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DAISY Award celebrates nurses who go above and beyond

May 06, 2022

Healthcare in the U.S. has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Nursing has become one of the most rapidly evolving professions in healthcare, as nurses are often described as the lifeblood of healthcare organizations.

This evolution has resulted in nurses being trained to a higher level of care than ever before and being acknowledged as respected healthcare professionals because of their extensive education and hands-on skills.

In an effort to recognize the hard work and dedication our nurses put in day in and day out to take care of our patients and the community, UHS introduced The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem) Award.

The DAISY Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of Seattle hospital patient J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the auto-immune disease ITP in 1999.

During his hospitalization, his family members deeply appreciated the care and compassion shown to Patrick and his entire family. When he died, they felt compelled to say thank you to nurses in a very public way. To learn more, visit DAISYFoundation.org.

This program to recognize the care and compassion of extraordinary nurses started at UHS in April 2021. Nurses were nominated by anyone in the organization - patients, family members, other nurses, physicians, other clinicians and staff - anyone who experiences or observes extraordinary care being provided by a nurse.

“This award is the highest recognition that any nurse at UHS can receive,” said Kay Boland, RN, senior vice president, chief nursing officer and chief operating officer of UHS. “It is a reflection of the high quality of nursing care offered to UHS patients and of the tremendous contributions to care that are made every day by individual nurses on our team.”

Said Toni Nash, RN, manager of Nursing Education and Professional Practice: “Nurses are the front line in health care, providing expert clinical care and physical and emotional support to patients and families in inpatient and outpatient settings. They are the heart and soul of UHS.”

In the past year, several nurses were recognized. The nurses of the Ambulatory Surgery team were the inaugural honorees. Subsequent recipients are: Reed Getzge, Dawn Rishel, Paula Covert, Nancy Kirchner, Amber Donahue, Rebecca Davis, Tiffany Kemak, Allison Hores, Isaiah Buchanan, Terry Harding, Caroline Nielands and Erin Perry.

The first-ever DAISY Team Award unit also has been selected, just in time for Nurses Week 2022.  The award goes to the North Tower 4 nursing team at UHS Hospitals.  North Tower 4 has persevered during extremely difficult times and has done so by living the Values of UHS and the standards of the DAISY Award program.

DAISY recognizes that, while achieving better patient and family outcomes may start with one individual, it often takes an entire team to implement such advances successfully. The Team Award is designed to honor collaboration by a team that goes above and beyond the traditional role of nursing to deliver kind and compassionate care. 

To celebrate the DAISY Award recipients, celebrations are held and the honored nurses are presented with the award and a pin, and enjoy cinnamon rolls, a symbolic treat in honor of Patrick Barnes, whose experience inspired the award.

There is no better time to recognize and honor a nurse than during National Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 to 12. The celebration begins with National Nurses Day on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the founder of modern nursing.

The year 2022 is the 68th year of a nationally recognized Nurses Week celebration.

If you have been touched by the hard work of a nurse at UHS and would like to nominate them for a DAISY Award, you can fill out the form by clicking here.