Daisy Award Program Returns to UChicago Medicine

Melissa Chiu, RN, BSN, Daisy Award winner, July 2014

Melissa Chiu, RN, BSN, Daisy Award winner, July 2014

The University of Chicago Medicine has re-launched the DAISY Award program, a monthly recognition for nurses who provide extraordinary care.

The hospital participated in the DAISY program in 2012 and re-activated the monthly recognition this spring. Since then, six winners have been announced, including Melissa Chiu, RN, BSN.

Chiu was nominated by a patient who’d recently had spine surgery.

“Melissa’s incredibly positive attitude and friendly disposition helped alleviate my anxiety and made my recovery as restful as possible,” the patient wrote in the nomination. “She not only helped with my immediate need but was forward looking and suggested other things she could do to comfort me.”

The DAISY award was established in 1999 by the family of Patrick Barnes, a 33-year-old who died from an auto-immune disease. During his hospitalization, Barnes’ family said they “experienced the best of nursing.” After his death, they decided to create the nursing award and foundation in Barnes’ honor, dubbing it DAISY as an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

Since then, the award has become a national recognition of nursing excellence that’s presented to RNs and APNs at more than 1,700 health care facilities across the country.

The award honors nurses who provide clinical expertise, kindness and courtesy, professionalism, interdisciplinary work, and extraordinary care. Recipients are nominated by peers, health care providers and colleagues, patients or a patient’s family member and are chosen by members of the hospital’s Employment Engagement Committee, which reviews and votes on each nomination.

“It’s a really important award because it acknowledges someone whose practice is extraordinary,” said Rhonda Blender, MSN, RN-BC, Nursing Development Consultant at UChicago Medicine who is also the chair of the hospital’s DAISY Committee.

Recipients are surprised during a recognition ceremony during their shift and receive a certificate, a pin, and a hand-carved sculpture that’s called the Healer’s Touch. Their nursing colleagues in the unit also receive Cinnabon ™ rolls, which were Barnes’ favorite treat before his death.

Patients and families can find nomination forms through the Get Well Network in the Center for Care and Discovery and Comer Children’s Hospital. Nomination forms are available at:

  • Mitchell Hospital (including the Adult ED)
  • Comer ED
  • DCAM (available at each outpatient clinic registration desk upon request)
  • All clinical facility lobby desks
  • And available on request in the CCD and Comer facilities

The nomination form can also be downloaded from the hospital’s intranet page.

Nomination forms can be submitted in collection boxes located around the UChicago Medicine campus. They can be found at:

  • DCAM first floor lobby desk
  • Comer first floor lobby desk
  • Mitchell second floor lobby desk
  • Center for Care and Discover (CCD): lobby desks, east and west entrances
  • Center for Care and Discovery: 7th floor Sky Lobby at main desk
  • Billings Café: On the wall at the entrance to the cafeteria

The content of the boxes are removed twice a month and delivered to the chair of the DAISY Committee along with nominations received through Get Well Network TV. The nominations are then forwarded to the Employee Engagement Committee.

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