Nurses at CHI St. Alexius Health Carrington were recently honored with the ninth annual DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform everyday. The 2020 award recipient is Alicia Gussiaas who was nominated for her exemplary care given to patients. Gussiaas was one of six nurse nominees from CHI St. Alexius Health Carrington, which also included Nikki Neumiller, Michelle Belile, Kristy Konschak, Terah Weisenburger, and Taryn VanBedaf.
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
Annually, a nurse is selected by CHI St. Alexius Health Carrington’s Quality Board Committee and Senior Administrative Team for the DAISY Award. The Quality Board Committee is comprised of community members, designated hospital employees for quality assurance and members of administration.
At a presentation given in front of her co-workers, Gussiaas received a certificate commending her for being an "Extraordinary Nurse" and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa. Cinnamon rolls were served to staff, symbolic of when Patrick, the patient who inspired the DAISY Award and Foundation, was sick. One day while Pat was in the hospital, he asked his family to bring him a Cinnabon® cinnamon roll plus enough for all the nurses in his unit. The DAISY Foundation carries on this tradition by serving Cinnabons to all the DAISY Award attendees to recognize everything nurses do for their patients and families.
Said Bonnie Barnes, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation, "When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human work they do. The kind of work the nurses at CHI St. Alexius Health Carrington are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”
Said Vice President of Patient Care Jodi Hovdenes, “We are proud to be among the hospitals participating in the DAISY Award program. Nurses are heroes every day and it’s important our nurses know their work is highly valued. The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”
Gussiaas joins previous DAISY Award recipients Bernadine Anderson, Angela Kutz, Jodi Hovdenes, Deana Uehran, Terah Weisenburger, Haley Lura and Michelle Belile (two-time recipient).