FCHN Nursing and Direct Care Professional Awards Presented

May 22, 2023

Contact: Jill Gray, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, 207-779-2555

FARMINGTON, Maine—On May 11, after days of special activities in coordination with National Nurses Week, nursing leaders and peers recognized 12 Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) nursing and direct care professionals who selflessly dedicate and contribute to the advancement of patient care and healing through the organization’s annual Nursing Excellence and Nursing Care Partner awards. The event was hosted in the Bass Room and award nominees were encouraged to invite their families for the dinner and ceremony.

Eight nurses, three certified nursing assistants (CNA) and one ED tech were nominated for demonstrating MaineHealth’s core values of patient centered, respect, integrity, excellence, ownership, and innovation. They included: Nicole Bessey, RN; Charlene Cushing, RN; Kate Dube, RN; Kelli Gats, RN; Leslie Geissinger, RN; Debra Gibb, RN; Kassie Thibodeau, RN; Kristen Welch, RN; Emmye Abbott, CNA; Anna Given, CNA; Gidget Ellis, CNA; and Rylee Briggs, ED tech.

FMH Chief Nursing Officer Deanna Orfanidis, said in her opening remarks, “As a nurse, you strive for excellence in all you do. You have provided patients and their families with skilled, compassionate care and helped them navigate a complex health care environment. Your work makes a difference to countless patients, families, and communities who benefit from your dedication and professionalism. Take time to reflect on all the good you do, celebrate you and all the other health care workers. I am proud to be a nurse and stand by you today and into the future.”

Nicole Bessey, RN

Jolene Luce, director of Western Maine Area Health Education Center, which is hosted by FMH, served as emcee and read each nomination letter to the audience. At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, Nicole “Niki” Bessey, RN; Charlene Cushing, RN; and Anna Given, CNA, were named as the award recipients.

Bessey, who works at Franklin Health Women’s Care, was nominated by Dr. Jennifer Zeliger, Dr. Susan Kearing, Brad Gallant and Marion Hastings. “Niki has been a nurse at the Women’s Care for the past 16 years,” said Hastings. “She is a highly skilled nurse and an integral part of our team. Through her excellent nursing care she demonstrates commitment to our patients and has always been a great advocate for the women we care for.”

Charlene Cushing, RN

Cushing, who provides nursing care on the Med/Surg Unit, was nominated by Patti Chadbourne, Taylor Harris, Tamara Bannerman, Ian McLaughin, Paula Despres, and Theresa Desjardins. “Charlene demonstrates many skills of being a great nurse: reliability, kindness and patience. She has a great passion in caring for others which is demonstrated every day she works. She consistently displays teamwork and leadership and always helps encourage the people she works with,” stated Patti Chadbourne.

Anna Given, CNA

Given, CNA, provides patient care on the Med/Surg Unit. She was nominated by Patti Chadbourne, Tamara Bannerman, Ian McLaughlin, Theresa Desjardins and Paige McLaughlin. “She is a go-getter! Always on the move, helps out anyone—patient or staff. She meets the patient at their level and communicates with them therapeutically. I am always so happy when she is the CNA of my shared patient,” said coworker Theresa Desjardins, an occupational therapist.

Hall Nursing Partner

The final award given was to Medical Assistant Wendy Hall, who was presented the Nursing Partner Award for upholding the nursing philosophy of quality patient care. Luce stated, “Wendy is a wealth of knowledge and an answer finder. She is unwavering in the integrity she upholds to ensure we are doing the right thing for our patients and community. She is kind, respectful and patient centered and her work has not gone unnoticed.”


About FCHN
Franklin Community Health Network is a nonprofit, integrated network of rural health care providers, created by Franklin Memorial Hospital in 1991. Its affiliates include Franklin Memorial Hospital, Franklin Health, Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, and NorthStar EMS. It is a part of the MaineHealth family of local health systems.

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system whose vision is, “Working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.” It consists of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,500 employed and independent physicians working together through the MaineHealth Medical Group. With approximately 22,000 employees, MaineHealth provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.