Health assistant nurse manager, she works hard to be approachable on the unit and mentor staff to become the best medical professionals possible.

“I am as enthusiastic and committed to the care of a patient today as when I began my career,” said Donna. “Everyone feels pain, everyone needs to be cared for. Nursing has been the avenue for me to give of myself and care for people – no matter who they are, or what walk of life they come from.”

Having lost her own child and caring for a brother who had Down’s Syndrome, Donna’s personal experiences have allowed her to become a better clinician. She has an aptitude for relating to others, and works to find a connection with the patients and families she cares for.

Giselle Goupille, MSN, RNGiselle Goupille, MSN, RN – Care Management

For Backus Care Management nurse Giselle Goupille nursing is much more than a “job” – it’s a profession that calls upon an individual to serve others with empathy, compassion and skill.

As a child Giselle spent a great deal of time caring for her grandmother, whom she affectionately called “nana.” A frail woman, Giselle’s nana suffered from heart disease. Each night Giselle would visit her nana to help her bathe and get ready for bed. This precious time with her nana taught Giselle the core traits of being a good nurse – listening, kindness and concern.

“Nurses bring wisdom, experience, clinical expertise, compassion and empathy to caring for patients,” said Giselle. “All of these qualities are examples of my values as a nurse. We are held in high regard and should rise to the professional level.”

Giselle has been serving others as a registered nurse for 22 years. She holds a Master’s of Science in Nursing and is also a member of the American Case Management Association. In addition to her work with patients, Giselle serves on clinical committees, is active with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, and volunteers with local educational groups.

Ryan Ort, BSN, RNRyan Ort, BSN, RN – Diagnostic Imaging

Providing patients and their families with meaningful, personal care is a priority for Backus Diagnostic Imaging nurse Ryan Ort.

By maintaining a positive outlook and using humor constructively, Ryan works to build a good rapport with his patients and colleagues. Time and again he believes he made the right decision to become a nurse and describes it as an “exhilarating experience” when he positively affects a patient’s life.

Ryan is an advocate for the power of teamwork. He feels that each of his colleagues brings a different experience to their role – and together – they all serve as resources to each other.

“A few years ago, my dad had a scare with his health,” said Ryan. “I remember the feelings of helplessness and try to remember this when I care for my own patients. I strive to make my patients at ease, answer their questions and provide the best care possible.”

Priscilla Quilter, MS, APRN, ACNP-BCPriscilla Quilter, MS, APRN, ACNP-BC – Physician Services

Patient advocate, skilled clinician, community steward, peer mentor, and champion of learning – these are just a handful of the roles that Backus nurse practitioner Priscilla Quilter balances on a daily basis.

A registered nurse for more than 13 years and a nurse practitioner for more than eight years, Priscilla has worked hard to achieve her professional goals. With support from her colleagues, she has been able to mold her career to her vision. As a full-time practitioner with Backus Physician Services, Priscilla facilitates patient care for surgeons, performs pre-surgery consultations, and provides educational sessions about various surgeries and post-operative care. She also assists at the Backus Weight Loss Center.

Priscilla credits nursing with helping her to be a better wife, mother, daughter and friend. She holds herself to high standards and treats others with respect and dignity. She doesn’t believe it is “going above and beyond,” but what she does naturally when duty calls.

“I think the experience that I’ve had at Backus have allowed me to trail blaze for future nurse practitioners, and for that I am grateful,” said Priscilla.

Corinna Quimby, BS, RNCorinna Quimby, BS, RN – Surgical Services

Making a human connection – this is a fundamental goal of nursing for Backus Endoscopy nurse Corinna Quimby.

With a diverse career spanning 23 years, Corinna often falls back on her 15 years of experience as an Emergency Department nurse. When approached for her opinion, her calm demeanor and ability to deescalate stressful situations has proven to be an asset to herself and her colleagues. Corinna is recognized for her ability to promptly assess an issue and determine a course of action – serving patients with the swift, quality care they deserve.

As a clinical coordinator for E-1 Surgical and Endoscopy, Corinna values input from a multidisciplinary group, her staff and co-workers. By fostering unit engagement, Corinna strives to create a group of staff who are invested in and proud of the work they do.

“As a provider and consumer of healthcare, I feel that patient-centered care should be at the forefront,” said Corinna. “Florence Nightingale started this movement – a movement that is more important than ever in light of rapidly advancing technologies. As caregivers, we need to remember that we are not just taking care of a disease, but the whole human being. We need to make that psychological connection.”

Backus Home HealthCare:

JoEllen Lindblom, BSN, RN JoEllen Lindblom, BSN, RN

Nursing is in the genes for Backus Home HealthCare nurse JoEllen Lindblom. JoEllen’s mother devoted her career to nursing and instilled the qualities of compassion and caring in her daughter.

JoEllen grew up listening to her mother’s nursing stories, which encouraged her and her sister to earn their nursing degrees. A registered nurse for 24 years, JoEllen has served a variety of clinical committees and programs. To her credit, JoEllen developed the preceptor role, which allows new nurse graduates to thrive in home care and be successful. She is an expert in home care and is always willing to assist new staff with questions regarding procedures and regulations.

An advocate of the nursing profession, JoEllen encourages nursing students to never stop learning. Her son is following in the footsteps of generations before him as he’s set to begin his nursing education in the fall.

“My mother’s work as a nurse made a positive impact on my upbringing,” said JoEllen. “Her influence helped guide the value system I brought to my career in nursing. I look forward to doing the same for my son.”


Karen Barbone, MSN, RN, CDEKaren Barbone, MSN, RN, CDE – Clinical Excellence

As a nurse and a diabetes educator at Windham Hospital, Karen Barbone believes it’s important to care for each patient as if he or she were a family member.

Karen said she learned this lesson early in her career during the hospitalization of her father-in-law.

“From that experience, I’ve tried to emulate the actions of those kind and competent nurses,” Barbone said. “When I’m with a patient I always think ‘how would their daughter want them to be cared for?’”

Barbone is driven to help patients treat and battle diabetes through education and the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices. She facilitates the hospital’s diabetes education program, support groups and has participated in many community diabetes education events. Barbone is also focused on ensuring that underserved populations receive appropriate care and education. She serves as an instructor and facilitator of a Spanish language diabetes education program, which uses a translator to give Spanish-speaking patients real-time and culturally relevant advice for managing the disease and establishing a healthier lifestyle.

Pam Cheney, BSN, RNPam Cheney, BSN, RN – Emergency Department

Pam Cheney credits her success as a nurse to the close bond she feels with her Windham Emergency Department colleagues.

“We’re all compatible,” said Cheney. “You have to have people you can rely on in the Emergency Department. We’ve just become so close.”

Cheney, who has worked in the Windham ED for 13 years, has been a nurse for nearly 30 years with stints in med/surg and maternity. The Mansfield native and UConn graduate said she likes the pace of emergency care.

“It’s rewarding to see people come in in a bad situation—whether its pain or illness—help them feel better and see them go home,” Cheney said.

Pam is active in contributing to initiatives aimed at improving patient care. As a member of the hospital’s psychiatric steering committee she’s helping to develop consistent guidelines for care of mental health patients in the ED. In addition, she participates in the Northeast Emergency Medicine Specialist call-back program making follow-up phone calls to patients after discharge for further guidance and support.

Pam said the key to being a successful ED nurse is always staying positive.

“I strive to maintain a calm and positive outlook no matter how deep the waters get,” Pam said.

Joyce Ray, BSN, RN-BCJoyce Ray, BSN, RN-BC – 4 Shea (Med/Surg)

After more than 30 years in nursing, Joyce Ray said she’s found that it’s the “little things” that patients and their families remember.

“I ran into a former patient in the community but didn’t remember him. He told me I had taken care of his mother and thanked me for how nice I was to her,” Ray said.

As a nurse on Windham’s Shea (med/surg) unit, Ray said communication with her patients and colleagues is the key to success.

“I try to foster a team approach by communicating with patient care technicians to organize our patient’s care,” she said. “I also ask a lot of questions of doctors, pharmacists and therapists because the more knowledge I have of the patient the better I can care for them and their family.”

Ray is also active in the community helping to organize a neighborhood fundraiser for the March of Dimes each July and volunteering at Windham High School. Ray is currently working with colleagues on a performance improvement project to improve bedside reporting in the hospital.

About the event –

When: Thursday, May 8 | 6 p.m.
Where: Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa in Groton
Tickets: To purchase tickets, visit www.nightingalenursingawards.org; click on “Locations,” “New London,” and then “Purchase Tickets” at the bottom of the page.

Windham Hospital