close× Call Us (401) 274-1100

Release Date: 12/06/2017

Last month, Women & Infants Hospital presented their annual nursing excellence awards at a ceremony held at the hospital. Nurses from across the organization were honored for their impact on patient care.

Honorees included:

Melissa Maher, RN, of Lincoln, nurse manager of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Care Center (OGCC), received the Carol Opiekun Scholarship Award. The nomination form read, “Melissa is an outstanding candidate for this scholarship. I worked with Carol (Dabek) Opiekun and see a parallel in their mutual dedication to creating a culture of respect, safety, and innovation with the goal of improving the lives and health of women and their families. Melissa’s engagement as a nurse to advocate for positive change is truly admirable.”

Michelle Levitre, RN, of Sutton, MA, a nurse in Labor and Delivery, received the Home Loan Unsung Hero Award in recognition of her action in caring for the victims of a car accident in the community. The nomination form read, “Michelle projects a calm, soft spoken manner at work and is always so very generous with her time, knowledge, and patience in supporting her colleagues and nursing students alike. Michelle provides exemplary, compassionate health care and student advocacy with a warm and caring spirit. It is therefore no surprise that Michelle moved to help in (this) emergent situation …”

Theresa Plante, RN, BSN, CNOR, of Warwick, a nurse in the Operating Room, received the Mary Dowd Struck Award in recognition for work in developing and planning an educational program on the opioid epidemic. The nomination form read, “Through Theresa’s efforts, 85 nurses were able to attend and complete the required education. Theresa exemplified collegiality, compassion for her co-workers, professional commitment to growth and elevating awareness of the opioid crisis and call to action with her colleagues.”

Nury Baez, CNA, a certified nursing assistant on the Antenatal Care Unit, received the Nurses’ Choice Award in recognition of her work in caring for patients who have experienced a neonatal loss. The nomination form read, “Nury is able to communicate with our Hispanic population in their native language. She understands the culture and will often sit quietly, speaking with patients, helping them through their grief and concerns. She provides the comfort many of us cannot because of communication barriers. Nury’s ability to assist with grief extends beyond the barriers of language, however. She knows what to say, and how to say it; which is a quality that cannot be taught.”

In addition, two groups of nurses were presented with DAISY Group Awards, part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the above and beyond efforts performed by nurses every day.

The Mother/Baby Unit nurse preceptors were honored for preparing and training 18 newly-hired nurses at the same time. The nomination form read, “How did the MBU meet this incredible challenge? As it turned out, with teamwork from a gifted team of nurses, who are experts at the bedside. Experienced preceptors led the charge and nurses who had never precepted before moved out of their comfort zones to join the ranks. Even nurses uncomfortable with the role willingly filled in as substitutes. Not forced under the mantra ‘Just do it!’ but rather ‘Let’s do it!’”

The Operating Room nurses were also honored. The nomination form read, “As a team, they pull together in times of happy and sad, good and bad. They act as each other’s family and as the patient’s family. They cry tears of joy over good diagnoses and tears of sadness over less than desirable diagnoses. They care and they love what they do each and every day. They may not always be remembered but they are never forgotten.”

Return to News

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
Women & Infants Hospital News
Melissa Maher (center), recipient of Women & Infants’ Carol Opiekun Scholarship Award, is pictured with Nancy Logel, RN, associate chief nursing officer, and Matt Quin, RN, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer.

Women & Infants Hospital News
Michelle Levitre (center), recipient of Women & Infants’ Home Loan Unsung Hero Award, is pictured here with Daniel Murphy, vice president of sales, Home Loan Investment Bank (left) and Matt Quin, RN, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer.

Women & Infants Hospital News
Pictured left to right are Lauren Thorngate, RN, executive director of nursing professional development; Theresa Plante, recipient of Women & Infants’ Mary Dowd Struck Award; Mary Bucco, RN, operating room nurse; and Matt Quin, RN, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer.

Women & Infants Hospital News
Pictured from left to right are Julie Ziegelmayer, RN, Antenatal Care Unit; Nury Baez, recipient of Women & Infants’ Nurses’ Choice Award; Julie Spirito, RN, nurse manager, Antenatal Care Unit; and Matt Quin, RN, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer.


Amy Blustein
Director of Marketing
800 Butler Drive
Providence, RI 02906
P: (401) 681-2822 
F: (401) 455-6676