March 19, 2021

Courage and Compassion Awards: Brigette, Assistant Director of Nursing

Brigette, Cascadia’s Assistant Director of Nursing, embodies an exemplary work ethic, skill set, and compassion for all, and this was was recognized early on in her career with Cascadia. Above all, Brigette is committed to the concept of whole health and ensuring everyone in our community has the support and resources they need to live a healthier life.

“As a society it seems we are finally starting to get back to the concept that we are whole people, none of our experiences exist in a vacuum,” said Brigette. “Treating a whole person is part of what drove me down the pathway of becoming a nurse. All of our training is from the framework of treating a person, not a symptom, not a single disease process. I feel that this whole person approach is an obvious match for social work, MSR, street outreach, primary care, housing and all of the other service modalities we provide at Cascadia. Whole healthcare requires a whole team.”

Brigette has accomplished so much during her seven years here, beginning as an RN and now serving as the Assistant Director of Nursing. “Brigette consistently shows true compassion and creativity in meeting the needs of her team, other Cascadian’s and for those we serve,” said Janis Cleveland, Cascadia’s Nursing Services Director. “If there is a need for any of these groups, Brigette is not one to be idle and finds a way to meet that need, even if it means she doesn’t get a day off for months at a time.”

Especially this past year, Brigette’s commitment to health and the wellbeing of our community was apparent. When COVID hit, Brigette helped lead the way in writing policy and procedures and supported programs across the organization in regards to infection control and proper PPE usage. Brigette also helped build the process for testing across the organization, which required coordination and scheduling testing times, answering questions, assessing each situation as it came up, and helping to manage all test result notifications and follow up questions.

When she was unable to be on site, she was on the phone, email, or web-ex supporting staff and clients alike in any way she could – this was on top of her regular work and covering various shifts where she could. “This led to many very long, 16 hour days and weekends as well – no days off,” said Cleveland.  “Again, no complaints from Brigette, only excitement about being able to provide these services for clients and staff.”

Additionally, Brigette was a key player in Cascadia’s efforts to distribute 1,000 vaccines to staff, residents, and community partners. Even during a snowstorm which caused road closures and power outages across the city, Brigette couldn’t be stopped. A Cascadia client recalls Brigette helping shovel snow in the parking lot, so that her and her husband could park and receive their vaccines safely.

“We arrived at a parking lot, unplowed and clogged with abandoned cars. After a number of attempts I was able to slide into the handicapped parking spot,” the client recalled. “But as soon as I did I knew I would never get out. Out came a woman with a shovel – she started shoveling the snow to help me, and then she was in front of my car and pushed us out. Brigette is a bright light in the darkness.”

Even through these incredibly challenging times, Brigette has remained hopeful and committed to her work. “There is never not hope. There are always helpers. There is always someone trying. There is always beauty. There is always strength, even if you don’t have anything to give in a moment, someone does,” said Brigette.

Brigette embodies courage and compassion and serves as an example to us all. We look forward to seeing the amazing things she will continue to accomplish!