McLean Staff Honored Aboard the USS Constitution for Efforts During the Pandemic

June 22, 2021

On Friday, June 11, three McLean Hospital staff members joined some 200 other health care workers and first responders for a special event on the USS Constitution in Boston. The event recognized the extraordinary contributions made by these professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sophie S. Forte, MS, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, nurse practitioner in Internal Medicine and Infection Control, Charles Liu, pharmacist in the Department of Pharmacy, and James Keller, carpentry supervisor in Facilities, represented McLean at the special tribute.

Other honorees represented Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Boston Emergency Medical Services, and other local hospitals and emergency organizations.

“I feel very honored to have been selected,” said Forte. “So many people, especially in health care, have gone above and beyond over the past year. It’s unfortunate that even a ship of this size did not have room for more!”

Staff onboard USS Constitution
Forte, Keller, and Liu onboard the USS Constitution

For the tribute, the honorees enjoyed a three-hour cruise around Boston Harbor on “Old Ironsides.” The ship’s crew fired a 21-gun salute near Castle Island, as well as a 17-gun salute while passing the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Boston, where the ship was built.

While on board, commissioning ceremonies were held for a nurse and a physician joining the Navy Nurse and Medical Service Corps, respectively.

Forte said that the ship’s commander reported that the USS Constitution makes “about seven or eight underway demonstrations each year,” but it had not been out to sea since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The commander and crew felt it was important to have their first underway demonstration this year in honor of health care workers and first responders,” she said.

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