Brenda Christiansen-Leone, a licensed nursing assistant (LNA) with BAYADA Hospice, received the prestigious New Hampshire Healthcare Heroes Award, which is sponsored by the NH Sector Partnership Initiative to recognize health care heroes who are on the front lines, ensuring that everyone is healthy, safe, and well-cared for.
The BAYADA Hospice office in Concord hosted a surprise celebration for Christiansen-Leone, who was instructed to come into work under the guise of picking up medical supplies. “I was so humbled by the recognition,” said Christiansen-Leone. “I do this work because of the unique opportunity to help those who truly need our compassion and respect during such a difficult time in their lives. I want to honor their last wishes and bring them peace, their way. I view my position as a privilege.”
Christiansen-Leone provides personal care support to patients when an illness no longer responds to curative treatments or when a patient chooses not to pursue aggressive therapies. In her nomination, her colleagues describe her as someone who truly puts a smile on the faces of her patients by simply being a friend, a caregiver, and just being there. When the COVID-19 pandemic limited one-on-one interactions, she could be seen outside her patients’ windows in the rain singing to her clients. She also coordinated video calls with families and their loved ones and even took the time to serve coffee to a tired workforce at a local facility.
“I try to make a personal connection with each of my patients and their families,” shared Christiansen-Leone. “Window visits became a way to stay connected, and if my singing brings them joy, then what’s a little rain!”
During the office celebration, the staff read personal notes from colleagues that showcased Christiansen-Leone’s dedication to her patients. “You have a wonderful way you give care,” wrote BAYADA Chaplain Nancy Phillips. “Your love, dignity, respect in your approach, the way you tell each patient what you are going to do, and your sense of humor too!”
BAYADA Hospice Associate Director Cassandra Suhaka couldn’t agree more. “Brenda has an intimate knowledge of all her patients and continually finds even the smallest bits of information and detail to strengthen connections and enhance the care, as if she were caring for her own family,” she said. “Going above and beyond is not something she has to work at, she just does it so effortlessly, and always with a smile.
BAYADA Hospice can help improve the quality of a patient’s live, provide comfort and dignity, address the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient and loved ones, and support patients, families, and friends with counseling and bereavement services.