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Meet the 2010 DAISY Recipients — Fourth Quarter

The DAISY Foundation continues to celebrate the tremendous skill and compassion of extraordinary nurses through its nationwide recognition program. The following are excerpts from DAISY Award recipients’ fourth-quarter nominations.

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

To nominate a nurse you know, visit


Gina Hendry, RN

Gina Hendry, RN II, ASN • ICU, Cape Canaveral Hospital • Cocoa Beach, Fla.

“The night was particularly crazy, which should not be unexpected in an ICU. However, a very young lady was a patient in the unit, on the verge of bleeding to death. If any fortune can be found in this situation, it would be that the nurse caring for this young lady was Gina Hendry. Upon the patient’s arrival to the ICU, Gina knew that there was something gravely wrong. The patient began to deteriorate very quickly, and Gina knew she could not leave this patient’s bedside. This patient was bleeding, and as the patient continued to bleed, Gina kept the physicians informed of her condition. Throughout the night, after multiple transfusions, medications, fluid boluses and three trips to the OR, the issue was resolved, and the bleeding abated. Had it not been for the team of nurses caring for this patient, with Gina at the lead, she would not have survived. Gina’s involvement with this young lady is not limited to her clinical expertise and care. Gina was instrumental in keeping the family members informed of their daughter’s condition and allowing them time at the bedside when possible. They were able to remain calm and collected because Gina cared enough to tend to their needs as well. The patient left our hospital alive, restored and on her way to her own home. That speaks volumes about the kind of care she received from Gina Hendry in her most critical hours. What is even more impressive is that Gina provides this level of care to every patient, every time.”


Jennifer Ballard, RN • Burn ICU, University of California San Diego Health Systems • San Diego, Calif.

“Jennifer is a natural humorist, singer and dancer. To the delight of patients, families and staff, her wit and charm is demonstrated through spontaneous arias – classic and rock, soft shoe shuffles, and photo antics. She can make the most depressed patient laugh out loud. A 20-year-old man was admitted to the burn center. He had second- and third-degree burns to 90% of his body except his face. His youth and circumstances of his burn made care especially difficult. Throughout his 1.5-year stay, Jennifer was his advocate. After too many surgeries and procedures to count, pain management challenges and success and rehabilitation therapy, the patient was ready for transfer to a rehabilitation facility to focus on activities of daily living. As the day of transfer grew nearer, the patient’s anxiety began to manifest itself. Angry outbursts, refusal to eat, weeping and therapy noncompliance challenged all the providers. Jennifer never wavered in her support and caring. On the day of transfer, she went with the patient. It was her day off, but she wanted to ensure a smooth transition. She organized colleague “road trip” visits to the patient so he wouldn’t feel abandoned. The transition was successful. Today, the patient is at home, achieving his activity goals, and continues to mature in his recovery. This is an example of her commitment to patients and families.”


Jennifer Minter, RN

Jennifer Minter, RN, BSN • NICU, Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital • Park Ridge, Ill.

“Jennie goes out of her way to provide excellent care and extraordinary compassion and empathy to the families that come into the NICU. Jennie began taking care of Baby M last August. The baby was born 13 weeks premature and was critically ill during most of the seven months that the baby spent in the NICU. Baby M died one day short of seven months, and Jennie cared for the infant the entire time that she was in the NICU. Jennie went out her way to try to create some normalcy for this family, allowing the mom to hold and care for her baby even though she usually was surrounded by all of the lines, tubes and equipment found in the NICU. Jennie took the time each day to create special memories for this family, knowing that Baby M probably would not survive to go home to the family. Jennie also picked up extra shifts as Baby M became sicker, so that the mom could sleep well at night knowing that her baby would be cared for by someone who knew her. On the day Baby M was to be taken off life support, Jennie came in on her day off to be with the family. We received a most beautiful letter from Baby M’s mother, telling us about her stay in the NICU and impact that Jennie had on the hospital stay for her and her baby: ‘I will always remember my days in the NICU. Some days filled with tears of joy, some days filled with tears of sadness. On the worst day of my life, Jennie was there, by my side helping me tell my daughter goodbye. To me how do I tell her thank you enough?’ ”


Christine Bauer, RN

Christine Bauer, RN • Pediatrics, St. Joseph Medical Center • Towson, Md.

“Christine was at the Hunt Valley Mall shopping with her husband and daughter when two ladies fell while using the escalator. They immediately came over to help the women who had injuries and needed immediate attention. She assisted the one woman with bleeding by using her daughter’s blanket and applying pressure. EMS was called, and they were brought to the hospital for further care. Christine called many times to the daughter of the elderly woman to check on her condition while she was hospitalized. A thank-you letter was sent to our CNO from the women that stated: ‘They are a credit to our community, their profession and the human race. I am especially grateful for their kind and immediate help and feel it is important for you to know.’ ”


Margaret “Missy” Fescemyer, RN

Margaret “Missy” Fescemyer, RN • Radiology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC • Pittsburgh

Margaret was nominated by a co-worker who told her story:

“I am sharing a story of an act of caring that goes above and beyond. One evening, Missy was making phone calls to parents of children who would be coming to our facility for an exam the following day. She was speaking to a mom of one of the children, and the mother seemed to be having difficulty understanding her instructions. She was repeating words over and over again. Missy became concerned and asked whether she was home alone, to which the mother replied that she was. Missy became aware that mom is herself a diabetic. Missy told her she would contact a family member for her but to stay on the line. When Missy called the other phone number she had, it actually was a land line phone of the same mom who was currently on her cell phone waiting for Missy to get back to her. At this point, the mom was having difficulty speaking clearly. Missy decided that she needed to call 911 and ask for the 911 service for West Moreland. A team was dispatched to the mother’s home. Later that evening, after Missy had gone home, the mom called back to ask to speak with the nurse who had saved her life. She told one of the other radiology RNs that her blood sugar was 20 when the paramedics arrived, and if it were not for Missy, she may have died. When mom and child came in for their test, she asked everyone how she could find Missy. When she finally got to meet Missy, she gave her a big hug and thanked her for saving her life.”


Mary Newcomb, RN

Mary Newcomb, RN • Special Care Nursery, Winchester Hospital • Winchester, Mass.

“Winchester Hospital has recognized Mary as its most recent recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses after she was nominated by a newborn’s parents for being an ‘angel in scrubs.’ In the nomination, Newcomb was praised for her quick thinking, which enabled a newborn in Winchester Hospital’s Level IIB Special Care Nursery to be diagnosed and properly treated for a life-threatening infection. The baby’s father noted that Newcomb was there ‘every step of the way’ during his son’s 21-day treatment in the Special Care Nursery, taking calls from his wife, at all hours of the day and night. ‘While life-saving may be the norm at Winchester Hospital, it certainly is not to us. And I doubt that nurses like Mary are the norm at any hospital,’ he wrote. ‘Mary made us feel that our son was part of her family, and I think that he really is. We were sad to leave Mary when he was finally discharged; we really wanted her to come home with us. However, we know Mary is where she needs to be, in the Special Care Nursery, saving lives.’ ”


Christy Justice, RN

Christy Justice, RN • Med/Surg, The Methodist Hospital • Houston, Texas

“Christy was the primary nurse for a patient with terminal lung cancer May 28, which was also the patient’s birthday. This patient’s last wish was to live long enough to see her daughter graduate from high school, which was coming up in one week. Knowing that this would be the last birthday this patient would celebrate, Christy organized an impromptu birthday celebration for her. She also arranged for a cake to be delivered and organized the staff to sing “Happy Birthday.” In addition, Christy went to the gift shop and purchased two gifts for the patient with her own money. One gift was an angel pin, and the other was a plaque with an inspirational quote. The patient’s face lit up when we entered the room for this spontaneous celebration of life. Christy’s deep personal faith enables her to make a unique connection with patients and their families; and her compassion is immeasurable and limitless. Sadly, this patient passed away May 31. However, the family was extremely appreciative of the excellent and compassionate care that Christy and our staff provided.”


Karin McNaobe, RN • ED, Trinitas Regional Medical Center • Elizabeth, N.J.

“Recently, Karen received a phone call from a woman stating she wanted to kill herself. Karen remained calm and kept the woman on the phone long enough to get her name and phone number. The police department was sent to help, and the lady was found safe. This is one of many reasons why Karen deserves this award. Karen exemplifies the standards the DAISY Award represents by being a patient advocate, protecting the dignity and value of patient life, and providing skillful care.”


Clinton Dinnan, RN

Clinton Dinnan, RN • Emergency Services, Providence Park Hospital • Novi, Mich.

Clint was nominated by a co-worker:

“One day, a 72-year-old male was brought in, complaining of chest and back pain. As soon as the patient was brought back, several tests were ordered and the patient was sent to CT for possible dissection. If I recall correctly, the CT showed an abdominal aneurysm. As everyone was moving about and getting the patient ready to go directly to surgery, people asked whether the wife and grandson would be able to come back, and Clinton overheard this. He went ahead and said that it would be OK for them to come back for a few minutes while they continue to get the patient ready for surgery. I was touched by the fact that Clint stepped in and allowed the wife and grandson to see the patient. The grandson was very happy that he was getting to see Grandpa, as was the wife. As it turns out, the patient did not make it out of surgery. It still brings a tear to my eye to say kudos to Clint, for the fact that he allowed the wife and grandson into the room one last time. I told Clint how proud I was to have him as a co-worker and how he touched my heart that day. I am sure that the wife and grandson would feel the same way if asked.”


Beth Nevil, RN • ED, Carolinas Medical Center – University • Charlotte, N.C.

“A patient had serious chronic illness, including Vitamin D deficiency, which had contributed to multiple bone fractures in her history. She was seen for a lower extremity fracture [the day before] and dispositioned to go home by the ED physician. Along with all of her medical problems, she also had social issues that included limited resources at home. Apparently, she had recently moved to Charlotte with her husband, who recently got a new job in Philadelphia and wasn’t at home to help care for her. She normally uses a walker, and the lower extremity injury made it impossible for her to use her walker and get around. The patient told Beth that she didn’t know anyone in Charlotte to help her. Beth utilized all the possible resources that she had, including social work, physical therapy, and even tried to have the patient get admitted, but eventually had to send the patient home, against Beth’s wishes, because the patient didn’t meet criteria for admission by CHG. Beth arranged for Medic to take the patient home and stayed over for 1 ½ hours to ensure the patient was taken care of until she left. Beth was so concerned about the patient, that the next morning, she discussed her concerns with me about the whole situation and her frustration to not being able to help the patient any more than she could. I offered to call the patient to see how she was and utilize more resources if needed. When I called the patient to she how she was, the patient felt better, had gotten a home health visit providing her a wheelchair and bedside toilet the night before, due to Beth’s persistence and concern for her safety. The patient told me multiple times how compassionate and caring Beth was, even though everyone else was trying to send her home. ED nurses rarely get the opportunity to spend much time with our patients, due to the environment. It was an extremely high-volume, busy day, but Beth demonstrated extraordinarily compassionate care, and the patient wanted to make sure Beth was recognized for the care she received.”


Heather Lovelady, RN

Heather Lovelady, RN • Med/Surg, St. Edward Mercy Medical Center • Fort Smith, Ark.

Heather Lovelady’s nomination statement:

“A patient was admitted by Heather Lovelady. This patient shared with Heather that her daughter had always accompanied her and was always at her side when she was in the hospital. The patient went on to tearfully say that her daughter was killed in a car accident. The patient also shared that her daughter was her ‘rock’ and she did not know how she was going to make it without her. This patient was obviously still deeply grieving over the loss of her daughter more than two years ago. The patient went on to tell Heather that her daughter had been an employee of this particular unit. Heather immediately knew who the patient was talking about and told the patient “your daughter sent me to you.” Heather had gone to college with the patient’s daughter, and they graduated nursing school together. Andrea (the patient’s deceased daughter) had given Heather an inspirational book when Heather was going through a difficult situation while they were in school together. Andrea’s mother had originally bought the book for Andrea and had inscribed a note to her inside the cover of the book, but Andrea had loaned it to Heather to read. Once graduation had occurred, they worked together, but on different shifts and eventually different floors. Over time, returning the book to Andrea had been overlooked. Heather continued to carry the book with her for more than 10 years and six moves, hoping to run into Andrea to return it but Andrea eventually had moved and was working for another hospital. Upon telling the patient how Heather knew her daughter, Heather brought the book into work with her and gave the book to the patient. The patient said, “I know Andrea sent you to me in my time of need” and said that she could feel Andrea with her now. The book had been inscribed by the patient with a message to her daughter “To Andrea, with much love, mother 1989.” The patient grabbed Heather by the arm and stated, “you don’t know what you have done for me, I feel she is with me now.” Heather feels she is a part of a miracle that was 10 years in the making. She had always carried the book everywhere with her in hopes that she would see Andrea to return it.”

Zoleaka Bell, RN • Med/Surg, St. Francis Hospital • Columbus, Ga.

“Zoleaka Bell has greatly inspired me personally and our staff at The Wellness Center. Zoleaka Bell brought a young man into the gym to exercise this week who is in great need of our services. He is an 18-year-old who is morbidly obese and suffers from several health problems that are secondary to his weight. Zoleaka cares for him during the week when she is not working at SFH and thought that it would be a good idea to bring him to The Wellness Center to exercise. Not only does she bring him to the gym, but she has also added him to her ‘family’ membership. She pays for this out of her payroll deduction. Zoleaka also took things one step further to include the other nurse who cares for him on her membership plan. She wanted to be sure that the other nurse who is with him will have some incentive to bring Tommy in to do his exercise. Now she can exercise, too. When I was talking to Zoleaka about this, she just said that she really wants to help him because he is her patient and she cares about him. He needs to lose at least 150 pounds in order to be able to have his tracheotomy tube removed. He has been removed from school because of his health, and his main goal is to lose the weight so he can get back into school and lead a more normal lifestyle. This is one of the main reasons I love my job. I cannot wait to be able to help Zoleaka’s patient with his exercise program and see him progress to meet his goals. I believe that Zoleaka is playing a huge role in changing her patient’s life. I am inspired.”

By | 2021-05-07T08:33:32-04:00 January 10th, 2011|Categories: Nursing Awards|0 Comments

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