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News | Feb. 9, 2023

Exceptional Patient Care Earns Two Nurses The DAISY Award

By Bernard Little, WRNMMC Command Communications

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) recognized Navy Ensign Natalie Aragon and Shellina Campos for earning the DAISY Award, Jan. 27.

Each month, WRNMMC presents the DAISY Award to a member of its nursing team as a way of saying thank you and recognizing the extraordinary patient care and work of that nurse.

WRNMMC Director for Nursing, Navy Capt. Jessica Beard, explained DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The family of J. Patrick Barnes established the DAISY Award and a foundation with the same name after his passing from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease, at a Seattle hospital in late 1999. They established the award to thank the nurses who provided “skillful and compassionate care” during Barnes’ eight-week hospitalization.

Since that time, health care facilities worldwide now recognize their nurses with the DAISY Award, which includes a certificate, pin and stone sculpture, “The Healer’s Touch,” hand-carved by the Shona people in Zimbabwe. A banner is also hung in the honoree’s unit indicating the DAISY Award winner works in the area. An estimated 5,400 health care facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 35 other countries and territories participate in the DAISY Award program, according to the DAISY Foundation.

A committee of nurses at WRNMMC accepts DAISY Award nominations from patients, other nurses, hospital staff members, families of patients, and others to determine the honoree each month. The committee receives approximately 9,000 nominations annually, said Joan LoepkerDuncan, chief nurse in charge of the Cardiology Service and coordinator for the DAISY program at WRNMMC.

A house staff member nominated Aragon, who works on 5 West, for the November 2022 DAISY Awards. The house staff member stated Aragon is a “team player who provided exceptional care to a patient. This nurse utilized exceptional intuition and team-player skills by going above and beyond to recognize something was off with this patient’s care. Because of her diligence, this potential patient safety issue was discovered and promptly addressed by the PICC [peripherally inserted central catheter] team. Way to go nurse! Excellent nursing care!”

Beard added that Aragon’s actions potentially saved the patient’s life.

A patient nominated Campos for the September 2022 DAISY Award. The patient said, “I have grown to form a deep appreciation and admiration for this nurse, as she embodies everything a patient hopes their nurse will be. Through both her medical care and incredible bedside manner, she makes me feel like I am the only patient in the world and [she] dedicates her entire being to make sure I feel comfortable and cared for.”

The patient also stated Campos is “compassionate, a patient’s advocate, committed, professional, team player, and delivers exceptional care. Overall, I could not be more pleased with the care I have received from this nurse and how effortless she made this whole experience for me. When times are tough, I can always count on her to be a smiling face (under her mask that is) that I can rely on,” the patient added.
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