JoAnn McMahon, nurse, had no idea she had been nominated by her boss, Jill Gasparini, to receive a nursing award until she received news that she had won.
McMahon was selected over all other nurses in the state nominated for the William P. Doran Excellence in School Nursing Award. She has been a nurse for 30 years, always working with children, and even with premature babies earlier in her career.
Parents wrote to the Dept. of Public Health in support of her nomination – a fact that McMahon said she is still surprised by.
She spoke candidly about her daily challenges, and how proud she is of many Fiske students who struggle with different medical needs. Fiske has four children with type 1 diabetes, all of whom need close monitoring throughout the day. Last year, the four children, with Mrs McMahan's support, made a presentation about their illness to the school population, sparking other students' interest in presenting their health challenges.
When asked what she couldn't do without on a day-to-day basis, McMahon said her computer. The computer gives her quick access to information, health files and notes. She can research symptoms, advice and keep track of students' daily needs quickly and efficiently.
The official award was presented to McMahon on April 9, at the Annual Massachusetts School Nurses Conference in Marlborough.