Portsmouth, NH Portsmouth Regional Hospital (PRH) recently honored several employees for their outstanding commitment to patient care, the patient experience and to their colleagues, as well as their dedication to humanitarian and volunteer activities. Each of the award winners was nominated by their hospital peers.

Among the Awards of Distinction presented to the employees were three Frist Humanitarian Awards. The Frist Humanitarian Award was created in 1971 to honor outstanding individuals for their humanitarian and volunteer activities. Named in honor of HCA Healthcare founder, Dr. Thomas F. Frist Sr., this award recognizes hospital employees, physicians and volunteers who serve the community and those in need, and whose daily dedication and caregiving epitomize the highest standards of quality and personal commitment.

“Being nominated by your professional peers for your contributions both inside and outside of the hospital is an incredible testament to an individual’s demeanor, compassion and commitment,” said Dean M. Carucci, CEO of Portsmouth Regional Hospital. “Many of these award winners received multiple nominations, and we are proud and very fortunate to have them all be part of the Portsmouth Regional Hospital team.”

The award winners are:

Awards of Distinction

Frist Humanitarian Award – Physician

Archie McGowan, MD, of Newfields

Co-Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Program

Archie McGowan, MD, has clearly demonstrated his commitment to his patients and community through his advocacy, compassion, and commitment, which have led to the continual betterment of care in the Seacoast region. McGowan was driven to spearhead Portsmouth’s collaboration with UMass Medical Center to launch the Stroke and Brain and Aneurysm Clinic at PRH, which provided Seacoast residents with the care they needed in their own community. The clinic eventually led to PRH becoming a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the first in the state of New Hampshire. Outside of the hospital, McGowan is an active member of numerous foundations, such as The Seacoast Foundation for Health and Seacoast Foundation for Health and Community Investment, and is also involved in supporting the recreational sporting community through his work with the Clay Soper Memorial Foundation, and the Seacoast United Foundation for youth sports, as well as organizing and supporting events that benefit the skiing community at multiple New England ski areas.

Frist Humanitarian Award – Employee

Kelley Thibault of Durham

Outpatient Physical Therapy

Kelley Thibault routinely goes above and beyond and has a had significant impact on our most vulnerable patients because of her ability to identify and address the specific needs of both patients and their families. She launched and teaches an exercise class for patients with Parkinson’s disease to help them maintain their functional mobility, which has been very well received by patients and caregivers. When caregivers or family members bring their loved one to the class, they have an opportunity to connect with others, helping them to find support through shared experiences. When the pandemic hit, Kelley quickly adapted the class to be virtual, and patiently assisted participants with setting up Zoom and figuring out creative ways to involve caregivers. She also is a regular volunteer at Cross Roads House in Portsmouth, and frequently brings meals to those in her community who have been ill or unable to leave their home, providing them with a friendly face and someone with whom they can share a meal.

Frist Humanitarian Award – Volunteer

Jackie Dewey of Cape Neddick, Maine

Pet Therapy program

Jackie Dewey and her English Cream Golden Retriever, Lacey, joined Portsmouth Regional Hospital in 2016 and, aside from COVID restrictions, have been a constant presence at the hospital. Lacey is known for dressing for the occasion, and recently made a special trip to the hospital to celebrate Residents Day, decked out with her own stethoscope. Jackie regularly tries to come up with new ways for patients to interact with Lacey, keeping in mind some patients may have limitations or restrictions, and also has made visiting staff a priority, providing them with a stress relief break during long days. Outside of her work at the hospital, Jackie is the Regional Ambassador for “Dress a Girl Around the World,” a charity with the mission to raise awareness and educate women and girls about the traps of human trafficking. The charity is made up of seamstresses who sew and distribute dresses in more than 90 countries, including the U.S.

Additional Awards of Distinction:

Nursing Excellence – Compassionate Care

Pamela Chick of South Berwick, Maine

LPN, Same Day Surgery program

Pamela Chick has been an employee at PRH since it was known as the “hospital on the hill.” For more than 40 years she has maintained a can-do attitude and still comes to work each day with an unparalleled enthusiasm. She is patient, compassionate, dependable and always greets patients, families and colleagues with a smile. She has a knack for putting patients at ease when they are nervous about an upcoming procedure by providing education and empathy, and treats patients and her co-workers as she would her own family.

Nursing Excellence – Professional Mentoring

Heather Fairley, RN of Newmarket

Clinical Coordinator, Intermediate Care

Heather Fairley has been called “the calm in a storm” due to her confident and approachable demeanor. She has been mentoring and teaching for more than 20 years and is a clinical expert with exceptional nursing skills. She often serves as the go-to resource for both new and experienced nurses at PRH due to her institutional knowledge, nursing expertise and compassionate nature. And her reputation as an exceptional teacher precedes her. She is often requested by new nurses as their preceptor as they know with her leading the way, they will be fully supported and led in the right direction as they begin their nursing careers.

Colleague of the Year

Christopher Devine of Hampton Falls


Christopher Devine first came to Portsmouth Regional Hospital in 2011 as an intern. In 2016, he returned to PRH as a Critical Care Pharmacist and since that time has proven to be a compassionate, knowledgeable, and steadfast member of the community. He is a Board-Certified Pharmacology Specialist and is Board Certified in Critical Care. He has a natural talent for teaching and loves to mentor pharmacy residents and new hires. Christopher is very involved in the hospital and sits on several committees, such as the Trauma Committee, Pain Committee, and Dementia/Delirium Committee, and likes to be involved and help in any way he can.

Nurse of the Year

Sarah Crowley, RN of Kensington

Float nurse

Sarah Crowley has been described as a “super hero in scrubs.” No matter which unit she is assigned to, no matter what the day brings, she does it all with ease and grace and a positive attitude toward patients and her co-workers. Sarah joined Portsmouth Regional Hospital after being away from bedside nursing for many years. While she enjoyed and was incredibly effective as an office manager overseeing many providers, nurses, and medical assistants, her heart was at the bedside. There is a sense of joy and happiness every time Sarah recalls a patient experience, experiences that have happened throughout the hospital as she has worked in every inpatient nursing department in addition to the Emergency Department.