Victoria Loconte
Victoria Loconte - Adoption of Beloved Dog Ellie

Victoria Loconte Looks Back on Adoption of Beloved Dog Ellie

Victoria LoConte reflects on the adoption of her much-loved dog, Ellie, from New England’s Northeast Animal Shelter.

 

Victoria LoConte 1
Victoria LoConte 

Massachusetts native Victoria LoConte takes a five-year look back to the adoption of her beloved dog Ellie from Northeast Animal Shelter, just north of Boston.

 

“Ellie came home with us on February 2014,” reveals LoConte, an emergency room staff nurse at Everett Hospital, in Everett, Massachusetts, and a former nurse manager, case manager, and visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Ellie, she says, immediately stole her heart on that cold, wintry day. “She pushed her littermates aside in the kennel to lick my fingers.”

 

“When she came into one of the adoption visiting rooms to meet us, she ran right up to me, licked my face, and rolled onto her back for a good ol’ fashioned belly rub!” Victoria laughs. “I just knew she was the one for us!” she adds.

 

Even five years on, Ellie continues to roll over regularly for belly rubs, according to LoConte. “She quickly gained the nickname ‘Ellie Belly!'” she reveals.

 

Victoria has nothing but praise for Ellie, calling her the sweetest dog and highlighting her playful and courageous personality. “Since being with us she’s met many children, people, and other dogs, and she’s loved them all,” she explains, “and continues to make us so proud!”

 

Adopted as a shepherd/labrador mix, LoConte has come to believe that Ellie may also be a part-border collie. “That said, we quickly decided that Ellie’s breed doesn’t matter at all,” she explains, “and I soon started calling her our American dog from the south.”

 

“We still cannot thank Northeast Animal Shelter enough for bringing our Ellie to Massachusetts back in 2014,” Victoria adds, wrapping up, “and she continues to be the love of our lives.”

 

Victoria spreads the word about Ellie hoping to raise awareness on the benefits of adopting from shelters instead of purchasing dogs from “backyard breeders” or pet shops that source their animals from puppy mills. According to PAWS, the nationally recognized non-profit animal betterment charity, states that back-yard breeders and puppy mills are motivated by profit and breed animals negligently and in substandard conditions. Victoria wants people to realize that adopting dogs from these types of situations encourage irresponsible breeding when there are already so many dogs and cats waiting for homes in shelters. 

 

Northeast Animal Shelter, meanwhile, established in 1976, is one of New England’s largest not-for-profit, no-kill animal shelters, successfully placing more than 135,000 cats and dogs into loving homes in its 43-year history. Northeast Animal Shelter is located 30 minutes north of Boston, easily accessible from much of New England. The shelter receives no local, state, or federal funding, and is wholly dependent upon generous contributions from the public to cover its annual operating budget. For more information, visit https://www.northeastanimalshelter.org/.

Victoria Loconte - Patient Returns to Thank Er Staff

Victoria Loconte Reflects on Lifesaving Efforts As Patient Returns to Thank Er Staff

Emergency room staff nurse, Victoria LoConte, recalls cardiac patient’s return to offer thanks to her and her colleagues.

Victoria LoConte 4
Victoria LoConte 4

Massachusetts native, Victoria LoConte, is an emergency room staff nurse and former nurse manager, case manager, and visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Today based at Everett Hospital, LoConte looks back on a recent return visit from a patient who, weeks earlier, had arrived at the Cambridge Health Alliance facility critically ill and experienced a massive heart attack.

“The Cambridge Health Alliance Everett Hospital emergency department was delighted to receive a return visit from a grateful former patient,” explains LoConte.

Cambridge Health Alliance is a healthcare provider in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities within Massachusetts. Everett Hospital is one of two Cambridge Health Alliance hospitals north of Boston, is a teaching site for Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, and serves the 200,000 residents of Everett, Chelsea, Malden, Saugus, Revere, and Winthrop.

The Cambridge Health Alliance Everett Hospital emergency department has some of the shortest wait times in Massachusetts and is one of the state’s highest-rated ERs for patient satisfaction.

The patient in question had previously walked into the hospital’s emergency department several weeks prior, complaining of chest pains, LoConte reveals.

“They were driven to Everett Hospital, and after being brought straight to a bed and triaged, the patient went into cardiac arrest,” says the experienced emergency room staff nurse.

Thankfully, the patient was successfully resuscitated by the hospital’s emergency department team and, within minutes, arrangements had been put in place to transport them to a tertiary care center for cardiac catheterization.

A tertiary care center is a hospital which provides a level of care obtained from specialists after a referral from providers of primary care. Cardiac catheterization, meanwhile, is a procedure carried out to examine how well the heart is working. “A catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel,” LoConte explains, “which leads to their heart for both diagnostic and interventional purposes.” “This story highlights the dangers associated with the elderly in the winter. As this patient was doing, shoveling in the cold will cause one’s heart rate and blood pressure to increase; now consider that the cold is also causing vasoconstriction and is decreasing the amount of oxygen supplied to the heart. This is a perfect storm for at-risk adults and is known to be a trigger for heart attacks,” LoConte explains. “The winter is also hazardous in that it can trigger respiratory problems and icy conditions can cause falls.” “The winter is a very busy time in the emergency room and I try to encourage my elderly patients to take the necessary precautions,” LoConte concludes.

Once fully recovered, the patient returned to Everett Hospital to personally thank the team members on duty during the morning on which they had first arrived, including Victoria LoConte.

The emergency room team was delighted to be visited by this patient again when he came back to thank the staff. The hospital’s newsletter reported on the visit, taking pictures and publishing the story online.

“It’s always wonderful to receive happy visits from patients who we’ve helped,” adds LoConte, wrapping up, “and I’m immensely proud of the work that my colleagues and I do each and every day at Everett Hospital.”

Victoria LoConte is an emergency room staff nurse at CHA Everett Hospital in Everett, Massachusetts. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, obtained from the Lawrence Memorial School of Nursing with Regis College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to her current position, LoConte has also worked as an urgent care facility nurse manager, a case manager, and as a skilled visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Her experience includes adult, geriatric, and pediatric care.

Victoria LoConte

Victoria LoConte looks back on Everett Hospital Xenex system study

Emergency room staff nurse Victoria LoConte reveals her interest in past findings surrounding pulsed xenon ultraviolet light disinfection in hospital settings.

A study previously conducted at Cambridge Health Alliance’s Everett Hospital demonstrated that pulsed xenon ultraviolet light disinfection was capable of significantly reducing operating room contamination of both surfaces and air. Today an emergency room staff nurse at the same facility, Victoria LoConte looks back on the study’s findings and her own research paper delving into the implementation of such systems as part of her training.

CHA Everett Hospital is a 162-bed hospital in Everett, Massachusetts, and one of three hospitals which together form Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate. The study, presented during an Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology annual meeting, demonstrated that Xenex Healthcare Services’ disinfection system reduced surface contamination by 81 percent, and air contamination by 46 percent. “The study also showed that between-case contamination continued to rise with standard cleaning, but was reduced to almost zero when the device was used,” reveals Victoria LoConte.

“I found the 2013 study to be extremely interesting,” explains the emergency room staff nurse, “and completed a research paper on the implementation of Xenex disinfection systems in emergency room settings as part of my own studies.”

According to the product’s makers, each year in the United States, approximately the same number of people lose their lives as a result of healthcare-associated infections as do from breast cancer, AIDS, and auto accidents combined. “As antimicrobial resistance increases, such infections will likely become even more life-threatening and costly to address,” suggests LoConte, “which is why advances in disinfection system technology are so important.”

As the market leader in environmental disinfection, Xenex Healthcare Services has today helped more than 400 hospitals in America to achieve healthcare-associated infection rate reductions, according to the company.

LoConte’s paper, a change proposal titled ‘Xenex Utilization in the ER,’ determined that considerable substantiating evidence was present to indicate the effectiveness of the Xenex device in preventing the spread of infection by eliminating contagions. “Utilization in the emergency room was identified as a challenge, however, due to knowledge deficits and patient flow,” she adds.

Her proposal, she says, was aimed at improving these issues and ultimately reducing, in particular, rates of Clostridium difficile infection.

Victoria’s work covered organization, improvement opportunity, purpose, proposal initiative, leadership, proposal care support, value-based support, data evidence, strategies, strategy defense, change theory, change assessment, quality outcomes, communication, data flow, and more.

“In essence, I found,” she adds, wrapping up, “that while strong leadership was required at all steps to ensure success, sustainability, and quality assurance, the Xenex device was, in fact, proven highly effective in preventing the spread of infection via the successful elimination of contagions.”

Victoria LoConte is an emergency room staff nurse at CHA Everett Hospital in Everett, Massachusetts. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, obtained from the Lawrence Memorial School of Nursing with Regis College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to her current position, LoConte has also worked as an urgent care facility nurse manager, a case manager, and as a skilled visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Her experience includes adult, geriatric, and pediatric care.

Victoria Loconte - Upcoming North Shore Pride

Victoria Loconte Presents Details of Upcoming North Shore Pride

Manchester-by-the-Sea area local Victoria LoConte offers a closer look at North Shore Pride.

 

Victoria LoConte 7
Victoria LoConte 7

Held each year in the Massachusetts town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, the mission of North Shore Pride is to promote the welfare, unity, and acceptance of the local LGBTQ community by engaging in fundraising activities and partnering with allied individuals and organizations. Local emergency room staff nurse and past North Shore Pride attendee Victoria LoConte provides a closer look at this year’s upcoming event.

 

“The annual North Shore Pride event takes place each year in Manchester-by-the-Sea, a town on Cape Ann, in Essex County, Massachusetts, well known for its scenic beaches and vista points,” reveals LoConte, a resident of nearby Everett, approximately 25 miles southwest of Manchester.

 

LoConte most recently attended the event in 2017, where she represented Lynn Community Health Center. “Lynne Community Health Center is proud to offer comprehensive health care of the highest quality to everyone in the community,” she explains, “regardless of their ability to pay.”

 

The Greater Boston area organization currently offers LGBTQ+ primary care, hormone therapy, PrEP, behavioral health, and STI testing and treatment, among a wide variety of other vital and much relied upon medical, health, and wellness services.

 

North Shore Pride seeks to enhance the social life of the local gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, while also promoting the general welfare and acceptance of the same individuals by the wider North Shore population.

 

Also intended to promote greater understanding of LGBTQ issues, the event and its organizers further serve as advocates on behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in and around the North Shore area, and throughout Manchester and further afield.

 

“North Shore Pride organizers engage in producing events designed to promote fundraising for their work in order to give back to the community,” explains LoConte. “It’s only through partnering with passionate local individuals, businesses, and other organizations that the event is able to so successfully carry out its mission,” adds the emergency room staff nurse.

 

North Shore Pride 2019 officially kicks off on Thursday, June 20, at 7:00 pm with the North Shore Pride Interfaith Service. The main pride parade, meanwhile, begins at 12:00 pm on Saturday, June 22. This is followed at 1:00 pm by the North Shore Pride Festival, and, later in the evening, the event’s after-party.

 

Further to hosting the annual North Shore Pride event, Manchester-by-the-Sea also boasts a number of other attractions and points of interest, including the so-called Singing Beach. “Singing Beach is so named,” LoConte explains, “thanks to its sand—which appears an iridescent color as the sun sets—squeaking when walked upon.”

 

Other attractions and points of interest in the northeastern Massachusetts town include Agassiz Rock, Masconomo Park, Coolidge Reservation, Crow Island, Manchester Historical Museum, and Cathedral Pines.

 

For more information about North Shore Pride 2019, please head to http://www.northshorepride.org/.

 

Victoria LoConte is an emergency room staff nurse at CHA Everett Hospital in Everett, Massachusetts. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, obtained from the Lawrence Memorial School of Nursing with Regis College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to her current position, LoConte has also worked as an urgent care facility nurse manager, a case manager, and as a skilled visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Her experience includes adult, geriatric, and pediatric care.

Victoria LoConte shares details of family’s Ronald LoConte Fund

Victoria LoConte

Emergency room staff nurse Victoria LoConte offers a closer look at the charitable fund established to honor her late uncle, Ronald LoConte.

Described as gentle, kind, and a peacekeeper, Ronald LoConte relocated from his hometown of Everett, Massachusetts, to Molokai in Hawaii as a young man in order to begin a more selfless, off-grid way of life. Later, he would join the Peace Corps, subsequently spending time in more impoverished nations such as Guatemala, before sadly losing his life to cancer. Here, Victoria LoConte offers a closer look at the charitable fund established in his name and reveals more about her much-loved late uncle.

“After my uncle, Ronald LoConte, very sadly passed away, my family had a square in our hometown of Everett, Massachusetts, adjacent to the city hall, memorialized in his name,” reveals Victoria. “We also started the Ronald LoConte Fund,” she continues, “subsequently supporting terminally ill children, struggling families, and others in need with all manner of help, gifts, and further assistance.”

Described by the family as a gentle and kind peacekeeper, in life, they say, Ronald LoConte selflessly cared for those in need, whether they be friends, family members, or complete strangers.

“After graduating from Brown University, he moved to the island of Molokai in Hawaii to live off-grid, before deciding to join the Peace Corps,” reveals Victoria. Here, she says, Ronald became immaterialist and discovered a passion for serving more impoverished nations, later spending time in countries such as Guatemala.

Capable of promptly picking up new languages and regional dialects, locals quickly developed an affinity for her uncle Ronald, says Victoria. “My father, Vincent, often recalls how the children of Guatemala playfully nicknamed his brother ‘Gigante Blanco,’ or ‘White Giant,'” she adds.

While serving in the Peace Corps, Ronald fell ill and was sent to the George Washington University Hospital. “It was at this time that doctors discovered and diagnosed my uncle with colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver,” Victoria reveals.

Victoria LoConte
Following surgery to remove a football-sized mass, Ronald was sent home to Everett to continue chemotherapy and radiation, ultimately saddened at seeing children also at the hospital receiving similar forms of cancer treatment to his own. “He said to his sisters, Anna and Maria, at the time, ‘You know it’s one thing for me as an adult to have cancer. I have lived a full life and have traveled, but these children; they haven’t experienced their lives yet,'” explains Victoria.Tragically, Ronald LoConte lost his fight against cancer on October 25, 1982. He was just 34 years old.

“Our family knew that they needed to keep Ronald’s spirit of kindness, generosity, and passion for children alive,” says Victoria, “and, in doing so, founded the Ronald LoConte Fund.”

She continues, “Knowing the way he felt about children, his brother who was a nurse working at the Whidden Hospital at the time, spoke with the hospice unit’s director and asked her to put him in contact with children who were living with terminal illnesses. From there, children were submitting their wishes, and my family was fulfilling them, providing bikes, video games, toys, boom boxes, and more.”

A plaque remains with his name, Ronald LoConte, in a square memorialized in his honor at the corner of Broadway and Church Street in Everett, Massachusetts. With the recent passing of his sister, Maria LoConte, in 2018, the family wishes to reboot the fund’s efforts by granting scholarships to high school students in the area hoping to major in medicine and other social services.
Victoria LoConte
“It’s because of my family residing in and serving the city of Everett, and thanks to the medical care provided from the Whidden Hospital, that I dreamed of becoming a nurse, and working there,” reveals Victoria. “In 2017, I’m proud to say, I was able to fulfill this dream, and I continue to think fondly and often of my late uncle and all that he achieved,” she adds, wrapping up.

Victoria LoConte is an emergency room staff nurse at CHA Everett Hospital in Everett, Massachusetts. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, obtained from the Lawrence Memorial School of Nursing with Regis College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to her current position, LoConte has also worked as an urgent care facility nurse manager, a case manager, and as a skilled visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Her experience includes adult, geriatric, and pediatric care.

Victoria LoConte reveals passion for gerontology

Victoria LoConte 

Emergency room nurse Victoria LoConte offers a closer look at her passion for gerontology and shares concerns for elderly residents in her hometown of Saugus, Massachusetts.

Across the United States, elderly individuals are increasingly at risk of loneliness and social isolation, both of which have been demonstrated to cause cognitive decline, a loss of independence, a lack of self-care, and, in some cases, can also prove to be life-shortening. That’s according to emergency room staff nurse and authority on gerontology, Victoria LoConte, as she focuses on the situation in her own Massachusetts hometown.

“Next to emergency medicine, gerontology is my true passion,” reveals LoConte, “and I’ve previously completed a lengthy paper on the risk of social isolation among the elderly in my hometown of Saugus, Massachusetts.”

The paper, titled ‘Saugus Elders,’ was completed as part of LoConte’s studies at Southern New Hampshire University. “My professor at the time loved it so much that they asked me to seek publication of the finished 38-page work,” she proudly reveals.

Located within the Greater Boston area, the Essex County town of Saugus, Massachusetts, covers a total area of just 11.8 miles. “The median age among Saugus residents is roughly 45 years old,” explains LoConte, “and the town, generally, scores well in terms of priority health issues, with ongoing steps being taken to reach various outlined goals where improvement is deemed necessary.”

Among more elderly residents, however, emergency room nurse Victoria LoConte has identified an increased risk of loneliness and social isolation within the town. “The elderly within Saugus are at an increased risk,” she explains, “because many of them are living alone or residing within nursing homes or assisted living facilities.”

The elderly within Saugus account for approximately 17% of the general population as outlined in recent reports, with at least 10% of all residents believed to be living within some form of nursing home, assisted living facility, or elder housing project. Yet, despite local businesses profiting from the needs of the elderly, according to LoConte, such as visiting nurse agencies, home health aide companies, elder transportation services, home-delivered meals, and even law offices specializing in elder rights, she believes that wholly insufficient attention is given to the town’s elderly population. “Sadly, I can attest, as a Saugus resident, and past Saugus visiting nurse, that little care or attention is given to the elderly in the town,” she adds.

According to scholarly research, social isolation, loneliness, and a lack of adequate support—especially among the elderly—are social conditions which exact a significant toll on psychological well-being and physical health. “Although an elderly individual may be residing within a nursing home full of other elderly persons,” LoConte explains, “they may still feel lonely and isolated because their interactions within the nursing home are not with social contacts which they desire, such as family members and more like-minded friends.”

The negative consequences of loneliness and social isolation, she goes on to reveal, include cognitive decline, a lack of motivation and self-care, a loss of independence, and may even prove to be life-shortening.

Adult diabetes is also a concern in Saugus, particularly among the elderly, according to LoConte. “Unfortunately Saugus is failing to address the needs of many of its diabetic or pre-diabetic residents, especially in regards to the elderly,” she explains. “I would, therefore,” the emergency room staff nurse adds, “propose a partnership of some sort between the many visiting nurse agencies in the area and, for example, other supportive elder services.”

“Another concern, again in terms of social isolation among the elderly,” she adds, “centers around their preparedness within emergency situations, such as during heavy or extreme snowfall.”

With blizzards common in the area, LoConte is concerned with how the elderly residing within their homes would fare without their home-delivered meals or without the assistance of their visiting nurse. “I fully believe that the risk is great for these individuals,” she reveals, “and while some care for the elderly has been shown in cases of past natural disasters, for example, greater steps still need to be taken.”

The same steps must also be taken, she stresses, to implement similarly improved levels of attention and care within day-to-day, everyday life.

“With the elderly population in Saugus identified to be at an increased risk of social isolation and loneliness,” says LoConte, “it’s vital that we look to support a higher quality of life for our elders in the town.

“I would propose that we do this,” she adds, wrapping up, “through a combination of emotional support, the promotion of physical and outdoor activities, and the proactive maintenance and treatment of both general health and wellness complaints, and more serious diseases and conditions, such as diabetes.” Victoria notes that some of these needs are being met by the Saugus Senior Center, but adds that through her travels as a visiting nurse she found that many elders were either unaware of the Senior Center’s existence and/or feel the center would offer them little benefit. Greater presence in the community is desperately required and would benefit not just the seniors but the younger generations that could learn from their elders.

Victoria LoConte is an emergency room staff nurse at CHA Everett Hospital in Everett, Massachusetts. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, obtained from the Lawrence Memorial School of Nursing with Regis College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to her current position, LoConte has also worked as an urgent care facility nurse manager, a case manager, and as a skilled visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Her experience includes adult, geriatric, and pediatric care.