Gary Vacha, RN honored in Boston Globe’s “Salute to Nurses”

We are so very proud to share that Gary Vacha, RN, one of our nurses serving in Notre Dame Health Care’s Hospice Program was honored in the Boston Globe’s “Salute to Nurses” annual tribute celebrating some of the area’s most influential and hard-working nurses, in a special section recognizing those who have taken exceptional care of patients and their families when they needed it most. This program focuses on the personal stories readers submit, recognizing the impact nurses have on patients’ lives.

Gary was nominated by Marilyn Bayer in honor of the care he provided to Mrs. Bayer’s husband. Their story was published in the Sunday, May 12, 2019 “Salute to Nurses” supplement in The Boston Globe and is shared below.

“Gary was my husband Dave’s nurse from February 2018 until he passed away last January. By the time Gary was assigned to us, my husband had declined quickly from his cardiac condition, and we were not at all prepared for the level of caretaking that he would need. Gary put us at ease with the calm, quiet way that he talked to Dave.

Gary has a direct, compassionate way of learning about the patient as a person, and he answers tough questions honestly and openly. Dave trusted him immediately, and shared his hopes and concerns. Gary showed me consistent warmth, sincere kindness, and reassurance, encouraging me to call his cell at any time I felt the need.

The whole Notre Dame hospice team helped my husband stabilize enough to enjoy a longer, better quality of life in his last year. Gary’s communication with his colleagues about Dave’s needs was a big reason for that. Gary’s compassion and connection to his patients, and his ability to support the whole family through the end-of-life process, make him a wonderful nurse who totally deserves this recognition.”  —Nominated by Marilyn Bayer