Hospice Nurse Recognized as RN Hero of the Year

Norwich, Vermont registered nurse (RN) Sherri Lorette was chosen from more than 19,000 home health care professionals as the BAYADA Home Health Care RN Hero of the Year in 2014. Lorette, who works with the BAYADA Hospice specialty practice in Norwich, received this prestigious honor for exemplifying the highest standards of care and demonstrating the company’s core values of compassion, excellence, and reliability.

“When people find out I work in hospice, they say, ‘Oh, you work with dying people.’ I say, ‘No, I work with people who are living,” Lorette explained. “They want to use the rest of their time actually “living,” and want to use that time wisely. It’s amazing to me that I can help them do that. It’s an honor for me to help families care for their loved ones and keep them at home.”

A resident of South Royalton, VT, Lorette has been a nurse for almost 30 years—spending nearly a decade in hospice care. “Hospice enables me to teach and be an advocate for the patient and their family, and provide them with the support and peace of mind they need at end of life. I’m glad I can help them prepare for the end, and make some lasting memories.”

Lorette brings extensive experience to her patients and families who receive care from BAYADA Hospice. Every day, she visits patients to provide care and teach the families how to care for their loved ones. She helps them understand what they are experiencing, and anticipate and prepare for changes on the horizon. She touches the lives of all of her patients, bringing peace, comfort, and a sense of normalcy to families at a time in their lives when they need it the most. The wife of a former patient explains, “Sherri became the nurse so I could step back and be the spouse. She made my family the priority.”

Lorette’s concern for her patients extends beyond her typical nursing duties. One patient, Tom Singer, was in desperate need of a hospital bed, but delivery was delayed because the bridge to his home was washed out in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. She jumped into action and called the company supplying the bed, convincing them to literally carry it through the woods and set it up for Tom.

“Sherri was the beacon of light that came in the door, the one who knew how to fix things and who to call,” remembers Tom’s wife, Helen. “Sherri lit up the room—actually, our whole house. She came in with a smile and convinced me that whatever the concern or question, there was someone there to soothe my spirits and concerns.”

“Sherri has cared for more than 200 patients with BAYADA, and she’s worked with many physicians, nurse, social workers, chaplains, home health aides, and volunteers who have been fortunate to cross paths with her,” said Jessica DeGrechie, associate director of the Norwich office. “She helps our patients enjoy quality of life at end of life, in the comfort of their own homes. She is truly selfless and life altering.”

Established in 1999, the Hero on the Home Front Program recognizes care professionals who consistently demonstrate the BAYADA core values of compassion, excellence, and reliability. Each quarter, patients and peers nominate their local heroes. From the local heroes, division heroes are selected and ultimately four national heroes are chosen among five disciplines: registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, therapist, home health aide, and social worker. The four national heroes are recognized at the annual awards ceremony.

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