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#NurseStrong: Achievements of AHRC Nassau Nurses Celebrated with National Nurses Week Luncheon

#NurseStrong: Achievements of AHRC Nassau Nurses Celebrated with National Nurses Week Luncheon

Categories: Agency Excellence, Featured News, Staff

Uplifting and Appreciating Nurses for the Care They Provide

AHRC Nassau Nurses pose for a photo in celebration of National Nurses Week
AHRC Nassau nurses enjoyed an afternoon of catered lunch and comradery as a part of National Nurses Week

AHRC Nassau nurses are talented professionals who always go above and beyond to ensure the people we support are healthy and happy.

As part of National Nurses Week, AHRC Nassau celebrated our incredible nursing team who provides treatment and preventative care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Our nursing team are exceptionally skilled serving people who may not always be able to describe how they’re feeling or who may have medical complexities through experience.

AHRC Nassau nurses joined with fellow nurses from partner agencies, Citizens Options Unlimited and Brookville Center for Children’s Services, and administrators, to enjoy a delicious luncheon catered by Wheatley Farms.

It was a great afternoon of nurse solidarity, as nurses who may not always cross paths had the opportunity to share their stories and insights. It was also a chance for the agency to say thanks for being “Nurse Strong.” A cap with this inspiring motto was given to each attendee.

“Truly, you are the backbone of the agency,” said Chief Operating Officer Chris O’Connor, R.N. “Without health and safety, we don’t have anything without that strong foundation.”

While nurses often work behind the scenes and always serve their patients with dignity, respect, and care without expecting to be honored, Vice President of Health Services Nicole Ferrar felt it was important to shine the spotlight on them.

“They work behind the scenes to help people live as healthy of a life as they can and to support people to live the lives they choose,” Nicole said.

Chris pointed out just how important skilled nursing is for the people served, as it takes getting to know patients on a deeper level in order to understand their baseline health and bridging the gap in health equity for people who may not always have access to services.

Photo of a baseball cap that reads "Nurse Strong"
The Nurse Strong caps were chosen as a gift to reflect the enduring strength of our amazing nurses

“People supported are getting older, and more complicated, medically,” Denise Licata, Director of Nursing said. “They require more hospitalizations and a lot more complicated diagnosis. The nurses are more involved on a daily basis with what’s going on, trying to keep them out of the hospital.”

Lisa Kirschner, a career nurse, knows all too well the compassion and heart needed to provide care and healing. She brought her experience of serving people with I/DD to AHRC’s Day-Habilitation program in December.

“I like it,” Lisa, who formerly served as a residential nurse for at another agency, said. “I like getting to meet the people in the different sites. We’re there for four-and-a-half hours and we take care of their medical needs for that period of time.”

Lisa said she appreciates initiatives like the nurse luncheon to honor and show appreciation for nurses.

“It’s very important that people know what we do,” Lisa said.

Day-Habilitation nurses Cathy Molloy and Assistant Director for Day-Habilitation Nursing Trish Monahan have been with the agency for 17 years.

When asked to reflect on her career, Cathy remembered how during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was on a team of nurses that helped treat COVID-positive residents in their homes.

Photo of a sign that reads "Thank You Nurses" for National Nurses Week
The luncheon was catered by Wheatley Farms which is operated by people the agency serves

And Trish recalled how she worked at a stationary site for 11 years before moving to Plainview to serve as an Assistant Director.“For me it’s changed quite a bit,” Trish said. “I was hands-on for 11 years.”

What’s kept Cathy and Trish at the agency for 17 years is the people they support and advocate for.

“It could be the smallest thing that you do, but they’re so grateful,” Trish said. “They’re just so warm and giving.”

Cathy added that there’s a sense of unconditional love.

“It’s gratifying to be surrounded by these people here because they care so much,” Trish said.

Nurses who were not able to make the luncheon because they were on the clock will be honored through luncheons at their place of work as well as through signs and banners showing appreciation.

AHRC Nassau is eternally grateful to all the nurses who continually provide healing, care, and compassion to the people we support, whether it’s keeping them healthy or treating them in their most vulnerable moments.