An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News & Gallery


News | May 21, 2021

WRNMMC Nurses Recognizes Extraordinary Team Members

By Bernard S. Little, WRNMMC, Office Command Communications

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) observed Nurses Week May 10-14, and part of the celebration included recognizing nursing team members with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Navy Capt. Jessica Beard, chief nursing officer (CNO) and director for nursing at WRNMMC, joined members of the DAISY selection committee as they went to work sites of the honorees to recognize them with the DAISY Award on May 14.

“Captain Beard presented three months of awards as we try to catch up due to COVID-19 and the change of CNO,” Joan LoepkerDuncan explained. The chief nursing officer in charge of Cardiology Service, LoepkerDuncan also coordinates the DAISY recognition program at WRNMMC.

The recent recipients of the DAISY Award at WRNMMC included: Air Force Capt. Nina Maxwell (Surgical Intensive Care Unit) for October 2020; Army Capt. Nicholas Ryan, Navy Lt. j.g. Brandon Hall, Navy Lt. Francesca Derderian, and Navy Lt. j.g. Ryan Peare (who all worked on the Medical Intensive Care Unit) for December 2020; and Joceli McAllister (5 East) for January 2021.

A staff physician nominated Maxwell for the DAISY Award, citing her “excellence not only in providing exceptional patient care, but for going above and beyond during a Code Blue situation that occurred in the unit. She remained levelheaded and was an excellent team member during the code, getting needed medication and interventions to the patient in an expedited but safe manner.” The physician added Maxwell was a “strong advocate for the patient,” and the nurse’s “strength and compassion” led to a successful outcome for the patient.

A staff nurse nominated Ryan, Hall, Derderian and Peare for the December DAISY Award. “These four nurses’ clinical skills, and especially their compassionate care, exemplify the kind of nurse that our patients, their families and our staff recognize as an outstanding role model. They demonstrate compassion, advocacy, commitment, professionalism, exceptional care, and consistently perform as team players,” the nurse stated. The nurse described the efforts of the four in securing a British flag flown in front of the U.S. British Embassy in Washington, D.C. for the family of a patient, who was active duty British military and died at WRNMMC. “I was extremely impressed by these nurses, and how they persevered in providing dignity and honor to a patient and his family. I am so proud to work with nurses like this,” the nominator added.

A patient nominated McAllister for the January DAISY Award, explaining, “I was feeling weak and needing a lot of assistance with walking… I felt alone and was scared...Then, it changed. This nurse came in on one of my down days. She held firmly to me and escorted me to the bathroom. When she spoke, she was compassionate. She came to the bedside and did not try to put the lunch table between us, as I had noticed some nurses seek to do. She did not step back when I was racked with coughing, but came close to adjust my position for comfort. Some nurses actually stepped back when I coughed, even though they were gowned, masked, face shielded and with gloves. Not this nurse. She rocks!!!”

WRNMMC’s DAISY selection committee chooses an honoree for the DAISY Award each month. Anyone can nominate a nursing team member for the award, and a committee selects the person who best exemplifies the following:
  • Established a special connection with a patient/family
  • Has significantly made a difference in the life of a patient
  • Shows empathy in all situations
  • Is an outstanding role model for the nursing profession
  • Generates enthusiasm and energy towards meeting the challenges of nursing
  • Consistently exhibits excellent interpersonal skills
  • Exemplifies the essence of professional nursing in all activities
Each month’s winner receives a nominee pin, a DAISY Award recipient pin, a Healer’s Touch hand-carved statue and an award certificate. In addition, the DAISY Award winner’s unit receives a banner to post for the month.

The family of J. Patrick Barnes established the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses more than 20 years ago to recognize nursing team members for their clinical skills, caring, compassion and professionalism. The Barnes family established the award as a way to thank nurses in appreciation of the care Patrick received during the latter part of his life while a patient at a health-care facility in Seattle, Washington. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. Barnes died at the age of 33 of the auto-immune disease ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) in Seattle. 

Health-care facilities nationally and in 22 countries now recognize nurses with the DAISY Award. 

For more information about the DAISY Award program at WRNMMC, call Joan LoepkerDuncan at 301-319-4617, or email

Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.