Friday, May 18, 2012

In memoriam: Keith Perleberg, RN, MDiv


Beloved nursing leader Keith Perleberg, RN, MDiv, director of the Patient Care Services (PCS) Office of Quality and Safety, died suddenly May 15 at the age of 59.

“Keith touched the lives of countless patients, families, friends and colleagues through his gentle, engaging and compassionate nature,” says Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, FAAN, senior vice president for Patient Care and chief nurse. “We have lost a great friend, colleague and champion of the patient.”

Perleberg served the MGH community for two decades and was admired by colleagues for his unique background as an ordained Roman Catholic priest, which allowed him to connect with patients both spiritually and clinically.

He began his career at the hospital in 1991 as a staff nurse on the Psychiatry Unit, where he was later appointed interim nurse manager. In 2001 he was named nursing director for Phillips House 20 and 21 and became known as an advocate for patient and staff safety, serving in leadership roles on a number of committees, including the Magnet Redesignation Committee. His talent and passion for providing the highest-quality, patient- and family-centered care led to his appointment as the first director of the PCS Office of Quality and Safety in 2007. Throughout his five years in this role, he worked tirelessly to ingrain quality and safety in hospital culture.

Perleberg’s contributions did not go unnoticed. He was recognized by Nursing Spectrum in 2003 as a New England Nurse of the Year finalist, and just last month was a recipient of the 2012 Partners HealthCare Nesson Award, which honors innovation in medical practice and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Perleberg is survived by his sister-in-law Carol, two nephews, a niece, eight grandnephews and grandnieces, and close friend Father Lenny O’Malley. A wake will be held from 3 to 7 pm, followed by a funeral Mass at 7 pm on May 21 at St. Peter Parish, 100 Concord St., Cambridge. A reception will follow.

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