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Cary cultivates DAISY program for nurses

CARIBOU, Maine — Cary Medical Center has begun an effort to honor nurses with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.  

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation, based in California, was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes.  Barnes died at 33 in 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease. The care he and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families.

“We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in the DAISY Award program.  Nurses are heroes every day. It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that,” said Chief Nursing Officer Paula Parent.

Cary’s first DAISY honoree is Karen McGregor, CNA, from the acute care unit.  

“CNAs are valuable members of our nursing team,” Parent said. “Our nursing leadership wanted to express our appreciation for all that our CNAs do for our patients and nursing team.”

Also selected were Heather L. Pelletier, RN, from the acute care unit, and Donna Campbell, LPN. “Heather was chosen not only for her nursing care but for her outstanding nursing leadership and team player role,” Parent said. “Donna was chosen for her extraordinary nursing care she provides all of her patients. She is a valued team member who is part of our intensive care unit.”

One day while Barnes was in the hospital, he asked his family to bring him a Cinnabon cinnamon roll plus enough for all the nurses in his unit.  With the help of Cinnabon’s franchise partners, The DAISY Foundation carries on this tradition by serving the rolls to all the nurses in the award recipient’s unit in thanks for everything they do for their patients and families.

“When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the superhuman work they do,” said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, president and co-founder of The DAISY Foundation. “The kind of work the nurses at Cary Medical Center are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Patients, families and colleagues may nominate nurses for the award. A committee of nurses at Cary selects the recipients. Each honoree will receive a certificate commending her or him for 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.”  

Honorees will also receive a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

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Submitted by the Community Relations and Development Office of Cary Medical Center.

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