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Meet the 2011 DAISY recipients — second 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’ 2011 second-quarter nominations.

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

To nominate a nurse you know, visit

Ruth Bertuzzi, R

Ruth Bertuzzi, RN, MSN
4 East/IMC • Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

Ruth’s nomination tells the story of her interactions with a patient who had multiple re-admissions following an MVA 13 years prior. This man was bed-bound, had a tracheostomy and was diagnosed as being in a “persistent vegetative state.” While on daily rounds, Ruth noticed some new behaviors, that the patient seemed to be trying to communicate, and there was a consistency of response. He was able to nod and blink, as well as follow some simple commands. She notified his physician, and a Physical Medicine and Rehab evaluation was obtained. Shortly after initial PT/OT/SLP evaluations, the patient was using an adaptive call bell, was up in a chair and beginning to speak. The patient was admitted to CIR. The nurses, physicians and therapists involved with this case were delighted to have made such a difference in the man’s life. The case manager who nominated Ruth stated, “This gentleman smiled for the first time in over eight years.”

Carol “Cricket” Meehan, RN

Carol “Cricket” Meehan, BSN, RN-BC
Med/Surg • Newport Hospital, Newport, R.I.

As an employee of Newport Hospital, it was different to find myself on the other side of the services provided by the facility. In June 2010, I had a nine-day stay in the hospital and felt fortunate to have Cricket as one of my nurses. She took very good care of me, and I believe went out of her way to do so. Cricket was always pleasant, attentive, informative and patient. It was a comfort to know she was on duty. Cricket consistently goes above and beyond everyday when she cares for her patients. She treats her patients with respect and gives them all excellent care. Her coworkers come to her often for help and advice and she is always willing to help.

Kim Coppin, RN

Kim Coppin, BSN, RN
Behavioral Health • Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago

We had a patient on our unit that transferred from MICCU in four-point restraints and a mask covering his face. Our report was the patient was aggressive, kicked the staff and was spitting. The patient had been given several medications to treat his agitation with no relief. After the patient was transferred safely into bed, his nurse removed his mask, feeling sorry for him. He was pleading for scissors to remove the restraints, but we did not remove them because we were afraid. The patient was aggressive and using foul language. Kim came to check on him because she was familiar with him and concerned about his well-being. Kim let us know that the patient was a schizophrenic who was normally calm and pleasant in disposition but frequently used foul language. Kim told us if you remind the patient to calm down and not to use that language, he could be easily redirected. Kim made the staff feel comfortable and safe to remove the restraints, which she believed were worsening his behavior. With Kim by our side, we removed all the restraints. The patient was walked to the restroom and then sat in a chair and was given something to drink. After several minutes, the patient stated he was tired and wanted to sleep. He fell asleep immediately, getting the rest he greatly needed. The next day, the patient was safely discharged back to his nursing home without incident. Had Kim not come to our rescue, who knows how long the patient would have stayed here or what kind of outcome would have been the result.

Katie Dwulet, RN

Katie Dwulet, RN, BSN, CCRN
Neuro ICU • NewYork Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York

Katie is truly passionate and enthusiastic about the work she does. It is extremely evident to her patients and co-workers. A patient we recently had in the Neuro ICU who was given a diagnosis of brain cancer. The patient had surgery to remove the tumor and the pathology results came back cancerous. The patient tried to keep a positive attitude and stayed strong for her family and friends. Ultimately, the gravity of the diagnosis and the further treatments of chemo and radiation that would ensue were weighing heavily on the patient, and she started to display signs of depression. The patient was religious, and Katie spent time getting to know her, building a great rapport. Katie became aware of the patient’s religious beliefs and offered her support, doing something truly amazing. She had recently vacationed to Rome and went to Lourdes, where she purchased holy water that was blessed by the Pope. Katie brought in a statue of Mary and the holy water for her patient. The patient was overcome with joy and disbelief. Katie listened to her patient and with that simple act of kindness changed the woman’s outlook. The patient viewed receiving the holy water as a sign of good things and changed her attitude toward her diagnosis. She wanted to fight all the way. I am privileged to work with someone with such a strong work ethic and dedication to her patients.

Rosemary Viola, RN, PCCN
Post Cardiac Procedure Unit • Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, New Jersey

Much to her surprise, a patient who had been recently discharged with multiple issues came knocking on Rosemary’s door at her home. She was taken aback at first, but her caring nature led her to listen and do what only an outstanding nurse would do. After an evaluation of the patient’s medical, physical and psychosocial needs, Rosemary realized much needed to be done. His home was in disrepair; he had no support system, no food, and no one to tend to his wounds. He was alone. She took it upon herself to notify the appropriate medical personnel regarding his wound care and his home care qualifications. With instruction from the medical professional, she administered wound care because the Visiting Nurses Association would not be available until the next day. In the meantime, she prepared some meals and made calls to local churches and community services to provide him with continuing sustenance. She has continued to research any available means to assist this patient in his recovery, all on her own time. When most people would have been frightened and never even opened their door, Rosemary took the time to listen, assess, acknowledge and care.

Tate, RN

Brent Tate, RN
ED • Carolinas Medical Center – University, Charlotte, N.C.

We had a non-ambulatory patient in the ER who lived alone. It was obvious that this patient had not had a bath in several months. He had stool all over and could not get to his feet and other areas to get cleaned. Most people would have given a bed bath to get their patients cleaned, but Brent took him up to the floor to take a shower. The patient could not stand, so Brent lifted him up and placed him on a shower chair. After washing his front, he then got into the shower with him and lifted him up while a second person washed his back. He showed an abundance of caring and compassion. It is my pleasure to nominate Brent for the DAISY Award.

Bronwyn Gilliam, RN

Bronwyn Gilliam, RN
ICU • Seton Medical Center Hays, Kyle, Texas

A few months ago a patient came into the hospital in liver failure. The patient needed a transplant. The physician managing the patient did not want to transfer the patient to a transplant facility because “it was the weekend.” Bronwyn called another physician of the patient’s interdisciplinary team and pleaded her case. The other physician made the transfer happen. The patient was transferred to San Antonio and immediately placed on the transplant list, receiving a liver transplant after two weeks. During those two weeks, he was quite ill. Two weeks ago, the patient and his wife came back to personally thank Bronwyn for going the extra mile.

Marcie Tharp, RN, BSN, CCRN
PICU • Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Marcie Tharp consistently displays compassion, sensitivity and professionalism, whether dealing with patients and families or support staff, and exemplifies the kind of nurse that others aspire to become. She is an expert, is well-respected and is a trusted mentor and leader for both physician and nursing staff. Recently Marcie assisted a younger staff nurse caring for a critically ill patient who, through a series of unfortunate events, arrived in the PICU much more ill than initially believed. This child ultimately ended up in cardiac arrest, requiring many heroic efforts and interventions from the entire team. This was the most critically ill patient that the young nurse had cared for in her entire career. Marcie not only provided leadership and clinical support, but also emotional support to the nurse throughout and after the resuscitation efforts to ensure smooth care delivery. As a result, that nurse was able to continue to provide care for the patient for the rest of her shift, which allowed her to maintain her confidence and dignity while gaining valuable insight and experience.

Marcie’s leadership, compassion and professional approach have fostered nursing practice growth in many ICU nurses, on whom she has undoubtedly made an everlasting mark.

Ian Stewart, RN, Pediatric Emergency Department (right) with Claudia Hines, RN, Patient Care Manager.

Ian Stewart, RN
Pediatric ED • Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

My 5-year-old son broke his arm on the monkey bars, and the nurse who took care of him at Children’s was wonderful. Competent, calm, and thorough, Ian was amazingly efficient and had everything thought out in advance; he was always anticipating what the doctors would need and how he could make the process easier. He talked directly to my son in a gentle voice, knowing when to be funny to get a laugh from him (removing the IV could have been scary but Ian made it a game), and when to talk to him quietly, explaining exactly what would happen next in a way that he could easily understand. Throughout our six hours in the ER, my son would ask, “Where’s Ian?”, when he wasn’t in the room, since having Ian present seemed to calm him more than even my husband or I could. Not only did Ian take care of our son, he took care of his father and me as well. From warm blankets to snacks for us, and from his kind words to his uncanny ability to anticipate just what we might be wondering or needing next, Ian made, what could have been a scary process, one in which we felt surrounded by warmth and support.

Bevin Stephens, RN
ICU • Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Fairbanks, Alaska

Bevin is always energetic and positive at work. She takes the time to ensure that patients and families have all their questions answered. She encourages and supports change, based on the best evidence-based practice. She is the treasurer for AACN and a volunteer for Hospice. I was most impressed with Bevin when I walked into the unit and there she was sitting at the bed of a confused patient, reading to him. When asked why, she said it keeps him calm and focused. Those are the “little” things that count that make a wonderful nurse.

Show-Mei Wu, RN

Show-Mei Wu, RN
VIP Ward • Min-Sheng Hospital, Min-Sheng Healthcare Network, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Show-Mei Wu is assistant nurse manager on the “VIP ward” (the unit that receives private-pay patients), where she has served for several years. From her daily clinical service, she has come to realize that sincerity and compassion are essential for good patient care. Mr. T was a senior executive at a company. He was admitted to the hospital with end-stage cancer, and because the disease had spread throughout his body, he couldn’t undergo surgery. Although he had accepted his fate and tried to face, positively, his impending death, his primary nurse Wu soon realized that Mr. T was consumed with worries about the future of his wife and young son. Wu built a good and trustful nurse-patient relationship with Mr. T and his family. She facilitated a visit from a pastor, upon the patient’s request, to provide spiritual support to the patient and his family, and encouraged him to reflect on his life honestly. Thanks to her efforts, the patient was not afraid of death anymore. He felt at peace with himself and was able to express his feelings toward his family openly. After Mr. T passed away, Wu ensured the patient had proper wrapping of his body and accompanied Mr. T and his family in the final journey of his life.

By | 2021-05-07T08:33:07-04:00 July 11th, 2011|Categories: Nursing Awards|0 Comments

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