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Nurses’ Appreciation Week

All the providers and leaders at Pentucket Medical Associates recognize the tireless work and dedication of all of our employees. Without them, we would not be able to provide the level of care that our patients have come to expect.

This is Nurses’ Appreciation Week and we have the opportunity to think about all the things our dedicated nursing staff does—and does very well!!!

The nurses at PMA are among the leaders of the health care team. On a personal level, they really know the patients and are part of the reason patients come to PMA for their health care. Every day, they help to arrange diagnostic testing, communicate test results, respond to a variety of patient inquiries and provide patient education. In addition, many of our nurses are in positions of leadership in our organization.

At PMA, we put patients first. The nursing staff exemplifies that standard. Perhaps caring for patients should be spelled N-U-R-S-E.

We appreciate all of our staff. This week we send a special message of thanks to our nursing staff.

Kenneth Adams, MD, FACC

Medical Director

Healing work and healing art

It’s not the funnest thing, having blood drawn, but if it must be, our lab in the basement of RiverWalk is as cheerful place as can be found for the purpose.

The staff there smile freely and no one’s grin is quicker these days than that of Vanny Sok, a phlebotomy team member and avid artist whose bold paintings hang in the lobby and throughout the procedure spaces.

Her canvasses are bright and geometric.

“I get my inspiration from all around me,” Vanny tells a visitor who asks about her work.

“She is also a newly minted American,” Don chimes in from the reception desk. “A new citizen, just a few weeks ago!”

Vanny beams, a bit lost for words.

She began painting ten years ago, and has lately taken a studio in an artist’s building on Western Avenue in her home town of Lowell. She has a gallery in her space where some of her work is available to purchase. She also gifts pieces to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

And for the last couple of months, some of her work has made the blood lab at RiverWalk an even cheerier place.

“A lot of people come and are scared,” Vanny says. “It takes their mind off of the procedure.”

Healing work and healing art.

Congratulations, Vanny Sok!

Pentucket Medical Laboratory Staff Spotlight: Linda Hamel

Ask Linda Hamel about Pentucket Medical and she answers in terms of family. Connection and loyalty resonate in the voice of this 36-year employee and manager of the diagnostic support staff.

“I arrived at Pentucket in October of 1976,” she says. “I started working in the Lab and was there for 23 years. I’d begun as a Medical Assistant, but once I’d done my externship rotation in the lab I knew that was the direction I wanted. Pat Souliotos brought me in and when she went on maternity leave she made me manager of the lab, which was a little intimidating because I had people with all kinds of college degrees in that field, and I didn’t have any, other than my medical assistant training, so I was surprised and flattered, but this has been the pattern.

“People here had faith in me and they trusted me.”

Those who work with her agree.

“She is not only a great manager, but a great mentor and friend,” says Renee Ward, a member of the Haverhill lab’s front line customer service team. “She makes coming to work every day enjoyable. I am very lucky to have her as my boss and as my friend.”

For nearly four decades, Pentucket has been a constant in Linda’s life. Even when she left the area for a couple of years to, as she puts it, “pursue a dream,” Pentucket was never far from her thoughts. And when she was ready to return, the practice happily welcomed her back.

As Pentucket grew in the 1980s, so did Linda’s role in the lab. Simultaneously, she handled all of the practice’s purchasing, until that became a new full-time position.

“Every Thursday afternoon I did purchasing,” she says. “It gave me a great overview of the whole practice. I was lab manager for five of those years, until you needed a certificate or letters after your name. I didn’t have them so I came out front and managed check-in for the diagnostic center and for the lab, plus purchasing.

“In 1998 I thought I’d try something different and when I moved back to this area, I reached out to Lorraine (Amerault) and Ruth (Pothier) and said, ‘whoever is the first one to offer me a job, I’m there.’ ”

So it was that Linda, who’d “never seen a claims form before”, took over Medicaid billing, and soon was “fighting for every dollar… the rates seem really high, but the doctors get reimbursed so little.”

Linda worked in the business office for ten years.

“They are a solid core of people,” she says. “Even though you don’t see them every day, they are a big part of what makes us strong. They are all incredible, and it starts with John (Sarro). We were his family. He set goals for us and we would meet them and he’d set them a little bit higher and we’d meet them again.”

“In 2010 Dwayne (Garland) told me that my old job in diagnostics was available, so I have come full circle and hope to retire from this position.

“I feel incredibly faithful to the company because I feel it’s a family.”

On behalf of all those at Pentucket Medical, we are grateful to Linda Hamel for her many years of loyalty and dedication. She is certainly an integral part of the Pentucket family.

Use the Review button below if you’d like to post a message for Linda!


Pentucket Staff Spotlight: Nancy Niccolini, LPN

Having worked nearly 36 years at Pentucket Medical, Nancy Niccolini is easily one of the longest-serving nurses in our practice. A native of Haverhill’s Bradford area, Nancy joined Pentucket in 1978, just one week ahead a young gastroenterologist named Dr. Tom Fazio, now President of Pentucket Medical.

“I was his first nurse,” she says. “I got here a week before he did, and I’d never worked in an office before, having come over from the old Hale Hospital. The girls who worked with me were very nice and patient. This was up on Summer Street. In those days we were small and everyone knew everyone.”

“There were no computers in those days,” she adds. “Everything was written on paper. The first computer I ever touched was here [at Pentucket]. I was terrified!”

Today Nancy, an LPN, is a key player in Pentucket Medical’s ever busy Merrimack Valley Endoscopy Center.

“I’m a staff nurse,” she says, “and I wear a lot of hats, from phones and call backs to admitting patients, doing the recovery – whatever is needed. A few years ago I started going into the procedure rooms, which is nice. I’m the only LPN down there, all the rest are RNs. There’s always something different and new.”

Another thing that makes Nancy happy is her team of colleagues. “I love the people I work with. We are a team,” she says. “And working in Endo is a little bit like working in a hospital. I enjoy the interaction and learning, which is constant. It’s clinical, which I really like.”

At a recent employee appreciation dinner, Nancy was presented with a longevity award for 35 years of service at Pentucket Medical. Dr. Fazio spoke for all of Pentucket when he thanked her for her hard work and dedication for all these years. Pentucket Medical is lucky to have a nurse like Nancy Niccolini!