Daisy bouquets bloomed in abundance at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital last week as hospital staff, administration and patients celebrated the 2019 Daisy Awards.
The Daisy Award program is a worldwide initiative that rewards remarkable care, clinical skills and extraordinary compassion in nursing. The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the family of Patrick Barnes. He was 33 years old and died of complications of the auto-immune disease ITP.
“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,” said Director of Emergency Jennifer Bush in her introductory remarks. “So, as they say, over a very ‘liquid’ dinner right after Pat’s death, they came up with DAISY – an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.”
According to Bush, as the family brainstormed what The DAISY Foundation would actually do, they kept coming back to the one positive thing they held on to during Pat’s eight-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 to nurses 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, she said, has grown into a meaningful recognition program embraced by thousands of healthcare organizations around the world.
Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital’s Inpatient Nursing Team embraced the program last February with the hopes that patients would take the time to send in submissions. Over four short months, 24 patients provided submissions and 19 nurses became the MDMH Daisy Award nominees. Out of these nurses, the MDMH Emergency Nurse, Karston Peterson, was chosen as the first Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital Daisy Award recipient.
Peterson said, “Nursing at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital is different and unique. We are a team, a family – we care about our patients and are dedicated to each other. Marcus Daly offers a community environment, it is not just a hospital, and we are here for the community. It sets itself apart because of the people we work with. I became a nurse because I am a people person, I love people. Now I am in the perfect place to deliver care with people who care about the patient and each other. Receiving the Daisy Award surprised and shocked me. Thank you all for being there to support me, we provide care together!”
Peterson received a bouquet of daisies, a daisy chain crown and a sculpture, called “The Healer’s Touch.”
Emily Stockwell, Director of Surgery, called it “a perfect representation of the bond between nurses and their patients,” as she handed the sculpture to Karston. The hand-carved sculpture was produced by one of the many Shona artists that the Daisy Foundation supports in Zimbabwe. A video made by the artists showing how the sculptures are created out of serpentine stone can be viewed on the internet at the DAISYFoundation.org website.
Chief of Nursing Kathy Padilla read the patient submission that helped catapult Peterson to the top of the nominee list this year. It was from a woman who is raising her four-year-old granddaughter who had to take the child to the hospital after a 10-drawer toolbox fell on her.
“Through her tears she kept saying she was fine and didn’t want to go to the doctor. A couple of hours later I decided to take her in because she seemed to be getting worse and couldn’t do much with her right leg. She cried all the way to the hospital and begged me to take her home. After we were registered and taken back to the room the BEST nurse we could’ve ever encountered walked in! He knew just how to treat Melody to put her at ease. She was smiling at him within minutes and answering his questions. He was her ‘angel’ in scrubs that evening. She kept saying she wasn’t scared anymore. Thank you for your patience and understanding of four-year olds. Because of you, what could’ve been a very long night turned into a short one. And one very proud four-year-old because she wasn’t afraid anymore.”