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The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by the Barnes family who lost their son Patrick to complications from an auto-immune disease. DAISY actually stands for Diseases Attacking Immune SYstem. While he was hospitalized, Patrick’s family “deeply appreciated not only the immense clinical skills, but also the enormous compassion shown to Pat and his family by his nurses”. After his passing, Pat’s family wanted to find a way to honor nurses who not only possess excellent clinical skills, but also provide compassionate care. Thus, the DAISY award was created.

The DAISY Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day.

Nomination boxes and nomination forms are located on the nursing units at IRMC. Nomination forms can also be mailed in. Nomination stories may be written by patients, visitors, physicians, and colleagues to honor a nurse who they feel has excellent clinical skills and delivers compassionate care. Six times a year, the Daisy Selection Committee will review blinded nomination forms and select the DAISY award honoree. Our first Honoree will be recognized in summer 2021.

The honoree selected at IRMC will receive a hand-carved “Healer’s Touch” sculpture, a DAISY Honoree pin, and an award certificate. A surprise celebration will be held to announce the Honoree where the Nominee will be presented with their certificate, sculpture, and pin. The nomination story will be read at that time and the unit where the nurse works will receive cinnamon rolls (Pat’s favorite) as part of the celebration!

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Award Winners

May 2022, Tanya Altimus

During Nurses Week 2022, the Emergency Department team gathered to surprise Tanya with the May 2022 DAISY Award. A coworker of Tanya's said, "Every patient who walks into the Emergency Department and comes into contact with Tanya gets great care, regardless of their life choices or socioeconomic background." In a nomination letter on Tanya's behalf, the individual recalled a story where Tanya used her prior expertise as a phlebotomist to assist a patient. Not only did Tanya help the very emotional patient, but she spent a long time at the bedside, talking to and reassuring them that they are worthy. The patient, who may have otherwise left IRMC against medical advice, was admitted to the hospital and received the care she desperately needed.

When recalling the events that ensued that evening, Tanya's co-worker stated, "She (the patient) had a lot of nice things to say about Tanya and our hospital after this experience; I believe this made a difference, not only in the patient’s experience that evening, but also a difference in her life and her faith in healthcare. I believe that wherever this patient is right now, she knows that she can come to IRMC for help, thanks to Tanya’s care that day."

March 2022, Jeff Stewart

"Jeff is one of the best nurses I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He is the prime example of what a nurse should be. Jeff shows compassion to all patients, their families, and our staff. Jeff is known throughout IRMC for his willingness to help his fellow co-workers." These are just a few examples of why Jeff Stewart, a nurse on the medical supportive care unit, was nominated for the March 2022 DAISY Award. As an exemplary nurse, Jeff's co-workers say he is an "inspiration to others" and is always there when you need a hand. Jeff is described as trustable, dependable and an advocate for his patients.

November 2021, Pam Waltemire

Whatever the shift — day or night, weekend or weekday — extraordinary IRMC nurses are hard at work. Early one Monday morning, colleagues gathered to surprise Pam Waltemire with the November 2021 DAISY Award. Pam, a nurse on 7th telemetry, was nominated by the spouse of a patient, not only for her extraordinary care, but for seemingly simple acts that were incredibly meaningful to the family. The patients family stated, "Pam was very upbeat and pleasant. I’d like to know where she gets that much energy at 1:00 a.m. She was extremely patient with me as I explained the situation. She didn’t rush me and I could tell she was actively listening to and engaged in what I was saying. At one point, I realized I was repeating something I had already told her. She didn’t seem to mind a bit!" During the celebration, Pam's colleague said, "She definitely deserves it. She loves all of her patient’s whether she has them for 5 minutes or 5 days."

September 2021, Holly Gearhart

Nursing presented the first ever DAISY Award to Holly Gearhart, an outstanding nurse on 6th medical. Holly was recognized by a patient's family for the care and compassion she provided to their loved one. When Holly was presented with the award among her collages (and special guest in attendance, her daughter who is currently following in her mother's footsteps as a nurse) she said, "The entire unit deserves this award!"

The patients daughter-in-law said of Holly, "Holly, of course, is an excellent nurse! Very knowledgeable and very good at her job. But along with her expertise she holds a very caring spirit in her heart. We could feel that spirit each time she walked into our room."

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