Four Nurses from Swedish Earn The DAISY Foundation Award for Extraordinary Patient Care

Four Nurses from Swedish Earn The DAISY Foundation Award for Extraordinary Patient Care

SEATTLE, Dec. 9, 2011 – Four nurses from three different Swedish campuses were presented this morning with The DAISY Foundation Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national program to recognize top-notch nurses for the important role they play in patient care and making a difference in people's lives.

The DAISY Award presentation ceremony took place in the Education Conference Center at Swedish/Cherry Hill.

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little-known but not uncommon autoimmune disease. The care Barnes and his family received inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families.

UnitedHealthcare’s support of this annual effort brings total grant contributions to more than $149,000 to the DAISY Foundation since 2006. Swedish joins 97 other medical centers around the country where The DAISY Award is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.

“When Patrick was ill, we were awed by the skill, care and compassion he – and we, his family – received,” said Bonnie Barnes, president and co-founder of The DAISY Foundation. “We created The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2001 to say thank you to nurses around the country, as we believe they are truly ‘unsung heroes.’ We thank UnitedHealthcare for helping us acknowledge the remarkable work nurses do every day.”

Each month, nurses in more than 800 participating hospitals across the United States are nominated by their colleagues and patients to receive The DAISY Award. The honorees receive a certificate commending outstanding clinical care and a designation of being an ‘Extraordinary Nurse.’ The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” The honorees are also given a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

Swedish honored four nurses with the DAISY Award. The nominees and winners each exemplify the tenets of the DAISY Award: social responsibility, service excellence, ethical behavior, safe patient care, quality care, and continual education. They include (Quotes taken from their individual nomination forms):

Ruby Vandyck, R.N., Swedish/First Hill

“Ruby works in a very trying setting. Recently, she cared for an addict, a morbidly obese patient with circulation issues, and a woman who was dying. The kindness, compassion, and care she showed her patients were overwhelming to me. She always took the time to ask how they were doing and praised her colleagues (including her managers). Ruby assured me she loved her job of 35+ years.”

Melissa Bustamante, R.N., Swedish/Ballard

“Melissa is an exceptional nurse. She provides the highest quality care to her patients. Melissa has mentored new nurses into the profession with passion, expertise, organization, strength and calm. She is particularly great with kids. Her empathy shines in every interaction with their parents. Because Melissa takes her work very seriously and is always thinking about ‘how can we make this better?’"

Lorena Taleon, R.N., Cherry Hill

“Lorena is committed to what is best for the patients in the emergency department. She is always asking if other staff members need help and jumps in to take care of critical patients. Her patients state that she is the best from start of care, to discharge, admission or transfer of care.”

Ella Hisaw, R.N., Ballard

“Ella always goes above and beyond. She puts patients first and their comfort is her first priority. Ella is known for her vast knowledge, her dependability and support of her team. New nurses are so thankful to be able to work with her. She is respected by her nursing and M.D. partners. Ella is a team player, a leader and a role model.”

“UnitedHealthcare is proud to support The DAISY Foundation in recognizing talented nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty,” said David Hansen, CEO for UnitedHealthcare Northwest Region. “In spite of the current nationwide shortage, nurses are part of the foundation to help people stay well, get well or live with illness. We congratulate the nurses at Swedish for providing exemplary care to their patients.”

Barnes added, “When we created The DAISY Foundation, we could not have anticipated that our program would come to be regarded by some of the best hospitals in America as a strategic tool for nurse recruitment and retention – two key elements in managing the nursing shortage.”

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About The DAISY Foundation

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established in 2000 by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. The DAISY Foundation supports the nursing profession with recognition programs for bedside nurses and nursing faculty and with grants for research and evidence-based practice projects conducted by nurses. As of March 2011, more than 8,000 nurses at more than 800 hospitals have been recognized with The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses. For more information, visit www.daisyfoundation.org.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health-care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 37 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit www.uhc.com.   

About Swedish

Swedish has grown over the last 101 years to become the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area with 11,000 employees, more than 2,800 physicians and 1,700 volunteers. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); freestanding emergency departments and ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; Swedish Visiting Nurse Services; and Swedish Medical Group – a network of more than 70 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. In addition to general medical and surgical care including robotic-assisted surgery, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.swedishcares.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter or www.twitter.com/swedish.  

In 2007, Swedish embarked upon an ambitious $100 million fundraising campaign. Campaign investments are used to support a wide variety of initiatives throughout the health-care system, including cancer, heart and vascular, women and children, neuroscience, and orthopedics as well as programs to support underserved populations. To date, the campaign has secured gifts totaling more than $82 million. For more information or to support the campaign, visit www.campaignforswedish.org.

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