What's new on the MaAOHN website
President's page - New President's letter from Gail A Carchietta (May 2013)
Member Resources page - A new presentation was added to the library. "Violence In Health Care: What's Up?" by Lisa Lachance Hartwick, LICSW (Apr 2013)
Here is what has been recently added to the website:
MaAOHN contributed to the Nurse's Float at the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan 1, 2013. See photos and a desription here. (Jan 2013)
Member Resources page - Two new presentations by Donna Ferreira were added to the library. "Documentation: Taking the Exceptional Workers' Compensation History" and "Blue Prints for Successful Poster Presentations" (Dec 2012)
This page - 2012 Nurse Excellance Awards. See below. (Nov 2012)
This page - 2012 Moore Medical Award Recipient, Joan Balkus. See below. (Nov 2012)
Save the Date: Asthma Awareness Day
Please join the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, the American Lung Association of the Northeast, and the Massachusetts Asthma Action Partnership for Asthma Awareness Day
When: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: House Members' Lounge, Massachusetts State House
Why: Asthma rates in Massachusetts are higher than the national average and continue to rise. Join us to learn more and what we can do about it.
For more information or any questions, please contact Casey Harvell at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-314-9006
Two Exciting Opportunities for Financial Assistance
If you have a project you recently completed within Occupational Health Nursing, please apply for the NEAHON grant.
Or, if you are furthering your education or pursuing certification, please apply for the KATHLEEN SCHUSLER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP. Both are available to all occupational health nurses!
Catherine Pepler attends F.A.M.E. conference
AAOHN President, Catherine Pepler, attended this year's MaAOHN F.A.M.E. conference. Her thoughts - "Recently, I was able to attend the Massachusetts AOHN (MaAOHN) F.A.M.E. annual conference. MAAOHN is made up of several local chapters—Central Massachusetts, Greater Boston, North of Boston, and Western Massachusetts. MAAOHN has found the secret ingredient that keeps members coming back, engaged, and stepping up into leadership roles. Their conference is modeled after the Oscars, with a Red Carpet, Oscar trophies, and recognition for those being recognized, complete with photography and a round of grand applause. F.A.M.E is an acronym: F = FUN, A = Amazing, M = Membership, E = Enthusiasm. I know you will want to know more about this concept. Reach out to any one of the MAAOHN Chapter Leaders to learn more, and look for members of MAAOHN at the conference in April. Seek them out and ask them to tell you their secret recipe for a dynamic membership!"
2013 F.A.M.E. Conference Awards
The 2nd annual F.A.M.E. awards again honored MaAOHN members who have actively served their chapter in the past or the present. They have stepped up to the plate, often been behind the scenes letting others have the moments in the spotlight. Join us in thanking them for their contributions to MaAOHN. Each letter represents their contribution to their chapters which make MaAOHN as successful as we are. If you remember the acronym: Fun, Appreciation, Membership, and Enthusiasm!
Fun: Fran Gerroir
Fun, Fun, Fun! That is Fran Gerroir. You can't help but smile when you think of her because she makes every North of Boston meeting fun.
Fran gets into the spirit of each North of Boston meeting theme. For each meeting we choose a theme. Some of those themes include harvest/thanksgiving, Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day, a sports theme, summer time, and the Olympics. She dresses up for all of them! She carries the theme into the meeting room by decorating the tables with centerpieces from turkeys to beach scenes.
If you've been to a North of Boston meeting, it is Fran who is always there greeting everyone at the registration desk in her theme outfit for the evening. It really brings a smile to everyone who attends.
Fran has been a NOB board member for many years and always brings her energetic and fun spirit to our meetings - including our board meetings! It is a pleasure working with Fran and we are pleased to present the FUN award to Fran.
Appreciation: Cathy Loiselle
Cathy was chosen by her colleagues at Greater Boston Association of Occupational Health Nurses (GBAOHN) for her outstanding contribution to Occupational Health Nursing. Her professionalism, passion, ingenuity, and compassion to our profession have been exemplary. We had the good fortune of meeting Cathy one year ago when she graciously stepped forward to join GBAOHN's Board of Directors. She constantly brings in new ideas and creativity that challenges us to raise our bar. She is a wonderful person and adds a great deal to GBAOHN.
Cathy works as an Occupational Health Nurse at Comprehensive Health Services (CHS) as Nurse Manager of the Corporate Clinic at Raytheon. In addition, she manages the Centralized Workforce for Raytheon. She recently qualified for Special Government Agent (SGE) training by OSHA through the OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program. Cathy will receive the UL Pure Safety Stewardship Award from AAOHN at the national conference in April.
Cathy was awarded a grant by the Department of Safety at the Department of Industrial Accidents to assess percutaneous injuries with pre-hospital workers. She has presented at the AAOHN Conference and North of Boston Chapter Program: Life is a Highway transporting ill and injured workers. Her poster presentation was accepted for display by AAOHN for the April 2013 Conference. In her spare time, Cathy has been the Medical Captain for the Susan G Komen 3 day Breast Cancer walk for the last ten years. As you can see, Cathy is our shining star that GBAOHN really appreciates.
Membership: Anne Lafontaine
Anne is the reason many of us found MaAOHN and our OHN peers. At times we can feel quite isolated in our jobs, particularly when we work alone, and in rural settings. Anne has been a part of our organization for a hundred years - at least it seems like it. She's just always been there: steady, with her dry wit, empathetic to a degree, and always willing to work to bring nurses together for the good of the membership. Her strengths in leadership are evident in the longevity of our organizations and the successful conferences that rely on vendor registrations.
One of Anne's passions is delving into the history of WMAOHN, MaAOHN and NEAOHN. When unearthing a new document or a memento that shines light on our founders, Anne reacts as if it is a pot of gold. She cherishes our history because it is a clue to our future and because she knows our forbearers had to struggle much harder than we do to keep things going.
In addition to being totally devoted to her family including many grandchildren, Anne is an avid gardener and seed-saver who raises cherished heirloom vegetables and flowers. We are all heirlooms as far as Anne is concerned, and she can see the beauty that flourishes in each of us.
Energy & Enthusiasm: Donna Ferreira
There are 5 little words that are music to a Chapter President's ears…… those words are: "I can help with that!" When those words are uttered, suddenly the load seems lighter and you feel a huge sense of relief.
Donna is in her first term as Vice President of the CMAOHN Chapter. In that short time she presented "How to Take the Exceptional Workers Compensation History" at our December educational meeting; she single-handedly took on our By-Laws Revision project, keeping our Chapter in good standing with the State and National organization; and to increase awareness and encourage our members to create poster presentations, volunteered to create a "How to Do a Poster Presentation" which was presented at NECOEM. She graciously volunteered to take on these projects because of her own personal energy and enthusiasm for her professional organization. Not a Board meeting goes by without Donna saying "I can help with that".
I just shared some of Donna's achievements with you but the F.A.M.E. awards are not about achievement. They are to acknowledge the members that contribute to making our organization a fun, vibrant, upbeat, forward-thinking, high energy group to which others would like to belong.
Donna Ferreira has all of those qualities but in the end, Donna is being awarded the "energy & enthusiasm award" for those 5 little words she so often states… "I can help with that".
F.A.M.E.: Joan Balkus
Joan embodies all four components of our conference theme. Joan is in her second term as the president of our Central Mass Chapter and has served on the Board of Directors in various offices, providing expertise and leadership. Joan was our 2012 Moore Medical Excellence Awardee and is a past recipient of two NEAOHN grants. With over 30 years of experience in occupational health nursing, Joan has a passion for occupational health with the mission to keep workers healthy, safe, and productive. Her passion goes well beyond the worksite to supporting Occupational Health Nurses. Joan actively works to engage her membership, is always willing to mentor or assist an OHN in need of guidance or answer a simple question. She recently without a second thought offered her assistance to a new OHN in need who reached out to her. It is the spirit with which she does this that makes her stand out in a crowd!
Joan is innovative, creative, and full of enthusiasm. Her chapter meetings are never without a warm welcome to members and guests, hand crafted centerpieces with a seasonal theme and often a hand crafted table favor for all to take home. She organizes raffle items for attendees and charitable gift collections for donations to worthy causes and appreciates the commitment and dedication of her own board members with a holiday manicure gift goodies.
Joan set goals to retain members, encourage participation and to truly connect with members via email, presidential reports, and the new member welcome packets. Joan provides fun and clever ice breaker games and gift baskets at meetings, often at her own expense.
At a Chapter meeting last year, Joan provided giant "diamond" rings to members and asked each of us to "Get engaged!" Engage by helping to find speakers, find another member, become an officer, volunteer for a committee, or reach out to the community. She asked for engagement no matter how small. The rings which sit on our desks serve as reminders that we are a part of an organization committed to sharing ideas and best practices. Joan's engagement ring is an illustration of her imaginative methods to lead and inspire others.
In addition, to her work at her local chapter level, Joan brings this same passion to the MaAOHN Board of Directors, FAME Conferences, and all state functions through volunteering, (or graciously accepting the task when someone else volunteers her)! We are all busy, but Joan will find the time to create MaAOHN Thank You Notes, create the Stars the 2013 FAME recipients are wearing today, come up with a theme for a holiday party, to add that one extra step that makes the event more entertaining. The raffle baskets today were also Joan's design. Joan has a proven record of following through above and beyond what was asked. The extra sparkle at any event is often due to Joan's touch! She is highly respected by Central Mass and most valuable to the MaAOHN Board of Directors.
With uncommon grace, talent, and humility, Joan is a true gift to those who are fortunate to call her President, colleague, and friend and is the model for what F.A.M.E. stands for. Thank you Joan and please continue to inspire us!
Message from the MaAOHN President, Gail Carchietta
MaAOHN closed out 2012 with an excellent joint venture conference with NECOEM on November 29 and 30th. A highlight this year was a Poster Presentation at the President's reception, with seven of our own MaAOHN members displaying their work. Read more of Gail's message.
MaAOHN 2012 Nurse Excellence Awards
Western Massachusetts is proud to present their 2012 Nurse Excellence Award to Kristin J. Morin, RN. Kristin has served on the WMAOHN board as a director, and is currently Vice Presidential candidate for 2013. Kristin serves as MaAOHN's Lending Library Coordinator for certification materials. In 2011, Kristin was honored with the Kathleen Schulser Award.
Kristin is enrolled at Yale University pursuing her Masters in Nursing Science in the Nursing Management, Leadership and Policy Program (Candidate 2014). Kristin held nursing positions in Telemetry, Psychiatric Nursing, and Correctional Health before she entered Occupational Health with Covidien in 2009 in Chicopee.
Kristin has developed numerous programs throughout her career; a diabetic clinic at Connecticut State Prison, a Demonstration Program at Covidien depicting how the products made at Covidien are used in HealthCare – soon to be a video! At Covidien, she served on the corporate committee for health insurance and health and wellness programs; developed corporate policies on blood borne pathogens and reasonable suspicion and job qualification levels regarding first aid knowledge for EHS Managers. Kristin also developed the Stretch Program Video currently used at Covidien.
Kristin received a research award from Mass Nurses Association (MNA) for her policy work on work place violence during her Yale Internship. This was a direct result of proposed legislation requiring all health care facilities to have a violence prevention plan in place. There is similar legislation that will require all employers to have a workplace violence plan in place. This poster presentation was accepted for display at the 2012 NECOEM/MaAOHN Conference in November.
Kristin resides in Feeding Hills Massachusetts with her husband Jason (whom you may have met when he presented at the 2012 FAME conference), and their four teenage children, Kate, Fred and Jim (identical twins), and Jade. Congratulations Kristin and thank you for your service with WMaOHN, and MaAOHN.
North of Boston is proud to announce Connie Surpitski as their 2012 Nurse Excellence Award Winner. Content to let others take the limelight, Connie has been an ever-present contributor to the NOB chapter of AAOHN for many years. Both as a board member and as president, but her greatest contributions have been her gifts of sharing, nurturing, and mentoring.
If you're lucky, when starting a new career, you get to meet an individual who believes in you, guides you through the learning curves, and helps you shine. Connie's that person.
When her dear friend, Dorothy Reid, (the life-time achievement award is named in Dorothy's honor) started a study group for nurses prepping for the COHN board exam, Connie was there- year after year reviewing AAOHN "Core Curriculum " segments and piloting the next generation of COHNs to success. I know, I was in one of those groups and have never forgot her unselfish sharing. I know you miss Dorothy dearly, but Connie, it's your time to shine. Dorothy would be proud.
Connie lives in Ipswich and is a #1 Patriots Fan and watches the games even when her husband isn't home! Connie began studying Yoga over two years ago and the savasna part is her favorite. Connie is always there when you need a friend and nothing seems to ever get her down. Connie is the Occupational Health Nurse on site at Raytheon in Woburn for Comprehensive Health Services.
We can all learn something from Connie. We are fortunate to have her as a colleague and a friend. Congratulations and thank you!
Greater Boston is proud to present Linda Lindell GBAOHN'S 2012 Nurse Excellence Award. Linda has been a RN in Occupational Health for the last 27 years, and member of AAOHN and GBAOHN since 1985. Linda is certified as a COHN and has worked in a variety of Occupational Health setting that include; Insurance companies, high technology, hospitals, temporary agency and federal contracts.
When our Treasurer from GBAOHN retired; we were left with a large void. Linda volunteered to try to fill that void. Linda had big shoes to fill but she did it with grace and finesse. Linda went about meticulously reviewing our books and saving our chapter money. Linda also became the chair of our Membership Committee where she singlehandedly increased our membership. Linda has welcomed and mentored our new members. She has personally sent them warm greeting cards.
Linda has stepped up to the plate on numerous occasions and continues to work diligently without being recognized for all her hard work. She is a team player who is committed to make GBAOHN a success.
In her spare time, Linda makes greeting cards for service men and women. We are very fortunate to have her as part of our team. She is a wonderful friend, colleague, mentor and role model.
The Central Mass Association of Occupational Health Nurses has selected Beth Freel as the recipient of the 2012 Nurse Excellence Award. Beth has been a member of the Central Mass Association of Occupational Health Nurses for 9 years. During that time she has been a staunch supporter of her Chapter, attending most, if not all, educational meetings. She has also supported the Western Mass. Chapter with her attendance at their meetings. She attends the NECOEM conferences and national AAOHN conferences. Beth has also supported her Chapter by donating door prizes on a regular basis and by offering to serve as the Chairman of Tellers for last year's election.
She was one of three CMAOHN members who were selected as recipients of the first F.A.M.E. award (fun, appreciation, membership, energy & enthusiasm).
Beth has experienced the healthcare field through many prisms: Medical secretary, EMT, Nurse's Aide, LPN, RN and Adult Nurse Practitioner, Occupational Health. She is a certified Hearing Conservationist and certified by the Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology. She received her Bachelor's degree from Atlantic Union College and a Master's degree in Nursing from Simmons College. She is a Board Certified Adult NP by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. (ANCC). Beth is also an American Red Cross Instructor of CPR/AED and First Aid.
Beth has provided service to the community by her many volunteer activities. They include support of the local veterans' center in Leominster by co-coordinating care packages for the military, collecting used eyeglasses for the needy and collecting used cell phones for a local women's shelter and also for soldiers. She serves food and collects clothing for Our Father's House, a homeless shelter in Fitchburg MA. She donated a large amount of oral hygiene supplies when CMAOHN took up a collection for the Veterans Inc. organization in Worcester, MA.
At work, Beth has served on a safety committee that developed a new accident investigation process. She is proud to say that one of her sites is almost 5 years without an OSHA recordable injury.
The CMAOHN Chapter is proud to have Beth as this year's Nurse Excellence Award recipient. Congratulations Beth!
2012 Moore Medical Award Recipient
MaAOHN is proud to announce Joan Balkus, RN, COHN-S, CCM as our 2012 Moore Medical Recipient. Established in 1998, the Moore Medical Excellence Award recognizes a member of the state Occupational Health Association who has exhibited exemplary performance and pursuit of educational goals in occupational health.
Joan has served Occupational Health for over 30 years and has left her mark with each employer and the countless employees whom she has cared for. She has equally touched the lives of many Central Mass and MaAOHN members.
Joan began her Occupational Health Career with Digital Equipment in Hudson, MA as a Senior Occupational Health Nurse. She was hired to develop and train employees in a cyanide safety program and manage workers compensation injuries and claims. A few years later, as Senior EH Safety Engineer/Trainer at Digital, she continued to develop and present safety programs through 1988.
As an Occupational Health Nurse, for AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical in Westborough, MA , Joan managed and administered all aspects of workers compensation claims and the return to work process. As the Occupational Health Nurse for Nypro, Joan was asked to reorganize the Occupational Health Department and implement change. With responsibility for over 1000 employees, Joan delivered direct medical care, oversaw medical surveillance programs, workers compensation, OSHA recordkeeping, health promotion programs and management consultation services.
Joan currently works at UMass Memorial as the Workers Compensation Case Manager, providing direct care, and facilitating medical support services and referrals for injured employees. Joan cares for all employees with professionalism and dedication to our profession.
Joan has served on the Central Mass Board of Directors for nine years and for the last two years has been President of the Central Mass Chapter. Joan's style and grace is easily seen with any program she is involved in. Joan presented a Poster at the First MaAOHN Professional Development Conference, has been awarded two NEAOHN grants, and created a Welcome Brochure for Central MA members. Joan most recently assisted with the planning of the first annual FAME conference in April 2012. Her Central Mass board honored Joan's dedication by selecting her as one of the first FAME award recipients.
Barb Haswell, a fellow MaAOHN board member has summarized Joan's contributions quite well. "I have always found Joan to be very welcoming at all meetings and very creative in her deliveries and actions. She is a true representative of Occupational Health Nursing and the impact we can have on Worker's Health and Wellbeing. She is a wonderful mentor to nurses entering the field."
Joan, we are honored to be working side by side with you and continue to learn and benefit from your words, actions and friendship. Congratulations, you are well deserving of this award.