Each month, one outstanding nurse from Medical Center of the Rockies and one outstanding nurse from Poudre Valley Hospital are awarded the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Foundation was formed in November 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP).
The foundation created the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in Patrick's honor to help recognize the "super-human" work nurses do for patients and families every day.
UCHealth DAISY winners at a glance
Click on the arrows below to see more information about all of the UCHealth winners of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
NOVEMBER 2013 - Bryant Bunch, MCR Cardiac ICU Nurse
"Bryant Bunch, may your many kindnesses come back to you thousand fold! You are a comfort to my family and all you treat (I’m sure). Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with my family and myself – it is nice to have a genuine nurse! As a patient or a patient’s family you can feel vulnerable, and must rely on the contact of the nurses and support staff for consistent treatment of your medical issues, and emotions, as they occur. We all felt a part of the decision-making process. Answers to any questions we had were answered in terms we could comprehend. My father-in-law said, “I was scared, concerned, unaware of my future, and didn’t feel good at all. But I never felt alone,” and this is all thanks to Bryant. You can trust Bryant to know what to do and what you need. He will take care of you. MCR is lucky to have such an amazing person to call their own. Thank you!"
- From a patient's family.
OCTOBER 2013 - Amy Depperschmidt, MCR Float Pool Nurse
"I was sitting with a patient today and was able to watch angels at work. The patient was on comfort care. The nurse Amy Depperschmidt from Float Pool was so incredibly thoughtful and caring. I watched as Amy brushed the patient’s hair, talked to her as if she was lucid and able to communicate, held her hand, and was so sweet and tender. It honestly brought me to tears. I work in an area of mostly joy and celebration, so end of life care is foreign to me. Occasionally we have tragedy and sadness but that is far and few between. Other units see tragedy every day and yet they treated this woman as if she was their grandmother, with dignity and more respect than anyone would ever imagine. Amy would say it was 'her job', yet I feel that it is more than that. Watching Amy at work was incredible, and reminded me of how lucky I am to call myself peer and fellow Nurse. I have an amazing job, as does Amy, and it was so special for me to be able to watch her in her element. I feel that Amy deserves to be honored for the wonderful work that she does, and the gift that she provides to families and patients. I watched it first hand and I am so blessed for having witnessed that type of care."
- From an MCR No One Dies Alone Program volunteer and fellow nurse.
OCTOBER 2013 - Patti Frelund, PVH Oncology Nurse Navigator
"While her job is not 'daily care,' her job involves providing a 'cocoon' of support to each of her patients diagnosed with breast cancer. This support can be in the form of emotional, treatment, community-involved, financial and survivorship support. She does this with more than 350 patients annually all throughout northern Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. One particular story comes to mind: A non-English speaking patient with three children under 10 years old was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive from of breast cancer. The only option that would give her the best survival chance involved mastectomy, then chemotherapy, then radiation therapy all over a period of about a year. Because she was “not legally present” she considered not having treatment at all because she could not pay for it. Patti convinced her to not only consider treatment, but to apply for funds to help offset the costs of treatment to the hospital system. The nurse helped her find care for her children when treatment made her feel bad, gave her an outlet to get her fears, emotions and needs expressed AND kept in touch with her at all treatment stages. She went to doctor’s appointments, took notes, found someone in the family to interpret notes back, and made her feel at ease with the decisions she made. The nurse’s patient is not only a breast cancer survivor, but a new mother as well, raising another healthy and happy child. And to think she almost chose not to treat because of money and stigma; her children have their mom back!" nbsp;
- From a co-worker.
SEPTEMBER 2013 - Katie Henecke and Heidi Burnett, MCR Medical Unit
"I need you to understand the importance of being put in the hospital. You’re scared, not knowing what’s happening to you, people talking about you, you don’t understand. Family is around - some seem happy, some seem mad. Then BINGO, in comes a real live Angel! Smiling, telling you you’re going to be okay, and their demeanor makes you know they are right. She came back and forth all day, same bright beautiful smile, same talk on your level, never making you feel dumb, want to get you anything to make you more comfortable, to make you smile, laugh, to make you safe. These young ladies deserve the best of whatever you have. They are beyond the best. Find more of them. Let them teach others. They are a real asset to your staff."
- From a patient.
SEPTEMBER 2013 - Dawn Gavaldon Infante, PVH Peds Plus
"I was having horrible pain post operative when I arrived in my room. My assigned nurse Rose was great, too, however my husband was upset seeing me cry in pain and she helped calm my husband down. Once my husband calmed down, he put on some Christian music for me as he knows that is how to bring me some peace. When Dawn realized we are strong Christians, she asked me if she could pray for me. I of course said yes, so she took my hand and prayed for me. I know not every nurse is a Christian, however, I have never felt so blessed to have her recognize our faith, pray for God to bring me relief from my pain and pray for my husband that God would help him through this stressful time. All of the nursing and supportive staff have been wonderful, however, I will never forget Dawn. I will never forget this experience with her. She showed higher than 'extraordinary care.' "
- From a patient.
AUGUST 2013 - Kelli Dunn, MCR Post Trauma
"Kelli helped me fight the fever and get through a horrible night filled with pain and the unknown. She was on time with my medications, helpful, knowledgeable, kind and gentle. Kelli kept my room dark and quiet so I could sleep through the night. She made my wife comfortable. My wife felt safe to be able to sleep and not worry about the care I was receiving. ... Kelli is an amazing nurse. She is very attentive, caring and has enough energy to run the entire hospital. I was very lucky to have Kelli take care of me. She treated me like I was one of her family. Thanks, Kelli, for your dedication, kindness, gentleness and over all goodness. You're the BEST."
- From a patient.
AUGUST 2013 - Dawnette Sheets, PVH Peds Plus
"Dawn is a very awesome nurse. She tended to my mom's every need. She is a perfect medical professional and everything you ever wanted in a nurse. She has perfect bedside manner.
"She was loving and caring to my mom and made sure she had everything she needed. She answered every question we had and she informed us on what medicine she was administering. Dawn treats you more like family instead of just a person."
- From a patient's son.
JULY 2013 - Charmaine Vincent, MCR Operating Room
"Char expressed her joy with us (family) that his lung tumor was not cancerous as it had been believed. ... Charmaine is an OR nurse by specialty and she provided us exemplary care when we were in the waiting room. She is an 'ol pro' with wonderful services. Charmaine, we would have been lost without you - literally."
- From a patient and patient's family.
"Charmaine is such as pleasant and caring person. She is so welcoming and accomodating to our patients and families. She is particularly supportive of the volunteers and is very knowledgeable from her nursing background as an OR nurse, which has been helpful to volunteers and families. We love her!"
- From surgery waiting volunteers.
JULY 2013 - Riley Mulligan, PVH Nursing Resource Pool
"Riley made our experience at PVH the best it could be under the circumstances. She's efficient, friendly and very knowledgeable. It is obvious she deeply cares about her patients and their well-being. She listens to the patient and the patient's family to get an understanding of what treatment options will work best. We consider her one of the best nurses we have ever worked with.”
- From a patient and patient's family.
About the Healer's Touch sculpture
Each winner of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses receives a DAISY pin, a certificate and a Healer's Touch sculpture. The sculptures are hand-carved in Zimbabwe by artists of local Shona communities. The creation of the sculptures has "created an umbrella of economic protection and sustenance over the group of artists and their families we support," according to the DAISY Foundation.
How to nominate a nurse
Patients and their families can nominate nurses for the award through the GetWellNetwork program on the televisions in their rooms at either hospital. They also can send a letter of recommendation to one of the DAISY coordinators at the hospitals.
- MCR NOMINATIONS: Submit a letter of nomination to Barb Ochsner, DAISY coordinator, Resource Services, Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., Loveland, CO 80538.
- PVH NOMINATIONS: Submit a letter of nomination to Jane Jostes-Wanek, DAISY coordinator, Clinical Education, Poudre Valley Hospital, 1024 S. Lemay Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80524.