Two staff members at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island were recently awarded the annual Richard P. Welch Award for Continued Excellence in Patient and Family Centered Care.
Established in 2006 by the family and friends of Richard “Dick” Welch, the award was inspired by his unwavering commitment to excellence in patient and family centered care during his 35-year tenure serving Women & Infants as a trustee, board chair and chief operating officer. Awards are presented annually for a clinical and non-clinical employee.
The awards were presented by Mary Welch, Dick Welch’s wife, and Mary Pat Denci, his daughter, to Trisha O’Reilly, LICSW (clinical), and Melissa O’Donnell, LICSW (non-clinical).
In presenting the award to O’Reilly, a Portsmouth resident, Mary Welch noted that, “There is not one story that makes Trisha deserving of the award. We believe Trisha IS the story because she has helped, supported and advocated for hundreds of families throughout her career at Women & Infants. Trisha always appreciates, understands and accepts her families’ feelings and emotions, which is one of the most important interpersonal skills a social worker can possess. Trisha can be counted on to advocate for families in the most difficult of circumstances. She will leave no stone unturned or resource unexplored to best support families.”
Of O’Donnell, a South Kingstown resident who has twice headed the hospital-wide Patient and Family Advisory Council, Welch said, “Melissa is the embodiment of excellence in the practice of patient and family centered care at Women & Infants. She ‘walks the walk’ and ‘talks the talk’ in everything she does. Her leadership has been a key factor in helping patient and family centered care flourish at Women & Infants. Members of the Council have confided that they doubt it would have survived without her care, nurturing and leadership.”
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