Mother’s Day and Nurse Appreciation

By: Holly L. Thacker, MD • Posted on May 12, 2012

Mother’s Day and Nurse Appreciation

By Holly L. Thacker, M.D.

It is not surprising that Mother's Day, Nurse Appreciation, Osteoporosis Awareness and National Women’s Health Week all converge in the beautiful month of May. My mother was a nurse and some of the most wonderful people I know are nurses!

The attributes that mothers are revered for are many of the same attributes that nurses exhibit daily with their patients:

  • Caring
  • Compassion
  • Kindness
  • Warmth
  • Selfless dedication
  • Humor in the face of exasperation
  • Around the clock work ethic coupled with a strong spine and a fearless protection of their children

The Cleveland Clinic Health System, is a physician led organization, that from the very beginning treated nurses respectfully and collegially. Our physicians and nurses work shoulder to shoulder in putting patients first, just as moms around the world put their children and families first. Many of our nurses rise to top leadership posts such as hospital presidencies, just as moms around the globe rise to the challenges of being the CEOs of their households.

Unfortunately, many women are fearful of risks of osteoporosis treatments based on recent media hype exaggerating rare risks of treatments while failing to note the risks of NOT treating the disease of osteoporosis. Lately, the media has also been engaging in the very silly debate about whether one is “mom enough” or whether stay-at-home moms work (they do!), rather than focusing on issues that are important to all busy moms.

One of the nurses we revere in our Center for Specialized Women’s Health is Angela Bonaiuto, LPN. She is young, but wise beyond her years. She began her career working in a nursing home and saw the ravages of osteoporosis stripping a person of their mobility and many times their independence. This has fueled Nurse Angela’s passion in preventing and treating this disease which affects over 1 in 2 women. It is a silent thief until it strikes with broken bones. Nurse Angela doggedly works to lead our bone infusion program orchestrating our entire team and prodding our patients to return for treatment. I will never forget the day when she came out of an exam room, planted her hands firmly on her hips and exclaimed, “Why isn’t our patient with severe osteoporosis, who won’t take her osteoporosis medication, not afraid of C. difficile colitis? Doesn’t she know if she breaks a hip and survives surgery, she will likely land in a nursing home and be at risk for C dif colitis?” The point is one can not be strong, healthy and in charge if you have fragile bones.

Another nurse we all revere in the Center is our 4HER nurse patient advocate, Mary McDonnell, RN. She is the eldest of 11 children and is a ‘mom’ to all, as well as an experienced, dedicated nurse, friend, sister, wife and an angel all rolled up into one terrific woman.

Cheers to all the hard-working, loving moms, nurses, and women who enrich all of our lives and help keep us strong, healthy, and in charge!

-Dr. Holly L. Thacker

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