New Nurse Recognition Program at Penn Highlands Healthcare

July 04, 2018

Deanna Beveridge, RN, coordinator of Penn Highlands Healthcare’s DAISY Award Committee, demonstrates how to submit a ballot to nominate a nurse for a DAISY Award.

Nurses are at the heart of any healthcare organization, and Penn Highlands Healthcare is no exception.

According to Rose Campbell, chief nursing officer for Penn Highlands, nurses develop an unmatched connection and trust with patients. 

 “Nurses wear many hats. They are there for patients when their loved ones cannot be; they are skilled and competent clinicians who dispense not only lifesaving treatments and medications, but also healthy doses of caring and compassion,” she said. “Even at the busiest of times, nurses make sure that the little things, which often mean the most, are not overlooked – providing needed information and education to patients and families, the holding of a hand, a cool washcloth on a forehead or simply a listening ear and words of comfort.” 

 In recognition of nurses across the health system, Penn Highlands has teamed up with The DAISY Foundation, a not-for-profit organization and an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. 

 DAISY was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by members of his family. In 1999, Barnes died at the age of 33 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. DAISY is an acronym for “diseases attacking the immune system.” The care Barnes and his family received from nurses in Texas and Seattle while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

 Nurses at Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands DuBois, Penn Highlands Elk, Penn Highlands Community Nurses and Penn Highlands Physician Network can now be nominated for The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses ®. 

 Anyone – patients, patient family members, physicians and employees – may thank a deserving nurse by filling out a nomination form and dropping it in a DAISY collection box throughout each hospital or by sending it via mail or email, Campbell said. Nomination ballots are included in patient discharge packets or with other patient information.

 "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 super-human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do,” said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, president and co-founder of The DAISY Foundation, “The kind of work the nurses at Penn Highlands Healthcare are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.” 

 All nominations will be reviewed by Penn Highlands’ DAISY Award Committee. Winners from each location will be chosen by the committee on a regular basis. 

 Each DAISY Award honoree will be recognized at a public ceremony on his/her unit and will receive a certificate that 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 also receive a DAISY Award pin and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. In addition, everyone on the unit will celebrate with cinnamon rolls – a favorite of Barnes’ during his illness. The Barnes family asks that whenever and wherever nurses smell that cinnamon aroma, they stop and think about how special they are. 

 “We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in The DAISY Award program,” Campbell said. “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.”    

 This is one initiative of The DAISY Foundation to express gratitude to the nursing profession. In addition, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, The DAISY Faculty Award to honor inspiring faculty members in schools and colleges of nursing, and The DAISY in Training Award for nursing students. More information is available at