Team Member Awards



DAISY Awards

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died of complications of the auto-immune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) at the age of 33. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) During Pat’s eight week hospitalization, his family was awestruck by the care and compassion his nurses provided not only to Pat but to everyone in his family. One of the goals they set in creating a foundation in Pat’s memory was to recognize extraordinary nurses everywhere who make an enormous difference in the lives of so many people by the super-human work they do every day.

The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. Meritus Health is proud to be a DAISY Award Partner, recognizing one of our nurses monthly with this special honor. To find out more about the program, including the growing list of Partners, please visit DAISYfoundation.org.

The DAISY Team Award is designed to honor collaboration by two or more people, led by a nurse, who identify and meet patient and/or patient family needs by going above and beyond the traditional role of Nursing. The team award is presented each May, but nominations are received throughout the year.

Nominate a team of 2 or more people led by a nurse for the Daisy Team Award by clicking the link below.

Previous Award Winners

January 2024 - Joshua Beach. B.S.N., R.N.

Nominated by a patient: Joshua Beach, B.S.N., R.N., went above and beyond in his care during my recent hospital stay. He is kind, gives great advice and explains everything thoroughly. He enlightened me with his knowledge and compassion. He helped reduce my anxiety, helping me stay calm and centered. He even made me laugh and smile! He really made my stay at Meritus Medical Center better, and I cannot thank him enough. He is a rare treasure and should be recognized!

December 2023 - Adam Mowery

Nominated by a patient’s family: Adam Mowery, BSN, RN, was a true blessing during my grandfather’s final days. When I first called, Adam was on shift and answered my questions, reassuring me I was not a bother to him. He also happened to be there during my grandfather’s final hours and, looking back, I am so grateful for that. Adam was personable, pleasant and caring. While new to the nursing field, you wouldn’t be able to tell. He is very passionate about his job and his love for his patients. I watched him interact with my grandfather in a way that showed he genuinely cared. He talked to my grandfather like he was family, even though my grandfather was unresponsive. He asked if we needed anything every time he left the room. He just truly made us feel like we were welcome and never a bother. During my grandfather’s passing, Adam did everything to help guide us. We need more of that in health care. There needs to be more nurses like Adam!

November 2023 - Katie Harden

Nominated by a patient: After learning that I had aggressive breast cancer, I was told by my doctor that a navigator would be calling me. After receiving news in such a manner, I could hardly breathe, and I had no idea what a navigator was. That all changed once I met Katie Harden. Katie actually was like my life preserver. She guided me through the long year with cancer. When I was at my lowest, Katie talked to me, lessened my worries and always had an encouraging word. If I was concerned over a type of test or reports, she would take the time to understand my concerns and offered sound explanations. I do not know how I would have
survived the year of cancer if it wasn’t for Katie. She was like my guardian angel. Her caring and compassion for patients is outstanding. I thank God every day for her and the help she provided me.

October 2023 - Drew Blackwell

I first met Drew at 7 p.m. when he came on for his night shift. I had surgery earlier that day and Drew assisted me in getting up and walked with me every chance he could. The next morning, Drew cleaned me up, washed me and made me feel that what I was experiencing was normal. He was so kind and compassionate. He stripped and remade my bed. Over his next several shifts, Drew taught me how walk confidently, how to support my body with pillows when sleeping and most of all, to get back up and keep going. This young RN, Drew, could be my son, but he taught me!

August 2023 - Josh Munoz

You can tell when people love their job and take pride in what they do – Josh is one of those people. From the moment he came in my room, he brightened my day. I had a bad day the day prior, and he made my day better. He didn’t skip a beat in taking care of me, so much to the point I didn’t have to press my call button. He was on top of my care and comfort every step of the way. It’s rare to get good treatment that’s genuine on top of that, he definitely did more than his job. He’s nothing short of amazing. I’m glad to have had him as my nurse. He made me feel at home and not like I was in the hospital. Nominated by a patient.

July 2023 - Serina Gbaba

Serina was awesome. She was very patient, and was always explaining what she was doing. She was willing to step right in and help feed my grandmother if she needed assistance. Both of my grandparents were admitted a few days apart, and were actually placed right next to each other on the floor. When they had to move my grandmother, Serina brought her in the room with my grandfather and allowed them to see and talk to each other for a while. This really was above and beyond, and put them both at ease that everything was going to be alright. Serina deserves this award! Nominated by a patient’s family.

June 2023 - Samantha Hewitt

There is nothing but exceptional things my family and I can say about Sam. She is an amazing nurse, and was our father’s nurse when he was taken to Meritus with symptoms of a stroke. (We found out later he did have a stroke.) Through that heart-wrenching experience, Sam took amazing care of our dad, and did everything she could to help him, all while assisting us with our questions, concerns and emotional breakdowns! We really believe he would not be where he is now, in the recovery process, without her! She deserves so much praise! We wish we could show her how much she really touched all of us! – Nominated by a patient’s family.

May 2023 - Chiara Banca

Nominated by a co-worker: Earlier this year, 4 East was asked to take a pediatric psych patient (far outside the scope of our department) but we did. Chiara was the patient’s nurse, they quickly formed a bond. He talked freely with her; even his outbursts were less aggressive and more easily calmed. The family came to me and expressed gratitude for Chiara’s care, and kindness for their son. She planned to reward his improving behavior, and we worked together to bring him to the cafeteria for ice cream and outside for some exercise. While 4 East did an amazing job as a whole, Chiara had this patient for many days. The family even brought him back to personally thank Chiara. Again, 4 East is not a psychiatric floor or a peds floor, but Chiara did a great job. 

April 2023 - Valerie Rinehart, RN

Nominated by a patient's family: "You don’t know how much of a help Valerie is. She is fantastic, and reduced the strain we were under. I was in tears with worry and so overwhelmed with how we would manage all the equipment at home, along with getting used to a new colostomy. Valerie took the extra time to explain how everything would work. If I called with a question and she wasn’t available, she always called back and provided the answer. When getting treatment elsewhere, we felt like we got the run-around, but not here. You do not often find people who understand your situation like Valerie did."

March 2023 - Kendra Byard, B.S.N., RN

Nominated by a co-worker: "Kendra was caring for an overflow patient in PACU. The patient was anxious, probably frightened, a bundle of nervous energy, and in perpetual motion. His condition and medical history made pain management difficult, but Kendra expertly managed his medications, reducing his pain and fashioned a pillow to make him more comfortable. She provided him with her personal Kindle to use a distraction from his situation and provided empathy and nonjudgmental care. She went above and beyond in assisting him when his wife called experiencing her own medical emergency and provided instruction and support to the patient. The next day, she saw the patient in the cafeteria and inquired how he, and his wife, were doing. Kendra even made him another pillow and provided him with the phone number to Home Health to make sure he was able to continue his care as an outpatient."

February 2023 - Courtney Caplinger, RN

Nominated by a patient's family: "My 11-year-old son came into Meritus Medical Center for outpatient dental surgery. He has severe ADHD & autism. That morning his emotions were through the roof. He wasn’t talking much or making any eye contact. Courtney came into our room to ask if she could start an IV. I told her he would never let her! Once, his doctor had to chase him around to try to administer a shot. She started to talk to my son with compassion. She explained to him what she was going to do with step-by-step details. She then asked permission to begin. I couldn’t believe it, but my son let her start his IV! She then brought over a stuffed dinosaur that had a mask and an IV taped around its arm just like his. Courtney was so kind, sweet, caring, and extremely patient with my son. I am still not sure how she convinced him to let her do something he’s never let another medical person do, ever. In our eyes, she has super-human powers, and shines bright like a ray of sunshine! We will forever be grateful for Courtney and cannot thank her enough. We feel she went above and beyond and deserves to be recognized as a Daisy nurse. P.S. He still has his dinosaur on his bed."

January 2023 - Emmy Burgan, RN

Nominated by a patient's family: "My grandmother was recently hospitalized, and Emmy was one of her nurses. Emmy went above and beyond when advocating for my grandmother, listening to our concerns and working with the care team to ensure the best possible outcome. Emmy was patient and caring – you can tell that she cares deeply about her patients. She even stayed two hours past her shift to ensure my grandmother was okay and that the next shift was well informed. Thank you!"

December 2022 - Carley Cline, RN

Nominated by a co-worker: "I recently experienced the worst two shifts in the three years that I have worked here. My module was extremely heavy and Carley was the charge nurse. I was all over the place and had a patient who was very critical. Carley kept me sane and she was by my side all day helping me with my workload and ensuring it was going to be ok. I needed to be by this patient’s side, so Carley assisted with other patients needs for me. I truly don’t know what I would have done if she wasn’t the charge nurse that weekend. I cannot thank her enough as she went above and beyond for me that weekend!"

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