DAISY Award Honors Nurses for Extraordinary Service

February 7, 2020

DAISY Award Winner Tracy Cook

RN Tracy Cook really made an impact on a young patient when she was admitted for a kidney stone. Her nominator said, "Tracy routinely went above and beyond for my daughter and my family. She helped make a bad experience better for our family." 

Her nominator went on to say:

I am writing to nominate Tracy Cook, RN, from the Mercy Springfield Pediatric unit. My nine-year-old daughter was recently admitted to the Pediatric unit twice as a result of persistent nausea and vomiting which turned out to be the result of a kidney stone that went undiagnosed until her second admission. We were fortunate to have Tracy Cook as our daytime RN during both admissions. Tracy met all of the qualities that are used to describe a Daisy nurse. She made us feel welcome and at ease. She kept us informed and included us in our daughter’s care.

It was during my daughter’s second admission, though, that Tracy really went above and beyond what was expected of her. At this time, my daughter had been vomiting for close to a week, had been stuck multiple times, had severe abdominal discomfort and was exhausted and emotional. When we found out that we would be transferred to Mercy St. Louis, my daughter became extremely anxious. In addition to the transfer we were told that they needed to place a urinary catheter before we were transferred. This too created an enormous amount of stress for my daughter. Tracy was willing to do whatever she could to put my daughter at ease and take her mind off of it. Tracy even danced to the “Git Up” to make my daughter laugh while she was being prepped for her urinary catheter.

When my daughter couldn’t calm down because of the upcoming ambulance ride, Tracy sat with her and explained what would happen so that she wouldn't feel so anxious. When Tracy’s shift ended she didn’t leave. She stayed until she knew that everything was taken care of and we were ready to be transferred. My daughter really enjoyed being taken care of by Tracy and even named her turtle that she painted after Tracy. Tracy helped make a bad experience better for our family.

Tracy routinely went above and beyond for my daughter and my family. We were blessed to have had Tracy care for our daughter and truly believe based on my daughter’s hospital stay that Tracy exemplifies the qualities of a DAISY nurse.


Tammy Levings Wins DAISY Award

Tammy Levings, a charge nurse on 5B, worked with a patient who had been placed on a clinical hold as a precaution. However, after a psychiatric evaluation determined the precautions could be removed, the hold still remained, much to the patient's dismay. Her nominator said, "Tammy advocated for the patient with dignity and justice. She truly exemplifies the heart of nursing."

Her nominator said:

In September, Tammy, a charge nurse on 5B, found herself in a dilemma involving one of our patients. This young woman had been placed on suicide precautions. After a psychiatric evaluation, it was determined the precautions could be removed; however, there was an order to maintain the clinical hold. The patient’s bedside nurse and Tammy questioned this order. The patient was distraught at the thought of still being “held,” even after being cleared. Tammy made multiple calls in an exhaustive attempt to get all caregivers on the same page. Later that evening, all caregivers agreed that it was in the patient’s best interest to discharge her to home.

Tammy is known for her calm, level-headed approach to problem solving. Her feathers are rarely ruffled. Co-workers look to her for her methodical thought process in working through issues. Nurses are often the link between physicians and patients. In this case, Tammy used her skills and compassion to be that crucial link. Her passion and tenacious advocacy for this patient displayed Mercy’s values of dignity and justice. She truly exemplifies the heart of nursing.



Leann Rens Wins Springfield DAISY Award

During one of the most difficult times in their lives, a grieving family thanked Leann for her compassionate care when their newborn son died. They nominated her for a DAISY Award. Thank you Leann for being such an inspiration! 

Her nominators wrote, "Leann cared for our baby boy in the NICU. She was very compassionate and caring as she gently took care of him and explained what was happening to us along the way. She came in on her day off to be with us when we had to do the hardest thing we have ever had to do – remove the ventilator from our one-week old son. She stayed in the room and was there as a comforting presence. Her wisdom and knowledge helped us make some difficult decisions and made that time less fearful. After our son was in the arms of Jesus, she gently washed his body and prayed over him. The compassionate care she showed, even at that time, was a soothing balm for our aching hearts. Leann then attended his memorial service and showed that she cared beyond that little hospital room."



Christopher Clawson Wins Springfield DAISY Award

A patient nominated Christopher for the DAISY Award after he treated them with dignity even in the face of a difficult situation. His nominator wrote: 

I would like to nominate Chris for the DAISY Award. When I was brought up to the fourth floor, I was not the best patient—I was in so much pain. I was calling everyone around me names and I caused them as much trouble as I could—I was rude to all of them. Chris treated me with all the respect in the world. Even when I was being rude as I could be to him, he treated me great, regardless. The way he acted with me was almost like a brother. He was still able to get all his work done and listen to all my concerns. He also listened to my parents and answered their concerns and questions. Also, if we asked him something he did not know or was unsure of, he would find out the answer. He was very good about letting me and my family know what was going to happen and explaining what procedures I would be having. He would not leave until everyone knew what was going on.


Lauren Mueller Wins Springfield DAISY Award

Lauren was a light in the dark for a family facing end-of-life decisions for their grandmother. Her nominator wrote:

Lauren works the 7 a.m. -7 p.m. shift on 6A ICU, and was assigned to take care of my dear grandmother in August. Initially, upon her morning admission there was hope for Granny’s healing, but by mid-afternoon all hope was lost and Lauren was tasked with walking us through end-of-life decisions. Lauren exemplified every single Mercy value. In each step of our painful journey, Lauren provided comfort and compassion. She kept us informed on a level that was easy to understand and made us feel comfortable in an unfamiliar ICU room full of machines. She compassionately walked my Grandfather through saying goodbye to his wife of over 60 years.

As a health care provider myself, she met me at my level of understanding and completely encouraged my need to feel involved. Lauren multi-tasked all the big things like ventilators and CVVH dialysis but also stayed on top of the small things such as artificial tears, foot drop and changing Granny’s sheets even for the tiniest drops of blood. Health care providers always say to treat patients like they’re family, but Lauren truly meant it and showed it in her actions. Even as Granny was taking her last breaths, our entire family was talking of how this journey would’ve been impossible without Lauren by our side. She was the only positivity and light in a day full of darkness.

Lauren even stayed an hour late that night to help us walk through the hardest parts—even though she had a husband and two-year-old son waiting for her at home. Lauren was supposed to leave for vacation to South Carolina the next day, but stayed late for us. She was so amazing and feels like family now. If anyone ever has deserved the DAISY award, it is her.

Congratulations Lauren, on winning the DAISY Award. 

Lauren Mueller 2