A true leader has the confidence to stand alone and the courage to make tough decisions. She has the compassion to listen to the needs of others. She did not set out to become a leader but became one by the equality of her actions and the integrity of her intent. Under her care, the staff of Critical Care, which includes ICU, SDU, PCU, and Multispecialty, were inspired to learn more, do more and become more. We were elevated to bring forth issues and work through processes to develop resolution while focusing on team success, not individual success. Knowing that leaders don't create followers but rather create new leaders, she has fostered many of the staff towards their professional goals where bedside nurses have become managers and assistant managers. She provided us with the tools to succeed and even when our opinions differed, we were encouraged to speak freely. She makes the impossible possible and does so with a mere phone call.
This was none more apparent than the cold December morning when she was called at 1:30 am to aide a staff member in crisis. She arrived from home within minutes and took control of the delicate situation. She swiftly guided the staff member toward a safe resolution. Once that was complete, she returned to immediately debriefing the entire staff, who bore witness to the crisis. She brought serenity to an entire unit at the sacrifice of her sleep. She knew that doing so was imperative not only for the function of the unit but also for the well being of every staff member.
That same selflessness has been witnessed on many other occasions. I believe it is done with the purpose of elevating and supporting her staff. She leads treat carts for Nurses Week, ensures that our staff, who have passed away, are appropriately remembered each year, touches the "James Acorn" on the NICU wall each time she walks by, makes an effort to establish a personal connection with each person she meets, and has personally funded and promotes recognition of staff. She does so without seeking accolades for the job done. She is often one of the first people to walk through the doors of Danbury Hospital, and the last to leave. Your professionalism and dedication towards nursing do not go unnoticed, Ann Marie Lavery. Today, we salute the nurse and leader you are.