Henry Medical Center is taking part in a national program to recognize nurses for their contributions to patient care.
In May, the hospital will begin giving monthly DAISY Awards to members of its nursing staff.
DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.
The DAISY program was launched in 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes. He died in 1999 at the age of 33 due to complications from idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a disease which produces a low platelet count, said Jackie Fogle, a lead administrative supervisor for nurses at Henry Medical Center.
"While he was in the hospital, the family was really impressed with the nurses that took care of Patrick," said Fogle. "So after Patrick died, they wanted to do something for the nurses to show their appreciation. So they started the DAISY program. It has evolved into a national program to recognize nurses all over the country, that provide extraordinary care every day."
Fogle said she is excited about the program because it enables nurses to interact with patients, and their families, beyond a hospital room, through the nomination process.
"A lot of times ... nurses don't hear back from some of the lives that they've touched," said Fogle. "This is just a way for the nurses to be recognized, to let them know that everything they do is appreciated."
She said the DAISY Awards will also have a positive impact on the morale of the nursing staff.
"Health care is a very stressful environment," Fogle said. "You get a lot of outcomes that aren't always positive. This is a way that families can show the nurses they appreciate what was done for them when they were here. For the nurses, it's important because they can also be nominated by their peers [or] by physicians. It's for any nurse that shows extraordinary care, that goes out of her way to do something that you wouldn't ordinarily expect her to do."
The first DAISY Award will be given May 7, as part of National Nurses Week. Each winning nurse will receive a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled, "A Healer's Touch," a certificate, and a party for his or her floor at the hospital.
The party, said Fogle, will include Cinnabons, a favorite food of Patrick Barnes.
"When Patrick was dying, his father brought him Cinnabons one morning, and it kind of perked him up," said Fogle. "So we incorporated that into the award. The floor that the [winning] nurse works on gets a Cinnabon party. Even though she's being recognized by herself, we know that it takes the whole village." Barnes' former wife, Tena Barnes Carraher, will give the first DAISY Award, Fogle added.
Donna Braddy, director of marketing and public relations for Henry Medical Center, said the awards pay tribute to some of the most important people at the hospital.
"They're the ones that are providing all the great care, and doing all the wonderful things that happen here, and they touch people's lives every day," said Braddy. "I meet people all the time that tell me stories about a nurse who's really done something amazing. This recognition is just a small way to say thank you' ... to somebody who's saved a life or made a difference. That's something we really believe in, so we want to hear the stories from patients out there who want our nurses to be nominated."
Henry Medical Center's DAISY program is sponsored by the hospital Auxiliary. Nomination boxes are posted at every unit in the hospital, and in the lobbies of the North and South towers, Fogle said.
Nomination forms are also available online at www.henrymedical.com.