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In This Issue:
Mary Lou Moore, MSN, RN
Associate Chief Nurse for Cardiovascular, Thoracic and Pavilion Services
A compassionate, supportive leader for staff and an unwavering advocate for patients, Associate Chief Nurse Mary Lou Moore, MSN, RN, CCRN, passed away Oct. 22 after a battle with cancer.
"One of her greatest strengths as a leader was that she always remembered not only how important it was to support patients, but also to support her staff," said Karen Reilly, MBA, RN, nursing director of Shapiro 9/10, who worked closely with Ms. Moore for 15 years. "There are countless examples of her helping individuals with personal issues or issues at work; she was always there for people. That's one of the most valuable lessons I learned from her as a mentor."
Among the highlights of Ms. Moore's career was the critical role she played in the planning and opening of the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center in 2008. She ensured that staff nurses had input on every detail of the design for the patient rooms and floors, in order to create a peaceful, healing environment.
"Mary Lou's legacy of compassionate, patient- and family-centered care is deep-seated in the Shapiro Center and throughout the hospital," said Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services.
Ms. Moore also helped to develop the Shapiro Center Patient and Family Advisory Committee, which has been instrumental in carrying forth the vision of patient- and family-centered care in cardiovascular services. She was passionate about her role as co-chair of the committee, of which Linda Smith and her husband Tommy Smith, a heart transplant recipient, are members. "Mary Lou treated all of us as individuals and made it clear that our experiences as patients and family members were important and meaningful," said Linda, a project manager for BWH Surgery. "In this day and age of technology in nursing, Mary Lou never forgot her essential nursing skills of compassion, conscientiousness and commitment."
Ms. Moore was also known for her skill in collaborating and bringing the multidisciplinary team together.
"Mary Lou had the utmost respect of the physician staff in decision-making on behalf of our patients," said Patrick O'Gara, MD, executive medical director of the Shapiro Center. "With her practical wisdom, quiet confidence and years of experience, she had a tremendous way of bringing together all stakeholders in identifying a solution. I was always impressed with the way she did that."
A nurse all her professional life, Ms. Moore joined BWH in 1999 as nurse manager of then Tower 12, which included the Cardiac Critical Care Unit, the Cardioversion Program and three intermediate care units for cardiovascular patients. There, she created "Compassionate Care Rounds," which provided a forum for nurses to discuss the process of supporting patients and families through emotionally challenging experiences, often involving the end of life.
Nominated by her staff, she received the prestigious Excellent Nurse Manager Award in 2006 from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), the world's largest specialty nursing organization. She also was honored with the BWH Thomson Compassionate Leadership Award in 2002.
"She was so happy here," said Reilly. "She always considered her Brigham team part of her family."
Ms. Moore graduated from Wilkes-Barre General Hospital's School of Nursing in Pennsylvania and earned her bachelor's degree from Emmanuel College in Boston. She later received an MSN in cardiopulmonary nursing from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professionals.
She is survived by her sister, Sally Ann Brink, brother-in-law Donald Brink and her three children, Holly, Michael and Heather, as well as 11 grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to the Mary Lou Moore Fund for Continuing Education in Nursing c/o Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St., Boston, MA 02115. A service is being planned at BWH for Nov. 16. Details will be forthcoming.