Awards, by design, single out the exceptional. They acknowledge superior performance, highlight exemplary deeds, and bestow gratitude and thanks.
Dr. Margaret “Marge” Calarco is extraordinary. Her leadership style has transformed, not a little word, transformed nursing at Michigan. Using the whole scale change process, she has worked with nurses from across this nursing community to articulate our values and generate a resonant strategic plan. She has always engaged UM nurses to impact their nursing careers. For example, Marge was instrumental in leading the changes in the following projects; the design of a clinical ladder (Framework and ARSAM), the revamping of our Model of Care and also the newly constructed nursing governance model. Marge has supported the professional development of nurse leaders, advanced practice nurses and staff nurses, all in support of constantly improving care for patients and families, while contributing to the science of the nursing profession.
Comments from nurses across the UM nursing community:
“Dr. Calarco has done amazing things here that so changed our nursing community over the past years. Now I feel my ideas are heard, considered and sometimes implemented.”
“Marge is a transformational leader in its truest sense. She inspires staff to commit to a mission and to bring their best selves to work every day.”
“Marge is an advocate for exceptional patient care by being an unwavering advocate for nursing practice.”
“Marge has significantly influenced the large U of M nursing community by using creative strategies to improve our professional model of care. She worked tirelessly over more than a decade to ensure our successful transition to our current Governance Model.”
“She encourages shared decision making within the team/organization and encourages and engages team members to grow and to lead.”
“Marge views nursing as both an art and a science.”
“She embodies excellence through her vision, her insight, her inspiration, and her ability.”
“Dr. Calarco supports and engages frontline leaders, as well as staff nurses.”
“She actively promotes the advancement of nursing science through supporting nursing research, evidence-based practice, and professional development.”
“Marge ‘gets it’, she understands that nurse/patient ratios matter. That’s one important reason nurses like to work here and turnover is so low.”
“It is remarkable that Marge is able to maintain the connection to the bedside nurse when she is the nursing leader of such a prestigious Health Care System, but when you pass her in the hall, it’s just “morning Marge” like she is your coworker, because she truly is a nurse at her core!”
Marge, the sheer responsibility of leadership is daunting, but if you choose, as you have, courage over complacency, and transformational change over the status quo, you will make a difference in the lives of many. Thank you for enabling practice improvements, advocating for your fellow nurses, and championing efforts that give nurses a voice.