At left: Sara Pitman (center) with patients Delphine (left) and Celestin (right) in Rwanda during this month’s mission; at right, Kevin McWha and Susan Gabriel on a past mission.

Over the past 15 years, a group of Brigham nurses and other staff have volunteered with Team Heart, a nonprofit organization working to build a sustainable program to address the burden of cardiac disease for those with advanced rheumatic heart disease in Rwanda.

Brigham nurses who have volunteered include: Susan Gabriel, BSN, RN, CCRN, Lisa Kelley, BSN, RN, and Barbara Williams, BSN, RN, of Shapiro 6 West; Kristin Bartucca, RN, PCCN, and Cynthia Scherer, BSN, RN, of Shapiro 7; Sara Stankiewicz Pitman, BSN, RN, of the MICU; Leslie Grignaffini, BSN, RN, CCRN, CMAN, LNC, of the Patient Access Center;  Kevin McWha, BSN, RN, of the PACU; Katie Morrison, BSN, RN, of the Operating Room; Denise Mackey, MSN, RN ,of the Pain Clinic in Foxboro; Marie Caulfield, MSN, RN, of Shapiro 9/10; and others.

These nurses have traveled to Rwanda to care for patients and provide education and support to staff over the years, with Pitman participating in the 2022 mission this month.

The nurses and team members raise their own travel funds and additional funding to support patients’ post-operative care and medications.

The Brigham has supported these efforts by providing supplies for trips to Rwanda, accommodating staff schedules and recognizing the efforts of nurse volunteers in hospital communications.

Why it’s MagnetThe Structural Empowerment component of Magnet requires an example of the organization’s support of nurses who volunteer in a local or global population health outreach initiative (SE10b). It’s who we are.