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August 2008: Kathy Lapine, RN

Westchester Medical Center

I would like to submit Kathy Lapine from ICU A as a nominee for the Hudson Valley Magazine Excellence in Nursing Award. Kathy is truly compassionate and caring in every sense of the word. She serves as a resource and mentor to new staff and her peers. She is a true patient advocate; she really cares about the patients she cares for. Any time I get a thank you note from a previous patient of their family, Kathy is usually mentioned. She is the first to send a get well card or sympathy note to former patients or family members.

One particular event comes to mind with Kathy. One Christmas she was caring for a patient who was young, married and had two small children. She became quite friendly with the patient's wife who was constantly at her dying husband's bedside. Since he would not be going home and was deteriorating as the weeks went by, she felt sorry for his family who were dealing emotionally and financially with such a sad thing at Christmas time. Kathy spoke with other staff members and took up a collection to give to the family so that they could all have a nice Christmas with our blessings. The patient passed away before Christmas, but the news spread, and soon doctors, dieticians, social workers, and nursing staff from different areas contributed to this cause. Kathy then took the collection to the wife's house and sent our unit's blessings with it. She said the wife was so touched and grateful. This is the type of caring that could is an example to us all as nurses.

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