DCH Honors Nurse with DAISY Award

Each year, we take nominations and recognize an outstanding nurse at Decatur County Hospital with the DAISY Award.

The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) 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 J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the auto-immune disease ITP in 1999. During his hospitalization, they 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 year we received nominations for five nurses: Jennifer Barker, Ali Boswell, Raven Perkins, Christel Wehling, and Elise Wells.

During a presentation at Decatur County Hospital on Friday, May 13th, Kelly Barker, Chief Nursing Officer, had the following to say about this year’s DAISY Award winner:

“I’m thankful to get the opportunity to present this year’s Daisy Award to the exceptional nurse recipient who was chosen by their peers.  The Daisy Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the family of Patrick Barnes.  He was 33 years old when he died of complications of the autoimmune disease ITP, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura.  Like many families we see every day who go through this kind of horrific loss, the Barnes family wanted to do something positive to honor the very special man Patrick was.  So, as they say, over a very “Liquid” dinner right after Pat’s death, the came up with Daisy – an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.  As they brainstormed what the Daisy foundation would actually do, they kept coming back to the one positive thing they held on to during Pat’s 8 – week illness:  the extraordinary care he and they received from Pat’s nurses.  The family was very impressed by the clinical care Pat’s nurses provided, but what really overwhelmed them was the compassion and kindness that his nurses brought to Pat’s bedside day in and day out.  The nurses’ sensitivity made a great difference in the Barnes’ experience, and they wanted to say Thank You for the extraordinary care they provide patients and families every day.  So, Pat’s family created the Daisy Award for extraordinary nurses.  What started out as a thank you from their family to nurses has grown into a meaningful recognition program embraced by thousands of healthcare organizations around the world to recognize the amazing care provided to patients.  We are very proud to partner with Daisy to recognize our extraordinary nurses here at Decatur County Hospital who function in all different capacities to deliver exceptional care, close to home and embody the values of Decatur County Hospital; they are dedicated, compassionate, and honest.

“The Daisy Award is given to a nurse who embodies the characteristics of compassion, kindness, and caring without expectations. All of our nominees are exceptional and each deserves the Daisy award. To pick one out of this extraordinary group is a bittersweet task. Ultimately, this year’s winner embodies all these attributes and more, as she truly represents not only the characteristics of a Daisy award winner but the heart of what makes Decatur County Hospital extraordinary.

“All too often we equate extraordinary nurses with clinical ability. While we always want the nurse at bedside to be the most clinically competent nurse we remember the compassion and care that any nurse provides us. The Daisy award focuses on the artful side or emotional side of nursing.  .” Virginia Henderson deemed the modern day Florence Nightengale and nursing theorist stated “the nurse is temporarily the consciousness of the unconscious, the love of life for the suicidal, the leg of the amputee, the eyes of the newly blind, a means of locomotion for the infant, the knowledge and confidence of the young mother, and a voice for those too weak to speak.

“This nurse, in the short time I have been fortunate to work with her, has fed the animals of admitted patients unable to do so, has left her belongings on the floor of the ED hallway on her way out the door of a very long shift to sit with a crying patient in the Ed who was in need of support. She shoulders the burden of all the things that no one else has a minute to stop and do, even though she is equally as busy. She has graciously jumped into a role that has desperately needed someone oozing compassion and caring and she has excelled, with little preparation. She shoulders the emotions and needs of patients and her colleagues, and is the biggest cheerleader for every one of us. Her impact on this hospital and those that walk through the doors is immeasurable. I am extraordinarily pleased to award this year’s Daisy award to Jennifer Barker. Please join me in congratulating her.”