For 16 years Jacqueline Culina (Auburn) has been a committed volunteer in the Intensive Care Unit at Central Maine Medical Center, making a difference in the lives of hundreds of people - families, patients, and staff. Jackie started volunteering at CMMC after the passing of her husband, with the hope that by offering important but non-medical help, it freed nurses and other caregivers to have more time with patients. In time she has become a Patient Representative, welcoming patients and their loved ones to speak frankly about their experience of care. Jackie can then relay messages in a way that enables staff to be even more attentive to specific needs.
Jackie has participated in an intensive workshop on spirituality (typically offered only to staff). In addition, she is a Tender Care Volunteer, specially trained in palliative, end-of-life issues; she makes herself available 7-days-a-week, a graceful presence when there is a need for someone to sit at the bedside of a dying patient.
Jackie is well-loved by doctors and nurses at CMMC. Every day, nurses and doctors in the ICU treat patients who are severely injured or gravely ill; Jackie's warm embraces, cheerful nature, and small but important, thoughtful ways are much appreciated by staff in an environment that can be emotionally difficult. Her nomination is supported by more than 25 people. Dr. Michele Guzowski says that "Jackie Culina is an angel, and we are so lucky to have her."