Tufts MC True Blue Recipient: Melanie Marshall, RN, Cardiac Arrhythmia Center Nurse
Nomination from Director of the New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center N.A. Mark Estes, MD:
“Melanie has advanced this institution’s mission for patients and their families in a uniquely quiet, efficient and determined fashion. Her efforts have had a profoundly positive effect on Tufts MC and those we serve. For over three decades, Melanie has truly set the standard for customer service, innovation, quality and kindness that has been passed on to many generations of nurses, physicians, technicians and other healthcare professionals who have had the privilege of working with her at the Medical Center.
“After starting her career at Tufts MC in the Coronary Care Unit, she was chosen from a group of highly qualified nurses to work in the Cardiac Cath Lab by the Director, Dr. Deeb Salem. It was evident that not only was Melanie highly competent clinically, but she demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the highest standards of care of patients and family members. In a quiet, unassuming, yet unequivocal manner, she ensured that all staff met her standards of compassionate care and excellent communication with patients and their families. Melanie championed the development of specialized clinics and monitoring to meet the clinical needs of patients with cardiac rhythm devices. She was at the forefront of this innovative model of care that has evolved to be the best practice, [including] recognizing the emerging clinical need and establishing a Cardiac Arrhythmia Center Monitoring Center that now oversees over 10,000 remote transmissions from patients annually.
“As technology became available to monitor patients, pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators remotely [over the telephone], Melanie was made aware of poor service by commercial companies. She undertook a bold initiative to provide these monitoring services internally with individuals that she trained. She recognized the value of having patients monitored by clinicians who knew them, had access to their physicians and records, and were deeply committed to improving their outcomes.
“Within a few weeks of implementing this new service, she followed up with a personal call to a patient who had mentioned to a technician during a routine phone transmission that he was feeling somewhat fatigued with exercise. Knowing this stoic patient was not one to complain, she elicited new symptoms of possible angina. She took personal responsibility of arranging an urgent stress test with his local cardiologist. This led directly to a cardiac catheterization and emergency coronary bypass surgery.
“…This gentleman is a healthy and vigorous 86-year-old, now 15 years out from his lifesaving surgery. He makes an annual pilgrimage from the South Shore to Boston as a symbolic expression of his enduring gratitude to Melanie. He is one of many patients who have benefited from Melanie setting the highest possible standards of customer service, innovation, quality and kindness during her exceptional career at Tufts MC.”