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For 2018, Kevin Norris, MHS, is the recipient of the Julia Altschule Award. Given annually to a mental health specialist or staff nurse who has worked at McLean for two years or longer and who exemplifies the highest level of humane care for patients, the award was established in 1980 by Mark D. Altschule, MD, in memory of his wife.
Lisa Tobio, RN, night weekend charge nurse at the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program, nominated Norris for the award, calling him “an incredible example of someone who exemplifies professionalism and great compassion and kindness.”
Norris is a mental health specialist at the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a certificate in alcohol and substance abuse counseling, and he is a licensed practical nurse.
“I feel very honored to receive this award, particularly when I look around at all the people in the McLean community who exemplify the highest standards of care and humane treatment of those who enter here—it is truly a humbling experience,” Norris said. Awards like this, he stated, “serve to remind us to continue to strive for excellence in our day-to-day interactions with the people who come to us seeking care. We are reminded that the person we are caring for could be any one of us or someone we love, and we simply need to ask ourselves, ‘How would I want to be treated if the roles were reversed?’”
On winning the award, Norris thanked his fellow nurses for their extraordinary leadership as well as his fellow mental health specialists and the award selection committee.
In addition, Norris said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the namesake for whom this award was established, Julia Altschule, a ballerina who developed a chronic illness for which there was no cure. Between Julia’s bravery in combating her illness, and the devotion and love that Dr. Altschule showed in his search for a cure for her, I find myself truly inspired and honored to receive an award named in Julia’s honor.”
The award was presented at the Service Awards ceremony on May 16.
During the recent Nurses’ Day Conference on May 11, Margaret “Meg” Shields, RN, received the Margaret C. Tibbetts Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership. The award, named after the longtime director of the nursing school and of the Nursing Department at McLean, is presented each year to a nurse who exemplifies leadership in nursing, including advocacy in the advancement of the nursing practice, teaching, and research.
Shields, who works at The Pavilion, was nominated for the honor by Pavilion Nurse Manager Nina McCloskey, BSN. McCloskey described Shields as “a kind, compassionate nurse” and a “gentle and a very skilled RN, who is always willing to pitch in.”
Shields said she was “very honored and humbled to receive the award.” Remarking on her love of nursing, particularly direct patient care, Shields said, “I get a great deal of satisfaction knowing I have made a difference in someone’s life or quality of life. I never look for or expect anything more.”
On receiving the honor, Shields thanked Nina McCloskey along with the nurses, doctors, community residence specialists, and the entire Pavilion staff. “It is easy to keep your standards high when you work with such an excellent team,” she said. “I feel honored to be a part of such a great team at The Pavilion.”