No matter the setting, the situation or the care specialty, nurses across Maine work hard every day to keep people as safe and as healthy as possible. They are staunch advocates for their patients, expert and efficient multitaskers and compassionate caregivers to family and friends. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, everyday nurses with these remarkable qualities continue to hold our communities together.

We celebrate National Nurses Week (May 6 to May 12) every year to uplift hard-working colleagues, neighbors and loved ones. Once again, we are honored to publish your personal thank-you notes.

To those that wrote in, thank you for sharing your stories with all of us. To the all of nurses in our lives who have cared for all of us over the years — Thank you.


To: Caitlin Charette, RN and Kristen Hawley, RN
From: Sandra Charette

I am proud to say that my family includes two great nurses, Caitlin Charette and Kristin Hawley. They both work at Maine Medical Center and exhibit compassion, empathy, kindness and love for their patients. It is very apparent in the way they describe and keep doing what they do. They are passionate about their jobs and I have seen firsthand the toll it has taken on them, but they persevere. I am grateful for my relationship with them and look forward to when we all can resume our normal lives with each other. Love you both!


To: Brandie Rubin
From: Allison Long

Brandie is an amazing nurse who cares endlessly about her patients! Nothing is more important to Brandie than making sure her patients get the best possible care. Even when she isn’t working, she is constantly thinking and talking about how to keep her patients safe and comfortable.

She has led by example during COVID-19, strictly observing public health protocols both at home with her family and at work in the Scarborough Surgery Center. Brandie loves nursing, loves the field of medicine and loves learning whatever and whenever she can. I am proud to call her my friend and inspired by her commitment to her amazing profession. Happy National Nurses Week to Brandie and to all of the amazing nurses that work so hard to keep us safe!


To: Brandie Rubin
From: Courtney Ampezzan

This past year has revealed to all of us how nurses are always willing to step up, take on extra challenges and do whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of not only their patients but the community.

What I find most inspiring about the nurses I have met is that they don’t stop caring about their patients even when they are off the clock. They are motivated by compassion that is not found in a lot of other professions. Nurses tirelessly advocate for their patients based on best practices, science and truth. I could fill a thousand pages with the names of all of the outstanding nurses that have been instrumental in keeping me alive all of these years, but today I want to thank one nurse in particular, Brandie Rubin.

You never back down from a challenge, and you are willing to use your voice to stand up for not only what you believe in but for what you know to be accurate, based on your professional expertise. Your dedication to supporting the health and safety of your fellow Mainers is genuinely inspiring. Thank you for fighting for patients like me.


To: Rebecca Starbird, Togus VA Medical Center
From: Virginia Starbird

Bekka consistently steps up to the plate, no matter what is asked of her. Recently, she went to a nursing facility to provide nursing services when large numbers of staff were out with COVID-19, putting her own self at risk. She is an Army nurse and has been for many years. She takes her nursing commitments very seriously and continues to take opportunities to learn new skills as she provides excellent compassionate care. In addition to working to care for veterans, she also works with hospice patients.


To: Annika Moltz, Maine Medical Center

What a year it’s been! You’ve handled it with grace, compassion and courage. Annika, you are talented, committed and caring and we are so proud of you. We love that you are a nurse. And we love you.

Mika, David and Louise


To: Jillian and Maggie, Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine at York Hospital
From: Brian Fox

Maggie, you are awesome. Thank you for being a great nurse. Jillian is very, very helpful to all. Thank you for taking care of all of us. The best ever.


To: All nurses at Pine Point Center
From: Jolene Ruby

I have the utmost admiration for the nursing team at Pine Point. Over the last year our nurses have not only been compassionate caregivers but have extended their role as a listening ear, a friendly laugh and a comforting voice to all our residents.

During some of the most challenging days during our outbreaks, our nurses rose to every occasion to provide reassurance and guidance to our worried residents. Many of our nurses had to step away from their normal day to day routine to work our COVID-19 unit and did so without complaint. This last year has been a true test of strength and it has been incredibly moving to watch our nurses give it everything they have.

On behalf of our residents and our entire team at Pine Point, thank you for everything that you do each and every day.


To: Irit Altman
From: Charles Tarbell

When I needed emergency abdominal surgery, Irit was my nurse in the telemetry unit. Her calming presence and cool confidence were instrumental in preparing me for surgery. Afterward, Irit gave me just the right balance of nurture, while also gently pushing me to regain my activities of daily living.

Just before I left for a lower level of care, she took me on a tour of the extraordinary views from the other side of the 7th floor. Irit was the best thing to happen to me at Maine Medical Center and I will never forget her.


To: Dalit Gulak
From: Lisa Eaton

Dalit started as the school nurse at Waynflete School in January 2020. Yikes! Just imagine that timing! It was to be a part time job for her. She has stepped up and managed not only the regular issues a school nurse handles, like medications, allergies, illnesses, paperwork on health status, but also the COVID-19 safety protocols for the buildings, buses, fields, procedures, staff, students, families and other things of which I’m certain I’m unaware.

As a parent, her background in Public Health provides me with an extra layer of confidence. Dalit is calm and clear in her communications and somehow manages to remain pleasant. She runs a tight ship with warmth and compassion which is very comforting to this parent. You have done a spectacular job. Thank you, Dalit.


To: Nancy Colson, Maine Medical Center
From: Russ and Rebecca Connors

First and foremost, Nancy Colson is my granddaughter and her “can DO” attitude is contagious. Nancy is backed and supported by her sister, Maryellen, also a nurse and a wonderful role model. Now what more could a guy, a grandfather, ask for in life’s journey!


To: Megan Rancourt

Portland Press Herald, thank you for the second year in a row allowing me to thank my nurse Megan Rancourt from Northern Light.

First let me preface that I have ALS; my wife has dementia. Megan is responsible setting up and giving me IVs for ALS.

Thank you, Megan, for starting our days on a pleasant note. When you arrive with your great smile it sets the tone for your visit. (Although I can’t see it with your mask on I can see it in your eyes.)

Thank you for setting up my IV with complete accuracy and no pain. All the while displaying your professionalism, compassion and loving care which are beyond reproach. Thank you for the tips on how to care for my wife. “One instruction, one step.” Nursing must be in your DNA!

Megan, thank you for your continued positive attitude about life; it is contagious!
I don’t have the best of days, but on the days of your visits you perk me up! For the last three years I thank you Megan for being my nurse. You are the best of the best nurses!

Your patient,
Lloyd Eger


To: All Nurses Around the State of Maine
From: David Kissin

I have been involved in healthcare for more than 40 years and I am so grateful to all of the nurses I have come in contact with during patient care. Nurses are the backbone to healthcare, at the bedside, observing, treating and advocating for their patients day after day. Thank you for your continuous compassion and expertise.


To: Karen Iovine-Oakes, Kim Dufour, Tony Maffeo, Kathryn Berthiaune, Amy Wentworth, Amy Belisle and all the rest at Evergreen Rehabilitation and Living Center
From: Bill Burge

The team of nurses, along with their stellar social workers and administrators, and all the other hard workers at Saco’s Evergreen Manor deserve our heartfelt thanks. They have succeeded at leading the entire facility through a pandemic without a single death from COVID-19.

This has required diligent masking, screening and social distancing while making sure our residents always feel at home. I have never worked with a better team in over 25 years of medicine.


To: Nurse Joan with Dr. Alison Green’s office York Hospital
From: Jean Stover

Thank you for asking a lot of questions and answering all of my questions. I appreciate that you called me back so promptly after telling me you would consult the doctor. You are very kind, patient, and thoughtful. It means a lot to me that you care. I felt you gave me the TLC and help I needed. You are very special.


To: Rebecca Starbird, Togus VA Medical Center
From: Virginia Starbird

Bekka consistently steps up to the plate, no matter what is asked of her. Recently, she went to a nursing facility to provide nursing services when large numbers of staff were out with COVID-19, putting her own self at risk. She is an Army nurse and has been for many years. She takes her nursing commitments very seriously and continues to take opportunities to learn new skills as she provides excellent compassionate care. In addition to working to care for veterans, she also works with hospice patients.


To: Kathleen Frost, RN
From: Brenda Allen

Every nurse is an Unsung Hero, but there is a special nurse that calls me Mom. Today I’d like to pay honor to my daughter, Kathleen Frost, who works in the NICU and the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

Caring for the tiniest of life and the sickest of children takes a very special nurse. Your commitment to care, and the sensitivity and compassion you give these families are just a few qualities that make you an exceptional nurse. You, and every other nurse on your unit, are making a difference one patient at a time.

I hope all the loving kindness you give your patients comes back to warm your heart. To my wonderful daughter, I’m so proud of the dedicated nurse you’ve become.

Love, Mom


To: All CNAs and other Rose Garden staff at Scarborough Terrace
From: Dee’s Family

Thank you for all the care and kindness you give to my wife, our mother and our grandmother. For her, there is no past, no future. She lives only in the moment. You treat her as part of your own family and have made her moments happy and given her a safe home. Bless you all!


To: Jessica and Christine, Maine Medical Center
From: Cynthia Morris

Nurses offer life lessons in how to be competent professional and skilled, with a much needed and much appreciated addition of compassion and humor. They are the ones who relate to real life. I have always thought they were under appreciated and I am proud to say my cousins are nurses too. They are the best.


To: Betsy Bernazzani, RN, Maine Medical Center Kidney Transplant Program
From: Melissa Pritchard

This last year I’ve watched my friend Betsy navigate her already demanding job through the additional, complex challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s been vigilant about safety precautions for patients, colleagues, friends, herself and extended family, a true professional adapting to an extraordinary healthcare situation.

A lot of what I’ve learned about character this past year came from watching medical staff like Betsy:  clarity and resilience in the daily rigors of giving transplant patients vital care during a pandemic. Excellence and empathy are required every single day.

Betsy, you’re a steady light in this world. Your patients are lucky, and I’m lucky to know and love you. (And soon we can hug, sistah!)


To: Morgan Murphy, Southern Maine Medical Center

To our beautiful, compassionate and caring daughter, Morgan. You have been so positive during all this craziness and always put everyone else first. You worked the COVID-19 wing and now ICU. There is not a day that goes by that your father and I do not think or worry about you—especially with all that you have been faced with.

We love our nightly calls to hear about your day and to just be there if you need an encouraging response. We love you bunches, Munkin, and are SO PROUD of you! We also would like to send out hugs to all nurses everywhere. YOU ALL make the State
of Maine proud.

XOXO Mom, Dad


To: Amy Lowe, President of the Knox County  Nurses’ Guild
From: Vicki Boetsch

Many thanks to our Knox County Nurses’ Guild for their continued support and scholarships to aspiring young people as they enter into the nursing profession. Without Amy’s leadership, we couldn’t have done it! Good job, Knox County Nurses!


To: Tina Veillieux, head school nurse, Portland Public Schools
From: Joan Murray

Tina is an awesome school nurse She shows great compassion to staff and students alike. She has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic with a calm, knowledgeable demeanor, which keeps all in her care calm. We all appreciate Tina’s expertise and care.


To: Lorna and Meghan
From: The Rennas

Lorna and Meghan were the labor and delivery nurses at the birth of our daughter at Maine Medical Center a year and a half ago. We will never forget the love, care and calm they provided us. We are doing well and send our thanks. We have thought of them these past 19 months.


To: Alta, Janelle, Scott and Cara at Pine Point Center
From: Denis Netto

Not only are these nurses outstanding practitioners, they are also especially diligent, kind-hearted and deeply compassionate toward others in their care. Their integrity is impeccable and is second to none.


To: Department of Infection Prevention at Maine Medical Center
From: Gwen Rogers

This department is made up of only seven nurses, but they worked tirelessly the past year plus covering 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to make sure that all staff and clinicians at Maine Medical Center and Maine Medical Partners had someone available to answer their questions, help them problem solve, and provide facts, not only about COVID-19 but other infectious diseases. They stepped up despite staffing shortages due to illness and injury and, on top of regular duties, to make sure that the department was covered, personnel had the highest level of protection and necessary knowledge so that our patients could have safe, quality care as the waves of the pandemic swept into MMC and MMP.

I could not be prouder of this team of people. My sincerest thank you to the nursing professionals of the Department of Infection Prevention at Maine Medical Center.


To: Gail L. Boudin, Midcoast Hospital
From: Thomas Boudin

Thank you, Gail, for over 50 years of nursing. Working as a staff nurse, ER nurse, ICU nurse, home health nurse and, more recently, as a holistic wellness professional. All while supporting her husband, raising two wonderful daughters and taking care of both of her
parents, allowing them to age in place into their nineties. She is known for her pleasant smile and laugh.


To: Orlene Dematteo

We would like to publicly thank our Wellness Nurse, Orlene DeMatteo, who so very thoughtfully and professionally looks after about 400 residents of the Ocean View Retirement Community.

She is our Wellness Counselor, our voice of compassion, our “bandage lady” giver and it is always with calm reassurance and a warm, caring smile. During the pandemic, she has worked tirelessly and successfully to provide us with two “in house” clinics. In addition, she methodically kept track of those who went elsewhere for their shots. We all feel very blessed to have such a highly trained professional and wonderful caring Wellness Nurse!

Beverly Wakely,
President of Ocean View Council

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