Michelle Tavares honored with Grayce M. Sills Award for Distinguished Service

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Springfield Medical Care Systems is pleased to congratulate Michelle Tavares, BN, RN-BC, as the recent recipient of the Grayce M. Sills Award for Distinguished Service. Michelle was honored at the 2017 American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) New England regional awards dinner, held at Lake Morey Inn, Fairlee, VT, for “exceptional and meritorious service to the Board.”

This honor recognizes Michelle’s ongoing contributions as the VT representative to the APNA Board. She began Board service in 2012, and served as secretary from 2013 to 2015. Her volunteer Board work includes assisting with assembling and publishing newsletters, conference planning, recruitment efforts, and judging scholarship applications and awards.

Michelle Tavares.
Michelle Tavares. Photo provided

“I am deeply honored to be selected as this year’s recipient of the Grayce M. Sills Distinguished Service Award. This is the first year this award has been granted since Dr. Sill’s passing. Dr. Sills’ contributions to psychiatric nursing were remarkable, and I humbly accept this award,” commented Michelle Tavares.

Dr. Grayce M. Sills was a very accomplished woman in her field. She held a faculty position at the Ohio State School of Nursing starting in 1964, and later retired with Professor Emeritus status in 1993. Dr. Sills’ many accomplishments included: development of the graduate level clinical nurse specialist program in psychiatry; helped develop the doctoral program in nursing; Director of the Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Program; Chair of the Department of Family and Community Nursing; Director of Graduate Studies; and Acting Dean. In addition, it is reported that she was particularly proud of helping the School of Nursing achieve independent status as a college within the university.

Michelle Tavares graduated from the University of New Brunswick, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, with a Bachelor in Nursing in May 2005. Upon graduation, she began her career as a registered nurse at Springfield Hospital’s Medical/Surgical unit. In 2007, her aspiration to become a psychiatric nurse materialized when she accepted the position of inpatient care staff nurse at The Windham Center for Psychiatric Care in Bellows Falls, VT. Michelle was promoted to Clinical Nurse Leader in 2012, and to Director of The Windham Center in 2017.

“Michelle is an incredibly valuable asset to The Windham Center. She is professional, motivated, and knowledgeable,” comments Janet Sherer, RN, BSN, MBA, Chief of Patient Care Services at Springfield Medical Care Systems. She adds, “Michelle’s involvement in her professional organization is a wonderful example for all nurses to follow.”

Michelle resides in Bellows Falls, Vt., and continues her work as the Vermont representative to the APNA New England Board.

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