'Her Patients Were Her Family, Too'

Lahey Nurse Remembered, Doctor Honored in Annual Award Ceremony

  Her Patients Were Her Family, Too 

Sharon DiGregorio, earlier in her nursing career. 

A momentary silence fell over the dimly lit auditorium before the crowd of over 100 stood and burst into a roaring applause. Their faces bore broad smiles. Many tear-filled eyes swung their focus toward Dan, Cassaundra, Bianca and Marissa DiGregorio, the family of longtime Lahey Hospital & Medical Center clinical research nurse Sharon DiGregorio, who passed away in February after a long battle with breast cancer.

The family was there to accept an award for Sharon DiGregorio on June 8 at Lahey’s 24th annual Patient Care Awards, where a physician and non-physician who exemplify the ideals of their profession are honored.

“Sharon’s patients were her family, too,” said Dan DiGregorio, her husband, his voice cracking. “I still get notes from patient’s families. Right now Sharon is smiling down on us saying ‘Well, I guess I did a good job.’”

Sharon DiGregorio worked at Lahey for 30 years, and, despite a long battle with breast cancer, worked until a few months before she died.

“It’s hard sometimes during the daily grind and amongst the constant worrying about our patients and juggling of our schedules to pause and acknowledge and recognize those who go above and beyond every day to make people’s lives better,” said oncologist Corrine Zarwan, MD, who worked closely with Sharon DiGregorio. “There is no one more deserving of this award than Sharon.”

Also honored was urologist Andrea Sorcini, MD, who received the physician award, given to someone who best exemplifies the ideals of their profession by combining a mastery of the art and science of medicine with the human values of caring, empathy and effective communication.

“There is no other job that can give you the reward of having an impact on other people’s lives,” said Sorcini. “Keep doing what you’re doing because that makes you special.”