We’d like to introduce you to a mother-daughter duo who is caring for our patients and community in very different, yet very important, capacities.
Kelly Stuart, MD, is our vice president of ethics and her daughter, Mary (Stuart) McIntyre, is a registered nurse in the Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital intensive care unit (ICU). Mary started her undergraduate nursing program in January of 2017 at Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing. She completed many of her school clinicals at our facilities and went on to work with us in January of 2019. Throughout this process, she evolved from a new student nurse to an independent ICU nurse.
Mary shares that her mother has motivated her throughout the years, leading to her becoming a nurse.
“My mom is and always has been my example of strength, caring and leadership,” Mary says. “Ever since I was a little girl, I admired her dedication to her career as a neonatologist and the compassion she had for her patients and their families. Over the years, as her career evolved, she always made sure to empower her children to chase our dreams and never give up. Watching her as a strong female role model helped me to embrace my power as a woman and as a health care worker.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary served on the frontlines as a staff nurse in the ICU at St. Mary’s Hospital. Typically, she is the first person a patient or their loved ones connect with for questions or concerns.
“We are the ones who will sit with your family member at the bedside and hold their hand when they are scared or lonely… we celebrate the wins, like graduating from the ICU, and are the first in line to support family members if they lose someone special or hear devastating news,” Mary explains.
As for her overall experience being a nurse during a pandemic, Mary shares, “it has been nothing short of challenging, but I can’t imagine doing anything else. Everyone is deserving of high-quality health care. Without nursing care, patients wouldn’t get better in the hospital. I am grateful to have the training and skills to be a healer and I take the responsibility very seriously. The COVID-19 pandemic felt like a call to serve, and I try my best to continue to answer that call every shift. I also take comfort in the fact that one day this pandemic will be over. Even though it has overstayed its welcome already, I know that there’s a light at the end of darkness.”
Currently, Mary is pursuing a master’s degree from University of Virginia to become a nurse practitioner.
As for Mary’s mother, Dr. Stuart, she specializes in ethical engagement in the Catholic health care setting and is a certified health care ethics consultant. Her focus is improving health services through creative solutions and clinician engagement. Dr. Stuart’s prior role as a neonatologist provides clinical perspective that helps when addressing complex matters in hospitals and in the community.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Stuart collaborated with other Virginia health system ethicists in a clinical ethics expert capacity to weigh in on difficult medical ethics questions. She has felt the moral weight of tough medical decision-making situations, such as developing policies for allocating life-saving resources.
Our ministry is honored to have such a strong mother-daughter duo with us throughout this pandemic.
“Working in the same health care system as my mom is a privilege,” Mary adds. “She is always there for me to celebrate the wins and to process the more difficult days. We appreciate and respect each other’s unique perspectives within the health care system. Being part of the same mission makes me feel even closer to my mom and I am so proud to be her daughter.”
Happy Nurses Week! The compassionate care provided by our dedicated nursing professionals is at the core of everything we do at Bon Secours, where nurses mean the world.
Join us in thanking our nurses this week! Use #BonSecoursNursesWeek on social media to share your “thank you” messages.
Also, read more stories about our amazing nurses.