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SMHC Names Peggy Belanger Caregiver of the Year

06/23/2014

At Southern Maine Health Care’s (SMHC) annual Employee Recognition Dinner, Oncology Nurse Navigator Peggy Belanger, RN, BSN, OCN was named Caregiver of the Year. Belanger is a valuable member of the SMHC team. She exudes SMHC’s core values of compassion, excellence, integrity, collaboration, and stewardship.

Belanger is a graduate of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital School of Nursing. She then went on to earn her Bachelor’s of Nursing degree from the University of Southern Maine. Belanger has been a caregiver for her entire career, 30 years of which took place caring for patients in various roles at Southern Maine Medical Center and now for the whole SMHC system.

"I have found Peggy to have a tireless and passionate approach to anything she undertakes," noted Ed McGeachey, president and CEO of SMHC. "She is always fully dedicated to the organization which she represents. This is shown through her extensive community involvement, as well as the numerous awards she has received throughout her career as an exceptional nurse, which speaks volumes to Peggy’s true self," added McGeachey. He concluded with the remark, "Peggy is a phenomenal caregiver at SMHC and far beyond the walls of our organization. The list of her accomplishments is bountiful and we are proud to have her on our team."

One example submitted on Belanger’s nomination stated, "It takes a special individual to sit with a stranger and make them feel comfortable and believe in hope when a cancer diagnosis is given. Peggy does this with ease but she doesn’t stop there. She cares about them in all aspects of care even beyond the medial aspects. She has coordinated hundreds of educational opportunities and ‘feel good’ programs that bring survivors together. The participants of these programs are truly grateful and experience a bond that carries over to future involvement. In addition to her work here at SMHC, she also collaborates effectively with the Cancer Care Center of York County (CCCYC), Maine Center for Cancer Medicine (MCCM), the Maine Cancer Consortium, Hospice of Southern Maine, and the Cancer Community Center to ensure patients across the geographical area are provided with opportunities to maximize their care."

The Caregiver of the Year award is chosen from among nominations received based upon patient comments and peer recommendations throughout the organization. The recipient must meet the following criteria: exemplify extraordinary commitment to patients on a daily basis; show compassion, empathy and respect in the delivery of care to patients and their families; acknowledge and meet the unique physical, emotional and practical needs of patients and their families and; promote an environment of cooperation and collaboration in which the expertise and experience of all health care professionals are available to patients.

Past Caregiver of the Year award recipients include: Bob Gowen, RPh in 2003; Connor Moore, MD in 2004; Diane Frechette, RN, BSN, CNOR in 2005 (who was also named Maine’s 2005 Caregiver of the Year); Gregory Leach, MD in 2006 (also named Maine’s 2006 Caregiver of the Year); Cynthia Pinette, RT in 2007; Rose Labrie, RN in 2008; Jim Pitts, RN in 2009; Donald Burgess, MD in 2010; Jill Mahoney, MD in 2011; Mike Sabo in 2012; and Lee Chick, RN in 2013.

About Southern Maine Health Care

Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is a national award-winning healthcare system, including two acute care medical centers; one in Biddeford, Maine licensed for 150 beds and one in Sanford, Maine, licensed for 58 beds. SMHC offers excellent clinical care and a multi-specialty physician services group with medical offices providing outpatient care located in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Sanford and Waterboro. Eldercare services are provided through four sites located in Sanford. Non-emergency care is available at Walk-In Care centers in Saco and Waterboro. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited, Pathway to Excellence designated, state-licensed, and is a member of the MaineHealth system. To learn more visit www.smhc.org or @smhcHealth on Twitter.

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