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DAISY Award Winners

UC San Diego Health System's most recent DAISY Award Winners for 2013:

Angelica Pascual RN, 6 West

Angelica has the ability to do many things at once like changing my IV medication and changing my bandages. She is very quick, like rapid response quick, and she never has forgotten about my needs especially when dealing with my pain meds.  She is very professional which makes me feel very secure in that I am getting and receiving all the things I need.  Her professionalism is beyond and she has built my confidence in that I know I am receiving the best care. I didn't want her to know when I was scared about my operation, but she knew and on several occasions she came into my room singing and I had remarked to her what a beautiful voice she has. So to calm me down she would sing to me and she even sang a song I knew, by the group Journey.  It's called, "I come to you with open arms" and she sang it so softly and it had relaxed me so well that I found myself falling asleep and at one point I started to sing with her.  She sang to me all the way until they came to get me for the operation.  I knew that was going above and beyond, I am certain that it isn't in her job description and because of this most kind act I will remember it for as long as I live.

Kristen Matteson RN, Nursing Staffing Office

Kristen went above and beyond to help patients' families that were staying at The Bannister Family house.  when a pipe burst in a guest room in the middle of the night at The Bannister Family House two families were forced out of the rooms they were living in while their loved ones where being taken care of in the hospital.  Kristen came to their aid, making sure they were ok and ultimately helping them remove their things from their rooms.  Kristin's kindness didn't stop there!  Realizing there were no rooms available at the Bannister Family House for the displaced families to move into, she escorted them to the Hospital and found empty rooms and beds for them to spend the night in, restoring comfort and peace to their already very stressed lives.  Kristen is a shining example of talking things one step further and thinking out of the box to provide excellent patient and family care.  Her kindness is inspiring!

Sonya Megert RN, 10 ICU

Sonya significantly made a difference in the life of a patient.  She is very patient and family centered.  She frequently goes the extra mile for her patients.  Recently, after having a conversation with a patient's family member, Sonya realized that the patient was really missing his dog and needed to also go outside.  He had been an inpatient for over a month and was feeling down.  Sonya cheered up the patient and his family by taking the patient, ventilator and all, outside.  She then facilitated the visit of his own dog.  The following week Sonya made special efforts to again take the patient outside even though he was not her patient that day.  This is not the first time Sonya has gone out of her way on a busy day to do the "extra" little things that really make a difference.  Just today I saw her walking outside the ICU with a patient and his monitor.  Both were smiling.  This excellence in nursing does not only help the morale of the patient and their family, it promotes the healing process, by decreasing length of stay and increasing patient and family satisfaction.  Clearly, this provides evidence that Sonya goes above and beyond by listening with her heart.

Richard Hemphill RN, CCU

Richard's patient was concerned about his dog being taken care of while he was in the hospital after having a STEMI.  The patient is homeless and his friends called 911 so the patient didn't have time to make sure his dog was taken care of. Richard went to the area where this patient lived after working a 12 hour shift (on Easter) to find this homeless patient's friends.  He went to a rough part of town at night to make sure the dog was ok.  Then Richard called back in to the CCU to have the patient's night shift RN tell him that his dog was being cared for.  Richard went above and beyond his normal RN duties!

Anne Powers NP, Pulmonary Department (2 Time Winner)

Anne is the ultimate patient advocate.  She has been known to feed and walk a patient's Seeing Eye dog while they are in surgery and drive them to the bus stop once they have recovered.  She is always responsive, understanding and is a team player.  The running joke is that one day we will see her planting flowers outside the front entrance.  Her care and compassion knows no boundaries and it is truly a joy working with her each day.

Jeremy Kaiser RN, Thornton ICU

I am writing on behalf of the Pistacchi family to nominate Jeremy Kaiser for the Daisy Award.  Jeremy was my father's nurse for several days during his one-week stay in the ICU this February. While all of the staff that we encountered in the ICU were wonderful, Jeremy stood out amongst the rest not only for the excellence of his clinical care, but for his ability to communicate with both my father and my family members.  We were continually impressed by the way Jeremy seemed to go above and beyond the call of duty in all aspects of his job.  Not only is he very good at what he does, he seems to love it.  His obvious passion for nursing comes through in everything he does.

First and foremost we were impressed by Jeremy's level of competence and by his communication skills.  When my father awoke on his second day in the ICU- intubated, restrained, and obviously very confused about what was going on-Jeremy was the only nurse that was able to calm him down.  From that day forward, whenever Jeremy was on duty I could see my father visibly relax.  This is largely because whenever a problem arose, Jeremy seemed to know exactly what to do to solve the program and get my father comfortable again.  Some of these things were problems my father would mention to other nurses and doctors who would tell him, "Sorry but that's just the way things are.  you will have to live with it". Instead of dismissing my father's concerns, Jeremy would take the extra time to truly listen to what he was saying and then make some sort of adjustment-often something small-that would make a world of difference to my father's comfort or pain levels.

I think it is this ability to listen and to communicate-not in a patronizing way, but in a way that indicates he respects his patients and wants them to be as involved and informed as possible about their own care-that makes Jeremy such an invaluable staff member.  He treats family members and visitors with this same level of kindness, attention and respect.  He seems to have endless patience for answering patient and family questions without seeming rushed or annoyed.  Even better, he often anticipates questions and answers them before anyone thinks to ask them.  He always told us exactly what was going on and why that particular action needed to be taken.  He also always took the time to explain why whatever treatment/care option the doctors had chosen was the best thing to do-especially when the doctors were too rushed to explain things themselves.

Finally, Jeremy was also incredible advocate for my father.  On one occasion, when the surgical fellow came in to do a procedure that was going to be very painful, Jeremy asked if he should give my father some pain medication to help get him through the procedure more comfortably.  The Fellow seemed rushed and said not to bother-that it wouldn't take too long and that he was sure my father would be "uncomfortable but fine". Jeremy then strongly- but respectfully-told the surgeon that he felt it would be best to five my dad the additional pain medication to help him bare the discomfort of what was about to happen.  The surgeon paused, and then agreed with Jeremy's assessment.  My father, who was already in a great deal of pain, was so grateful to Jeremy for intervening on his behalf.

It is these kinds of "extra" efforts (and there are many more stories like this one) in addition to his obvious competence at everything he does that has inspired my family members to nominate Jeremy for this award.

Previous 2013 Award Winners

Ian King RN, Burn ICU (2 time winner)

Dear Dr. Potenza and Staff,

I wanted you to know about an experience I had with one of your RN's from the ICU/burn Unit.  I think he is a perfect example of what a nurse is and I imagine that he is one of your most-valued employees.

While kayaking in La Jolla on August 17th of this year, I developed heat exhaustion/stroke.  With my husband far behind me in his kayak I began calling out for help.  According to my husband, many people heard me and began watching me, but only a few came to help.  Your RN was one of those.  Despite the fact that it was his day off and he was enjoying his own kayak tour, he raced to my side.  While the tour operator began to tow me in, your Rn kept me calm, kept me conscious and basically kept me alive.

I myself am an RN, so I know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  My last rational thought occurred shortly after I lost feeling in my contorted, cramped hands-and that thought was "uh-oh, I'm in trouble".  After that, I was not thinking clearly.  I was surrounded by cold ocean water, yet it hadn't occurred to me to splash some on myself-your RN reminded me to do this.  He kept reminding me to take more drinks from my water bottle. He talked to me about my breathing, so I began pursed-lip breathing. He encouraged me to vomit if I had to (only nurses do that!).  Every time I started to lose consciousness I heard his gentle, calms voice bringing me back.  He was my only focus, despite my husband apparently being right behind me!  this RN stayed with me the entire time until the lifeguards reached me.  I am certain that without him, I would not have been conscious by the time the lifeguards reached me and I certainly would not have been returning home the same evening.

I ran into him in the kayak shop almost an hour later, after being released by the paramedics (AMA-nurses and doctors make the worst patients!) and under the watchful eye of my husband.  I wasn't yet 100% so while I did thank him, I didn't do it properly and didn't get his name.  Please do send him the heartfelt thanks of my family and myself. 

He makes me proud to be a nurse.

Sabrina West RN SICU

To Whom It May Concern:

In reference to the DAISY award brochure prompt... Please describe  a situation involving the nurse you are nominating that clearly demonstrates how he/she meets the criteria for the DAISY Award:

This past weekend I was a visitor to your hospital in the SICU for a patient, Kathy Webb, who passed away last night at approximately 8:30pm.  early Sunday morning (July 29 2012) I arrived at the SICU with Kathy's family.  At the early morning conference with the family, the doctor informed the Webb family that a proposed surgery was not possible due to some very serious issues which had arisen.  I was not privy to the specifics as my primary role throughout the day on Sunday was to provide care for the Webb's adult son, Scott, who is autistic.  I had many, many opportunities to observe this nominee for your hospital's DAISY award throughout the day as I cared for Scott.

In your brochure, you ask for the public to nominate an extraordinary nurse for this award...well, Sabrina in SICU should have her picture next to the word "extraordinary" in the dictionary, as she is the definition of "EXTRAordinary".  Also, the prompt you use asks for me to describe a situation where Sabrina meets the DAISY criteria....well, one situation was one hundred situations in reality and in my mind, her practice and presence with the Webb family and friends throughout her shift was the very epitome of the DAISY criteria.  I could go down the list of the criteria in the brochure but please permit me to take a slightly different track.

On one of the walls inside the SICU hangs a poster which displays 3 simple words, "Hands, Mind, Heart".  I believe these words cover the published criteria...

HANDS-Consistently throughout the day I witnessed Sabrina monitor Kathy's vital signs while inputting data into the computer.  She communicated with Mr. Webb routinely, She cared for Kathy's most basic physical needs,  She did her job well and she did it in a respectful, quiet, efficient, caring manner which made her nearly invisible.  This is not to be taken in any sort of negative light.  Having a significant background in athletics as a player and a coach the very best games in which I participated were those games where the competition took place, was highly competitive with a fair result and was refereed/umpired in such a high quality manner that the referees/umpires blended into their environment (and were certainly not the "show" the families came to watch).  when this occurs in an athletic competition it is refreshing and one walks away with the sense that the referees/umpires were of the highest quality.  Sabrina, SICU Nurse, is the hands of UC San Diego Health System SICU.

MIND-As Kathy's health deteriorated throughout the day yesterday, one moment in particular stood out in this area.  Mr. Webb (Tom) had asked to speak with the assigned doctor regarding some specific questions he had with regards to Kathy's prognosis. It is important to note the Mr. Webb's day to day work is as a Chaplain at Escondido's Palomar hospital in the Critical Care Unit.  Although not a trained medical professional, he has a deep well of experience and knowledge of identical situations as his family was experiencing.  In a situation where Sabrina could have immediately deferre3d and sought out the doctor and/or become very defensive regarding the care Mrs. Webb was receiving, Sabrina took a significant amount of time (20plus minutes) to carefully listen to Mr. Webb, probe his questions more deeply, and then provide what appeared to this layman as highly educated, well understood explanations.  She used her medical training and knowledge as well as her communication skills to accurately and compassionately answer Mr. Webb's questions.  Because Sabrina did her job so well, she allowed the doctor to continue her work with other patients who needed the doctors attention.  Sabrina, SICU Nurse, is the mind of UC San Diego Health System SICU.

HEART-Without this, the hands and the mind are like a clanging cymbal which no one cares to listen to...or which is simply obnoxious.  Many people have incredible skills and are highly gifted intellectually.  Sabrina is most likely near the top of her profession with regard to skills and knowledge.  However, what sets Sabrina apart and places her at the top of her profession is her heart.  Immediately, she connected at a personal level with the family and friends who were with Kathy throughout the day.  She answered questions about Kathy's condition with an obvious care to her words and tone.  She answered the most trivial questions about the location of a nearby Subway sandwich shop with a cheerful demeanor.  She took time to interact with the Webb's autistic son, Scott, and demonstrate that she truly cared for him.  After Kathy was moved from the SICU to the 11th floor, Sabrina went out of her way to ensure Kathy's comfort and the Webb's family adjustment.  As she left to return to the SICU, she paused and spoke with many of us, took the time to say a few words and to communicate her caring heart with a slight touch of the hand or hug.  Simply amazing.  Sabrina, SICU Nurse, is the heart of UC San Diego Health System SICU.

Thank you for listening to this short recitation of the value of Sabrina's work.  She is an exceptional nurse and woman. You are fortunate to have her as one of your nurses. I respectfully nominate her for a UC San Diego Medical Center DAISY Award.

With great admiration and appreciation for Sabrina.

Gayle Johnson RN Thornton 2 East

During caring rounds the patient's mother shares how special Gayle is.  She was complimentary about staff but identified Gayle as having a special heart.  Her daughter is a frequent patient and a special needs patient.  Gayle spends the time with her daughter in the mother's absence and shares photos of her animals. The mother expressed the special care that Gayle provides her daughter.

Bobbie Brothers RN Thornton ED

I simply wanted to acknowledge one of our RN staff for doing a superb job in a very stressful and difficult situation on a recent ED shift in La Jolla.  I was on duty with Bobbie Brothers, and we had an elderly patient who was in home hospice, present to the Ed with family for worsening abdominal pains and n/v. within a short time, an ECG was done which demonstrated a large MI.  Clearly, she was not a cath lab candidate, and we attempted to medically manage her.  The family was very distraught, but Bobbie and I (Mostly Bobbie) did our best to calm the patient and her family and review/confirm their resuscitative wishes for their loved one-DNR/DNI.  The family grappled with the decision, but appropriately confirmed that no resuscitate efforts were to be done, and within a short time the patient coded and expired.

The family did not take the outcome very well, and extended family was soon coming to the lobby, asking questions and wanting to pay their respects to the deceased.  I was truly amazed at how calm, warm and sincere Bobbie was in this situation.  She gave a loving embrace to the patient's daughter (at bedside as patient expired) and spent at least 10-15 minutes or more at the bedside to console her and try her best to make the patient's family comfortable with their decision to withhold CPR/ETC as well as to simply "be there" for them and listen to their cries and emotions.

I literally felt there was nothing further for me to do as far as answering questions and saying ;'I am sorry" etc to the family, as Bobbie was simply all over it.  She did a phenomenal job, and despite the poor (but expected) outcome, really made our Department and our Medical Center stand out as a place to receive excellent clinical and EMPATHETIC medical care.  Great job to Bobbie and all the staff that day for a job very well done.

June Childress RN Moores Cancer Center

We have a patient that calls daily, sometimes multiple times during the day.  He is undergoing chemotherapy for stage IV cancer.  June always takes his calls, speaking with him daily, sometimes even 2-3 times a day.  Without her caring telephone calls, I do not think this patient would be able to continue his treatment.  She'll call him at the end of the day before going home even if it is 6pm after a long day of clinic to make sure all of his questions are answered.

Belen Rivera RN Thornton 3 East

Belen Rivera

This is my sixth surgery and although I am confident in the abilities of the doctors this is the first time for me to have surgery at Thornton hospital.  I was pretty anxious the night before my surgery-I was thinking I will die on the operating table and I was having horrible dreams the previous nights.  Belen always comes in with a smile on her face.  She always reminds me to use the call light if I need help with anything.  I didn’t tell the doctors and other nurses I was anxious about the surgery.  Belen made me comfortable enough so I opened up to her about my worries about the surgery the next day without hesitation.  She listened to me and held my hands.  I know she was busy with other patients to take care of but she made me feel like I was the only patient she had.  She does her evening care and always tidy’s the room making sure I have the call light and remote control.  I sense her sincerity and care when she asked me if she can pray for me. She held my hands and we prayed together.  I was embarrassed because I cried afterwards.  That night I was able to sleep like a baby (even with the crazy 4 hour vital sign check) and I was calm that night and on the day of surgery I wasn’t anxious at all.

Belen came back to tell me she would include me in her prayers.  That gesture really touched me.  It shows the caring side of her.  Unfortunately she is off the next day and I didn’t get to see her before I was discharged from the hospital.

One thing I will always remember after I left the hospital was the caring gestures of Belen.  This is something at stands out from the rest of the hospital experience I had.

Cristen Krause RN 11PCU

The first night Christen was introduced to me as my nurse I felt like I knew her as a friend for years. She has a very easy personality to like. Friendly but confident in her profession. She asked me what I needed that night that would make me feel more at home, I told her that I had not had a soda for months; she said that she would see what she could do. An hour later she came in the room and said "guess what, I found a Pepsi in the break room" and would I like it on ice. It might sound trivial to you, but to me it made my night! I shared some Reese's cups with her as we talked about our favorite late night TV show, it was the same "Adult Swim"!

She was very informative about all the procedures and meds she was administering. I looked forward to having her as my nurse every night!

One of the things about this period in time, I was dealing with the choice of keeping my right leg or having it amputated and Christen knew that I was going through this tough time. Christen did all she could to keep me happy and keep my mind from getting too depressed. But when I had questions she was always there with wise answers about amputation. After the surgery she was very helpful in keeping me comfortable! She is a great nurse!

Arvin Wico RN Thornton 3 East

Arvin was my nurse the first day after my hip replacement and again on the day I was released.  He went above and beyond both professionally and personally.  He helped establish the correct medication for me, taught me how to give a shot, never lost patience with me, and explained things to me in an educational, yet medical manner.  He personifies what a valuable, outstanding nurse is!  I hope his outstanding nursing will be noticed.

Tim Hebert RN Senior Behavioral Health

During the few times I had the pleasure of working with Tim, I personally observed his genuine compassion towards the patients under his care as demonstrated by the following instances:

-On the evening of 12/28/11, patient Judy was becoming very restless while participating in the milieu.  Registry staff just kept on redirecting the patient, coaxing her to sit down.  Patient is pleasant and cooperative but has expressive aphasia.  She would smile and have herself redirected back to her seat only to get up again moments later.  She managed to approach the nursing station all the while smiling.  Tim understood immediately what the patient needed and personally attended to her.  He helped her to her room so she could use the bathroom and with the help of another female staff proceeded to assist the patient to get ready for bed.  Tim's understanding of and compassion for patients who cannot express their needs and wants is beyond reproach.  He afterward, gave registry staff some pointers in caring for SBH unit populations.

-Another instance involved patient Lennie who was inconsolably tearful because of what just happened during his family visit.  Somehow the patient perceived that his wife has plans of divorcing him and is very downtrodden.  Tim stayed with the patient in his room just listening to the patient's venting.  Patient commented the next day that that is all he needed-for somebody to listen, because he at present is unable to accept what is going on with him.  Patient is very appreciative of Tim's actions and even feel for him for what must have been an "ordeal" to sit through.

Susan Hartnett RN 10 East Telemetry

Susan Hartnett, RN

I would like to nominate Susan Hartnett RN from 10 East for the Daisy award. She consistently demonstrates all of the qualities of a compassionate and caring nurse including: educating patients and their families, making patient needs her first priority-above her own needs, willingly taking on assignments that other nurses shy away from because of difficulty and/or neediness, and taking time to sit in patient rooms and talk with them about their care, fears, anxieties while helping to promote a positive and realistic focus on the future. Susan is also trained in healing touch and takes the time during her shifts to not only do healing touch on her patients, but on other identified patients as well. She is able to facilitate positive relationships with even the most difficult of patients because she recognizes their behavior as a response to their illness and hospitalization and takes the time to get at the heart of the patient's issues.

We recently had a patient on our unit that had been hospitalized for several months; she was extremely ill with multiple comorbidities that impeded her healing. The patient's husband was very accusatory, angry about his wife's situation and previous care and was constantly approaching our staff with negativity. The patient's acuity was extremely high and she required constant care and supervision.

Susan was able to establish a positive relationship with the husband and the patient, to the point that the husband only felt comfortable having the patient cared for on our unit and due to the trust Susan and the family had developed, she took care of this patient on every shift that she worked for the four months the patient was admitted to the unit. Susan was able to get the husband to focus on what was best for his wife and what her needs were instead of focusing on his frustration with past care. Susan identified subtle changes in the patient's condition: her mental status, urine output and color, slight blood pressure decreases and facilitated an RRT that resulted in identifying a brewing UTI, subsequently getting the patient on antibiotics. Susan was very proactive during the patient's hospitalization in communicating with attending physicians about patient issues, concerns and discharge goals. While Susan cared for this patient, the demeanor of the husband was entirely different; the accusations and anger subsided and he smiled more often, participated in his wife's care and communicated positively.

Lastly, I would just like to mention the impression that Susan left with this family. Susan's father was diagnosed with a brain tumor while she was caring for the patient; she had to take a couple of weeks off because of his rapidly declining health and eventual passing. When the patient's husband learned of Susan's loss, he was very saddened and inquired about the funeral. He had a large arrangement of flowers sent to the church to express his condolences.

Melanie Nelson RN Med Surg Ortho Neuro Trauma

Melanie Nelson, RN

I would like to nominate Melanie Nelson from the 8th floor unit as a deserving recipient of the DAISY Award.

Mel has been in the 8th floor for more than a year now and already made a difference in the lives of the patients she took care of. She always has the positive energy and the enthusiasm to work with a smile on her face that eases her out her patients' suffering. She handles difficult patients well and intently listens to their worries and tries to find solutions for them even if she needs to go extra mile.

We have one patient on the floor that kept coming back for failure to thrive, she also has multiple sclerosis and other co-morbidities, and patient lives alone. Melanie was able to establish connection with her while in the hospital. The patient is stuck in bed with no friends and her life slowly slipping away from her. Mel was able to provide her "small needs" that made a lot of difference; an ear to listen, an ice cream, a bar of chocolate, a trip outside the store and someone whom she can call a friend. When the patient got discharged, Mel visits her and even brings her to some of her doctor's appointment.

This is just an example of how she touched the lives of the patients; she always gets compliments from them saying how wonderful their experiences were while they were on this unit. Most of the patients request her to be the nurse when they come back for another surgery.

I happen to ask Mel what inspired her to do this amazing job in making her patients happy and satisfied and she provided me a brief background about herself. She grew up with nurses all around, her aunts and uncles and even her husband belong to a family of RN's. What influenced her mostly was going with her mom and aunt when they worked home health. As a kid, she would go with them on their home visits and help perform ADL's. She had an aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer and she vividly recalled that their dining room turned into a hospital room and helped her mom took care of her while she received chemo and radiation. Her aunt was placed in a nursing home until she eventually was put in a hospice care. Mel remembered all the small things she couldn't do for herself and how the staff wasn't always around to help her. She took that into consideration now while taking care of her patients. It's the small things that really count.

Mel states that she only does what any caring person would do as she believes in the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Anne Stuard RN 5 West PCU

I would like to nominate Anne Stuard from 5 West PCU. Perhaps the most appropriate way to describe the caring attributes of Anne Stuard is to hear the story from a patient's mother perspective. "My son has been in the hospital for over a month. I have witnessed the great care of many nurses throughout the hospital. However, Anne epitomizes a nurse. My son has difficulty communicating due to his injuries but Anne has made a connection with him that he doesn't have with anyone else. I've noticed that when Ann is his nurse he is more relaxed and his heart rate is lower. I sense that he is comforted that she is there to care for him even though he cannot speak. She touches his arm when she speaks to him. Her voice is always soothing. She caresses his head letting him know she is near. The room he is in is a busy room where everyone has a monitor, lights, and buzzers going off. Yet she finds the time to provide this same caring nature to all of her patients in this room. I (we) are very fortunate to have Ann caring for our son during this difficult time. It makes my day when I see that Anne is my son's nurse. I know today is a good day. "

We agree that Anne possess a quality that is innate and not taught. She is frequently mentioned by patients and staff for being an exceptionally caring nurse. She advocates for her patients and was recently acknowledged for bridging the communication gap between a patient and physician. The patient was so taken back by her efforts that she was able to gain this patient's trust in our healthcare system. She is a team player and has quickly gained the respect of her peers on 5west. We feel Anne is very deserving of the Daisy Award. Thank you for your consideration.

Previous 2011 DAISY Award winners:

  • Natasha Norwood RN 3 East Med Surg

Ian King RN Burn ICU

Ian King, RN

 Ian has a presence about him on the unit.  He walks in smiling and ready to start the day.  Sometimes I watch him work with his patients.  His caring nature, attention to the little things and the way he makes his patients laugh inspire me.  Patients have told me that he makes them feel like they are his only patients.  He takes his time to listen, empathize and encourage.  He has a special way about him that families ask to be admitted to our unit because of the care he has given to them.  Patients come back to visit and see him again.  There are hugs and tears, not sad but happy. Ian is truly a nurse who makes a difference in his patient's likes and the people around him.  His infectious laugh cheers up everyone on the unit.  I am honored to nominate him for the DAISY Award.

 

 

 

July Monera RN Burn ICU

July Monera, RN

July is an amazing nurse that takes great meticulous care of her patients, does things other nurses will not even think of doing such as braiding patient’s hair, manicure, thorough baths.  She goes above and beyond in her patients care. Mentally and emotionally involved with her patients and family.  She makes sure her patients are comfortable and clean, treats every patient with dignity and respect.  July mentors new nurses and staff in general.  Always willing to help with a smile. She is a humble person, never seeks for recognition for doing her job.  She is such a great nurse that anyone will ask for her care.

 

 

 

 

Georgiena Santiago RN Senior Behavioral Health

Gina Santiago, RN

Georgiena Santiago boosts team morale with her positive, respectful attitude, and she receives maximum support from enthusiastic coworkers with her “follow me” leadership. Her compassionate care of patients on the unit is commendable, especially with elderly adults who are unable to speak for themselves due to progressive degenerative disease. Although Georgiena prefers a quiet low profile, she is a star who just shines brightly without even trying.

Gina has been nominated by her coworkers for the DAISY award because of her outstanding patient care and leadership. She is involved in the Frontline Leadership Academy (FLA) and is working on a project to help decrease anxiety in the caregivers for our geriatric patients. Gina has completed her FLA but continues to work on her project and will be applying her knowledge to ward obtaining her CNIII. She was a member of the Magnet Champions Council and now is representing SBH on the Patient and Family Centered Care Committee. Gina was an EPIC super user. She possesses an impressive commitment to work. There were two instances where she altered her vacation plans to meet the needs of the unit and our patients. Gina is a patient advocate especially for our seniors. She volunteers to take high acuity patients. She makes the patient’s comfort a priority and understands that chronic pain is an often unrecognized problem among the elderly especially those with dementia who cannot verbalize their needs. Recognizing the need for nurses to have more knowledge about the geriatric patient, Gina recently completed the Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) training modules. Gina is always willing to share her knowledge with patients, and family members who are very appreciative as she explains medical issues in a way that they can understand. Gina’s extensive psychiatric nursing knowledge, her supportive, fair and respectful attitude makes her an invaluable member of the SBH team.

Eric Santibanez RN Med Surg 3 East

Eric Santibanez, RN

Nomination #1:

Unlike all of the other nurses who were presented with my gastric tube problem, Eric evaluated the root cause of the pain and developed a durable solution. Some of the nurses accepted the pain as inevitable fallout of having a g tube. Others recognized the problem but were unable to develop a solution.  Eric created a very clever way of bandaging it so that the pressure and pain was relieved.  The extra effort and caring attitude that Eric put into this fix as well as how he dealt with the rest of his nursing duties put him a notch above the fine nursing in unit 3E.  Later, other nurses and doctors followed his design.

Nomination #2:

Eric always went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable and cared for. He would never turn on too many lights when I was sleeping and would work quietly and always turn off lights and close the door upon leaving.  He is an absolutely sweet and caring Nurse through and through.  He made my stay much more tolerable.  He made sure to get to know me while I was here.

Sharon Delgadillo RN, Moores Cancer Center Infusion

Sharon Delgadillo, RN

While it is amazing to see the heroic stories of the top nurses, often forgotten are those in the trenches who are so dedicated that they give much more to their patients than one would believe is humanly possible, while somehow managing to avoid the limelight. My oncology nurse, Sharon Delgadillo falls into that class.

For almost two years she has been my primary nurse through chemotherapy and a very tough bone marrow transplant. Before I met Sharon, I didn't know that type of genuine caring individual really existed. I believed it to be a myth. Her compassion, concern, knowledge and skills are beyond anything I have ever witnessed. Other nurses and patients come to her daily with questions and concerns. She is always patient, understanding and helpful. Always. I have never heard her complain once, nor have I ever heard anyone talk poorly about her. She is definitely a "go to" nurse, who cares more about her patients and their health than anyone I have ever met. She has given me her cell number in case of questions, rejoices with me when my numbers are good, and is sad when they are bad. She checks in on me when I'm in another part of the clinic, and calls me after my doctor appointments to see if there is anything she can do. After two years, that's not something you fake. It is real. And as a former podiatric surgeon, I am not the easiest patient to deal with.

Sharon doesn't have to do ANY of that. She could draw my blood, give me my medications, and walk away. but she cares. She really cares. Not just about me, but ALL of her patients. She is so much more than other nurses aspire to be. She is the type of PERSON that we would all love to become! Sharon doesn't just take care of me, but makes me want to be a better person. Now THAT is what a top nurse is all about.

Kellie Freeborn NP, Owen Clinic

My beloved brother Michael Svec was a patient at the Owen Clinic. His condition was slowly deteriorating when he moved in with my family during August 2008. As soon as he arrived back in San Diego, he was seen the same week at the clinic. He was assigned to Kellie Freeborn, NP. I would go with Michael to the clinic whenever he felt that he needed some assistance but for the most part he would go himself. He was a very independent man. I cam to know Kellie better as Michael's condition worsened after suffering a stroke in May 2009. The stroke left him with mild neurological deficits. He was HIV+ for 18 plus years and was very compliant with his medication. I would go with Michael each time he met with Kellie at his request. He just adored Kellie and I could see that they had an excellent rapport. She is so professional. Her level of care and concern for Michael was more than my family and I could ever expect. She helped us with EVERYTHING. Whenever anything needed to be done, she was either on the phone calling an individual who could assist us or giving us contact information. She would be so aware of his health status that when we walked into see her, she knew what had already occurred without us even mentioning it. She was in close contact with Michael's team of physicians and this brought a sense of security to us. Besides being a patient of the Owen Clinic, Michael was also under the care of Dr. David Lee, Dr. Ronald Elis and Dr. Niren Angle assisted by his nurse Heidi Smith. The pharmacy also helped Michael extensively in an effort to get all the medications he required with insurance issues. Kellie would initiate all referrals that she felt he required.

One evening Kellie and another physician were doing rounds and stopped by Michael's room on the 11th floor. I could tell by her compassion and mannerism how the whole clinic is run. It was an honor to meet Kellie and I would like to thank you for your tireless research and time in the fight against AIDS/HIV.

It would be a dream if Kellie received some form of appreciation/recognition. Her work ethic is superb. I have been in the health care industry for 38 plus years and have NEVER met a nurse quite like her. There are no words to express our sincere appreciation for her. She is one of God's angels on Earth , doing his work.

We so appreciate the care that Michael received at UC San Diego Health System from all the members of the Owen Clinic as well as the hospital staff. We felt Michael was in excellent hands.

In closing, Kellie is like no other-just phenomenal. While Michael was progressively deteriorating I was unable to be by his side 24 hours. I was there at 7:00am each day to be there for rounds but had had to leave for work and then I would come back at 4:00pm with my Mom. Just about every day, Kellie would visit with Michael at her lunchtime to check on him to be sure he was okay. she would leave me a little note documenting her visit. For that, my family and I will be forever grateful.

Thank you for all that you do.

Marti Demeyere RN, CCU

marti-demeyere

While visiting California my husband became seriously ill. He was admitted to UC San Diego Health System on Feb. 7th 2011. He was been in CCU for nearly 6 weeks now. He has had several nurses caring for him during this stay. the care he has received from all of the staff has been exceptional. However there was an act of kindness from on of the nurses that went above and beyond her job description, that nurse is Marti Demeyere. Because my husband was in the CCU and heavily sedated, she knew that he wouldn't be able to buy me flowers for Valentine's Day as he normally does. She took the time on her day off to go to the store to get me a bouquet of flowers. She then called the unit secretary at UC San Diego Health System to ask him to call her when I arrived at the hospital. Marti drove from her home which is approximately 45 minutes away to deliver the flowers (again it was her day off). This was not something she had to do, but something she wanted to do. Her gesture will be one of the happy memories I'll take home with me when we leave UC San Diego Health System. The stress and anxiety one feels when a loved one is critically ill, is very high, but is increased by being 3000 miles away from home. Her kindness allowed me to forget about all of that for a while.

For going above and beyond, I feel she is truly deserving of the DAISY Award. Thank you.

Erin Burnett, RN, Moores Cancer Center

Erin Burnett, RN

Nomination: Erin meets every criterion listed above. In her position as the nurse case manager for our lung cancer patients, Erin is the primary nurse for patients who often have just a few months to live when they first learn of their diagnosis. Erin's expertise and attention to detail make an enormous difference in the lives of these patients and their families from the first meeting in clinic all the way through the course of their illness and treatment, and continuing through their end-of-life care. Erin is a constant source of support for these families, providing information, ensuring that they are connected with all available resources, helping them to manage the symptoms of the disease and the side effects of treatment. Above and beyond her clinical excellence, Erin forms a special bond with these families that give them the comfort of knowing that we truly care about them. Because these patients often have a very poor prognosis and a relatively short journey to the end-of-life, Erin is often faced with loss and grief. It is not uncommon to have several patients die in one week. But Erin does not let this stop her from being close to the patients and families, and her presence in their lives at the end provides the kind of healing that is beyond the realm of medicine. Erin's caring and compassion truly makes a difference in the lives of our patients.

Christine Brenner, RN, CPTC, LifeSharing

Christine Brenner, RN

Nomination: The usually calm, confident UC San Diego Health System psychiatric nurse was in tears. Despite all of her training and experience, she was confronted with something that terrified her. As a kidney/pancreas transplant recipient, she was about to meet the parents of her 17-year old donor. Helping her was beyond my skills as the PR professional who coordinated the meeting. When contacted about the opportunity, she had been thrilled. Until the day actually arrived. While any Lifesharing nurse would have helped me, it was Christine's help I urgently sought. Only moments after talking with Christine, the organ recipient was comforted, supported, and excited again to meet the family whose decision to donate had saved her life. There are many reasons I am nominating Christine for the DAISY Award

Christine came to Lifesharing five years ago as an ICU nurse. She acknowledges she misses direct patient contact, but knows she's helping a number of patients by effectively managing the care of our deceased donors. A single organ donor can save the lives and lifetimes of up to 8 people. Recently a physician introduced Christine to his colleagues as having saved more lives through organ donation than he has as a cardio-thoracic surgeon. He also said Christine was the reason he signed up to be a donor.

She makes a profound difference for the family members of our donors, recipients, volunteers and staff. How? By being exceptionally patient in translating medicalese, answering their questions in several ways, if necessary, by easing concerns, and by anticipating things they may not have thought of yet. She explains things accurately and well without making someone feel dumb. She has a willingness and skill to listen even to words unsaid.

Christine has continued to hone her clinical skills and is an enthusiastic learner. She has now completed the rigorous program as a Certified Procurement Transplant Coordinator. She earned her CNIV through a project that benefited residents in the rural Imperial County.

And in her spare time?? This mother of five coordinates our annual holiday gift program.

So how did Christine make the nurse recipient feel better and prepare her for meeting the parents of her donor? By gently reminding her that she had nothing to do with the young man's death. That he did not die so that she might live. But that the option to give life to others was a silver lining for a family facing heartbreak. (The reunion was incredible and a front page article covering the meeting in the Union/Tribune the next day saved five more lives. It changed the mind of a family who already had said no.)

Christine Brenner. What a calling. What a nurse. I'm glad she found her way to Lifesharing.

Mamerto "Meng" Marques, RN, 11 West Med Surg

Mamerto Marques, RN

Nomination: Anytime a patient expresses their gratitude to nursing for the exceptional care provided, there is a common theme among all of the cards and compliments received. Every patient mentions the compassionate and exceptional care they received from Meng. Although being a male on a predominantly female unit may promote some very gender biased stereotypes related to men and women's expression of compassion, Meng's caring approach to his nursing practice defies all stereotypes. When he comes onto the unit wearing his white coat, he embodies the many positive qualities that define a nurse.

His colleagues appreciate his team support and easy going attitude. He often cares for the most challenging patients and creates a therapeutic relationship with them. He is culturally sensitive and proficient, putting patients at ease who may be experiencing feelings of frustration and/or bewilderment as they adjust to a different culture and language. Meng is familiar with this experience firsthand, as he worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia. He is multi-lingual and is always happy to care for or translate for our Arabic speaking patients.

Before shift report, Meng will sit in the Reflection Room to meditate and focus on the upcoming work at hand. Afterwards, he receives his assignment and researches his patient's medical record, so as to not have any surprises regarding the patient's condition. Because he has a proven "pre-shift de-stressor" routine, he is able to start his shift calmly and happily. Because he isn't pressured or frazzled when he interacts with his patients, they sense his calm and are put at ease.

Meng listens with his heart and relates to patients on a personal level. Because he routinely pays attention to the "simple things", many patients have spoken of the positive impact Meng has had on their lives. One such patient comes to mind. J.T. was a patient on 11 West for 3 months and was confined to a wheelchair. He lived with the belief that he was incapable of ever living independently, which caused much anger and distress to him. His bleak outlook on the future translated into hostility directed at the nursing staff. Every nursing home refused to admit him because of his problematic behavior.

Meng had a unique approach with J.T. If the patient was acting particularly hostile, he would sit and have a cup of coffee with the patient, talking with him as a nurse and as a fellow human being- eye to eye. He made the patient a partner instead of an adversary which created a trusting and workable relationship with the care team. The patient developed positive and effective coping strategies from Meng's example of genuine respect and care.

When a new apartment came available that was able to accommodate J.T.'s wheelchair, Meng, like a composer in an orchestra, helped organize J.T.'s discharge, making sure that he would have the essentials to live independently, such as dishes and silverware. He strongly believed in the patient's ability to care for himself. Because of the faith and confidence that Meng so generously showed the patient, J.T. came to believe in himself and embraced his abilities. He was discharged to his apartment successfully and independently.

Meng might play guitar at his co-worker's retirement party or one may find him re-routing his kitchen plumbing. But one thing is for certain-one will always find Meng with a smile on his face, gratitude in his heart, a kind word on his lips, and compassion in his care. As a healer of hearts and bodies, Meng deserves the honor of receiving the Daisy Award.

Previous DAISY Award Winners from 2010:

Jennifer Ballard, RN BICU

Nomination:

A young man was admitted to the burn center with 2nd and 3rd degree burns to 90% of his body except his face. He was 20 years old. His youth and circumstances of his burn made care especially difficult. Throughout his 1 and a half year stay, Jennifer was his advocate. The patient family and staff celebrated his 21st birthday. After too many surgeries and procedures to count, pain management challenges, success, and rehabilitation therapy, the patient was ready for transfer to a rehab facility to focus on activities of daily living. As the day of the transfer grew nearer the patient's anxiety began to manifest itself. Angry outbursts, refusal to eat, weeping and therapy non-compliance challenged all the providers. Jennifer never wavered in his support and caring. On the day of the transfer Jennifer went with the patient. It was her day off but she wanted to ensure a smooth transition. Jennifer organized colleague "road trip" visits to Eric so he wouldn't feel abandoned. The transition was successful. Today the patient is at home, achieving his activity goals and continues to mature in his recovery. This is an example of her commitment to patients and families.

Jennifer is a natural humorist, singer and dancer. To the delight of patients, families and staff her wit and charm is demonstrated through spontaneous arias-classic rock, soft shoe shuffles and photo antics. She can make the most depressed patient laugh out loud.

Jennifer is also committed to universal health through her volunteer projects. She served on medical missions to Belize in 2006, 2007, and 2008. She worked for Project Medi-share in Haiti in May 2010 and is scheduled to return this December. For all these events Jennifer has used her personal time and organizes resources to enrich the lives of those she serves on these volunteer missions.

As a professional nurse with passion for new knowledge and sharing knowledge Jen has 11 presentations at the American Association of Neurosciences and 2 articles. Jennifer is also the primary PI for her IRB project investigating early warning signs of patient distress for the novice practitioner.

Mary Ozaki, RN 11 West Med Surg

Nomination:

The complex needs of the 11W transplant and medical/surgical patient never deters Mary RN from continually providing them with the utmost sensitive and competent nursing care. To Mary, nursing isn't work at all, but it is rather a calling. Her desire to heal both body and mind dictate her nursing practice and keeps her a motivated patient advocate. Her belief that every human being has inherent worth drives Mary to treat her patients as she would her own family. She recalled caring for an African American woman who experienced segregation in the 60s. She looked quizzically at Mary and asked her why she was being so kind, as this patient had experienced so much injustice and cruelty in her own life. She was witness to Mary's genuine acceptance and care, which is abundant in all her interactions. Compliments such as these are not rare for Mary, for she connects with her patients on a deeper level. Mary, motivated by her faith and belief that we are all equal members of a world family and that we all

Mary takes care of her patients, and she takes care of her own. When a fellow co-worker has experienced a major life event, such as the birth of a baby or the unfortunate passing of a loved one, Mary happily gives her vacation time to whoever is in need. Mary doesn't see the need to fuss, for giving to her coworkers is actually a gift for her and is honored to help. When we all "feel better, we heal better." She does good for goodness sake and "does the right thing when no one is looking."

She was the oldest of 9 children and was a natural caregiver, earning the name "Mama" given to her by her younger sister. By simply looking out for others, checking in frequently on her patients, bringing the interdisciplinary team together to coordinate care, and proactively solving problems, she has earned the respect of some very challenging patients. One patient comes to mind. He was extremely angry and verbally abusive to staff. He was at risk for skin breakdown and this concerned Mary. She had a very expensive wheelchair cushion at home that belonged to her father, who had just passed on. Through phone calls and coordination, Mary was able to get that cushion for Jason. She smiled when she recalled how much softer his demeanor had become, obviously moved by the dignity bestowed upon him.

Many patients, who may be experiencing a very difficult time personally, benefit from her kindness and capable hand. She took care of a man who was without a permanent residence, and suffered from skin ulcers on his legs from being persistently incontinent and without proper washing or laundering facilities. Without questioning or delay, Mary took his clothes home with her and washed them so that he could be discharged with clean clothes. When asked what motivated her to do this, she replied, "The question wasn't how could I, but rather, how could I not do it?" She believes that true kindness lay in one's actions. Mary will assemble a team of healthcare professionals and will advocate for their every need, bringing those together to find a common ground. Whether she prays with a patient who is dying, using her mother's rosary from Medjugorie, to simply addressing the patient with dignity, she comforts all who she comes in contact with.

Mary, who asks for so little, is truly deserving of the Daisy award, which would acknowledge all that she stands for. But for nothing else, she embodies the purest form of the definition of "nurse". We have learned so much from Mary and she has raised the bar for nursing standards and professionalism. So many have lost their faith in mankind or the motivation of people and I am honored to be a member of her team and her subtle and gentle reminders of what this work is all about-healing.

Anne Powers, NP Interventional Pulmonology

Nomination #1:

In the 2 years that I've worked with Anne Powers, NP, I have witnessed her consistently going above and beyond in every aspect of her nursing practice. She is the glue that holds the pulmonary team together when they are in the perioperative area. She is an excellent communicator, acting as the liaison between patients, doctors, and nurses as she ensures that patients will have a seamless transition between pre-op, OR, and PACU. She responds promptly, addresses people with respect, listens to their needs, and makes sure that patients are happy and comfortable. Patients recognize these qualities and often comment on the great care that they receive from Anne.

Anne is also an outstanding team player. She completes the pre-op paperwork when the pre-op nurse is busy, she transports patients to and from the OR, and she checks in on her patients in the PACU several times before they are discharged. The day before a transfer patient is expected in the PACU she notifies the charge nurse and gives details about the condition of the patient, ensuring that we will be prepared. There is no job that she is "above" and she is eager to offer assistance whenever needed.

But what sets her apart from other great caregivers is that she treats patients like family. She is connected with her patients on a deep level, knowing their medical and social needs and ensuring that they are met. She knows her patient's family members and includes them in the care of their loved ones whenever possible. She has even been known to drive patients home after their procedure, as some do not have family or friends to take them.

Anne is thorough, detailed, and passionate about what she does which makes an obvious impact on the lives of all her patients and their families. Working with someone like Anne in the perioperative environment is a blessing and she deserves to be recognized for her exceptional contributions to UC San Diego Medical Center.

Nomination #2:

Anne is an outstanding nurse. She always has the patient's needs uppermost in her mind. As a NP she does the routine tasks that are unique to that position but goes far beyond those tasks. With her experience she is a good teacher and role model. She has been known to house visiting patients and visiting medical staff that have nowhere to stay. If any of those need extra transportation she is there to do it. I don't believe she knows the word "no".

Her concern is for the whole patient and the family. All of the necessary information is passed on to the others that work with her. She is quick to see a possible patient problem and acts on it quickly.

Anne is not only a Nurse Practitioner but in my opinion a Really Great Nurse. All these "above and beyond" actions she does without any special recognition except from those of us who work with her.

She also does much community service such as aiding orphanages in Baja California and volunteering to work in charity events. Anne is not afraid of getting her hands dirty.

DAISY Award Winners
Photo from Left to Right: Jennifer Ballard RN, Dave Anderson CEO from United Healthcare, Mary Ozaki RN, Anne Powers NP, Bonnie Barnes President and Co-Founder of DAISY Award Foundation.

 

These winners will receive the following items (pictured below) a DAISY Award Certificate, Tote Bag, Healer's Touch Sculpture, DAISY Award Pin and Cinnabons will be delivered to their units for everyone to enjoy! A DAISY Honoree Banner will also be hung in each unit!

Award Gift Photo

The DAISY Award

Cinnabon Logo United Healthcare