Daisy Award Winners


Claire Grebing Daisy AwardClaire Grebing, RN
Emergency Services

Claire Grebing, a registered nurse in Emergency Services, received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses at a ceremony on Oct. 27. Also nominated were Amanda Williams, Oncology, and Emily Montgomery, OB.

This international recognition is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the exceptional, compassionate nursing care that nurses provide patients and families every day.

Claire was nominated by a couple who sadly experienced a miscarriage. The patient writes, “On August 24, I presented to the Emergency Room for bleeding with pregnancy. Thankfully, everything turned out to be ok. On August 25, I came back to the Emergency Room for increasing bleeding with my pregnancy, now 9 weeks. Claire was my nurse, and while I didn’t need care by means of medications, IV, etc., I received overwhelming emotional support from her. She spoke calmly, directly, and explained to me what the plan was, knowing that I had all the same tests the day prior.

“This time, however, my ultrasound couldn’t find a heartbeat, and I was told I was having a miscarriage. Dr. Miller gave me the news, but Claire’s bedside manner following this was outstanding. She entered the room to find both my husband and I completely sobbing, and I asked her, ‘What am I supposed to do now?’

“She sat on the edge of the bed, rubbed my arm, and told me very calmly, ‘You do whatever you need to do.’ A page went overhead that she had a phone call, but she didn’t leave the room. She sat there and walked my (and my husband) through the emotions we might encounter over the coming weeks. She told me if I wanted to go to work, go to work. If I wanted to sit on the couch and cry, I could do that. She showed compassion for me, a total stranger, in a way I only see from friends.

Claire told me that I am allowed to feel any way that I feel, and that emotions with a miscarriage are wide and frequently changing, explaining that I may feel different ways every day but that NOBODY can fault me for any feelings and to handle my mental health any way that I needed to.

It has been 10 days since we lost our baby, but there hasn’t been a single day I haven’t heard Claire tell me, ‘Nobody can tell you how to feel’ and to ‘take one day at a time.’”

Julie Brockmire Daisy AwardJulie Brockmire, BSN, RN

Julie consulted the Inpatient Palliative Care nurse as she was very concerned about her patient and family. Julie had spent over 30 minutes of a busy morning on 5H taking time with her patient and family working through their questions and concerns. She reached out to the Palliative Care nurse as well as other providers on the patient care team. As the Palliative Care nurse came to the bedside, she immediately understood Julie's concern for her patient as it appeared that this patient's condition was deteriorating. Her hospital course had been long and her health failing for several months prior to hospitalization. Yet Julie tenaciously advocated for her patient. We immediately notified the family to come to visit and notified the patient-- who when hearing the news "smiled the biggest smile." As the family arrived the patient did rebound somewhat and was able to clearly articulate her wishes in the presence of her family. She was transitioned to comfort measures and multiple family members were allowed to come to the bedside to be with her because of the empathy and love Julie exhibits over and over for patients and families entrusted to her care. Julie's selfless and tireless advocacy for this patient enabled her to have time with her children and grandchildren.

Sarah Tanner Daisy AwardSarah Tanner, RN
Neuro Unit

Sarah Tanner, a registered nurse on 4-East, Neuro, has received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

This international recognition is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the exceptional, compassionate nursing care that nurses provide patients and families every day.

Sarah was nominated by a family grateful for the care their sister received at Southeast Hospital on the Neuro Unit.

The patient’s sister, Rose, noted that her sister Maxine was transferred to Southeast from a nearby community and was not doing well. She writes, “I have encountered some really nice nurses here, but there’s one in particular, Sarah. She works nights and boy, does she have her hands full. Sarah did everything she was supposed to do and so much more. She answered my questions, she was respectful and nice every single time she came in whether she was busy or not.

“Not only am I grateful to Sarah but to this hospital for all you have done for my sister. I wasn’t sure about Max making it, but you all made the difference in my sister’s life. Thank you for giving her back to me. And thank you, Sarah, for being there for my big sister. May God bless and keep you, Sarah, and the staff at Southeast.”

Other nominees for the DAISY Award were Jennifer Mueller, Emergency Services, and Jenna Rubel, Pediatrics.

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at SoutheastHEALTH. Honorees receive a certificate of commendation along with a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture titled “A Healer’s Touch,” hand carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Tamra Decker Daisy AwardTamra Decker, RN
Neuroscience Unit

My 53-year-old husband was a patient for 4 months. There were many ups and downs during his stay. I have never been through an ordeal as serious as this. During this time, Tamra was always available to me. She was willing to share her experience with me. She always made sure I understood the care my husband was getting. She made sure I was able to be involved with his care because she could see that I needed to help be his caregiver. She explained trach care to me. Showed me how to properly turn him.

My husband was in a lethargic state and could not respond. She always addressed him when she was caring for him. It was very important to her that she get to know him. She asked one day, "What was he like before he got sick?" That meant so much because she wants to know her patients. He went several days where he did not respond and then the day he started to respond, she cried tears of joy with me.

Tamra was always ready to give a hug, say a prayer, or even bring me a snack. Her love for patients and their families is so evident. She always took the time to make us feel important and cared for. She is very diligent with patient care. She questioned the doctor about his medicine and got doses changed to help his response. I can continue to sing her praises. She is a true DAISY Nurse.

Heather Moore Daisy AwardHeather Moore, RN
5-H, Surgical Progressive

Heather Moore, a registered nurse on 5-H, Surgical Progressive, has received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

This international recognition is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the exceptional, compassionate nursing care that nurses provide patients and families every day.

SoutheastHEALTH Chief Nursing Officer Gina Leath presented the award to Moore and expressed the organization’s gratitude to nurses who go above and beyond on a daily basis. Moore was nominated for the DAISY Award by the wife of a patient who was unexpectedly admitted to the Hospital while working hundreds of miles from home.

Anna, the patient’s wife noted that the situation “left my husband alone and afraid. He was having horrible nightmares and Heather was a great comfort to us both. She explained what was happening in a clear and easy to understand manner. She always greeted us with a smile and I never felt like a bother. As a paramedic and LPN, I know how busy she must have been, yet she never seemed to be rushed.

Being over 450 miles from home having a nurse with big shoulders to cry and lean on made all the difference in the world. I assure you that Heather is one of THE BEST nurses I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I truly feel we won the lottery with her.”

Other nominees for the DAISY Award over the past quarter were Connie Jackson, Oncology; Sara Simmons, Neuroscience; Gayle Unverferth, NICU; Chris Inman, CTU; and Jessica Krauss, Medical Telemetry.

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at SoutheastHEALTH. Honorees receive a certificate of commendation along with a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture titled “A Healer’s Touch,” hand carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Nurse Leaders

Lance West Daisy Leader AwardLance West, MSHM, BSN, RN, CCRN-K
Patient Care Services

For over 20 years, The DAISY Foundation has been recognizing the compassion and skill direct care nurses bring to their patients every day. The executive leaders, directors, managers, clinical staff leaders who supervise these outstanding nurses do not often consider their roles as eligible for The DAISY Award. However, they fully support recognition for their direct care staff as they deeply appreciate and respect the care that staff nurses provide. As the healthcare landscape becomes more complex, with increasing demands on Nurse Leaders, we believe that those who create an environment of compassion and recognition for others strongly deserve to be recognized themselves. Despite working under tremendous pressure, through their leadership, these Nurse Leaders provide a haven of safety for staff, both physically and emotionally. Leaders provide a setting where compassion is valued, and staff, in turn, treat patients and their families with deep humanity.

This leader has been an employee at Southeast since 2003, an RN since 2007, a nurse Leader since 2013, and became Director of Patient Care Services in 2018.

Role Model for Compassion

Lance has been acknowledged by one of his direct reports as "providing great feedback and in a caring and compassionate way. He is always there to lend a helping hand and leads the inpatient nurse managers with great skill and grace. He is very much appreciated and his greatest skill is communication. He always communicates with us and takes time to explain the reasoning behind initiatives."

Lance spends countless hours talking with patients and families helping them through difficult times. Patients and families react differently in stressful situations and may complain about what is happening with their loved ones. Whether family members can agree about next steps with their loved one, having a hard time letting go, "upset about visitation restrictions" (recently experiencing anger by a family member on the phone), Lance has a way that he speaks with compassion to calm families' fears, provide direct information to aid in decision making and support the patient care team through difficult patient/family matters. Through his compassionate communication skills, he successfully deescalates stressful situations and supports the patient and family at the same time. (The same family member who was angry at him called back to the nursing unit to find Lance so she could apologize for her behavior as she was dealing with a stressful situation.)

Role Models Behavior Perceived Extraordinary

An example from one of his leader peers "From the very get-go he was highly integrated into the opening, transition, training, etc. for the COVID unit. It was long challenging days were and it was an ever-changing process. He led his team with confidence while being in the mix of everyone, leading within the trenches. He kept the team calm, confident, and focused. He was integral in key processes to make our COVID unit a success. He stopped in every morning to the command center, he was quick to go and respond and assess any time there was an issue that arose. He was an advocate for his team and patients all the way through.

Creates an Environment that Fosters Care and Compassion

Lance leads with confidence. He empowers his team to lead and provides the necessary tools for them to succeed. Lance consistently rounds with his team to address concerns, provide feedback, and offer support to build and engage the team.

Creates an Environment Where Attributes of Trust, Compassion, Mutual Respect, Continued Professional Development and Ethical Behavior are Modeled and Supported

Lance consistently promotes a trusting environment. He is sure to explain process changes and "The Why" and provide honest feedback. He always says "Do the right thing for the patient" keeping patient front and center in the decisions we make. He is very supportive of the professional development of the team, working with the team on the Nursing Professional Enhancement Program and the PCT advancement levels to promote professional development. For our first year of the Professional Enhancement Program, we have over 85 participants. He is a strong proponent of nursing certifications and advancement and supports the team to provide the necessary certification prep courses.

Motivates Staff with a Shared Vision and Enthusiasm to Achieve Better Outcomes for Themselves and for Their Patients

Lance promotes a positive and caring environment for his leaders and staff, who then feel empowered and supported. He actively participates in the Nursing Leadership Council, Nursing Practice Council, Several Committees, Performance Improvement teams, and collaborative projects to investigate and provide feedback to improve outcomes. Lance is always quick "on his I-Pad" to research evidence-based practice and provide input to the team to aid in decision making that is best for patient outcomes and experience.

Is a Mentor to Staff

Lance spends much time with his Nurse Managers and Clinical Staff Leaders to promote their development and provide mentorship to grow in their career. He is always willing to listen, provide positive, yet direct information that is always encouraging, promoting self-confidence, and supporting the staff.

Accessible, Available and Responsive to the Need of Others Encouraging Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Individuals and with the Context of Teams

Lance has a large span of influence as Director of Patient Care Services. Through leader rounding and the numerous teams, he is involved with, he makes himself accessible and is very responsive to the needs of the staff, patients, and their families. He empowers his team to provide solutions, acknowledges their efforts, and gives always credit to his team for their contributions.

Promotes and Enhances the Image of Nursing within the Organization, the Community, and the Profession

Lance is definitely a role model for the image of nursing. He leads by example, fostering a positive, uplifting environment, where people want to be on his team, where ideas are encouraged from all members of the team. He "jumps in" to patient care as needed, whether that is being a Rapid Response Nurse, Code Blue Nurse, IV nurse, Dialysis Nurse, or tech to name a few. He never complains, always has a smile, very professional and respectful in all that he does, and funny! I will have to say, "The best part of the day is to hear Lance laugh across the hall". It is very uplifting to work in an environment where people are caring and compassionate, enjoy working together, and laugh!

Thank you Lance for leading by example and that is why you are the first DAISY Nurse Leader Award Honoree at SoutheastHEALTH!



COVID Daisy Team

Chris Hawkins BSN, RN; Billy Thatcher RCP, RRT; Lauren Thomas ACHE, MSHM, BS, MT (ASCP); Fred Millner; Jean Schwarz, PT; Carol Jordan MSN, RN, CIC; Scott Bond MSN, RN, CEN; Casey Hull BSN, RN; Amelia Stover BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC

I can't think of a better deserving team than the COVID team that took the initiative to work through the recommendations of the CDC, receiving information from the command center, multiple COVID briefings, and researched what their peers and associations were doing to respond to this new unknown virus. This team took the information to the frontline team, helped them process the changes, calming fears, answering numerous questions, and providing education (quickly I may add) to the team.

There are many situations and scenarios that have played out over the past several months. A few that come to mind are Chris and Billy who were managing the COVID unit and working with Scott Bond and the ED team determining intubation guidelines and protocols, COVID order sets, transport routes from the ED to the COVID unit to name a few. Billy took the initiative and worked with the team on COVID intubation drills to prepare the staff.

In addition, Lauren was busy working with vendors to secure testing capabilities to improve turnaround time for COVID testing and assisting the team with testing criteria and guidelines.

Carol, our fearless Infection Control Manager, has been the resource for us all to provide guidance on the latest CDC info to support evidence-based practice in all of the decisions we make as a team.

Fred who has led his team to provide spray down of the units, and worked with his staff through their fears of this new virus. We appreciate all of our housekeepers and how hard they work to keep us all safe.

Jean who has worked in the COVID unit supporting our patients hit so hard with this disease that causes significant weakness.

Amelia and Casey have been the clinical staff leads of the dedicated COVID units. They have provided guidance, leadership, and education to the team.

I appreciate Chris' tireless efforts over the past several months to provide oversight of the COVID units. He continues to work with physicians, peers, and staff to ensure that our patients receive the very best care and that the staff are supported. Chris enjoys celebrating the milestones of our patients in the COVID unit who get off the ventilator and are discharged home. He will even come in on the weekend to organize and celebrate in reaching this important milestone.

I have quickly given you some brief examples of the teamwork and collaboration that has occurred over the past 5 months. But the most important highlight is how this collaboration has affected patient care outcomes. It was exciting to see one of our patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who had been on the ventilator for 20 days and spent a total of 57 days with us, return home with his family. He left smiling and said, "I love you guys!" "Thank you for everything you've done for me. It looked like this day would never get here, but it did, thanks to the good Lord and a lot of prayers" His family said the care that he received was "Exceptional" and "Everyone was so nice and so caring".

Lastly, in addition to the 2020 DAISY COVID Team Award Recipients as just mentioned, I want to also give thanks to the following: all of our physicians, Dr. Lavelle and Dr. Jiang, the Hospitalist team, Intensivists, Surgeons, Obstetricians, Vascular team, Cardiologists, Anesthesia, and our CMO Dr. Janzow who are integral to the entire team and organization.

I also want to thank the COVID command center leadership team. Some I have already mentioned, but want to include Jennifer Hamilton-Gilpin, Jennifer Deschenes, Lance West, Lori Merritt, and Alicia Poulin, Keith May, and the Executive Team. Dr. Maria Sudak, DHA was instrumental in the start-up of the Command Center, laying the foundation and structure of our COVID team, answering numerous questions and calls, and a significant resource to us all. I also want to thank Diane Brock and Melissa who have worked to provide a serenity room for our staff to step away and relax for a moment and other treats to support our staff and for putting this DAISY event together today. We really appreciate the entire team's expertise and contribution during these unprecedented times.