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Meet the 2010 DAISY Recipients — Third Quarter

Thanks to The DAISY Foundation, nurses across the country are celebrated for their extraordinary patient care, spirit and character. Each quarter would like to recognize the nation’s DAISY recipients so the celebration of their accomplishments continues. A sample of these nurses’ nominations, or “spotlights,” will be featured on and The following are excerpts from DAISY Award recipients’ third-quarter nominations.

To view a full list of this year’s winners, visit

Dana Kelleher, RN

Dana Kelleher, RN
Pediatric Inpatient, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
Portland, Ore.

Dana’s manager describes an experience that stood out: “A mentally unstable teenager coming into the ward as a patient became combative and tried to escape. A code Gray was called, and security responded. Dana connected with this girl while the girl was restrained physically on the ground. Dana knew she needed to get her back to her room at the other end of the unit. Dana calmly spoke to the girl, and explained what she needed to do, asked if she could walk… the girl responded. Dana discreetly covered her handcuffs with her sweater and walked with the girl back to her room. Security followed discreetly. This was a most unusual situation for pediatrics. Dana wanted this experience to be as dignified and respectful as possible for the patient and other patients on the ward. Her manager added that this was one of the most moving and inspiring acts of kindness, professionalism and skill she has experienced.”

Megan Law, RN

Megan Law, RN, BSN, 7B, Transplant & ICARE, Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh of UPMC

Megan received the DAISY Award twice this year. Here is her January nomination: “I am nominating Megan Law for the DAISY Award not because of one specific event, but more for the constant compassion and care she puts into her work every day. I cannot tell you how many days I have come in and taken over her patients at a shift change and have been told by the families and patients how much they loved having her as their nurse. For some, it’s her humor that makes them feel comforted and at home in the hospital. For others, it’s her attention to the small details that others would have overlooked. I’ve seen her on numerous occasions seated with a mother, listening intently as the mother vents about her sadness and stress over her child’s complicated course, sometimes sitting for an hour, but being a shoulder to lean on for that mother when she needed it most. She is always one to help a family, whether or not it’s her patient. She is always there to help nurses who feel overwhelmed, or provide guidance for a novice nurse. She has on several occasions been a fearless patient advocate, never hesitating to go to battle for a patient whom she felt needed specific attention. It is not one act in a nurse’s career that makes her or him extraordinary; it’s their un-wavering commitment every day.”

Kristen Kelly, RN, Med/Surg, All Children’s Hospital
St. Petersburg, Fla.

“Kristen Kelly saved my son’s life. Aiden was admitted to the floor for what seemed to be a viral illness. Unbeknownst to us, during the vomiting, Aiden had a tear in his stomach lining. After some time and some very dramatic symptoms, Aiden vomited a massive amount of blood. His blood pressure dropped, he was not coherent and the immediate thing our nurse needed to work on was getting Aiden’s IV fluids running fast. Just 10 minutes before that, our doctor decided to order some heavy antibiotics “just in case” he became septic. The bleeding, however, became the most important focus, but not to Kristen. She knew Aiden was being transferred to the PICU and she could have waited to hang the antibiotics since they hadn’t been sent from the pharmacy. She was working so fast that her hands were ripping open bags of fluids, grabbing pumps and answering calls. She remained beautifully calm to me but you could tell she had a mission. After the bolus was hung, she called for the antibiotics stat. They were sent, and she had them hung within minutes. She cared for Aiden all the way to the PICU, stayed with him and hung the second antibiotic herself. This saved his life. We didn’t know at the time he was actually septic. If she would have waited and not gone above and beyond, we are certain our child would have died. Just hours later, Aiden didn’t recognize his own father; he was delirious and in septic shock. Kristen hung the bags just in time. It was 12 hours later that Aiden begin to turn a corner. I cannot stress enough how thankful I am for getting this amazing nurse to care for my child. Aiden is now sitting with me playing with Legos, laughing and smiling. She gave us a second chance with our child.”

Anna Maloney, RN

Anna Maloney, RN, BSN, Med/Surg, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

“Anna is an exceptionally caring and compassionate nurse. She is very thorough and keeps families well-educated and informed. However, I am nominating her because of her act of kindness that went above and beyond the call of duty. We had a 25-year-old woman on our unit who is ventilator-dependent because she has Guillain-Barré syndrome. She has been in the hospital for 81 days. Anna has been a critical part of her progress. When we were having difficulty communicating with her, Anna helped her spell out words using an alphabet sheet and a clipboard of blank paper. She also encourages her every day to move to prevent bedsores and tried to keep her calm during her CPAP trials by staying at the bedside during those times. But Anna even went above and beyond that. This patient is constantly hot and sweaty (because of the warm air from the ventilator), and expressed interest in having her hair cut short. On Mother’s Day, Anna brought one of her friends to the hospital who is a hairdresser, and the patient got that haircut she had been wishing for! She has been so happy ever since and now smiles all the time. She also is now tolerating 12-plus hours of CPAP, and I believe it is because of Anna and all the staff on Unit 671 that she is doing so well.”

Nancy Scheitlin, RN, CMSRN, Med/Surg and Oncology, St. Joseph Medical Center
Towson, Md.

“Nancy is an excellent clinician and someone with great foresight. She supported a patient and family after the young adult was transferred to our unit as an end-of-life patient. The patient decided to get married on the unit, so his nurse got everyone on the unit together and decided to make this event one the family would not forget. What is a wedding without flowers and a cake? Nancy made a beautiful arrangement of flowers for the bride. She talked to the pain nurse about keeping the patient very comfortable as well as alert enough to participate in the event. Our pain nurse provided a wedding card for all to sign. Delmar, the director of dietary, made a wonderful basket of fruit, juices and snacks for the family, and donated a large coconut cake for the celebration. Nancy helped make everything run smoothly for the newlyweds and their families. It was a very emotional time for the family and the staff, and seeing everyone work together was amazing! Although the patient died peacefully the next day, his family and new wife who were by his side were overwhelmed with the loving support of everyone involved in the patient’s final days. This was, indeed, an amazing expression of loving service and compassionate care.”

Dawn Devine, RN, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, St. Francis Hospital Beech Grove
Beech Grove, Ind.

“Dawn recently cared for a patient on our unit who was a known drug abuser. It was suspected, and later verified, that this patient was taking additional drugs and self-administering drugs during his stay. Many staff members verbalized displeasure regarding taking care of him. He often mumbled, was hard to awaken and difficult. Dawn took care of him for five days, and what really touched me was how she saw beyond the drug addiction to the young man inside. She said she envisioned her own son in the same situation. Over the course of caring for him, she spoke to him about his daughter, whom he loved very much. She spoke about the uncertainty of having a cancer diagnosis. She talked with him about his family and about his girlfriend (who also had a drug addiction), and how his daughter was being raised under such circumstances. Dawn was able to see through the cloud of dependency to the young man inside. Dawn told me on the last day of the admission, she went in to say goodbye. He asked her to come back and spend more time with him, as he might never see her again. His future was uncertain, but Dawn took the time to get to know him, to show him compassion and to actually make a friend. She touched his life, as we all hope to do when we care for patients. This young man would be labeled “difficult” in any medical conversation, but to Dawn, he was a young man who needed love and compassion.”

Ijeoma “Julie” Eche, RN

Ijeoma “Julie” Eche, RN, 6 North, Oncology, Children’s Hospital Boston

This month’s winner was nominated separately by a grateful family from her unit and by a group of grateful nursing students from the University of Massachusetts – Boston: “Julie got us through three hard nights. She is focused, troubleshoots and is extremely competent. We felt she was right there with us, making the right decisions”. Meanwhile the students from UMass Boston wrote: “Each Monday, Ms. Eche, helped us acclimate to 6N with grace and professionalism. A nurse on this floor and a student at UMB herself, Ms. Eche exudes excellence that is consistent and inspiring.”

Cindy Stokes, RN, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic, Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, S.C.

“I am nominating Cindy Stokes, RN, for the DAISY Award at the request of all her teammates in the unit. When I rounded this month, all the staff members in her unit wanted to recognize Cindy for her care of Ryan, a teenager whose chemotherapy treatments no longer were working. Cindy had been his primary nurse for the past four years. Cindy used her positive relationship with this family to support them through this difficult period and assisted in creating some long-term family memories. The family decided they would take a trip to Hawaii for a final family vacation. Cindy wrote a letter to the airline that assisted the family in getting a better flight. Ryan e-mailed Cindy during the trip, resulting in the staff getting to see Ryan on the beach in Hawaii through Skype. Upon their return, Ryan was in tremendous pain. Cindy elicited the help of the other nurses so she could remain the support nurse, and Ryan would know that when she entered the room she would not be doing anything painful. A plan of care was designed so the labs, blood draws and IVs would not be done through his port, and the expert skills of each of these nurses were called upon to meet his unique pain needs. Hospice was unable to obtain the pain medications Ryan needed, so Cindy obtained them through MUSC pharmacy and delivered them to Ryan’s house. One weekend, Ryan’s school friends were getting together at his home for a drum jam. Cindy went to Ryan’s house and participated by playing the drums, bringing her own teenage son and being there for Ryan. All these experiences helped prepare the child and the family and created a positive approach to a terrible situation. At the very end, hospice was unable to meet some of the needs related to pain medication administration and blood work. We do not have pediatric hospice in Charleston. Cindy made arrangements to transfer the care of her clinic patients to her hemoc team and drove to Ryan’s house to meet his needs. He died before her arrival, and Cindy remained with the family during this transitioning period, again providing that additional level of support. Cindy demonstrates the highest level of clinical skills, expert nursing care and care coordination. In addition, Cindy has the added gift of being able to effectively communicate during stressful and unpleasant situations, taking these situations and turning them into positive memories.”

Pauline Rahner, RN

Pauline Rahner, RN-BC, CDE, Pediatrics, Saint Peter’s University Hospital
New Brunswick, N.J.

“Pauline has been a nurse at Saint Peter’s University Hospital for more than 30 years on the pediatrics floors. Pauline is also a Certified Diabetes Educator and has been educating and caring for many new onset diabetic patients, as well as all other pediatric patients over the years. She is very dedicated to the pediatric patients with diabetes. For more than 20 years, she has given up her vacation time to volunteer at Camp Nejeda for children with diabetes. She has given so much of her time over the years so that these children can have fun without worrying about diabetes.”

Flower Mary Joseph, RN, CPN
Adolescent, Blythedale Children’s Hospital
Valhalla, N.Y.

“Flower Joseph is a shy, discreet night nurse. At the beginning of our stay at Blythedale, my daughter was seriously ill, and for weeks I had not been able to sleep deeply because I was afraid that something could happen to her. The first night that Flower was taking care of her, I noticed that she was coming very often to check on her, silently, discreetly. Little by little, I felt more confident. Since then, when she is with us at night, I can get a good sleep and feel more positive the next day which is very good for my daughter. It’s good to know that a nice guardian angel is watching on my daughter.”

Roberto Parra, RN

Roberto Parra, RN, BSN, Emergency Department, University Medical Center of El Paso
El Paso, Texas

Roberto was nominated for The DAISY Award by the Executive Director of Regency: “Recently one of our employees was critically injured by a car and was taken to UMC with only an ID. No emergency information was available. By Monday nobody had inquired about her, so Robert took it upon himself on his day off to try to find out who she was and where family might be. By visiting her apartment, he learned that she worked in “healthcare.” He then proceeded to call all nursing homes, hospitals and finally Regency. Our employee (the patient) had not shown up for work that Monday, but we had not initiated a follow-up. Because of Roberto’s empathy and compassion, we were able to find members of her family and assist the admissions office with social security numbers, etc. Had it not been for Roberto, it’s hard to imagine how long it would have taken to identify her and track down the family. Roberto provided his phone number and was so supportive in answering our questions and patient when speaking with members of our staff, who then were able to visit our employee, Roberto’s patient.“

Claudia Haines, RN


Claudia Haines, LPN, Assisted Living
St. Francis Hospital, Columbus, Ga.

“My mother had always been very independent. She would win awards for her beautiful yard and was very active and volunteered for the library, book sales, church and whatever came along that needed a hard worker. Slowly she started having more physical problems and finally was confined to a wheelchair until she was able to get a motorized chair. She became more and more dependent with certain tasks such as bathing and dressing. She always enjoyed being on her own, but it had become evident that she no longer could live that way. I decided to visit Franciscan Woods and felt very comfortable. My mom really liked the facility, so we moved her in. I was impressed with the amount of attention we got from everyone, but one person in particular stands out as one of the most caring and conscientious young women I have ever met. Her name is Claudia Haines. She is on top of everything. She has removed a lot of the stress I felt when Mom had no one taking care of her medical needs. Claudia can always be counted on to fight for the resident and will go the extra mile to help. She has called after hours just to update me when we were unable to speak during regular hours. She makes sure meds are available and keeps on top of Mom’s pain meds. Claudia truly loves my Mom and her other residents. When Mom was recently hospitalized at St. Francis, she was crying for “my Claudia.” Claudia always calls and keeps me up to date on appointments or things she has noticed about Mom that might be a problem. When Claudia is there, you know you don’t have to worry because Claudia is already on it and it will be taken care of.“

Kimberly Porter, RN, ICU,
Baptist Memorial Hospital – Memphis

“My husband was in the ICU with what started out as a urinary tract infection, but the infection spread into his bloodstream. On top of that, he developed bilateral pneumonia, which completely filled his lungs. He was heavily sedated and on a ventilator for a couple of days, and eventually weaned to a nasal cannula. Late in the afternoon May 28, we were going to have a birthday party in the waiting room for my son, who was turning 12 that day. I felt I could not leave the hospital, but I wanted my son to have some sort of celebration, so as not to feel neglected or overlooked on his special day. After visiting hours ended at 5 p.m., I told my husband we had a cake for our son and we were going to have a small birthday party in the waiting room. I told him I would bring him some cake back. He told me, with tears in his eyes, to take a picture for him, since he couldn’t be there. I went back to the waiting room to set up. We were singing “Happy Birthday” when I heard Noah say, “Mom, look behind you.” I turned around and saw my husband sitting in a wheelchair with his monitor box in his lap and a very special nurse wheeling him to the party. I had tears in my eyes as I told my husband that it was time for him to go back. I am sure our nurse was trying to get home to her family, too. He said, “Yes, I know,” but Kim said, “What’s five minutes?” We will never forget Kim Porter’s kindness and compassion. My son told me that this was his best birthday ever.”

By | 2021-05-07T08:32:33-04:00 October 11th, 2010|Categories: Nursing Awards|0 Comments

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