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Published on July 11, 2022

Cape Cod Hospital Nurse Earns Special Recognition From State Surprise! Cape Cod Hospital Nurse Earns Special Recognition From the State

Melissa Keefe receives the Commonwealth Heroines award for her devotion to community and volunteer roles.

One day in early June, Melissa Keefe’s husband, Brian, received word that Melissa had been nominated for this year’s Commonwealth Heroines of Massachusetts award and she would be one of 121 women across the state being honored at a special luncheon in Boston on June 22. Melissa works as a registered nurse at Cape Cod Hospital’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit.

State Rep. David Vieira approached Brian, who also works at Cape Cod Healthcare as a senior Accountable Care Organization (ACO) analyst, and told him he nominated Melissa for her dedication to the Falmouth community and to improving youth education through her volunteer roles.

Vieira decided it would be fun to surprise her with this special recognition, and Brian was tasked with keeping it a secret for weeks. Melissa rearranged her work schedule for “a meeting in Boston with Rep. Vieira.” When they arrived at Venezia restaurant in Dorchester for the celebration, organized by The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW), Brian turned to Melissa and said, “We are here for the Commonwealth Heroines awards luncheon, and you are an honoree.”

“It was a complete surprise and honor, and I was completely humbled,” says Melissa, who recently celebrated 20 years at Cape Cod Hospital. “I have never really considered myself a hero/heroine, just a regular mom with a few things on the side. I’m not great at accepting praise (what nurse is?).”

Commonwealth Heroines are women who have been chosen by their legislators for their exceptional acts of service in their community. Others nominated for the heroine award included active community leaders involved with several charities, as well as mentors, volunteers and innovators, each of whom strives to make her town a better place. One recipient, from Fall River, had fostered more than 200 boys over the years. “I thought, ‘What am I doing with her?’ I’m just doing me. She’s a true hero and someone who is giving back,” says Melissa. “I have never done any of my volunteer work for the accolades, but to help wherever I can, whether it be at home, in the community or professionally.”

In addition to her job at Cape Cod Hospital from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and being a wife and mom to two children, daughter, Molly, and son, Joey, the Falmouth resident keeps busy by volunteering for the Falmouth School Committee, Falmouth Town Meeting (representing Precinct 4), the East Falmouth Village Association and Parent Teacher Organizations.

Melissa says her husband is her rock and keeps her compass straight. Brian also stays very involved in the community by volunteering his time as an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 38 and is on the Board of Directors with a local nonprofit organization. She also credits the support and love from her parents, Rose and Bob. “My mom, ‘Nana Rose,’ and dad, G.P., are top-notch, always willing to lend a hand with all our activities.”

So, what’s next? “Cape Cod Hospital has been really good to me. I love being a nurse. I’m not going anywhere. I can’t believe I have been here 20 years. For my anniversary gift from CCHC, I picked out a hammock for the kids to enjoy this summer.”

Congratulations on receiving this special recognition, Melissa!

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