Cathy Celli, Surgical Center Resource Nurse Manager, Honored with Compassionate Caregiver Award at Emerson Hospital


At Emerson Hospital’s annual Compassionate Caregiver Award event held recently, Cathy Celli, RN, Resource Nurse Manager for the Clough Surgical Center, was honored for her dedication to excellence with patients and their families. Nominated by her colleagues, Cathy was chosen as the recipient of this year’s Terry Croteau Compassionate Care Award, the highest honor at Emerson for patient care. 

As a clinical resource nurse in the Surgical Center, Cathy cares for patients before and after they have surgery, schedules the nursing team and ensures that all patients receive outstanding care throughout their entire time in the Surgical Center.

Some of Cathy’s colleagues have described her as the “epitome of grace under fire. She handles everything with a calm demeanor, a caring nature, and a strong empathy for others. She is constantly aware of the heightened concerns all patients have with surgery, provides extra TLC when needed. People want to be even better, just by being around her.” 

A resident of Leominster, Cathy has been a nurse in the Surgical Center since 1997. Prior to that, she worked as a nurse on a medical floor at Emerson, where she also did her student nurse practicum. She has been on the staff at Emerson for thirty-eight years. 

"I love working with patients and with the surgical team,” explains Cathy. “I wanted to be a nurse since I was in elementary school and read a book about Florence Nightingale, the philosopher of modern nursing. Nursing is hard work but there are so many positive aspects to it in terms of helping people when they are most in need.” 

“Cathy is the essence of an outstanding nurse at Emerson,” said Christine Schuster, RN, MBA, President and CEO at Emerson Hospital.  “She provides the best care to patients and their families each day, while ensuring staff have what they need to excel in their roles. We are honored to have her as a member of our Emerson team.” 

Emerson Hospital's annual Compassionate Caregiver Award was established in 2004 and recognizes compassionate care as exemplified by the late Terry Croteau, a social worker at Emerson who made an exceptional difference in the lives of her patients and co-workers. All hospital employees, medical staff and volunteers involved in caring for patients and their families are eligible to receive the coveted award. 

The concept for the award grew out of Emerson’s involvement in the Boston-based The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. The Terry Croteau Compassionate Caregiver Award is sponsored by Emerson’s Schwartz Rounds Committee, which recognizes and supports those who provide exceptional patient care in their daily practice, and the Berry Supporting Foundation.  Members of the Emerson community, including many on Cathy’s team, and her family members were in the audience when she received the award.