Margaret McDonagh Gallagher

Tufts MC True Blue Recipient: Margaret McDonagh Gallagher, RN
Case Manager

Nomination from Liz Barnhart, Clinical Nursing Director, General Medical Associates:

“Margaret is kind, caring and goes beyond her job description as a Case Manager to change a patient or a family’s experience. She works out of the Emergency Department (ED), yet if there is a General Medical Associates patient that needs special help, we call on her. Her passions over the last year have been to raise awareness of health care proxy importance, spearhead a multidisciplinary cross- agency group formation known as Frequent Emergency Department Seekers (FEDS), and sit on the patient subcommittee of the Tobacco Committee to help stop tobacco use on campus. She puts patients first and maintains each one’s dignity, all in a kind, nonjudgmental manner. Margaret has been an employee at Tufts Medical Center for over 20 years and she deserves to be recognized for her commitment to Tufts MC’s mission. At a Monthly Managers meeting [last year] she was recognized for helping a homeless man who laid in front of Tufts MC heating grates. Margaret does this for everyone.

“A 97-year-old came into ED accompanied by family…; Margaret paged me, knowing I would have some background [on the patient]. I immediately went to the ED to see the patient and the patient’s family to help in the transition and formulation of the plan for end-of-life care. Margaret, working with ED staff, talked with the family and made the patient’s last journey to Tufts MC very patient-focused and positive. She then went beyond her role by helping us [identify] future resources if a similar case with Medicare requirements occurred. The next day, Margaret visited the patient and the family to see if there was anything else she could do and to support them. She showed how much Tufts MC’s staff cares about their patients.

“The FEDS group consists of social workers and health care resource workers from our ED, Risk Management, Boston Department of Public Health and Health Care for the Homeless. This group meets regularly to case find and resource plan for frequent users of EDs in the city. I could write about the patients that Margaret has helped through taxi vouchers, chasing them away from substance abuse, or linking them with agencies. Margaret treats these patients with respect and gives positive feedback to all the other committee members. She tells them how great a job they are doing with the homeless or substance abusers who are on the list. I heard a story about how she sent a card to a patient who was on the FEDS case list when this patient was placed in a nursing home. When someone from Health Care for the Homeless went to visit the patient, the patient proudly displayed a "thinking of you" card from the Tufts Medical Center ED. This patient mattered.”