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Brian Duffy, RN, nurse manager for the McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program, was recently presented the Spirit of Franciscan Award, which honors an outstanding member of the hospital staff each year, according to Ralph J. Buonopane, PhD, McLean’s program director of the unit.
“This is a significant award, as the entire hospital staff recognizes one person annually who they think typifies and exemplifies the spirit of Franciscan Hospital for Children,” said Buonopane.
He noted the award coincides with the 20th anniversary of the McLean-Franciscan partnership and that Duffy was one of the original staff members who brought the McLean program to Franciscan Children’s.
“Brian moved with the inpatient program 20 years ago and has served as nurse manager for the past 10 years,” said Buonopane. “His compassion, energy, and commitment to child and adolescent mental health nursing has been remarkable and he continues to be a core part of our McLean-Franciscan leadership.”
“It’s been a wonderful partnership that McLean has had with Franciscan Children’s—one that has flourished for the past 20 years,” he added. “It’s been a seamless collaboration and Brian is a perfect example of the spirit of collaboration.”
The program, Buonopane, said, provides expert and compassionate inpatient care for children and teens in psychiatric crisis. Each year the program serves over 650 children and teens, ages 3 to 19, with all diagnoses.
“Brian has that rare ability to be 100% present for a child or parent in need. He has that priceless gift of a true ‘healer’—to be the person who is completely present for a child at the moment they need it most,” said Buonopane.
He pointed out that staff from across Franciscan Children’s nominated Duffy, with one colleague writing that, “When parents leave their children with us in a life-threatening crisis, they trust their heart and soul in our hands. Brian has an incredibly deep respect for that, and it shows every day in the way he is present for families and children—compassionate, reassuring, attentive.”
Aimee Lyons, RN, MSN, PhD, Franciscan Children’s director of nursing emphasized Duffy’s dedication to not only patients and families but also his colleagues. “Brian’s passion for our kids and leadership in his role is uncompromised,” she said. “He works tirelessly to make sure the staff has the resources necessary to meet the needs of a demanding unit in order to ensure optimal outcomes for patients and staff.”
Buonopane added that another staff member wrote, “Brian goes the extra mile for his colleagues, whether it’s making sure they have all the resources they need in the unit or giving them rides to and from work in inclement weather. He is continually looking to help reduce their stress, and they know he has their backs.”
Duffy said he has also increasingly made it a priority to mentor nursing graduates over the past several years. “They have enormous talent and potential and they’re passionate about what they want to do,” he said. “It’s been a privilege helping to orient young nurses to this profession.”
The most challenging aspect of his job, Duffy said, is to “help maintain a sense of hope and resiliency in the child as well as the parents and caregivers—to reassure them about their own capabilities.” He added that he is continually inspired by his young patients and their families and feels fortunate to have played a role in the program’s growth over the past 20 years.
“It exceeded my expectations and has become a very well-respected program through the work of many people.”
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