Friends and colleagues toast Mallane's five decades of nursing


Even Bill Pinelli, a noted restaurateur who has owned and operated award-winning eateries in Rhode Island, made sure he joined other people and proposed a special toast to the night’s guest of honor.

“Any person who spends a half-century in any industry in today’s world is certainly nothing less than extraordinary,” Pinelli said. “But this lady is obviously an exception to the rule, especially in the ever-changing and complex healthcare industry.”

So Pinelli, who was wearing a wide smile on his face, walked to a table where eight women were sitting and raised his glass saying: “Here’s to Dottie in honor of celebrating her 50th anniversary as a nurse and a well-deserved retirement.”

Instantly, the close circle of friends – who all worked in the nursing field – raised their glasses to toast Dorothy “Dottie” Mallane of Johnston, who Isabel Da Costa said is, “the star nurse of the OR [operating room] at Rhode Island Hospital.”

Da Costa, who worked side-by-side with Mallane for years, went on: “Dottie gave 50 years of service to Rhode Island Hospital and the community of our state. She came to work each day with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. Dottie is a very knowledgeable nurse who would help out in multiple specialties in the OR.”

Mallane, as Da Costa added, “was also on the go looking to facilitate cases and give the best care to patients. She does not take credit for the wonderful nurse she is; her skills and character have positively impacted the patients and co-workers she has encountered over the years. Everyone in the OR loves working with her and her presence will be dearly missed. We wish her nothing but the best in retirement, she is so deserving.”

What follows here is additional praise from her closest colleagues.


“I first met Dottie when I transferred into the new department seven years ago. She was such a warm and wonderful person, always offering to help share her vast nursing knowledge. She never ceases to give of herself without asking for gratitude or a return. Over the years, she has developed an extensive professional knowledge which covers many areas of expertise. In our profession we become somewhat isolated and expert in specific areas. Dottie floated among many areas of the operating room and became very expert in all those areas and specialties.”

Chiovitti then paused before adding: “She is always the go-to-person whenever any of us have a question. I have never heard an unkind word from her, she is always supportive and willing to share to share her knowledge. She is extremely admired and respected by all of her co-workers and the physicians. I have heard many of them say to a less experienced nurse, ‘Go ask Dottie, she will know.’ She is already missed by everyone.”


“When I think of my friend Dottie, I think of an excellent nurse and wonderful person. She graduated from RIH School of Nursing and remained a dedicated employee for 50 years. What an accomplishment! She was our sunshine in the stressful OR. She would come buzzing in, giving breaks and making everyone’s day better. She always maintained a positive attitude in spite of a difficult work environment. Dottie is that person who everyone loves, always upbeat and happy! We will miss her terribly, but wish her all the happiness in the world in her retirement.”


“To me, Dottie has always been the most hardworking nurse in the operating room. She was dedicated to her work till the end. I will always admire her for her great work ethic. Her sense of humor, her love for animals, her honesty and kindness. It was a pleasure to work with a nurse like Dottie.”


“Dottie is a wealth of knowledge in the OR. She carried around a thick notebook or two with tips, hints and tricks for many of the surgeons she worked with. If you had a question about something, she would whip out one of her books and get you the answer. In being a nurse for 50 years, Dottie has done and seen a lot. She was always telling funny stories about when she used to work on the floors, always putting her patients first in every way, even if it meant facing disciplinary action. Dottie was an amazing nurse, friend, wife and mother, I am truly blessed to have worked with her for many years!”


“Dottie was one of the most energetic, compassionate nurses I have ever worked with. I always had an amazing surgical day if I had the opportunity to spend the day with her. We have had many, many laughs but when times were critical, she was right in and we got through the intensity of whatever urgent procedure was going on. I think of Dottie as a sincere, dedicated, amazing nurse and friend. I often want to refer to her as the ever-ready battery bunny. That’s because she never stopped and never faded away as the compassion for her job will never leave her heart and soul. Cheers Dottie. We will always remember our days at the RI Hospital operating room.”


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