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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
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
Dilan Jones, RN
Dilan Jones is a nurse in the Childbirth Center. She was nominated by her patient who had been induced twice, but nothing was working. Due to the medication she’d been given, she was bed-bound and it was really starting to take a toll on her mental state. Dilan came on shift for the day and immediately took charge, laying out a plan to help her patient feel more like herself until she could get a c-section. Dilan let the patient get up and shower while she cleaned up her room, then they took a walk outside to the Healing Garden. “As a nurse myself, I know how hard it is to make every patient feel like their care is our main priority. But for her to come in and change my attitude about my situation in less than 30 minutes…. That is a talent I aspire to,” the patient said in her nomination.
“I’m so thankful I get the opportunity to be with patients and make a difference in people’s lives while they make a difference in my life,” Dilan said.
Thank you, Dilan, for making a difference when your patient needed it most.
Benjamin Stamets, RN Rebekah Stamets, RN
Rebekah and Benjamin Stamets are nurses in the ICU. They both played an integral role as part of the care team for an 80-year-old patient at the end of his life. The patient’s family submitted a nomination after seeing Rebekah and Benjamin working diligently with their father every day, doing what they could to ensure his comfort in his last days. They were also touched by Rebekah and Benjamin’s care and concern for the family as they took the time to help them understand what was going on. “Everything that was happening was new and frightening to us. Through it all Rebekah and Benjamin were there. They both obviously cared deeply for Dad. Their tireless, devoted and skilled passion for our Dad's wellbeing made a huge impression on our family,” the nomination said.
“It feels like a great honor that someone would recognize me. We just try to take care of people like we would want our own family members taken care of,” Rebekah said.
“It is very meaningful. I am glad my hard work has made a difference in somebody’s life,” Benjamin said.
Thank you, Rebekah and Benjamin, for caring not only for this patient but also helping his family through a very difficult time.
Emmy Melendez, RN
Emmy transferred from the Surgical Unit to the ICU/PCU in January 2022. Shortly after her orientation to critical care, she graciously offered to help her team and work a week of night shifts despite being new to the department and continuing to learn a new set of skills and management of critical patients. During one of those shifts, Emmy was called upon to help with a difficult conflict between patients who were involved in an accident where one allegedly harmed the other, one of whom she knew personally. With Sacred Trust calling on her to do what was right, Emmy was able to put any personal feelings aside and care for the patient with dignity.
“Emmy professionally and compassionately provided this patient with the care required, when she could have very easily walked away from the entire situation,” ICU Assistant Manager Morgan VerHaar said in her nomination.
“We all have private lives, but we have to leave all that at the entrance and be nurses full time, always, and provide the best care we can for them, hoping that whenever our family member comes in, that they receive the same quality care that we give,” Emmy said.
Thank you, Emmy, for treating patients with dignity and providing the best care you can, no matter the situation.
Morgan Attaway, RN
Morgan is a nurse in the Emergency Department. She was working when a patient, Joseph Fredella, came in with a serious injury to his hand. His wife Alicia said, “From the moment Morgan encountered Joseph she was kind, efficient, compassionate and also very intuitive.” Morgan realized how uncomfortable he was, especially with the sight of all his blood, and managed to take his mind away from his injury and calm him, all while in motion caring for him. “Morgan reassured him every step of the way in his care and explained everything and ensured Joseph understood. I am sure Morgan sees people with all kinds of injuries but to Joseph she made all the difference that day!” Alicia wrote in her nomination.
“Especially these last couple of years, it’s hard as healthcare worker sometimes to remember why we do this… so this is just affirmation for me that I am making a difference,” Morgan said.
Thank you, Morgan, for your intuition and knowing what your patient needed.
Susan Price, RN
Susan works in a Nursing Professional Development role. During the height of the pandemic, she took on additional responsibilities caring for COVID patients at our Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Clinic. One of those patients was so nervous and scared that she was at the point of walking out of the clinic. Then she saw Susan, who she had gotten to know over the years as a nurse and friend, and immediately felt a sense of calm.
“The greatest thing that Susan did was reach out and held my hand and made me feel comforted. I was very happy and blessed that this wonderful, caring person realized that I was scared and acknowledged that I needed that comfort,” the nomination said.
“I believe in our Core Values and providing that personalized care to our patients,” Susan said.
Thank you, Susan, for the compassionate, personalized care you provide in every situation.
Caleb Blair, RN
Caleb is a nurse in the Emergency Department. He was nominated by the mother of a 3-year-old who came in with a broken leg. “On top of being in pain, my daughter was so nervous to be in the hospital,” the mother said. “Caleb took care of her and made sure she was as comfortable as she could be and talked to her in a super calm tone to help her relax.”
Caleb said he did his best to reduce the child’s fears and let her know he was there to help. “Earning this award feels good, it helps me understand that I made the right choice as far as my profession and helps me know that I am doing some good in this world,” Caleb said.
Thank you, Caleb, for the caring way you are able to calm children while treating them in emergency situations.
Heather Robinson, RN
Heather was nominated by one of her fellow caregivers and nurse mentor. “If I was to choose a nurse to care for me, if I was hospitalized, I would choose Heather. The compassion and patience she shows to both patients and coworkers is beyond outstanding. She brightens up the unit with her upbeat demeanor and ‘for the team’ attitude. A busy shift does not hinder her from finding creative ways to meet the needs of her patients or their families,” he wrote in his nomination.
Heather not only works as a nurse in the ICU, she is also a charge nurse, a member of the Rapid Response Team, a preceptor and a member of the committee that brought the DAISY Awards® to San Juan Regional Medical Center. “It was definitely a surprise, very shocking. But I am just so honored that my coworker spent the time to say all those kind things about me,” Heather said.
Thank you, Heather, for the exceptional care you show to both your patients and fellow caregivers.
2021 DAISY Recipients
McKenzey Peter, RN
McKenzey was nominated by one of her nursing leaders, who said her compassion and empathy for her patients was evident right from the start of the nurse residency program.
“She was asked to hand in her shift report notes to her educator for review. Upon review of her report sheet, it was noted that she had made some notes on the back. There were descriptions of the patient’s likes and dislikes and how to best interact with the patient; she called the patient’s sister and asked questions about how to better care for her patient,” the nominator said.
“It’s good to know I’m making a difference when patients are having their worst time,” said McKenzey. “It feels good, it makes me realize why I became a nurse in the first place.”
Thank you, McKenzey, for the excellent care you provide to your patients.
Meghan Fuller, RN
Meghan was nominated by a patient who was hospitalized with chest pain. Upon the patient’s discharge, he had a lot of questions about his new medications. He called the hospital and spoke to Meghan, who told him to buy a pill box and call her back.
“She went over the meds one at a time to help me put the right ones, morning and night, in the right place. She told me to call back anytime if I needed more help. She made me feel better and safe. I can live longer for my wife and kids because of her. The hospital needs more people like her,” the patient’s nomination said.
“This is why I became a nurse,” Meghan said. “It’s been a long two years… knowing that I changed just one person makes it all that much better.”
Thank you, Meghan, for the detail and attention you provide to your patients.