Karen Kiel (from left), Charles F. Scott, and Joyce Rodgers congratulate DAISY Award recipient Travis Cochran. Cochran, a registered nurse at Henry Medical Center, was commended for the care and compassion he gave to a cancer patient and her family.
By Valerie Baldowski
Travis Cochran said he was astonished to learn he had been chosen for a top honor from his employer.
Cochran, a registered nurse at Henry Medical Center (HMC), is the first recipient in the hospital's newly created DAISY Awards program. Cochran, one of 17 nominees for the award, said his reaction was one of "absolute surprise" at receiving it. "I was totally surprised -- and honored to get it," he repeated.
He was recognized for the "outstanding care" he provided to a cancer patient at the hospital, and the concern he displayed toward the patient's family, according to Michelle Nunnally, public relations specialist for the hospital.
The monthly award recognizes nurses, who go above expectations, and consistently demonstrate excellence through clinical expertise, extraordinary service, and compassionate care to patients and their families, said Nunnally.
Nunnally said Cochran was nominated by Henry County resident, Tony Lotti, for the exceptional care he showed to Lotti's mother during her stay at Henry Medical Center.
Lotti commended Cochran for his compassion in caring for his mother, as well as his concern for Lotti and his brothers when they learned their mother had cancer, she said.
Cochran has worked at Henry Medical since January 2008. His job responsibilities require him to "float" between various departments to help out as needed. Some of the areas in the hospital he said he often works, include: The Intensive Care Unit, and the "Med/Surg" Unit, which handles patients after they've undergone surgery.
In explaining his approach to his job, Cochran stressed the need to remember the human factor in nursing. "The way nursing is these days, it's kind of easy to forget why we're there," he said. "Then, along comes this ceremony, and it kind of reminds us all of why we're doing what we're doing, which is obviously to make a difference with the patients and their families."
Hospital Spokesperson Nunnally said the DAISY Award -- an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System -- was created by the DAISY Foundation, established in 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes.
Barnes died from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), at age 33, she said. The Barnes family created the national DAISY Award as a way of thanking nurses for the care they give every day, Nunnally added.
Cochran received his DAISY Award, a "Healer's Touch" hand-carved stone sculpture, along with a DAISY pin, from Barnes' wife, Tena, during a Nurses' Week celebration event at the hospital.
The award highlights the importance of recognizing employees' efforts to provide outstanding service, said Charles F. Scott, president and chief executive officer for the hospital. "I think what this is representative of, is Henry Medical Center's strong belief in recognizing our employees for the excellent work they do through various means," said Scott. "This is one additional way of accomplishing that, in a national program."
Scott said more than 600 hospitals across the nation participate in the DAISY Award program. Nominations can be made by patients and their families, as well as by fellow employees, doctors, and hospital volunteers, he added.
The award is one way to boost employee morale, said Scott. "It's a very meaningful and prestigious award," he said. "The realization that employees can be nominated by patients, fellow employees, or physicians, for exemplary work -- just being nominated -- is an honor in itself."