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DAISY Nurse Spotlights

The DAISY Foundation continues to celebrate the tremendous skill and compassion of extraordinary nurses through its nationwide recognition program.

The following are excepts from DAISY Award recipients’ nominations. For more information about how your hospital can honor its nurses with The DAISY Award, visit

Eddie Deweese, RN, from Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

Edna (Eddie) Deweese, RN
Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego — Med/Surg

Deweese has been a nurse at Rady Children’s Hospital for more than 24 years. She has been nominated for the DAISY Award several times because of the tenderness, compassion, charm, and humor she brings not only to patients and their families but also to the night shift staff with whom she works. She is a nurse we all look up to. She has the skills to calm the most terrified child, start the most difficult IVs, and always manages to bring a smile to any nurse’s night. Deweese has touched the lives of many children and their families and is deserving of the DAISY Award.

Patty McCabe, RN

Patty McCabe, RN
UC Davis Medical Center (Sacramento) — Pediatrics

McCabe is a dedicated pediatric nurse. She coordinates the children’s activities, purchases decorations, sews costumes for the children, and solicits donations from the community. When McCabe, herself a cancer survivor, lost her own hair to chemo treatments, she visited her patients with cancer on the unit to encourage them and assure them “bald is beautiful.” She was the primary nurse for a teen with terminal cancer. He was in denial that his death was imminent. He started to talk a lot about his upcoming birthday and picked a date. His parents kept trying to correct him indicating it wasn’t for several months. But McCabe sensed the importance of the birthday, so she planned a birthday party for him on the day he had picked — complete with cake, candles, presents, music, and balloons. Everyone, family and friends celebrated his “birthday” at his bedside with gusto. He was happy and told everyone it was his “best birthday ever.” Soon afterward, he slipped into a coma and died before reaching his actual birthday. His parents thanked McCabe profusely for listening — really listening to their son.

Norma Hopper, RN

Norma Hopper, RN
Scripps Mercy (San Diego/Chula Vista) — Med/Surg

For more than a year, Hopper has been caring for a woman (Ms. G.) with colon cancer. Mrs. G. was hospitalized with a small bowel obstruction. Her NG tube aspirate was copious, clogging the tube frequently, and causing great abdominal pain and anxiety to the patient. Hopper took care of her both days of the weekend. She was hyper-vigilant with the NG tube, flushing the tube frequently to prevent obstruction. This was time-consuming at best, but Hopper never made the patient feel that she was in a hurry. She always made this patient feel that she was the only one that Hopper was caring for. The reality was, she had five other patients to care for as well with as much compassion and understanding as Ms. G. Hopper was leaving for vacation, but it was clear that Mrs. G. was anxious about her care without Norma. Hopper gave the patient her cell phone number and told her she could call any time. A few days later, as Norma enjoyed time with her family at the New Jersey Shore, her cell phone rang. It was Ms. G’s daughter telling Hopper how things were going with her mom. Hopper never acted as though this was an imposition. She was glad to hear the update and to hear there was improvement. Even on her vacation, Hopper kept in touch with the progress of this patient. Hopper’s colleague who wrote this nomination explained: “This is way beyond the concept of duty in any profession, but in Hopper’s nursing practice, it is commonplace. She cares for patients with her heart and soul. Sometimes it is too much to bear on one pair of shoulders, but she never complains about it. She faces the lives and deaths of these patients as though they were her family. She is an impressive role model to me in my nursing career.”

Nancy Elbaum, RN

Nancy Elbaum, RN
Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Ambulatory Care — Ambulatory Care-Pulmonary Clinic

As Elbaum was leaving work for the day, she came upon a patient in the parking lot whose car had been towed. This patient had seen a physician in Elbaum’s department that afternoon. Elbaum called the towing company from her cell phone, then drove the patient and her mother to the tow lot to get her car. This took Elbaum out of her way, but she felt it was important not to leave the patient stranded as she lived very far from our medical center.

Alicia de Groff, RN
Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills — Pediatric Oncology

We once treated a cancer patient who lived in a car. De Groff not only took care of the patient in the most humane way but also took the patient’s dog in, which was a Doberman. She still has him at her house. This is just one of many stories where de Groff opened her heart and house to patients. She is 150% patient oriented, comes in when needed on her day off, calls patients at home to see how are they doing, and deals with grieving family members.

Brent Darrington, RN

Brent Darrington, RN
Mercy Southwest Hospital (Bakersfield) — ICU

This nomination was written by a patient’s family: Our mom was diagnosed with a fairly aggressive form of cancer. She came to the hospital for surgery and was placed in ICU. While in ICU, she had a wonderful nurse, Darrington. He was kind to her and all of the family members who stood vigil at her bedside. Darrington listened to all of mom’s concerns patiently and addressed each one. She felt confident under his care. He was gentle and showed great compassion. Our family is grateful for his presence in our mom’s recovery. Darrington represents the very best the nursing profession has to offer. Thank you for placing our precious mom in his capable hands.

Ruby Sullivan, RN, is pictured with Katie Renniger, who along with a patient nominated Sullivan for the award.

Ruby Sullivan, RN
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (Santa Rosa) — Telemetry

This nomination was written by a colleague: Sullivan has a very special gift of compassion and kindness that she continues to share with patients. I had a patient tell me Sullivan made her Christmas because she took her robe home, washed it, and returned it the next day. When we do bedside report, her patients realize her shift is over and ask, “When will you be back? Thank you for all you did for me!”


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By | 2020-04-15T14:42:43-04:00 May 4th, 2009|Categories: Regional, West|0 Comments

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