Christine Rae, RN, has been honored as Greenwich Hospital’s “Nurse of the Year” with the Helen Meehan Award for Excellence in Nursing that is given annually to a nurse who demonstrates excellence in nursing practice, teaching and leadership.
As nurse manager of the Intensive Care Unit, Rae was honored for her role in keeping patients and staff safe during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ICU tripled in size during that time to accommodate the growing number of seriously ill patients.
“At no time during the pandemic did you lose faith. You were an example for all of us. You made us a better organization, profession and community,” Diane Kelly, DNP, RN, president, told the audience at the annual Ceremony for Excellence in Nursing on Wednesday.
“The last two years were an incredible test to our resiliency,” said Rae, who lives in Norwalk. “The way we navigated the challenges and supported each other demonstrates that each one of our accomplishments is gained through the support of others. I am honored to receive this award particularly because there is so much amazing talent and dedication in our hospital.”
Also at the ceremony, Spike Lipschutz, MD, received the Physician Partner in Care Award for his long-standing commitment to the hospital and the field of medicine. A physician for more than five decades, Dr. Lipschutz is vice president of Medical Affairs and chairs the hospital’s Staff Wellness committee.
Rabbi MJ Newman, chaplain of the Palliative Care program, received the Partner in Care Award for comforting patients and their families, as well as supporting staff through the prolonged COVID-19 crisis. Rabbi Newman initiated the Circle of Hope support initiative after sensing anxiety among the workforce, particularly nurses, during the pandemic.
Anna Cerra, DNP, RN, chief nursing officer, commended nurses for their ability to confront the challenges posed by the pandemic with grace. “Nurses have always been and will continue to be a global force for good,” she said.