In their search for a special way to celebrate Brigham nurses for their extraordinary care and compassion, Neuroscience Intermediate Care Unit nurses Christine Tower, BSN, RN, and Rachel Ann Hurd, BSN, RN, came across the DAISY Award program.
Now implemented at more than 2,700 health care facilities in more than a dozen countries, the program was established in 1999 by the Barnes family to thank nurses at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance who provided compassionate care for their son, Patrick, before he passed away due to complications from an autoimmune disease.
Run locally by a nurse-led committee at participating institutions, the award program accepts nominations from patients, families and staff. DAISY Award winners are honored in their unit during a surprise celebration with their colleagues. Traditionally, winners and their colleagues enjoy cinnamon buns during the award presentation as a tribute to Patrick’s favorite treat, which he had shared with his nurses.
The program seemed like a wonderful fit for the Brigham, said Tower and Hurd, who soon became BWH’s DAISY Award coordinators and launched a pilot on Tower 10CD. On Oct. 23, the DAISY Award committee surprised the first recipient at the Brigham, Lorelei Dwyer, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, with a special celebration.
During the award presentation, Maddy Pearson, MSN, MA, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services, read to attendees a patient letter that served as Dwyer’s nomination.
“The one hundred little things you did made such a difference,” the patient wrote. “I truly believe my outcome would not have been as good without you there for me, physically and mentally.”
Dwyer, a weekend night-shift nurse, was moved by the tribute and invited her colleagues to share the recognition.
“I’m honored, but the award really speaks to what nurses do at the bedside every day,” Dwyer said. “It’s nice to be reminded of how we can touch people’s lives and make a difference.”
Reflecting on why Dwyer was deserving of the recognition, Tower said: “Lorelei truly exemplifies what it means to be a nurse: caring, empathetic and goes above and beyond for those she cares for. Her heart and soul pours out while providing the most exceptional care to her patients.”
Added Mary Pennington, MS, RN, Dwyer’s nurse director: “She is an expert neuroscience nurse and provides care with deep compassion for each of her patients understanding their needs as unique individuals. Her exceptional care is well known among her colleagues and sets a standard of excellence for us all.”
Get Involved or Nominate a Colleague
The BWH DAISY Award committee is recruiting nurses from each division to join the selection committee. Each month, the committee will read blind nominations – with the nurse nominees’ names redacted – and select a group of nominees to be given to a steering committee for final selection.
By the end of October, each unit will have a DAISY Award wall with nomination forms and a box for submissions. Patients, families and staff can also nominate an extraordinary nurse at brighamandwomens.org/DaisyAward or via email at BWHDAISY@bwh.harvard.edu.