Dana-Farber’s public safety manager prepares Institute, protects cancer patients

The doctors and nurses of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are the “heroes” on the front lines of cancer treatment, working tirelessly to deliver exceptional care to all patients who walk through the Institute’s doors. But the behind-the-scenes workforce at Dana-Farber plays just as vital of a role, helping to create a safe, secure, and comfortable environment for all patients and their families.

Arbella Insurance Group, a longtime partner of Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund, understands this. That’s why they help us celebrate the many Unsung Heroes of Dana-Farber who keep the Institute running smoothly, heroes like Abby Maiello, manager of Public Safety and Emergency Management.

As part of the team that supports the Institute’s emergency management and security operations, Abby is critical to making sure Dana-Farber is prepared to handle any circumstances that might affect its ability to care for patients, such as matters of security, weather, and welfare. Abby works to create training programs and emergency response plans, and some days, her job may even require her to help execute those plans, a critical and dynamic part of the job.

But for Abby, it’s the people at the center of those plans—both the staff and the patients—that bring her the most joy.

“I wanted to work for Dana-Farber so I could be a part of the change, and make a difference through the work that I do every day. It means that I am a part of something that is so much bigger than I could have imagined,” she says.

Understandably, Abby’s job often brings her in contact with patients, and one interaction has always stuck with her.

“I started working for Dana-Farber right as the pandemic was really starting to pick up and things were pretty stressful for everyone,” she explains. She goes on to describe grabbing lunch one day when a patient sparked up a casual conversation, one that quickly evolved into a deeper discussion about their difficulties eating during treatment. “At a time when safety was of the utmost importance—masking, visitor limitations, physical distancing—I knew that this patient needed a little more. On one of the hardest days of their week or maybe their life, entering our space alone, I wanted to make sure I was present for them.”

And that’s what motivates Abby: ensuring patients always feel like Dana-Farber is present for them—to care, to protect, and to listen.

“It doesn’t always have to be the big things. Sometimes it can just be the really small, mostly overlooked things, like a small conversation in the dining pavilion.” Or, like an Unsung Hero.

Our sincere thanks to Abby for all she does to support patients at Dana-Farber, and to Arbella Insurance for helping us recognize these Unsung Heroes. With the help of everyone at Dana-Farber—both on the front lines and behind the scenes—and all those in our Jimmy Fund community, we work every day to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future for all patients.

Be an Unsung Hero for patients at Dana-Farber by donating to the Jimmy Fund today. Eligible Massachusetts donors who give $50 or more may save 6% on their Arbella auto policy. We encourage you to contact your local Massachusetts auto insurance agent for more details.

Join Abby in her dedication to patients by supporting The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign and how you can get involved at DefyCancer.org.