February 8, 2008
A partnership in caring

A spirit of remembrance and celebration filled the O'Keeffe Auditorium Jan. 17 as the MGH marked the sixth annual presentation of the Anthony Kirvilaitis Jr. Partnership in Caring Awards. Named in honor of the first recipient, Anthony Kirvilaitis Jr., a longtime MGH employee who died in 2002, the awards were established that same year to recognize two support staff employees who demonstrate reliability, responsiveness, assurance, collaboration, flexibility, creativity and support in their daily work.

The ceremony opened with a commemoration of Kirvilaitis and his legacy at the MGH. "Tony had a tremendous impact on many of us and continues to influence the way support staff are oriented and welcomed into the Department of Nursing and Patient Care Services," said Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, MS, FAAN, senior vice president for Patient Care and chief nurse. Ives Erickson then announced the 2007 honorees: Chung Wah "Patrick" Wong, unit service associate for the Same Day Surgical Unit (SDSU), and Sheila Provencher, operations associate for the Emergency Department Observation Unit.

kirvilaitis awardWong, who joined the SDSU in 2004, is known among his colleagues as a dedicated employee ready for any challenge that comes his way. Janet Dauphinee Quigley, RN, nursing director of the SDSU, was among those who nominated Wong for the award. "Patrick single-handedly created a stretcher system to respond to patients' needs while taking into account the unit's challenging space demands," she wrote in a nomination letter. "He has surpassed my expectations with his ability to assess the situation and create a new system to respond to our unit space demands without being asked. The end result is a much improved, efficient system to care for our patients."

From left, Ives Erickson, Wong, Vanessa Evans, Provencher, Bernida Washington and Domingas Gomes. Evans, Washington and Gomes were also nominees for this year's award.

Provencher, a passionate advocate for peace and human rights, delivers compassionate care that reaches far beyond the walls of the MGH. For two years she lived in war-torn Iraq, working with a human rights organization documenting human rights abuses and building bridges to intersectarian dialogue. Back home at the MGH, Provencher is a champion for the needs of patients and families. According to nominator Hilary Levinson, RN, "Sheila understands that we are all here at the MGH with the primary goal of taking care of the patients and families who are in our midst. Sheila's entire focus is one of helping patients get what they need, and she will go to great lengths to help. It is almost as if Sheila has a second set of eyes and ears to anticipate the needs of the staff and patients."

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