Meet the Top Nurses Around the Main Line in 2023

Photos by Tessa Marie Images

Where would the Main Line region be without these unheralded caregivers? Ladies (and gentleman), here’s your curtain call.

Melissa Chinicci

Nursing Legend

Melissa Chinnici, RN, BSN

Melissa Chinnici has her aunt to thank for the initial inspiration to pursue nursing. Still, she always knew she wanted to help people—and that her personality was suited for it. Since graduating from Gwynedd Mercy University, Chinnici has worked as a nurse in long-term care and subacute rehabilitation. She values her relationships with coworkers, and she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. “Staff appreciate it when you’re willing to help out when things get crazy,” she notes.

Nothing was more challenging for Chinnici than the COVID unit. “I don’t know how I got through,” she notes.

When things get crazy, she encourages new hires not to get discouraged. “I tell them to observe another nurse do something they haven’t done at least once before they try it—have someone there to coach you along as you go,” she says. “Time management skills and learning how to prioritize tasks come with experience.”

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Looking ahead, Chinnici hopes nurses continue to be embraced as the professionals they are. “Poor staffing is normalized at this point, and the acuity in patients is only rising as technology improves and inpatient hospital stays get shorter,” she says.

Chinnici’s own long days are driven by the reality of the nursing shortage and a desire to support her family. “My patients actually say they miss me when they notice I’ve had a day off,” she says.

Bernadette Dugan, RN

The oldest of six kids, Bernadette Dugan was the one who fixed boo-boos and comforted hurt feelings. Just about everybody called her Bunny due to the plethora of Bernadettes her age. “Except my siblings,” she notes. “They called me Bossy.”

Growing up in Philadelphia, Dugan spent some time in the hospital for dehydration as a child. “It wasn’t a big-deal illness, but the nurses were just so amazing,” she says. “I always wanted to be a nurse.”

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In 1976, Dugan was licensed at the Philadelphia General Hospital, which closed a year later. She’d been an ER nurse for 16 years when her father was diagnosed with cancer and wound up in Fox Chase Cancer Center hospice under the care of Terre Mirsch in 1990. “Terre made herself part of our family in a day,” Dugan recalls. “In one single day, she served each one of us and took charge.”

Two years later, Dugan completed her hospice certification, took a position at Fox Chase and stayed 18 years. When Fox Chase closed its hospice, she followed Mirsch to Main Line Health. “Riddle Hospital has been awesome,” she says. “It’s the best-kept secret in the MLH system—a small community hospital with all the resources.”

As Riddle’s only hospice liaison, Dugan watches for compassion in the staff as they shadow her on family meetings. “Compassion means ‘to suffer with,’” she says. “As a nurse, you must be willing to walk with your patient and the family through the suffering.”

Bereavement services are offered to staff, too. “So many nurses quit during the pandemic,” Dugan says.

Even today, Dugan looks to Mirsch as a mentor. “Care for the person, not the disease—make an effort,” says Dugan. “In hospice, we’ve snuck in pets and had eggnog parties.

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We get one chance to do it right.”

Cheryl Monturo

Cheryl Monturo, PHD, MBE, ACNP-BC

For Cheryl Monturo, research wasn’t always fun. “That all changed at Penn,” says the senior nurse scientist.

The New Jersey native moved to Wayne in 1987, working at University of Pennsylvania Hospital, where she earned her master’s degrees as an acute-care nurse and clinical care specialist. She also did post-master’s work in acute care, initially wanting to practice more. But working in research was a better fit for someone focused on family.

In 2005, Monturo joined the teaching staff at West Chester University. “As much as I miss clinical practice, I love seeing nursing students get the ah-ha moment around their role—to understand what’s happening to a patient.”

In 2015, when Chester County Hospital pursued Magnate status recognition for the practice of nursing, they needed industry-based research. Monturo offered to help. Her watershed moment came during an evidence-based immersion program focused on bedside research. She adapted her own courses to allow an immersion experience for her own students.

Monturo hasn’t slacked off since leaving WCU in 2022. She mentors at Chester County Hospital, and she’s gotten into grant writing. “If we engage the nursing staff through research, we can retain them because they’ll understand the impact of everything they do,” she says. “They’ll understand that they do have control.”

Darlene Luther top nurses 2023

Darlene Luther, MHSA, BSN, RN

Technology has changed everything in Darlene Luther’s 33 years at Taylor Hospital. And yet she still makes her students manually research details on a patient’s medical card. “Concepts and rationales never change,” she says, “though devices might.”

Luther had experienced the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, but COVID was different. She vividly recalls crying with colleagues in their cars before heading home. “We’d promise to FaceTime each other and toast that we’d made it another day,” says Luther. “We didn’t know what we were doing.”

Raised in Glenolden, Luther began her career at now-defunct Hahnemann University Hospital after getting her nursing degree at Temple University and a master’s in health service at St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Taylor Hospital has been home for 33 years. “I’ve seen patients from the community who remember that I took care of their mom or dad,” she says.

A mere six months out of nursing school, she became an assistant clinical supervisor, often taking dual bedside roles. As an orthopedic nurse, she became assistant director of rehabilitation in the units. She moved to director as more units were added. She’s pushed beds, installed air conditioners and mopped floors. “I’ll do what it takes to keep the building going,” she says. “The white coat comes off if a patient needs something. I’d do that for any department.”

When her Dansko shoes finally fell apart after 30 years, Luther sent the company a photo. She had a brand-new pair in her mailbox the following week.

Valerie Heron

Valerie Heron, RN, BSN, OCN

Oncology wasn’t Valerie Heron’s first choice. “I originally wanted to do pediatrics or neonatal,” she admits.

Then a friend’s mother recommended working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Heron had a brother living in the financial district, so she jumped at the chance to experience the Big Apple. “Everything fell into place,” she recalls. “I had a good group of colleagues, doctors and nurses there. They inspired me to have a voice and learn as much as I could.”

Heron thrived on the group dynamic there, though oncology did have its sad times. “It’s taught me to appreciate life and the little things more,” she says. “If a patient has to be here, I focus on making their time less of a headache—less sad and even funny for them. There are bonds that form between patients and nurses.”

Now living in Norristown, Heron works in the inpatient and outpatient infusion room at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she’s constantly strategizing ways to improve patient care and optimize staff at the East Norriton facility. The satellite office doesn’t have a lab or imaging, and patients are onboarded at the main campus. “We’re having lots of conversations about exciting expansions out here,” Heron says.

Sonya Hash top nurses 2023

Sonya Hash, MSN RN NPD-BC NEA-BC

“The idea of helping people and making a positive difference on whole populations appealed to me,” says Sonya Hash. “I was pre-med, but I switched to nursing in college. It was a better fit.”

It still is. An ER nurse for 16 years, Hash now enjoys managing the collaborative process as she provides support as a charge nurse. “I enjoy the puzzle, managing the complexity of a team,” she says.

She also seized the opportunity to become an educator at her Chester County Hospital home base. “I wanted to support the nursing students in their efforts to be more confident,” she says.

After teaching for six years, Hash became CCH’s director of nursing professional development. “My north star is taking care of the ones who care for the patients—supporting their self-care for everyone’s sake,” she says.

Hash notes that 75% of workplace violence occurs in healthcare settings, and she’s determined to acquire the tools, the knowledge and the verbal skills to de-escalate any such situation. “We know that when nurses are given tools to care for themselves, it impacts patient care,” she says. “To deliver the best, we must offer it to our staff.”

2023 Top Nurses Directory

Behavioral Health/Psychiatric

Karen Carr, Erin Lopes, Regina Reilly
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Kathy Deegan
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Noel Lojeski
Pottstown Hospital
towerhealth.org

Burn Treatment/Wound Therapy

Christine Boyle, Geri Bozinko
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Meredith Bruno
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Jennifer McNicholas
Wound Healing Center
mainlinehealth.org

Cardiology

Colleen Brodwater, Barbara Brogan, Linda Clark, Amanda McCarthy, Diane Yarosewick
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Nicolette Owens, Kristy Pannicelli
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Melissa Cahill
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Jen Hickerson
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Alisha Burgess, Lisa Cilia, Janeen Franz
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Case Management

Christina Deal
Main Line Health
mainlinehealth.org

Kelly Shilling
Pottstown Hospital
towerhealth.org

Lisa (Elizabeth) Wallace
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Rose Amato
Taylor Hospital
crozerhealth.org

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Lisa Deppen, Rebecca Epp, Claire Rankin
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Marie Keegan
Main Line Health Anesthesia Associates
mainlinehealth.org

Luigi Patitucci
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Critical Care/ICU

Angela Barletta, Lauren Bohannon, David Esteves, Anna Tichtchenko
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

William Frazetta
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Joy Meservey
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Joyce Foresman-Capuzzi, Patricia Laporta, Mary Beth Sedwick
Lankenau Medical Center
mainlinehealth.org

Mary Collins, Casey Moran, Terry Noga
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital
trinity-health.org

Rachael Georges, Cathy Harron
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Candace Corrigan-Lynch, Brendan Gilroy, Jennifer Jones, Suzanne O’Leary
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Heather Chambers
Taylor Hospital
crozerhealth.org

Dialysis/Nephrology

Kathleen Happersatt, Barbara Smith
DaVita Kidney Care at Delaware County Memorial Hospital
davita.com

Emergency/Trauma

Liz McKinney, Linda Schanne, Jessica Strickland
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Kristin Pichardo
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Loreen Evans, Jennifer Thompson, Caroline Tyson
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Elizabeth Capuzzi, Tara Lathbury
Lankenau Medical Center
mainlinehealth.org

Mike McKay
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Jennifer Muner, Kelsey Newman, Daniella Sweeney
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Denise Gibbons, Denise Hale, Amanda Slivenski
Taylor Hospital
crozerhealth.org

Home Health

Cecilia Pizzino
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Terre Mirsch
Main Line Health Home Health Care
mainlinehealth.org

Hospice/Palliative Care

Mary Beth Dane, Christina Truax
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Donna Rugh
Main Line Health
mainlinehealth.org

James Cautillo, Bernadette Dugan, Diane Hayes, Caitlyn Moore, Concetta Murray, Colleen Popplewell
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Informatics

Sara Landis
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Nicholas Novella
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Lee Cowley
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Terri Czapka, Amy Kramer
Main Line Health
mainlinehealth.org

Bea Quattrone
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital
trinity-health.org

Amy Fairbanks
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Eric Eshleman
Phoenixville Hospital
towerhealth.org

Adrienne Yoder
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Lauren Bradley, Sarah O’Donnell
Taylor Hospital
crozerhealth.org

Inpatient

Amanda Clark, Teresa Giangiulio
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Lisa Willis
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Joanna Anninos
Lankenau Medical Center
mainlinehealth.org

Erin Monaghan, Eleanor Whittum
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Medical/Surgical

Lori Graver
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Alicia Morgan
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Winsome Josephs, Michelle Stedman
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital
trinity-health.org

Michael Abdalla
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Abigail Jewell, Amanda Lancellotti, Kate Moyer
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Neonatal

Carol Hand, Joanne Richway, Cindy Truscott
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Gail Conboy
Main Line Health
mainlinehealth.org

Jayne Clemens
Phoenixville Hospital
towerhealth.org

Nurse Manager

Mary Beth Berry, Jaimie Francione, Terry Haffey, Johanna McNally, Kelly Ann Zazyczny
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Betty (Elizabeth) Blow
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Todd Pagurek
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Nicolas Hoover
Fox Chase Cancer Center-East Norriton
foxchase.org

Amy Daly
Lankenau Medical Center
mainlinehealth.org

Shannon Hittle
Main Line Health
mainlinehealth.org

Geralyn Esworthy, Suzanne Mingis, Christine Robinson
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Jaime Bartholf, Cynthia Gutzler, Christina Myers
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Nicki Alesi, Heather Kostyk
Taylor Hospital
crozerhealth.org

Nursing Home/Long-Term Care

Ryan Pishock
Family Practice of Jeffersonville
fpjeff.com

Nursing School Educator

Matt McCoy
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Jodie Szlachta
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

OBGYN

Crystal Hallermeier, Nancy Shields
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Kelly Fay
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Stephanie Waters
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Charlotte Ayella, Ashley Cautillo, Courtney Tansey, Denise Wilks
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Oncology/Hematology

Brienne Daly, Christa Lynch
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Malinda Johnson
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Kimberly Berman
Fox Chase Cancer Center-East Norriton
foxchase.org

Elise Mentz, Lindsay Zebley
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Orthopedics

Colleen Birmingham, Rose Dooling, O’Shell Higgins
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Amy Lindsay, Kim Marion, Erin Spangler
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Outpatient/Ambulatory Care

Veronica Cooper
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Carol Shellock, Christa Shine, Maureen Sims
Fox Chase Cancer Center-East Norriton
foxchase.org

Mary Pat Ahern, Kelly Cashman
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

PACU

Patrick DeCecco, Anne Fiorentino, Angela Gardner, Stephanie Roccio
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Patty Bedford
Lankenau Medical Center
mainlinehealth.org

Monique Junker, Melanie McCusker
Paoli Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Crystal Davenport, Erin Machamer
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Pediatrics

Patricia Decina, Kristin Hartner, Liz Kelly, Meghan McCusker, Michelle Ventriglia
Bryn Mawr Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Primary Care

Lisa Broody
Lewis Family Practice

Radiology

Catherine Greek
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Cathy Heagy
Regional Cancer Center at Broomall
crozerhealth.org

Student Health Services: College Level

Lora Crosswhite, Marjorie Dreyer, Kelly Facenda, Lenore Joyce, Kathy Mundy
West Chester University
wcupa.edu

Ellen DeLuca
Widener University
widener.edu

Student Health Services: K-12

Kathryn Bromley, Yvette Devoue, Roberta Marcolino, Kathleen McNulty
Lower Merion School District
lmsd.org

Volunteerism & Service

Jacqueline Sharp
Chester County Hospital
chestercountyhospital.org

Gwen Smith
Crozer Chester Medical Center
crozerhealth.org

Karen Maffet
Main Line Health
mainlinehealth.org

Anne Carson
Riddle Hospital
mainlinehealth.org

Q: Do You Verify All Nurses On The List?

A: Yes. All voters and nominees are vetted using the appropriate state licensure resources, and fact-checkers are hired to confirm information. Every effort is made to collaborate with healthcare systems and employers during the validation process.

Q: How Selective Is The Directory?

A: Main Line Today employs an annual peer-to-peer balloting system that determines the cream of the crop in each profession.

Q: Can A Nurse Pay To Be On The List?

A: Never. Main Line Today receives no compensation from health systems, firms or any other source in exchange for placement on lists.

Q: I’m A Nurse. Why Didn’t I Receive A Ballot?

A: Every effort is made to include as many professionals as possible in the balloting process. Marketing and communications teams at healthcare systems are called on to help facilitate nominations.

Q: How Do You Choose The Specialties On The List?

A: We consult with nurses and other healthcare professionals for their recommendations.

Related: Your Guide to Senior Living Across the Main Line Region

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