The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses
The DAISY Award is an international recognition program for honoring the super-human work that nurses do for patients and families every day. At JPS, we recognize the extraordinary efforts of our DAISY winners, inpatient and outpatient RN and LVN team members, with monthly celebrations. DAISY winners are recognized on their units with a special pin, hand-crafted artwork, a sweet treat, and the addition of their names to the DAISY Foundation’s website.
Heinrich Schander, RN
Heinrich Schander has a kind, quiet way of motivating his patients on Pavilion 4 to expedite their recovery. He receives many comments from his patients and families in his WOW recognition cards, and everyone points out his kind and patient demeanor, no matter the healthcare struggle or setback they’re facing.
“He really takes his time and gives empathetic care. His patients feel his care and concern when he puts himself in their shoes,” said Melissa Cook, his team mate and nominator.
In the last six months, he has achieved 100% with pain medication follow up. Each time a pain medication is given, RNs have one hour to check back with the patient to re-evaluate the pain level for any further interventions or to determine if the pain is controlled. Heinrich serves as a role model to newer nurses on the floor. He’s instrumental in reviewing current processes, evaluating efficiency and bringing best practices to the table. He welcomes all new admits to the unit, and makes them feel as comfortable as possible.
Liza Rodriguez, RN
Patients and their family members remember a smile, a kind word or a calming touch during their stay. Liza Rodriguez is recognized for these things and more, including her pleasant demeanor and impressive clinical knowledge. Liza has certifications and special training in art lines, running balloon pumps, managing CRRT patients. Not only was she recently promoted to team lead for her unit, she is a nurse everyone turns to for guidance.
When a patient was in a motorcycle accident and his prognosis was poor, his organs began to fail. Liza stayed with the family to comfort them. Her nominator and teammate Kandace Jamison witnessed this kind act and says, “She assured the mother that every person in the ICU, including the physicians, nurses and even down to the housekeepers were going to do everything in their power to care for her son.”
The mother later expressed how this impacted her. She stated that she truly felt that everyone in the ICU was a part of her son’s care, dedicated to providing excellent care and genuinely cared about her son’s outcome. She also stated that she would tell her son’s story to every person she met.
Adrea Crump, RN
Adrea Crump, is an RN on the critical care unit of P5 and is recognized as a DAISY Award recipient for dependability, accuracy and exceptional care. “You could really tell she is a leader. She spoke to other team leaders or doctors to make sure my daughter received the best care,” said the family member who nominated her. This patient was 18 years old and in a car accident that almost took her life. During her stay she became septic and had four surgeries. The patient and her mom spent six weeks at JPS, and Adrea was always consistent in her care.
Adrea went the extra step to help find foods that were easy to eat after the patient’s surgery. She’d sit and visit with the patient to ease fears. She even printed out care information, medication lists and procedure information for the patient’s mother to see that she was at ease.
When it took the patient some time to get up for the first time after her surgery, Adrea never showed signs of frustration or rushed. “She truly cares about my daughter and her health, and wanted to see her progress and gain her life back.”
Gabriella Castillon, RN
A patient on P5 nominated Gabriella Castillon, RN, as a DAISY Award recipient stating she’s never had a nurse more caring or compassionate. “She’s a true example of what a nurse should be. If JPS values integrity, excellence and compassion, she is a wonderful example of each of those values,” the patient said.
Through her presence alone, the patient knew Gabriella cared. “She is a complete package of compassion and caring. She smiles always, and no matter how hard her night was, I couldn’t tell. She was always there when I needed her, and she anticipated my needs.” Not once did the patient have to use her call light, and Gabriella checked in on her frequently. Each time she explained the test or check. Even upon leaving her shift, she’d say goodbye and relay any care information to the next nurse. This patient was touched most by Gabriella’s heart and small actions. It made an extreme difference during her stay.
Stephanie Alonso, RN
Stephanie Alonso, a BSN and a member of the CCRN boosts the morale and lifts spirits of all who surround her while at work on P4, the hospital’s trauma unit. She likes to give back while asking for nothing in return. Her patients describe her as caring, motivating and empowering.
Her nominator, Melissa Cook, admires how Stephanie treats each patient not as a number or a room assignment, but as the person they are. She’ll get to know her patients and their families to build the bond between patient and nurse.
“We are fortunate to have such a wonderful individual on our unit,” Cook said. “She is amazing indeed.”
When asked what her favorite part of nursing is, Alonso indicated it was actually the discharge process, because it’s an opportunity to share valuable health education information with the patient and their family. Through in-patient care, it is the nurse’s job to help the patient over the hurdle that caused the hospitalization to begin with. Through teaching the patient during discharge, they learn about life-long diagnoses that could impact their quality of life, she said.
Paul Luyinda, RN
Paul Luyinda embraces change, especially when it means improved care for our patients. He plays a major role in precepting new hires in the Progressive Care Unit (P4) and fills in as a team lead from time to time.
His nominator Melissa Cook said, “His care is exceptional and everyone takes notice of it. Patients are constantly singing praises about Paul. His polite nature is like a rare diamond.”
He is frequently a patient advocate and in a recent experience, he made sure a patient had appropriate medications before he was discharged. His actions prevented an early discharge and also prevented the patient from having to be readmitted to the hospital.
Lynet Moenga, RN
Lynet Moenga is recognized for her uncanny ability to influence others in a positive way. “Her spirit is contagious,” says her nominator Jeannie Simpson. She recently treated a young patient faced with deficits in speech, muscle coordination and thought processes. The patient later recovered and described Lynet as “empowering,” since she treated her with such dedicated and intentionally supportive care.
Lynet began her career at JPS in 2007, and in just six years transitioned from a nursing assistant to be an LVN. She later received her Associate Degree in Nursing in 2012 and then her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 2013.
She is part of the Skilled Nursing Unit – Tower 9 and was the first nurse in her unit to complete the Nurse Professional Development Program. She believes the goal to transforming healthcare delivery for the communities we serve begins in each one of us. She now mentors and encourages other nurses to demonstrate meaningful growth in the profession.
Sylvia Baker, RN
Sylvia Baker is described as the glue that holds the unit at Tower 7 together. In fact, she holds much more than unit together – this is demonstrated by her dedication to compassionate care. When a patient was receiving chemotherapy and lost her hair, she made calls to the American Cancer Society, JPS Center for Cancer and others to locate a long wig close similar to her hair before the treatment. She also gave her an assortment of scarves to wear.
In her role as team lead, she offers pop quizzes or facts regularly to her team to check their knowledge on medical procedures and encourage team learning.
“She is the type of team member who inspires me to not only give my all at the job we perform daily, but she inspires me to be a better person overall,” said her nominator Daphne Young.
Celeste Caliman, LVN
The JPS Center for Cancer Care is a relatively small clinic with an extremely high patient volume and, Celeste Caliman, LVN has served a variety of roles in it. She’s this month’s community health DAISY award recipient and has worked in each area whether the infusion/chemotherapy area, radiation oncology area or the clinic itself.
Celeste works diligently to assist patients in keeping their scheduled appointment times. In addition to routine tasks, you’ll often find her training a new nurse or covering an extra shift. In the past six months she’s worked as an LVN and a patient care coordinator.
Her nominator, Patrick Makarewich, the Service Line Administrator often seeks ideas related to JPS operations and patient care. He says, “Celeste is always respectful, direct and supportive to our patients, making them feel valued as JPS patients. She’s a professional who knows her job, does it well and supports her patients.”
Yesenia Martinez, RN
Yesenia Martinez made her transition from LVN to RN while employed with JPS and remains committed to caring, service and patient and staff education every day. She is recognized as a DAISY award recipient for her amazing act of compassion when she and her team “adopted” a patient’s family by purchasing gifts for the entire family for the holidays.
“Through her interactions with patients she demonstrates excellence in listening and creates a welcoming, informative environment for the families she serves,” said her nominator Jeri Ames. Her accommodating and supportive nature extends to our patients, their families, her peers and our resident staff. Often, regrettably, she delivers news to newly diagnosed cancer patients or families who have lost their baby. Yesenia is someone other nurses at 2 South look to during new initiatives or ways to educate or improve in their roles.
Marti Chaney, RN
DAISY award recipient Marti Chaney, RN exudes joy year round. According to her nominator Patrice Milton, Marti makes it her mission to carry the JPS vision and values in her heart daily. She feels personally responsible for every patient and team member she encounters.
Her most recent selfless act occurred during the holidays for a patient in P5. The individual in her care was hospitalized for over a week leading up to Christmas, and was not going to be able to complete her holiday shopping for her family. Without hesitation, Marti leapt to action and encouraged her unit and physical therapy to “adopt” this patient’s family for the holidays. She raised $140 to purchase toys, pajamas, books, food and blankets. The unit wrapped the gifts and gave them to the patient before she left JPS demonstrating the true spirit of the season.
She introduced the “Let’s CHAT” method to her team during shift huddle to improve bedside reporting and increase staff ownership of their roles and dedication to the patient experience. This project aids nurses in assessing patient complaints and communicating health information effectively to the physician.
“She is very motivated and she has a contagious behavior that spreads to the staff,” Milton said. Marti knows the value of creating a sense of community at JPS, and she engages others in positive change.
Susan Robinson, LVN
Consistency is critical for Susan Robinson, an LVN in 2 North. Her nominator Katrina Wilkins credits her for treating all patients equally and respectfully as if they are an extension of her family. Susan exemplifies the JPS mission by ensuring that she always delivers quality care to her patients. She makes them feel as comfortable as possible from the beginning by checking the patient’s room before their arrival, then greeting the patient and welcoming and including their family members in the conversation when they are in the room.
“She treats every patient as if they were her children or part of her family,” said Wilkins. “She gives 150 percent to her patient care to ensure that they have the best experience while here at JPS, whether she's a first time mom or a returning patient.” She wants to be sure that when the patient leaves the hospital they will be talking about not only the care they received from her but from all the personnel the patient came into contact with while here at JPS.
Robinson is a top earner of “WOW!” cards in her unit. Patients most often comment on her exceptional customer service, attentiveness and compassion. She also received recognition from the Lactation Department for her dedication to breastfeeding support for her patients.
Melissa Cook, RN
Melissa Cook’s commitment to quality takes her far beyond the halls of her own Cardiovascular Progressive Care Unit. She is a team member on three DSRIP projects — initiatives funded by the state’s Medicaid 1115 Waiver to improve healthcare delivery — focused on preventing costly hospital-acquired infections that kill thousands of patients across the country each year.
“Melissa has a take-charge attitude that enables her to accept challenges and aid in sustained process change,” said manager Nancy Radtke.
The sepsis DSRIP team has implemented process improvements credited with cutting the sepsis mortality rate at JPS in half since 2012. Cook is also on the CAUTI and CLABSI teams at JPS, working on protocols to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections and central line-associated bloodstream infections.
She’s also on the hospital’s Infection Control, EPIC End User, Safety and Quality committees, as well as Nursing’s Web page committee, working on nurse-friendly format changes. On her unit, she is FIT tester, safety officer and EPIC super-user. She developed her unit’s “Welcome to P4” brochure for patients, with feedback from P4’s unit council (which she co-chairs,) and coordinates the unit’s newsletter.
None of this takes away from patient care, Radtke said, sharing content of a recent WOW! written by a patient. “Above and beyond duty,” patient B.B. wrote. “She hand-washed my clothes for me …. She is here when I need her and she exudes excellence.”
Jorge Ortiz, RN, BSN
Jorge’s manager gets a lot of comments from patients about him, and they all sound a lot like this: “He is a wonderful nurse — so caring and lots of patience. Don’t let him get away! I am so happy and proud of the JPS family and the hospital, too. With great thanks, RLS.”
“This patient feedback and WOW card is a common theme for Jorge,” manager Stephen Heinrich wrote in Jorge’s nomination. “His efforts reflect on the entire JPS family and hospital.”
Jorge works in the Clinical Decision Unit (former Observation,) where there’s plenty of competition for highest patient satisfaction score. “His patient feedback is consistently at the top of the rankings,” Heinrich wrote. “Every single patient, visitor, guest, employee and coworker is ALWAYS treated with courtesy and care. His attitude is always positive, whether he is being presented with multiple challenging situations or the day is flowing smoothly. Staff have never witnessed him having a ‘bad day’ no matter what challenges he may be having at work or home.”
A staunch patient advocate — “a true servant leader at the bedside,” Henrich says —Jorge looks out for his co-workers, as well. “He serves his coworkers by coming in to work frequently on short notice if coverage is needed. He floats to other departments with a positive attitude, ready to learn and help.”
Anthony Blevins, RN, BSN, CEN, LP
Anthony’s 12 years of experience in nursing includes six years as a flight nurse. Before that, he was a paramedic and an EMT, giving him a unique perspective on patient care — one that proved invaluable for a patient found unresponsive on the loading dock, on the north side of the building across the street and a significant distance from the Emergency Department.
Anthony was first on the scene following the code blue call on the stat line, and initiated chest compressions as other team members arrived, recalled nurse Jessica Cash. “The scene became somewhat chaotic, but Anthony stayed calm and provided structural organization to a high-stress situation. He facilitated efficient transfer to the emergency room, ensuring that all ACLS protocols were followed, and stayed with the patient throughout the 30-minute resuscitation effort, working with the primary nurse and physicians.”
The patient survived and was moved to the ICU in stable condition. “If not for Anthony’s expert assessment, immediate recognition of an emergent situation and appropriate response, this patient would likely have not survived,” said Cash.
“This is just one of many examples,” Cash said, “of how Anthony’s knowledge and experience, along with his ability to stay calm and lead during high-stress situations, produces the best possible outcomes for patients. Simply put, Anthony is the nurse everyone wants around when something goes bad.”
Shannon Thompson, RN, BSN
Shannon is never content with a process that works. “She is always trying to improve and raise our standards for our patients,” says nurse nominator Amy Rimmer. “She is always brainstorming new ways to improve how we do things on 2 North to improve our patient experience.” That includes picking up her patients’ medications from the outpatient pharmacy, saving them from waiting in line at discharge. “One day, she was really busy taking care of a patient who had been calling her constantly. She hadn’t had her lunch yet and had not pumped yet (and if you know anything about breastfeeding, you know how important that is.) The patient was ambulatory, as was her family, but this patient requested assistance getting her prescriptions. Shannon went downstairs, waited in line and brought the medication back to her patient.”
Angela Lightfoot, LVN
All of Angela’s patients feel as though they are her only one, says nominator Terrie Lynn Estes, nurse practitioner in Internal Medicine. “She goes above and beyond her duty as a nurse to make them feel special, demonstrating that she is concerned about their needs. She treats every patient as if they are the only one she is caring for that day. No rush. All of them get her equal time and commitment.” She also maintains professional boundaries. “She recently lost the father of her daughter,” Estes recalls. “She came to work daily, kept a smile on her face and love in her heart for evey patient she cared for, never changing her positive outlook. Patients never knew the struggles she and her daughter were suffering …. She is pure joy to work with.”
Jansuda Sukmungsa, RN
Jan’s degree of skill and attention means she is often assigned the sickest patients in the ICU. “She keeps her patients SAFE,” said nurse nominator Ann Wynne. She is equally good with her patients’ families. “She explains procedures and prognosis in a manner that they understand, which means taking time to ensure all questions and concerns are answered in a compassionate and kind — but realistic — way.” And that’s not easy. “It takes practice and experience to tell a family member their loved one is not going to make it, or that a difficult, painful decision has to be made,” said Wynn, recalling listening in as Jan explained to a mother what to expect during her son’s recovery. “The mom told me later how wonderful Jan was and how grateful she was that her son had been brought to JPS. This is a mom who will go out into the community and spread the word.”
Gwendolyn Woods, RN, BSN
Gwendolyn works at JPS Health Center-Cypress, where she reaches out to patients who have been to the Emergency Department or Urgent Care repeatedly. Do they know, she asks, that Cypress sees walk-ins? They don’t have to wait in the ED or Urgent Care for non-emergencies. “A lot of the patients come in so happy that they don’t have to go to the hospital and wait,” says nominator Sonja Wilson. And when they come in, Gwendolyn treats them with compassion, love and respect — even if it’s time to go home. Wilson recalls the night a patient came in after Cypress closed. She had been asked to leave a shelter and had nowhere to go. Diabetic, she was in need of medication and was suffering severe anxiety. In time, the patient agreed to go to the hospital and come back for follow-up after discharge. “Gwendolyn went out of her way to take care of one of the JPS family members,” says Wilson.