DPH Staff Spotlight: Nurses

Nurses make up over 20 percent of the DPH workforce in a variety of roles. In addition to providing direct care at our four public health hospitals, they work on areas such as licensing, inspections, infection control, school health, and SANE.

Ymmacula Chery, LPN, Lemuel Shattuck Hospital

Ymmacula Cherry

Ymmacula has worked at the Shattuck Hospital for over 32 years. She enjoys providing care to medically complex patients, a job which is both challenging and rewarding. She has found that hospital management is flexible with scheduling hours to allow professional growth. She started as a nursing assistant and eventually became an LPN.

From Ymmacula –

”I would recommend the Shattuck Hospital as a place to work because you will learn evidenced based care to serve the public.”

“All the staff are friendly and we are now an extended family.”

Ralph Nelson, RN, BSN, CCRN, CNRN, ICU, Lemuel Shattuck Hospital

Ralph Nelson

After Ralph was awarded the Compassionate Caregiver Award in 2013, he transferred in 2014 to the Shattuck Hospital, where he is an ICU nurse. Ralph has found that a new nursing model has not been available for a long time, but he believes that the seasoned nurses at the Shattuck are creating a future community health nursing model.

From Ralph –

“If you want to be more than an employee number, if you want to leave a legacy, Shattuck Hospital is where you need to be.”

“The diversity at the Shattuck is making me a stronger, better human.”

“At the Shattuck, there currently exists a revolution of resolve to find a healthier, more just way forward. These are exciting times!”

Theresa Beardsworth, BS, RN, Nurse Manager, Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children

Theresa Beardsworth

Theresa has worked at Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children since August 2000. She recalls from early on that she was mentored by many co-workers and supervisors who taught her how to do her job well. She looked for opportunities to learn and accepted advice from experienced nurses. Years later, she has taken much of what she learned and shared it with new staff coming on board. Every day has given her the opportunity to learn new things.

From Theresa –

“I love to come to work and spend time with amazing patients every day. We are all here for these patients and the smiles they bring to our faces.”

“Staff and patients all face daily challenges and work hard to overcome them.”

“The patients and staff whom I work with have taught me not only to be a better nurse, but also a better person."


Susan Bratti, LPN, Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children

Susan Bratti

Susan has worked at the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children since February 2000. She has found that her position has helped her grow professionally and she has learned the importance of addressing patients’ physical and mental needs. She has also learned a lot of preventive and rehabilitative skills.

From Susan –

“I really enjoy working with the children/young adults. They really brighten my day. Even when I am having a bad day, they make me smile.”

“What I enjoy the most is making the children’s/ young adult’s lives better.  Their quality of life is what really matters."

Amy Gallagher, RN, Hospital Supervisor, Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children

Amy Gallagher

Amy has worked at the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children since 2010, where she is a supervisor. She enjoys working with the children, getting to know them, seeing them go through their activities, their graduations, and many other milestones. She also enjoys working with the staff, whom she describes as wonderful.

From Amy –

“For many children, Pappas Hospital is their home, which adds a special meaning to all our holidays.”

“The staff feel privileged to be part of the patients’ lives.”

Claudette Jaboin, RN, Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children

Claudette Jaboin

Claudette has worked at the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children since November 2006. She finds her job rewarding by making patients feel that they are special. She is proud of her work providing quality care and doing her best to keep them healthy, safe and happy.

From Claudette –

“What I enjoy most about working at Pappas is observing the progress patients make between admission and discharge.”

“I like the environment. All patients are treated with respect and dignity.”

“No one is left behind.”

Joanna Bacay BSN, RN, Charge Nurse, Tewksbury Hospital

Joanna Bacay

Joanna has worked at Tewksbury Hospital since 2015. She loves her job and the patients she serves even though working as the charge nurse on the graveyard shift sometimes can be challenging. The widely varied patient mix with various complex medical and behavioral needs has enabled her to hone her nursing skills. She also has learned team work and the ability to think on her feet, especially during emergencies.

From Joanna –

“My passion is serving very fragile and behaviorally compromised patients using a human touch, compassion and skill.”

“I would invite anyone to work at Tewksbury Hospital because we give very good quality care to our patients.”

“At the end of my shift, if I have relieved pain, comforted someone, kept them warm and clean and made them smile, that to me is a satisfying payment for a job well done.

Brenda Baez, BSN, RN, CDDN, Tewksbury Hospital

Brenda Baez

Brenda has worked at Tewksbury Hospital since September 1996. She started as a nursing assistant and later became a nurse. Through her 25 years experience at the hospital, she explains that every position she has held helped shape the person she is today, both professionally and personally. Asked if she would recommend someone work at Tewksbury, she replies “Absolutely!!”

Also from Brenda –

“I love taking care and working with a diverse population and meeting new people.”

“Working here all these years has enhanced my knowledge, improved my responsibilities and taught me new skills.”

“People who come to work here end up staying a very long time. That speaks for itself.”

Terry Haley, RN, Infection Prevention Nurse, Tewksbury Hospital

Terry Haley

Terry has worked at the Department of Public Health since 2000 and currently is an Infection Prevention Nurse at Tewksbury Hospital. She finds the biggest reward of being a nurse is meeting and helping a diverse group of patients and helping them when they are at their most vulnerable.

From Terry -

“Knowing that there is something to learn every single day is an understatement.”

“I have learned so much about nursing and myself over the last 20 years.”

“Seeing patients discharged and go on with their lives is what I love about being a nurse."

Ellen Latour, DNP, Nurse Practitioner, Western Massachusetts Hospital

Ellen Latour

Ellen has worked at Western Mass Hospital since 2015. She admires the patients because they are strong, resilient and have a bright outlook. They have taught her that everyone has their own definition of quality of life, they don’t dwell on their medical issues and view the hospital as their home. She enjoys the team work and respect of the entire staff who work together to care for patients and their families.

From Ellen –

“What I enjoy most about working at the hospital is collaborating with the staff and knowing that they feel comfortable talking with me, asking questions and working with me to give the best care we can to this vulnerable population.”

“The patients make me smile, laugh and sometimes cry and always make me thankful for them and the chance to know and care for them.”

“These vulnerable patients inspire me every day.”


Darlene Macsisak, RN, Infection Prevention Nurse, Western Massachusetts Hospital

Darlene Macsisak

Darlene has worked at Western Mass Hospital since July 1990. Darlene’s work experience at the hospital has enabled her to transition from an LPN to the Infection Prevention Nurse. Over time, she has learned that she enjoys sharing her experiences and techniques with the hospital staff. She found that she could grow her skills and knowledge by working on different units and shifts.

From Darlene –

“DPH employees are very friendly and make you feel like a part of the team from the very first day.”

“I enjoy the friendships I have made over the years.”

“I am part of a team that works toward making the lives of the patients better.”


Heather Cambra BSN, RN, JD, Substance Abuse Rehabilitation, Program Coordinator Board of Registration in Nursing

Heather Cambra

Heather has worked at the Board of Registration in Nursing since 2006. She feels thankful to work with nurses affected by substance abuse disorder and supports them in their return to safe practice. She believes her job is a perfect fit with her nursing and legal backgrounds. Every day is different and holds something new.

From Heather –

“I recommend working for DPH because it’s built on the idea of helping people.”

“Participating in DPH’s Diversity Council and Veteran’s Resource Network has expanded my professional growth, initiatives that make DPH a more inclusive workplace.”

“What I enjoy most is that DPH offers an environment where being an educated woman is embraced and celebrated!”

Laurie Courtney, MSN, RN, Immunization Nurse Manager & Perinatal Hepatitis B Coordinator, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences

Laurie Courtney

Laurie is the Coordinator for the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program in the Immunization Division. She is responsible for nursing responsibilities related to communicable disease control, infectious disease response and vaccine-preventable disease. She also serves as a resource for providers and the public for immunization information.

From Laurie –

“Working as a public health nurse at DPH, I use all my education, training, and experience to make a difference in the health of my ‘patient’ - the entire Commonwealth!”

“It is exciting and meaningful to collaborate with so many others, of many disciplines, who share the same mission.”

Julie A. Crocker-Wilson, RN, BSN, Health Care Facility Inspector, Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification

Julie Crocker-Wilson

Julie has worked as a health care facility inspector since 2016. As a surveyor, she ensures that health care facilities provide quality and safe care by reviewing their compliance with state and federal regulations. Her experience includes visiting a wide variety of health care providers: long term care facilities, nursing aide training programs, hospices, community mental health clinics and others.

From Julie -

“What makes my job fulfilling is working alongside a team of dynamic individuals.”

“As nurses, we are often siloed in our professional practice, but in my role, I have seen how nurses have been integrated into the many valuable roles they play within various health care facilities.”

“The Bureau of Health Care Quality and Safety brings together a diverse set of individuals, with various professional backgrounds, and a common goal.“

Denise Egan, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, CDCS, Quality Review Nurse, Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality

Denise Egan

Denise has worked  DPH since 2008. She enjoys interacting with providers and staff at healthcare facilities and working in the survey process, learning and implementing new regulations and guidelines. In the past year especially, she reports that she has learned an incredible amount about infection prevention and control and the role of the Infection Preventionist.

From Denise –

“My job has enabled me to be current in the standards of practice and regulations, ensuring facilities are in compliance and quality care for patients.”

“I have been privileged to assist DPH by participating on the Medical Review Team, the State’s Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Plan as well as many other taskforce committees.”

“There are multiple opportunities, constant learning on the job and the benefits are great.”


Adine Latimore, DNP, MS, PPCNP-BC, Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program

Adine Latimore

Adine has worked as a pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner since 2006. She reports that the job has provided her needed expertise and that she has grown in her confidence and abilities to work with the children that she cares for and address their individual needs. She describes her colleagues as an incredibly special group that appreciates and loves they work they do.

From Adine –

“This job has helped me become a leader and educator about child abuse and exploitation.”

“I love the respect my colleagues have for each other and the trust that we can bring anything and everything to the table without fear of not being understood or listened to.”

“I love watching the kids’ faces as they leave my office with the new knowledge that they are ok; that is the best part.”

Melissa Marlowe, RN, MS, Program Director Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition

Melissa Marlowe

Since 2001, Melissa has worked for the Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition in its program for homeless families. Specifically, she works with home visitors who serve the homeless families and whom she describes as a wonderful, dedicated team. In her role, she enjoys collaborating with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and emergency assistance shelter providers to secure housing and meet the needs of homeless families.

From Melissa –

“While the work is complex and challenging, I’ve learned to grow and develop as a leader.”

“Working with colleagues in my bureau has fostered in me a sense of community.”

“I recommend working at DPH for its supportive environment, priority for professional growth and the value placed on training and skills development.”