Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) presented its inaugural Larry Hopperstead Award for Excellence in Patient Care to Julie Booker, NP, AONP.
Booker, a nurse practitioner at Hematology-Oncology Associates in Lewiston, was nominated for the award by the entire staff of the infusion center for her professionalism and selfless efforts to ensure that her patients receive top-quality, compassionate care.
The nomination spoke of her commitment to provide patients with seamless continuity of cancer care by working with other providers, creating symptom management and survivorship classes, exhibiting patience and compassion, being a constant presence of support, never rushing through care, and often being heard saying, “because it is what is best for our patients.”
The nomination also provided one specific example of Booker’s dedication to her patients:
“[Booker] had been frequently checking in on a young patient with terminal cancer, meeting with her family, communicating on a regular basis with providers in Boston, and tending to their every need. After many rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and extensive surgery, [Booker] followed the patient and made regular visits with her in rehab to ensure she was healing both physically and mentally. Once home, she once again made frequent calls to both the patient and family to ensure everything was going well. When the patient’s cancer once again progressed, [Booker] worked her magic to ensure the patient could be granted one last wish. She heard Patrick Dempsey was at the Dempsey Center for meetings and took hours out of her schedule that day to search the Dempsey Center and plan a meeting with the patient. When she arrived back at the office she was beaming with joy. She relayed to us that the patient had been able to meet Patrick and take pictures with him. She was thrilled. [Booker’s] hard work and compassion gave that patient one last reason to smile, and that is what made her smile.”
Her dedication to cancer treatment and care goes beyond her patients and into the community. Each year, Booker participates in the cycling portion of the Dempsey Challenge and the Tri for a Cure. Her participation in these events provides inspiration and comfort to her patients. In addition, she dedicates time to coaching youth soccer and hockey in her community.
The Larry Hopperstead Award for Excellence in Patient Care is named in honor of long-time Central Maine Healthcare (CMH) surgeon Dr. Larry Hopperstead, FACS. In his tenure at CMMC, he was instrumental in creating and building the hospital’s trauma program as Trauma Director, as well as, bringing Lifeflight of Maine to the Lewiston campus. In 2011, Hopperstead joined the Rumford Hospital Surgical Associates’ staff and brought his knowledge, surgical prowess, and patient-centered care to the River Valley until his retirement earlier this year. Throughout his career, Hopperstead never forgot that treating patients and team members with respect and compassion is the foundation of high-quality healthcare.
In honor of all that Larry Hopperstead brought to CMH, providers must:
- Model altruism, competence, trustworthiness, and humility
- Receive exemplary patient and family feedback
- Demonstrate success in improving the patient experience and reducing patient and caregiver suffering
Booker exemplifies CMH’s dedication to touching patients’ lives and elevating the communities it serves.