Jaimie Medina, Monica Aurilio and Kristen Reed

Three nurses in the Neurosciences Intermediate Care Unit on Braunwald Tower 10BCD went above and beyond during National Nurses Month, giving back to their colleagues throughout the hospital. On May 9, Monica Aurilio, BSN, RN, Jaimie Medina, BSN, RN, BA, and Kristen Reed, BSN, RN, BA, HN-BC, organized a full-day wellness event—Hands-on Healing for the Healers—composed of various sessions centered on self-care in the Hale Building’s Marshall Wolf Conference Center.

“It is more important than ever before to prioritize our wellbeing and self-care,” added Reed, who is also a certified health and wellness nurse coach and Reiki master. “Our wellness is a pillar and core value to who we are as caregivers. Self-care is the only way we can truly care for others fully.”

Karen Lewis Brownell, Andrew Granese and John Abbatematteo with Pet Therapy Dog Oliver Alexander

Aurilio noted that nurses don’t always make time for self-care. “Nurses are focused on taking care of others every day,” said Aurilio. “These events give nurses a chance to bring their own self-care into focus. We hope that they can take something away from the sessions to incorporate into their busy, giving lives! A few minutes of chair yoga, breath work or meditation can do wonders for the body, mind and soul.”

Activities included gratitude practice, group breathwork sessions, chair yoga and stretching, aromatherapy and music therapy. Spiritual Care Services offered hand blessings, and Reed provided Reiki sessions. The team’s nurse director, Mary Pennington, MS, RN, who is also a certified yoga instructor, led group-guided meditations.

Nurses had the opportunity to spend quality time with Brigham Buddies pet therapy dog Oliver Alexander, too. The variety of activities allowed nurses to choose what best met their needs.


Karen Aguilar receives a Blessing of the Hands from Sarah Fleming of Spiritual Care Services.

Medina reflected on the event’s focus on holistic, full-body wellness. “I am so grateful to participate in an event that incorporates the holistic practices I hold near and dear to my heart and reflect how I practice as a bedside nurse.” She thanked Pennington and other nursing leaders for their support of the event. “To have the support of nursing leadership is incredible.”

“This was the largest event we have organized,” said Aurilio. “The collective energy of everyone coming together as a community to support each other was palpable,” added Reed. “Genuine conversations and connections are so important.”

View the full photo gallery here.