ST. LOUIS - Nurses at Mercy Hospital St. Louis are selected from nominations received by patients or co-workers to be honored with the DAISY Award.
DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The family of Patrick Barnes established the Daisy Foundation in 1999 to express gratitude to nurses for the work they do for patients and their families every day. The award is presented in more than 1,900 healthcare facilities in all 50 states and 15 countries.
Each quarter, the Mercy St. Louis Nursing Clinical Council reviews nominations, and based on key criteria (which align with Mercy values), determine DAISY award recipients. Winners each receive a special certificate, lapel pin and hand-carved sculpture. A celebratory banner also will hang in the nurse’s unit for a month.
Paula Collins, LPN, is a nurse in the ambulatory surgery unit at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. She received 11 nominations from separate patients this quarter alone, all focused on her amazing work with IVs.
Here are portions of just a few of the nominations.
“The vein whisperer – Paula. No one has been able to get blood or IV in my left arm. Paula is not only friendly and accommodating, she was able to get a successful IV. She deserves a medal for that.”
“I can’t tell you how terrified I am of IVs because I’ve had so many bad experiences. However, Paula somehow gave me my first pain-free, worry-free IV ever. I told her I was nervous about an IV in the hand. She made accommodations for my arm, no problem, and was very friendly, calming and considerate of patients’ wants and worries. First person ever who really does an amazing job keeping me calm about needles and knew what she was talking about.”
“Paula represented the epitome of professionalism. Her demeanor was calm and welcoming. My experience with her regarding the insertion of my IV was one of the best ever. She met every check box… I am so apprehensive when it comes to IVs and have had so many bad experiences, it was a blessing that she was assigned to me…”
“I was very worried about getting my IV because of previous bad experiences. Paula explained step by step what she was doing, very gentle and kind. She got my vein, first try, for that I am grateful…”
Abby Dobrinick, a nurse with the float pool at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. She was nominated by two co-workers, who both recognized her for going “above and beyond to help her patients.” She worked to help a husband and wife, both patients, spend their final moments together. In addition, when Dobrinick wheeled the wife out, she waited while her car warmed up and scraped off all the ice and snow for her, without being asked. “When Abby returned to the floor, she was covered in snow and was freezing. She didn’t care though. She was only worried about the patient’s wellbeing…She is a Rockstar.”
Toni Taylor, nurse supervisor for the neurology unit at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, was recognized with the DAISY Leader award for this quarter. Her nomination by a co-worker shared an experience in which Taylor went above and beyond for a patient who spoke no English. She took time with the patient, wheeled him out his room and enjoyed viewing the sunset from the lobby windows. His daughter was appreciative of the extra time Taylor spent with her dad, even when they were unable to fully communicate.
Chelsea Koller, an oncology nurse at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, received the October 2020 DAISY Award for always making patients feel special. She was nominated by two co-workers for going above and beyond.
One nomination reads, in part, "Chelsea truly makes patients comfortable, confident and well-informed while they are here. She has a contagious attitude and always brings positivity to the floor...She bought the patient's mom a birthday gift with her own money so the patient would have something to give her despite being in the hospital."
The other nomination reads, in part, "Chelsea was caring for a patient transitioning from active treatment to comfort care. During her conversations with the patient, she found out the patient loved pink flowers. As the patient was declining, Chelsea realized that she should have pink flowers before she passed. She quickly went to buy a bouquet of pink flowers to have at her bedside. The family was moved to tears by such a touching act of kindness for a dying patient."
(Mary) Brenn Hagarty, recently named clinical supervisor for oncology at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, received the October 2020 DAISY Leader Award for her work in the transitional care unit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nomination from a co-worker reads, in part, “Brenn has been float charge for our entire unit and has been an absolute Rockstar. When faced with all of the chaos and changing information, Brenn keeps the greatest attitude. She is calm, jokes with staff and is always there for whatever you need. She helps move patients, keeps us up to date on the latest information and best of all, she keeps us calm. She is honestly one of the greatest nurses I have ever seen. Her passion, knowledge and temperament are an inspiration to us all. She makes me want to be a better nurse every day.”
Rebecca "Becky" Hoffmann, RN, nurse with Mercy Hospice, is one of the most recent DAISY Award winner, nominated by a patient's family.
The nomination read in part, "In December, my dad signed himself into Hospice. It was that day the angels of Mercy Hospital St. Louis appeared at my front door and stayed with us the entire time. Becky Hoffmann deserves this DAISY award because she showed extraordinary compassion, outstanding skill and genuine kindness not only to my dad but to our entire family. She went above and beyond many times by calling us on her days off, swinging by just to check on us and in the final days, she came by every day. She was on duty the day my dad passed away. Her tenderness with my father and mother were ever so sincere. She is still checking on my mom as she is struggling emotionally. They had been married for almost 68 years. Becky honored that with her care of them both.
Allison Herrmann, a nurse in the medical surgical intensive care unit, is one of the most recent DAISY Award winners, nominated by both a co-worker and a patient's family member.
The co-worker nomination read in part, "The family decided to transition to comfort measures, a very different decision at any time, but especially during these times when family is not allowed to be with/visit their loved ones...Allison assured them that she would not let their dad/grandfather/great-grandfather pass alone. She told them she would stay by his side and keep him as comfortable as possible until he passed. Allison gathered his supplies, donned her PPE and went into the patient’s room...more than an hour later and Allison was still in the room, donned in all her PPE, sitting right next to the patient’s bedside in a chair she had pulled up, holding his hands and speaking words of comfort. In this moment, Allison reminded me of the power of compassionate care and being a nurse – something to inspire us all."
The family nomination read in part, "Allison was his nurse on the day he passed away and there are not enough words to express the compassion and respect that she gave me over the phone, since I could not be with him. More importantly, I have no doubt this is the same compassion and respect that was given to my father. The tone of her voice and the chosen words were very comforting.I was able to live stream with my father and say goodbye as were his grandchildren. In a very difficult time Allison made it a comforting memory."
Emliy Klos, RN, supervisor of Mercy St. Louis's women's health unit, is the most recent DAISY Award winner and was nominated by a co-worker.
The nomination read, in part, "I have floated to WH multiple times in which Emily is in charge and still manages to be present, helpful and thoughtful with her care. On this particular day, she went above and beyond. One of my patients started going downhill and required most of my attention and time for the first few hours of my shift. During this time, Emily stepped up and not only did what she could to help me and this patient, but also managed to help care for my other patients while I was tied up...She is a true leader, and it shows in her actions and demeanor when speaking to both patients and co-workers. Thank you for everything, Emily!"
Kristina Sandler, a nurse on the oncology unit, is the most recent DAISY Award winner. She was nominated by the husband of a recent patient.
The nomination read, in part, "...Kristina went above and beyond by spending time with my wife, really listening to her and getting to know her. She made my wife feel like more than just a patient. They shared stories about life, making the nurse/patient interaction more of a personal human connection rather than an impersonal one involving checking off the boxes for tests, meds, and process compliance...It was a hard time for us but Kristina shared her humanity and affirmed my wife’s dignity while under her care. That was a gift we will cherish. I’m sure she has done so for countless other patients and families and will continue to do so."
Mary McCoy, nurse manager of Mercy's Trauma/Neuro Intensive Care Unit, is the October 2019 DAISY Award winner. She was nominated by a co-worker for being an extraorinarily caring, thoughtful and compassionate manager.
The nomination read, in part, "Mary has shown time and again why she is the best boss/manager I have ever had... Mary was filling in wherever she could see holes occurring; helping turn patients, tag busy nurses out of rooms so they can get some work done and filling in as charge while we were short a charge nurse. All of this while working her own busy job... Mary is a true leader and displays all the qualities of a true Mercy nurse. She has touched every co-worker’s life she works with and makes everyone’s day better. I hope one day I can be half the nurse she is."
Ryan Meldrum, a nurse in the post anesthesia care unit (surgery recovery), is the DAISY Award quarterly winner. He was nominated by a fellow nurse who noted his determination when advocating for a recent patient. His questions led to the patient returning to the operating room where the issue was addressed and prognosis improved. In addition, the nomination calls out Meldrum's compassion as he helped the patient and family with their emotional needs, "displaying true Mercy values."
A Team DAISY Award was given in July to the neonatal intensive care unit. The nomination by Mid-America Transplant Services mentions the care provided to a family whose baby would be an infant organ donor. The nomination read, in part: "Every nurse who took care of the patient was the very definition of compassion. Many co-workers came in on days off to support the family and say goodbye. They showed compassion, kindess, care, friendship and love when the parents needed it most."
Joanna Hildebranski, a trauma/neuro intensive care unit nurse, was selected this quarter. When she realized it would be her terminal patient's last holiday with his wife, she went to the gift shop and purchased an angel and some chocolates for him to give to his wife. She arranged for another nurse to make sure the gift was presented, since the holiday would be Hildebranski's day off.
As the nomination read, "This was more than going above and beyond. She is a great addition to our Trauma/Neuro ICU family."
The January winners are Chad Mancuso, oncology nurse, and Jennifer Phillips, trauma/surgery nurse.
After a breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and a middle-of-the-night hospitalization one patient was thankful to meet oncology nurse Chad Mancuso. She said, “It was very apparent to me that he wanted to make sure my questions were answered, and I was comfortable with asking him questions, that I knew he was there for me. Over the course of the next seven days, Chad took the time to make a personal connection, getting to know both my husband and me. I know the importance of clinical expertise, an area in which Chad also excelled, however the compassionate side of Chad was as important to my well-being and healing as the medical needs I required…. I can without hesitation say that every day he was charted to be my nurse, my spirits were lifted and I more positively greeted the new day! God bless Chad and all the patients within his care.”
One patient was worried about losing a foot after an infection and felt Jennifer Phillips was put in the room for a purpose. The nomination said: “Jenny checked on me several times asking if I needed anything. She took my hand and asked if she could pray with me. She held my hands and prayed the most beautiful prayer. I had such a peace and quietness come over me. I have never had a nurse pray for me. I was so scared but after our prayer, I just felt so loved. I feel like God put Jenny in my room for a purpose. Thanks to Jenny. She is a keeper at Mercy.”