Happy Nurses Week!

Someone once said, “Save one life, and you’re a hero. Save a hundred lives, and you’re a nurse.” Few, if any quotes could better explain the impact nurses have in hospitals, physician offices, homes and many other settings. That’s why we honor excellent nursing all year long, not just during Nurses Week.

Among the many things Baptist does to celebrate nurses is by giving the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at 33 from complications of an auto-immune disease, the award is given in appreciation of the work nurses do. Baptist hospitals accept nominations and choose winners who have provided exemplary care. Dozens of nurses have been honored over the years. In addition, this week several hospitals gave special awards to nurses for providing exceptional care and service. Read below for more information on these dedicated professionals.

[toggle title=”Baptist Collierville” state=”open”] Shelley Valas, RN, and ICU nurse, won a DAISY Award for her dedication to the recovery of her nominator’s mother. The nominator called her “exceptional” and “a sister,” and praised Shelley’s “tenderness and compassion.”

Daisy Winner-Shelley V
Shelley Valas

“While tirelessly devoting her attention to my mother’s recovery, [Shelley] still made it a point to call me by name and hug my neck every day,” her nominator wrote.

Baptist Collierville also honored eight nurses during its “Recognizing Nursing Excellence” event. Marianne Walters, RN, was the Overall Winner of Leadership, Practice & Education; ConnieBaptist Collierville Recognizing Nursing Excellence winners Alizadegan, RN, and Beverly Weston, RN, won in the Practice Category; the Education Category winner was Angie Kassner, RN; Stacey Johnson-Black, RN, won in the Leadership Category; and the Ancillary Category winners were Tabitha Cooper, PCA, Becky Kraemer, secretary and Janet Tines, surgical tech.
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  • Thomas Van Steensburg won a DAISY Award for his caring and compassionate spirit. When a patient became nervous while waiting for the doctor, Thomas came to her side with tissues and played some music to calm her. “The music happened to be a band that my late brother loved; the smallest thing meant a lot and made the biggest difference in my day,” the patient said.
  • Kristina Ellis was recognized for her devotion to her patients. One of them said, “It’s very apparent that she is totally dedicated to her patients. She treats you as if you matter, not as if you are just a job.”
  • Debra Reak was recognized for forming a special connection with a patient and her daughter. She was nominated by the two women for easing both the patient’s and family’s worries and making them feel comfortable and informed.
  • Kimberly Rhodes received a DAISY Award after being nominated by a patient for her patience and kindness. “Nurse Kimmie is so down to earth, and she speaks with a genuine heart,” said one of her patients.
  • Sarah Hunter won a DAISY Award for going out of her way to comfort her patients. One patient was experiencing anxiety attacks in the middle of the night, so Sarah wrapped her in a blanket and took her to the ninth floor to see the illuminated Christmas tree.
  • Amanda MacMillan was recognized for her kindness, compassion, and way of going above and beyond expectations. “We were blessed to have Amanda taking care of our mom for the last two days of her life. She comforted us every step of the way,” said a family member. “She is a true blessing.”
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  • Brett Pickens, RN, in the emergency department, won a DAISY Award for the care he delivered to a young patient. The patient’s mother nominated him and said, “He was very nice to my son, and they chatted a few minutes about our weekend plans. His nice smile immediately put my son at ease.”
  • Desiree Tidwell, RN, a second floor medical-surgical nurse, was honored for anticipating and fulfilling patients’ needs. “Desiree deserves to receive the DAISY Award for service, knowledge, commitment to excellence and most of all for taking a very personal interest in each of her patients,” her nominator wrote. “She is a huge credit to her profession and to her employer.”
  • Holly Butler, RN, another second floor medical-surgical nurse, was cited for being a very considerate, knowledgeable and kind nurse. Her nominator wrote, “She made my stay on her shift very calming and short. When I needed her, she was there. She is an example of what a good nurse should be.”
  • Jacqueline Phillips, RN, the third medical-surgical nurse honored with a DAISY Award, won hers for going above and beyond for a patient. “She showed me so much compassion and clearly expressed with words and actions that she truly loved her job,” wrote her nominator. “She made sure not only my wants, but my needs were all met with a smile on her face. My family and I absolutely loved her.”
  • Kelley Keenum, RN, in the hospital’s Women’s Pavilion, received the award for maintaining a Service First attitude while caring for a patient who was going through a difficult pregnancy. “She is most deserving,” her nominator wrote. “Not only are her nursing skills top notch, but so is her bedside manner and compassion. She was such a blessing to me while hospitalized.”
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  • Laurie Wheeler, RN and certified lactation consultant in the breastfeeding center, won a DAISY Award after several patients praised her compassion and ability to care for their every need.
  • Angie Wilson, a labor and delivery nurse in the Women’s Center, received the DAISY Award for her outstanding care and compassion. She was nominated by a former patient.
  • Rebecca Churchill, a medical-surgical nurse, earned the award for her compassion and expertise. Several patients and team members nominated her.
  • Angel Brazil, a nurse in the Women’s Center received the DAISY Award after several patients nominated her for her compassion and concern for their needs.

“It is truly an honor to recognize Angel, Laurie, Angie and Rebecca for their compassion and commitment to patient care,” said Randy White, chief nursing officer at Baptist Union County. “Their genuine concern for each patient exemplifies what true DAISY Award winners should be.”

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Baptist Memphis” state=”close”] Baptist Memphis and Baptist Restorative Care Hospital hosted a Nursing Excellence Dinner to honor six nurses for their outstanding work. Timeki Williams-Dennis won the Baptist Restorative Care Hospital’s Nursing Excellence Award, and Baptist Memphis gave five Nursing Excellence Awards: Tori Autry won in the Education category; the Service category winner was Ronnie Hallmark; Lillian Eaves received the Practice category award; the Leadership category winner was Patsy Elkins; and Linwood White won in the Manager category.