A tribute to our Adult Program’s Nurse Manager

At Latham, we LOVE our nurses! During a virtual nursing conference last month, Adult Program Nurse Manager Shanna Cipro was honored in a moving speech during the DDS videoconference. Gina Sheehan, Director of Adult Services, paid tribute to Shanna:

“I am honored to be here today at the closing of the Department of Development Services’ Nursing Appreciation Conference. This year, it is more important than ever to acknowledge the resilience of “our nurses,” to express our gratitude for who you are as medical professionals, and to acknowledge the incredible impact you have on the programs you choose to serve.

Shanna Cipro joined our Adult Program in 2019. I remember her interview. I knew in that moment that she was what our program was missing. Shanna had zero knowledge related to Prader-Willi syndrome, the specific and rare complex multisystem disorder our program specializes in. Shanna jumped in to acquire the knowledge and expertise required to meet the medical needs of the individuals in the program. Shanna quickly became “our Nurse.” You all know what I mean by that.

Something hurts? Don’t feel well? Ask Shanna. Shanna will help. Shanna will know what to do. She promotes an openness which allows individuals and staff to approach her with any level of medical need or concern. Her ability to provide compassionate care in crisis situations or medical regression is beautiful and inspiring.

I’ve also referred to Shanna as a pit bull. For the record, I love pit bulls. What I mean by this is that Shanna is the strongest voice in the treatment teams of the individuals. She’s a fighter and will not back down and will not allow the individual to receive inferior care. In her advocacy, she has improved the lives of our individuals and has established incredible relationships with community providers.

So, then we had a pandemic — still have the pandemic. For the “rest of us” faced with a global pandemic, the world changed. For Shanna, the world changed and the “rest of us” needed more from her. With grace and patience and honestly — lots of fight, Shanna was unphased by this changing world. She remained steadfast in her focus on continued individual-specific care for our individuals. Her resilience to deal with the pandemic remains heroic, and her continued focus on growth and excellent medical care of the individuals was never impacted.

Shanna showed up every day, and when many took a step back, she kept the individuals safe — she kept us all safe. She met the fear and anxiety associated with the past year with logic and reason and what makes sense medically. She provided direct patient care in a time when the individuals needed it most. She focused on improving the mental health of the individuals, and happiness of all remains her focus. What nurse would dress up like a Christmas tree to bring holiday cheer to all the group homes?

We are so incredibly thankful for Shanna and couldn’t do this without her.”  ~ Gina

From all of us at Latham Centers, THANK YOU, Shanna!

Pictured:  Screenshots from the DDS Nursing Appreciation Conference video clip; Shanna (front left) at a meeting with colleagues from the Adult Services manager team back in 2019.

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