NCH nurses receive awards during National Nurses Week

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NEWPORT — Hospital staff celebrated Nurses Week at North Country Hospital (NCH) and nationally on May 6-12, the last day honoring the birthdate of nurse icon Florence Nightingale. 

At NCH, they have four areas of nursing excellence awards that complement the hospital’s mission and values that nurses can be nominated for. This year’s recently announced awardees include Debora Gabucci, RN for Commitment to Customer Service; Hillary Bathalon, LPN for Commitment to Quality; Paige Fortin, RN for Commitment to Professional Growth, and Nancy Noble, RN for Commitment to Community.

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Debbie Gabucci works at North Country Primary Care-Barton/Orleans and has been employed here for 13 years. Her nomination praises how she always greets patients with the kindness and compassion that embodies our values here at NCH.  She also understands the urgency of some issues and knows how to kindly redirect patients to wait on others.  Some words that came to colleagues to describe her included wonderful, caring, kind, compassionate, and intelligent.

Hillary Bathalon has served NCH as an LPN in the OR for nine years. Hillary’s dedication to her patients and to coworker safety has resulted in North Country Hospital receiving the first and only Go Clear Award from the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses in the State of Vermont.  Hillary spent countless hours researching the dangers of surgical smoke and how to implement strategies to create a safer environment for patients and staff.  It also meant researching different smoke evacuation devices, working with different companies and their representatives, and bringing all of this back to the staff in the operating room.  By working toward, and receiving this award, she went above and beyond using the latest guidelines and practices for her research and implementation.  

The nominations for this year’s recipient of the Professional Growth award stated that Paige Fortin is always thirsty for knowledge.  She is exceptional at the bedside and continually keeps updated on evidence-based practices and has worked extremely hard to become a charge person in PACU.  Having worked here for eight years, Paige not only wants to provide bedside nursing but also nursing as a teacher/educator and nursing in an outpatient capacity, providing more than just hands-on care. She is eager to experience a broader definition of nursing and is absolutely committed to the profession.

Nancy Noble has been with NCH for 15 years. Her nomination states that she is the epitome of a nurse, dedicated to the wellbeing of her community.  Beyond being an incredibly skilled and compassionate practitioner, she extends her expertise beyond the bedside.  She has been a stalwart educator for nursing students and nursing aides in our community for many years teaching at VTC, CCV, and the North Country Career Center.

Beyond her tireless work as an educator, Nancy is constantly finding ways to contribute to this community both within the hospital and locally.  She has served on her local school board and is always about town helping her fellow Vermonters.  She does a wonderful job each year, serving as Mrs. Claus for the NCH children of employees’ Christmas party. 

Vice President of Patient Care Services, Megan Sargent, added her words of congratulations to the 2023 Nursing Excellence award winners.

“All our nominees every year are going above and beyond in service to our patients and community.  It’s such a tough decision to narrow the field to four nurses.  The award recipients this year definitely help make this community and organization a top-notch place.  I am beyond proud of them all.”

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