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Michaela LaPlante, left, a registered nurse at Berkshire Medical Center receives the latest DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses from BMC Chief Nursing Officer Brenda Cadorette.

BMC Nurse Earns DAISY Award Recognition

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center registered nurse Michaela LaPlante has received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national nursing recognition program that has been adopted by thousands of hospitals to honor individual nurses who have had a tremendous impact on patient care. 
LaPlante, who serves on 4 East in the hospital, received a glowing nomination for her care of a patient in her final days. 
"You could tell from the moment that Michaela walked in the room that she has a passion for nursing and the care that was to be provided. She was knowledgeable, swift and precise in her care," said a relative of the patient. "She treated my husband's aunt like she was the only patient on the floor. She was constantly checking in with us to make sure that we were as okay as we could be. It felt like she was caring for one of her family members in the way that she cared for her and for our family."
Using the acronym PETALS, BMC's criteria for nominating a nurse for a DAISY Award is:
P: Passion and Compassion – for nursing and the care they provided
E: Empathy – toward individual patients and their loved ones
T: Trust and Teamwork – does the nurse convey a sense of trust and security
A: Admirable Attributes
L: Love, for patient and profession
S: Selflessness
The nomination went on to read, "Michaela is likely one of the sweetest, most compassionate and caring nurses I have had the pleasure of knowing. She seemed to read the room well and knew exactly what to say to us in that moment. Along with the absolutely amazing care that she provided for our loved one, she offered us a few moments of reprieve when she was in the room."
The patient died in early July, and the nomination noted, "We are confident that she passed peacefully due to the diligence and time that the nurse spent with her and on her care. Our family would like to thank her for everything that she did last evening to make this process just a little bit easier."
The DAISY Award is bestowed following a nomination process and review by an interdisciplinary oversight committee. BMC staff, patients, and the general community can submit nominations. The nomination form can be found on each floor, in patient welcome packets, and will soon be available on the Berkshire Health System Employee Portal.
The DAISY Foundation was started in memory of Patrick Barnes, who died in 1999 from complications of an auto immune disease. His family wanted to turn their grief into something positive and create something that would capture his special spirit. The DAISY acronym stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. As they brainstormed on what the foundation would do they kept coming back to conversations about how wonderful his nurses were. Their mission became to express gratitude to nurses with programs that recognize them for their extraordinary skillful, compassionate care provided to patients and families.
The program is now in more than 4,500 health-care facilities across the United States and around the world.

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Williamstown Elementary, Mount Greylock Principals Outline Budget Priorities

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The principals of Mount Greylock Regional School and Williamstown Elementary School on Thursday asked the School Committee to support staffing increases for next year that will address both learning gaps and social emotional wellness needs in the district.
Following on the heels of last month's presentation by Lanesborough Elementary School Principal Nolan Pratt, Mount Greylock's Jacob Schutz and Williamstown's Cindy Sheehy gave presentations at the committee's virtual meeting to discuss the fiscal 2023 budget priorities identified by the administration and school council at each school.
Sheehy had the longer "wish list," saying the PreK-6 school needs a second social adjustment counselor, a new reading specialist, a paraprofessional for a planned student support center and more hours for its both a special education teacher slot and an existing occupational therapist.
At Mount Greylock, Schutz said the school is looking to add a math interventionist and a reading interventionist for the next academic year.
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