Forrest General Names First DAISY Award Winner
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (April 24, 2020) Ashley Harris, an LPN at Forrest General Hospital, was surprised on Wednesday, April 22, as the hospital’s first recipient of the DAISY Award. The award will be presented monthly to a deserving nurse who exemplifies clinical expertise and compassionate care and is recognized as a role model in the nursing community.
The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 in California by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 from complications of an auto-immune disease. During his eight-week hospital stay, his family was impressed by the care and compassion his nurses provided, not only to him but to everyone in the family. They created the DAISY Award in his memory to recognize those nurses who make a big difference in the lives of so many people.
Forrest General Hospital is proud to be a DAISY Award partner and will recognize one of its nurses with this special honor every month. Nurses are nominated by patients, and family members, as well as other healthcare professionals. The winner is then selected by a board of healthcare workers. Each DAISY Award Honoree will be recognized at a public ceremony in her/his unit and will receive a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled, A Healer’s Touch, handcrafted by a tribe in Zimbabwe.
Harris was excited and totally surprised as fellow healthcare workers at the 3T nurse’s station, and a group of nursing professionals from across the hospital, gathered for the announcement as Harris sat working at a computer. Harris was one of 10 named as finalists for this inaugural award and had already been presented a DAISY Award pin, along with other finalists, which included: Kayla Lynn Murillo, RN, 5T; Beverly Collier, RN, Cath Lab; Dawn Smith, RN, Radiology; Mikia Simpson, RN, Home Care; Mary Dieckman, RN, Education; Naomi Bridgers, RN, Education; Bethany Jackson, RN, ICU; Crystal Dewease, RN, 4FB, and Audra Delancy, RN, Epic.
Harris said she had looked up information about the award when she was presented her pin, so she was aware of the importance of the award. She never thought that one day she might be a DAISY winner.
“It’s always been my passion to help people,” she said, “always to give back.” Harris said her aunt is a nurse, “but you don’t always have to be a professional to be a caregiver. My mom has always been a caretaker. She took care of my grandmother, my aunt, so, it’s not always about the professionalism or the title that makes someone a caregiver.”