I’m a nurse practitioner who opened my heart—and home. I am Henry.

GhinescuAs a nurse practitioner, Irina is accustomed to wearing many hats and labels. Scientist. Adviser. Friend. Hand-holder. Laugh-sharer. Confidant. Hugger. So, when a patient-in-need needed something she had never been asked for in her 30+-year-career, she didn’t hesitate to say, “yes.” As in, yes, you and your newborn daughter can stay with me. And no, I’m not going to let her be sent out-of-country and away from you while you recover.

"When a patient-in-need needed something she had never been asked for in her 30+-year-career, she didn’t hesitate to say, “yes.”

Irina couldn’t imagine what it’d be like to get the best and worst news of your life in the same week—Congratulations, it’s a girl…and we’re sorry, it’s cancer. So, Irina decided she wanted to help in any way possible, a decision that would later earn her the prestigious 2021 Nightingale Award. It’s an award given to nurses who demonstrate excellence in nursing—either through selflessness, bravery, community service, innovation for the field or excellence in research and education—or in Irina’s case, many of the above.

That kind of open mind and heart is nothing you’ll find spelled out in our mission statement, help-wanted ads or any nurse’s credo…and yet, Irina offered. She went above and beyond the call of service to serve someone who needed just that. If you were to ask her, she would simply call it “doing the right thing.” But here, we call it an act of Henry.

Of course, it wasn’t just Irina who offered a hand when all parties were under one roof. “My 15-year-old daughter learned how to change diapers and developed quite a close relationship with the baby over time,” Irina recalled with a nostalgic smile.

“My 15-year-old daughter learned how to change diapers and developed quite a close relationship with the baby over time...”

Today, Irina’s patient is in remission and is raising her daughter in a home of her own. And while Irina tries to stay in touch as much as is appropriate, she certainly understands the value of giving a young family its chance to grow strong through independence. And…she’s plenty busy caring for her own family, of course.

We believe Irina’s efforts make her more Henry than most. And if you’re wondering, “Who is Henry?” We’ll be quick to tell you that it’s less of a who, and more of a what. Because it’s all of the qualities Irina has displayed throughout her career that make her very deserving of that title—and her recent award. And we look forward to celebrating the many accolades she’s sure to gain in the years to come.

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