Edward Lavoie

Edward Lavoie

Edward Lavoie


May 21, 1970 – Aug. 23, 2020
Former: Clinical Nurse III
Operating Room – Orthopaedics
Duke University Hospital


Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing
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Congratulations to Duke University Hospital’s 2021 Friends of Nursing Excellence Award Winners


Edward was instrumental in developing the process and principles for the Total Joint High Efficiency Team. This team utilized data and research from other institutions to create a process that would work for Duke University Hospital. He collaborated with a large group of entities and had to work with the surgeons, other nurses, anesthesia, room attendants and trainees. The process improvements allowed for an overall reduction in case turnover time by approximately five to seven minutes between procedures. None of these efficiencies would have occurred without him. A Duke Nurse for 20 years, Edward loved his work and the people he worked with. He died in August 2020 after a tragic accident that occurred on his property in Puerto Rico.


This individual demonstrated the highest level of integrity in the OR, working as a circulating and scrub nurse with me. I would recognize him as the force in the room that kept all of us in check, to make sure we were doing the right thing for the patient. There are so many examples of where he advocated for the patient, to make sure that all protocols were followed, to make sure we were delivering the highest level of care. It has been this way for many years. His behavior in the room made everyone better, from the resident on the case, to the rest of the staff, and to the surgeon performing procedure. He not only taught orientees how to scrub and circulate Surgical cases, but also how to be successful as an employee. He provided guidance and advice on how to set yourself up for a successful day, by arriving early to prepare for the day, setting up the OR room, pulling all necessary supplies and instrument trays. He communicated with the surgical and anesthesia team to best coordinate the care of each patient.


He supported our team initiatives when he was one of the subject matter expert (SME) in our ORTHO Blitz held years ago. He taught new set of ancillary staff and newly hired staff the specifics of ORTHO positioning, its varied types for different procedures and its safety implications. He was a CNIII and a Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) certification holder. He advocated for his co-workers. This was something he always did. If there was a situation where the environment or process would improve the ability for the staff to perform their duties, he would be the first person to bring it to the attention of leadership and propose a solution. He helped develop the master vacation calendar for the Orthopedic OR Team, and assisted in its administration throughout the year. The system greatly increased staff satisfaction, and the model has been adopted by other services in the department.


He was instrumental in developing the process and principles for the Total Joint High Efficiency Team. This team utilized data and research from other institutions to create a process which would work for Duke University Hospital. The process improvements allowed for an overall reduction in case turnover time by approximately 5-7 minutes between procedures. This was a multidisciplinary team consisting of surgeons, anesthesia providers, circulating nurses, scrub personnel, surgical attendants, Preop and PACU staff and Sterile Processing Department. He also helped author the addition of “tweener” position in the joint rooms run by two surgeons. A tweener is an extra nursing staff to support the two high-efficiency rooms. This position is vital, as the two joint rooms are setting up instrument trays that can run from 5-10 trays per procedure. The tweener’s main goal is to support the rooms in delivering safe and high quality surgical care in a fast-paced setting that helps alleviate the long list of patients waiting for surgical care.


He coordinated quarterly cadaver labs for the fellows and residents to learn total joint techniques and new systems. This required him to gather all necessary equipment and instrument trays and transport them to the cadaver lab in Duke South. He worked with the vendors to have all appropriate supplies and implants available. He would stay well beyond his scheduled shift to participate in the training session, providing input and guidance to the fellows and residents. The labs provided our fellows and residents the opportunity to learn necessary skills prior to operating on an actual patient. The fellows and residents have frequently commented on how critical these sessions were to their success in their programs and their ability to provide excellent care for their patients. He also encouraged co-workers to assist with the labs, to increase their own understanding of total joint procedures.



He put his patient at the center of everything he did, and always demonstrated his demand for excellence in the care provided by everyone involved. The OR can be an intimidating place for patients, but his professionalism, knowledge and sincere caring demeanor instilled confidence in his patients, that they would be well cared for. He utilized a communication style which relayed the important information to the patient in a manner in which they could understand and feel reassured. He went above and beyond to preserve the patient’s dignity in a situation where they are awake and their bodies manipulated for positioning and preparation for the surgery. He accomplished this by being a role model of professionalism and caring, and by demanding the team to hold itself to the highest standards.


Ed was a talented, authentic, selfless, caring, and strong patient advocate whose passion was to uphold the delivery of excellent patient care. He held himself to the highest standard and by expecting that of others, raised everyone else up, and encouraged me to be the best possible nurse and person I can be. The OR was made a better place when this individual was working, setting an example and caring for the patient first. One of the most caring nurses I had ever met! He was an exceptional preceptor. Even after his passing, he deserves this awards more than anyone else!!



Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021