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Featured DAISY Award Honorees: Spring 2015

The DAISY Foundation honors nurses who have received DAISY awards for their outstanding contributions to the field of nursing. Here are some DAISY recipients from different regions that have been recognized by the DAISY Foundation and were featured this spring by

California nurse lauded for saving baby wins DAISY award


Lora Hall, RN

Lora Hall, a pediatric RN at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, San Luis, Obispo, Calif., received the DAISY award for her skilled care and knowledge in making sure a 3-month-old baby girl received immediate and potentially life-saving treatment.

The ER staff had difficulties getting an IV in the baby and determining what was wrong, according to Hall’s nominator. Hall got the IV started and also helped get the baby transferred to an appropriate level of care when she suspected the infant had botulism.

The family credits her with saving their baby’s life, the nominator wrote. Hall’s “expertise and skill went beyond expectations.”

The baby’s grandparents wrote a thank-you letter saying Hall’s “amazing nursing skills saved the life of [our] dear little granddaughter who is only 3 months old. She calmed our anxieties, provided clear and comprehensible information and was the perfect person for this situation.”

Illinois nurse wins DAISY award for life-saving effort

Maggie Szotko, an RN in the progressive care unit at West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park, Ill., recently won the DAISY Award because of her dogged efforts to have a CT scan performed that possibly saved a patient’s life.


Maggie Szotko, RN

Szotko worked with colleagues to insert two ports, one in each arm, of a male patient scheduled for the CT scan, according to the nominator. An hour later, a CT technician sent the patient back to the floor saying the ports would not work. Szotko remained adamant the scan needed to occur that afternoon.

She inserted another port, went with the patient for the scan, waited for an hour and was told again by the technician the scan couldn’t be performed. According to the nominator, Szotko insisted it could, and it was completed that afternoon.

The patient’s wife wrote, “It was a critical scan because it showed that my husband had blood clots in both lungs. He had been waiting most of the day for this scan to be done. He was growing sicker every day because he was being treated for pneumonia. We literally feel that Maggie saved his life.”

When the patient’s cardiologist learned what had happened, “he readily concurred that this nurse’s actions were worthy of the DAISY award,” the nominator wrote.

Maryland nurse receives DAISY award for extraordinary care


Rosita Raye, RN

Rosita Raye, RN, clinical nurse on the high care unit at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore, received the DAISY Award for not only providing exceptional care but also for going above and beyond to bring peace of mind to a patient and his wife.

Raye was nominated by the charge nurse and her patient, an Orthodox Jew who was admitted to the hospital on a Saturday. The patient knew his wife would not answer the phone because it was the Sabbath, and worried about how he could let her know where he was and that he was OK. Without hesitation, Raye drove to the patient’s house to tell his wife what was happening, according to the nominator.

The patient said the hospital “is truly lucky to have” Raye as a nurse. “She cared for me and my family, both in our physical and emotional health.”

N.J. nurse receives DAISY award for helping homeless man

Marie Saint Phar, BSN, RN, who works in med/surg/orthopedics at University Hospital, Newark, N.J., received the DAISY award for providing compassionate care to a homeless man.


Marie Saint Phar, RN

A nurse for more than 22 years, Saint Phar was born in Haiti where she volunteered for the Red Cross and provided first aid for victims of accidents or fire, according to her nominator. At the New Jersey hospital, she goes above and beyond daily, according to her nominator, who said one incident illustrates Saint Phar’s constant compassion toward patients.

Recently, Saint Phar admitted a patient who had no socks and was wearing torn and soiled clothes. She learned he was homeless. While he was hospitalized for about two weeks, Saint Phar worked with a social worker and case manager to help him find a place to go after he was discharged. Saint Phar also purchased new clothes, including socks, for him to wear when he left the hospital.

“This small act of kindness was just enough to put a big smile on the patient’s face and speaks volumes about Marie’s caring nature,” her nominator wrote. “She is truly one of the unsung heroes” of University Hospital.

New York nurse who helped family with cancer patient receives DAISY award


Amanda Bane, RN

Amanda Bane, an RN in the pediatric unit of Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, N.Y., received the DAISY award for going above and beyond to help a family whose daughter was being treated for cancer. Bane organized and coordinated many of the details, such as dealing with appointments, insurance issues and helping obtain proper medications.

“At that first appointment as we were trying to take it all in, Amanda said, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll be there to help along the way,’” the nominator wrote. “That was an understatement to say the least. From that day on Amanda has gone so far above and beyond for our family.” The nominator said whenever she emailed Bane a question, she received an answer the same day.

“The fight would have been so much harder if we didn’t have her fighting with us,” the nominator wrote, adding Bane gave her the gift of letting her focus on being with her daughter.

Pa. nurse receives DAISY for saving girl pinned beneath steering wheel

Brandee Neiderhofer, BSN, RN, a nurse in the cardiac ICU at Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, was honored with the DAISY award for helping the Philadelphia Fire Rescue team save a girl’s life.


Brandee Neiderhofer, RN

While driving to work, Neiderhofer, noticed people standing on the side of a road looking down an embankment near where a guard rail was broken. With the EMS not yet on the scene, Neiderhofer pulled over, got out of her car and walked to the edge of the embankment where she saw a truck had flipped over several times and ended up at the bottom of a ravine, according to her nominator.

Neiderhofer “slid down the hill, climbed in the back of the cab of the truck and found a 17-year-old girl pinned under the steering wheel,” the nominator wrote. “The victim was vomiting blood and was struggling to breathe because the steering wheel was pressing forcibly upon her chest. Brandee grabbed the steering wheel and pushed with all her might in an attempt to relieve pressure from the girl’s chest. Her critical thinking and quick actions enabled the young girl to breathe again.”

Neiderhofer stayed with the girl until the fire rescue team arrived and helped remove the critically injured girl from the vehicle. She then went on to work a 12-hour shift at the hospital.

“The selfless and courageous acts of this Hahnemann nurse are truly inspiring,” the nominator wrote. “Brandee Neiderhofer exemplifies the heart and soul of what it means to be a nurse.”

Texas nurse who helped patient experience son’s wedding receives DAISY award

Pennie Studebaker, BSN, RN, a nurse in the med/surg department at Seton Medical Center, Kyle, Texas, received the DAISY award for helping a patient with pneumonia who was too sick to attend her son’s wedding.


Pennie Studebaker, RN

When wedding guests came to the visit the patient, Studebaker suggested she get dressed in her wedding clothes and have her picture taken with the guests in the hospital’s Seton Hays chapel.

Studebaker also arranged for the patient’s son and new bride to surprise mom by coming to the hospital to have a second ceremony in the chapel, according to her nominator. The minister also came, and music was played so the patient could dance with her son at his wedding.

“The one thing our patient was most sad about was missing the dance with her son,” Studebaker’s nominator wrote. “Hearing this story brought tears to my eyes. The story is a perfect example of the compassionate care that Pennie provides to our patients.”

The DAISY Foundation celebrates extraordinary nurses through its nationwide recognition program. For more information about how your hospital can honor its nurses with The DAISY Award, visit


By | 2015-07-08T21:03:11-04:00 May 5th, 2015|Categories: Nursing News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Roszkowski is a freelance writer.

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