Centenarian Honors Nursing Colleague with Generous Gift

June 02, 2022
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Dr. Stanley Teale was ahead of his time. Hailing from Canada, he moved to Connecticut with his wife, Shirley, for a mental health and neurology residency at a Yale-affiliated state hospital in Middletown. With a passion for internal medicine, he took a year-long residency at Springfield Hospital in 1950.

Springfield left an impact on Dr. Teale. His career led him to a residency at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston, service as chief of medicine at a military base in South Dakota, and back to Tufts for an appointment as a National Institutes of Health Cardiology Fellow. His journey then led him back to western Massachusetts to work at the Springfield Medical Group. Though humble about his work, Dr. Teale was part of the team that laid the foundation for the first cardiac catherization lab at what was known as Springfield Hospital, known better today as Baystate Medical Center.

“Our efforts collapsed because the interest just wasn’t there yet and they just weren’t ready,” shared Dr. Teale. “However, in the 1970s, a new chief of medicine came in and under that team, they got it going.”

Also, during his time back in Springfield, Dr. Teale met another important Shirley in his life – Shirley Couch Fuller. Shirley Couch Fuller, a 1945 graduate of Springfield Hospital School of Nursing, worked alongside Dr. Teale as a registered nurse at Springfield Medical Group. Shirley and her husband, Homer, became close to the Teales.

“We were good friends,” shared Dr. Teale. “As a nurse, I always admired her wonderful discipline and good judgement. She was just a great human being.”

After Dr. Teale had retired and he and his wife had moved to Vermont, the couples continued their friendship, with Shirley calling almost every day. Both Dr. Teale and Shirley Couch Fuller cared for spouses when they fell ill and remained close friends though the ups and downs of life.

Honoring a colleague and friend

In the fall of 2021, not long after Dr. Teale celebrated his 100th birthday in July, he decided that a fitting tribute to Shirley Couch Fuller, who passed away in 2020, would be to make a gift in her honor through Baystate Health Foundation to Baystate Medical Center, a place they both took great pride in working.

“I feel very grateful for the hospital,” shared Dr. Teale. “I owe that hospital quite a bit.”

Aligning with his cardiology contributions while he was at Baystate, Dr. Teale’s generous donation will support heart & vascular care. The gift from Dr. Teale and his late wife will be recognized with a plaque honoring Shirley outside of a nurses’ lounge in the MassMutual Wing.

“Many nurses like Shirley never get recognized,” explained Dr. Teale. “This gift is in gratitude to her work. She really respected her profession.”

Dr. Teale’s gift will go on to further heart & vascular education and research at the hospital he first stepped foot in more than 70 years ago.

“Dr. Teale’s generosity is a tribute to our field, the individuals who serve heart and vascular patients each day, and a recognition of the teamwork and connectedness of our doctors and nurses,” said Dr. Ari Kugelmass, Vice President and Medical Director, Heart & Vascular Program, and Chief, Division of Cardiology. “His funds will be used to continue education and research in our field, furthering the work he began here decades ago.”

Join Dr. Teale is celebrating the incredible team at Baystate Health with a donation or a Gift of Gratitude today.

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