Seaport’s Sam Gilligan First Statewide Theresa Knowles Honoree

Samantha “Sam” Gilligan, FNP, medical director at Seaport Community Health Center and a widely admired provider and colleague, has been honored with the first statewide Theresa Knowles Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence.

The award was to be presented this week at the Maine Primary Care Association annual meeting in Rockport, but Sam learned of her recognition at a pop-up event in the clinic’s back yard last week. She was surprised by coworkers and senior leaders (and a big cake!) when she was led outside by Practice Manager Sheena Cottle. Typical of her modest and collegial nature, the visibly moved honoree credited her teammates first.

“I can’t thank everybody enough for supporting me and helping me,” she said. “I’m so grateful and really honored.”

The award from MePCA is named for Theresa Bray Knowles PCHC’s Chief Quality Officer and a longtime nurse practitioner in Maine whose legendary dedication to patients was rivaled only by her commitment to the community at large.

In nominating Sam for the award, her colleagues praised her remarkable ability to relate to her patients as well as her willingness to go the extra mile for colleagues. One remarked that Sam always uses her patients names when speaking to them on the phone—a “touch” that can often be omitted by busy providers.

One colleague wrote of Sam: “Sam is an excellent clinician – practicing and promoting quality care and outcomes, routinely meeting or exceeding our goals. She has a solid knowledge base and instincts which she uses to skillfully care for her patients. She is always ready, willing and able to collaborate with colleagues and seeks different perspectives to augment her knowledge, as well as shares her own experience and knowledge with others. She collaborates with team members, internal and external, to provide wrap around support for her neediest patients by making or arranging home visits, looking for ways to eliminate barriers to care whether financial, logistical or cultural.”

Congratulations, Sam! PCHC is so lucky to have you on the team.