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San Juan Regional Medical Center has partnered with the DAISY Foundation, an international recognition program, to honor the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day.
The DAISY Foundation stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem, and was formed as a not-for-profit organization by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at the age of 33 of complications of an autoimmune disease. The nursing care he received in the hospital profoundly impacted his family, and they created the foundation to honor Patrick’s memory and thank the incredible nurses who do so much for so many people.
Say thank you to a nurse today by nominating them for a DAISY Award.
2023 DAISY Recipients
Sharmayne Delgarito, RN
August 2023 Honoree
Sharmayne Delgarito is a nurse on the Medical Unit who consistently shows extraordinary care for her patients. She was caring for a Navajo patient and found out they were brother and sister by clan. The two soon formed a bond and Sharmayne spent time listening to his stories and easing his loneliness.
“Sharmayne consistently shows this level of personal care. She is always going above and beyond to make her patients feel at home and cared for and I know this night made a meaningful difference in this patient’s life,” Medical Unit Assistant Manager Allison Herrera said.
“It means a lot to me because when you go into this job you pour your whole heart into it. I came here to give my all to these patients. I know how it feels to be in their situation, and I just want to be the light for those people,” Sharmayne said.
Nicole Dunkle, RN
August 2023 Honoree
Nicole Dunkle, a nurse on the Cardiology Unit, was caring for an elderly patient who had a pacemaker put in. All this patient wanted was to go home to take care of his wife. Nicole took the time to get down to eye level him, hold his hand, tell him that she understood his worry and frustration and then explained to him what could happen to him if he went home as sick as he was.
“The amount of time Nicole spent making sure he understood everything, the patience and compassion she showed all of us, makes her so worthy of any reward you can give her. I absolutely love her, and she will always be my DAISY,” the patient’s daughter said.
“We all struggle at times so it was important that we showed him the support he needed to take care of himself so he could take care of his wife,” Nicole said. Of receiving a DAISY® Award, she added, “It’s unbelievable. It’s affirming, it’s honoring.”
Jason Aikele, RN
Jason Aikele is a nurse in the Cardiac Cath Lab who goes above and beyond, not only in the care he provides to patients, but also in the Team Accountability he displays to his fellow caregivers. He is always willing to pick up extra shifts wherever needed and has covered 228 hours above his requirements in the Cath Lab in multiple other units since January. He relieves coworkers so they can take a lunch and serves as a clinical coach for nurses who are new to our organization. One example of his thoughtfulness is when he noticed the fish tank in pediatrics was green. He took it upon himself to come back and clean the tank completely and even offered to help pick out a new fish tank and set it up when pediatrics moved to its newly renovated location. “Jason’s selfless personality and dedication to his peers and patients at SJRMC holds to the highest standards of nursing care and SJRMC’s core values,” Cardiac Cath Lab Manager Terry Chapman said.
“I appreciate the recognition,” Aikele said. “I like working with the people, the team. There are people that care here and that is why I became a nurse – to help others.”
Jenny Okumura, RN
Jenny was the primary nurse for a young patient whose progressive weakness had made her unable to walk or care for herself. Even though she had an extremely busy patient load, with multiple emergencies throughout the unit, she took the time to ask for help to get her patient to the bathroom to give her some privacy and a sense of normalcy. “This may seem like a very trivial or basic task, but to me, it was above and beyond. It would have been very easy for Jenny to coax her patient into using the bedside commode or bedpan. It would have been easy for Jenny to tell her patient, ‘I'm sorry, I'm too busy right now.’ It would have been easy for Jenny to call Physical or Occupational Therapy and try to delegate this task. But Jenny doesn't take the easy way out. Jenny advocates for her patient's needs,” said Assistant ICU Manager Morgan VerHaar. “Sometimes it is the littlest things that make the most impact.”
“Critical care has not always been my specialty. It was something I jumped blindly into a few years ago. The ICU team took me under their wing and has always made me feel at home. We have been through the thick of it together. I value everyone here and everything we get to learn from each other,” Okumura said.
Alicia McGee, RN
Alicia McGee, a nurse on the Intensive Care Unit, was taking care of an elderly patient who was admitted with multiple serious health issues, including pneumonia. While the patient’s pneumonia was getting better with antibiotics, her mental status was rapidly deteriorating. Alicia was concerned it might be a stroke and acted quickly, but a CT scan ruled it out. However, the patient was becoming more unresponsive. Alicia did some research and found out the antibiotic the patient was on can, in rare cases, cause neurotoxicity. She voiced her concern; the patient was taken off the antibiotic and her mental status greatly improved.
“I thank God for dedicated nurses like Alicia,” the patient’s daughter said in her nomination. “My mom received wonderful care and was able to come home for us to love and enjoy for a while longer.”
“My family has been in Farmington all their lives. I grew up here so it’s nice to work here and serve my community. I love the team I work with. They are always supportive, and we help each other out,” Alicia said.
Wendy Joe, RN
Wendy was caring for an elderly Navajo patient who was very nervous about being in the hospital. Wendy helped calm her fears with her happy attitude and her ability to speak Navajo, explaining the patient’s medical condition and treatment in a way she could understand. After the patient’s discharge, Wendy followed up with the patient’s husband, even calling the pharmacy to get a price estimate on medications.
“She went above and beyond. We don’t have many nurses who speak Navajo or take the time to do these things, but Wendy did, and my grandma didn’t want to leave the hospital,” the patient’s granddaughter said in her submission.
The patient’s family wanted to share how much their grandma loved Wendy. She said that Wendy would hold her hand and sing to her in Navajo to help keep her calm.
“We are grateful for these precious memories. It made us think highly of the facility to know you have special employees like Wendy who take the time to make a difference in someone’s life,” the family said.
2022 DAISY Recipients
2021 DAISY Recipients