Surgical Services’ Roberts honored with LGH Excellence Above All award

May 11, 2022
During Lawrence General Hospital’s Nurses Month celebration on May 11, 2022, longtime Surgical Services registered nurse Marjorie Roberts walked into the hospital cafeteria with colleagues for what she believed was a reception to honor a colleague for their dedicated service. She grabbed a seat toward the back of the room, enjoying coffee and a muffin with coworkers Debbie Ordway, RN, and Pam Finnerty, a hospital volunteer.

Roberts, ever a dutiful hospital employee – the hospital’s oldest registered nurse at age 83 – listened intently as President and CEO Deborah J. Wilson started to honor the year’s Excellence Above All winner. This recipient of this year’s honor, Wilson said, was a nurse described by colleagues as an “exceptional patient advocate” who is “compassionate, creative and joyful with a positive attitude.”

As Wilson continued, it took the 83-year-old several moments to realize that the employee Wilson was so eloquently describing was indeed Roberts herself. Tears dotted her eyes, colleagues enveloped her in hugs, and cheers filled the room. Family members hidden from Roberts ran out – flowers and balloons in hand – to congratulate their relative. “You did it!” they told her.

Roberts cares for patients as if they were her own family, colleagues say. Not only does she log many, many hours working on a per diem basis, but she spends her spare time gathering stuffed animals for pediatric patients and knitting socks for foot surgery patients with other volunteers.

“Every day that I come to work is a blessing,” Roberts said when accepting her award. “All of you, go back (to your units) and love Lawrence General: Advocate for patient care, don’t second guess what the patient needs, look at them first and then send them home healthy.”

According to Roberts’ Surgical Services coworkers Mary Hefferan and Kathy Shea, the Excellence Above All award is a way to let hospital staff see what their department sees in Roberts every day.

“She always puts the patient first – their dignity, safety, and to give them a good hospital experience,” the women said of Roberts in their nomination, which was a collaborative effort from the entire Surgical Services Department. “She, along with her high-quality care is truly inspiring for all of us.  Calling on us to be better and joyful every day.  She is a team player and unsung hero in our department.”