The Northwestern Medical Center (NMC) Board of Directors recognized Molly Grismore, RN, posthumously as the recipient of NMC’s 2023 Community Service Award in recognition of her devoted service to the NMC and our patients.
The award was presented by Board President John Casavant who remembered Molly as a lifelong friend, and influential personality at NMC. Molly served as an Emergency Department nurse leader for over 40 years, and passed away this February.
Molly began her nursing career in 1966 at Kerbs Hospital where she started on the maternity floor. When she started in NMC’s Emergency Room, there were two nurses on duty during the day, two in the evening, and none at night, with no physicians staffing the room. Through her stewardship, the Emergency “Room” became a true Emergency Department. She led the establishment of a highly professional group of health care providers, recruiting full time physicians, nurses, ED Techs and Unit Secretaries. She advocated strongly for the ambulance bay to be built, and in 1996 it finally happened. She shepherded these changes with strength and confidence.
In 1995 she collaborated with the ED team to develop the “THINK” signs that are placed state-wide at sites where deaths associated with drinking and driving occurred.
Molly became certified as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) in 1996 and was in the first class offered in Vermont. She established one of the first SANE programs in Vermont hospitals and was instrumental in developing and maintaining services to sexual assault victims in the Emergency Department.
Molly had a strong partnership with the Northwest Unit for Special Investigations where she worked closely with law enforcement, DCF, victim advocates and prosecutors to ensure that all victims of sexual violence and child abuse were dealt with compassionately and fairly.
In 2011, she stepped down from her Nurse Manager role and continued to work in the ED as a triage nurse. She was a charter member of the VT Emergency Nurses Association and held the position of President for 5 years and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from NMC in 2018.
The NMC Community Service Award was established by NMC’s Board in 2013 to recognize an individual or organization residing in Franklin or Grand Isle Counties who exhibits enthusiasm, integrity, and perseverance beyond the ordinary to help fellow citizens and the community through selfless giving to improve the overall health of the community. Nominations are taken from NMC’s Board, staff, medical staff, volunteers, and Incorporators. The NMC Board makes the selection from the nominations.
The NMC Community Service Award is presented each year at a meeting of the NMC Incorporators. Recipients are presented with a crystal maple leaf commemorative award and have their name added to a plaque which hangs in the NMC Conference Center. Prior recipients of the NMC Community Services Award include: Dr. Thomas Howrigan; Marcia Perry; Helene Biggie; Dr. Frank & Judy Zsoldos; Retired Rear Admiral Warren and Barbara Hamm; Emerson Lynn; Kathleen Keenan, RN, Pam Cross, RN, Janet McCarthy, RN and Leon Berthiaume.
Photo Caption: From left to right, NMC Board President John Casavant presents the Community Service Award to members of Molly Grismore’s family: Staci Pearo, Fran Bouchard. Riley Pearo, Judy Walsh, Susan Bisson, Carl Bessette, and Harold Bessette.