Extraordinary Nurses Recognized at Avita Health System

Daisy Award Logo

BUCYRUS / GALION / ONTARIO – May 15, 2018 – Three registered nurses at Avita Health System are being honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses®. The award is part of The DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize nurses for the extraordinary, compassionate care they provide patients and families every day. The Spring 2019 DAISY Award recipients are Emily McKeever of Galion Hospital, Shelley Vaughn of Bucyrus Hospital, and Katie Vanetta of Ontario Hospital. These three nurses go above and beyond to make a meaningful difference in the lives of many people.


Emily McKeever, DNP works in the obstetrics unit at Galion Hospital. She was nominated for her quick actions in helping save a newborn baby’s life. Said the nominator: “She noticed very quickly that our baby boy was struggling and immediately found the problem- an umbilical cord prolapse. Her quick actions and courage saved our baby’s life. She rolled with me into the OR for an emergency c-section. As I held her arm, I knew she was our saving grace that day.”


Shelley Vaughn, RN serves patients in the Emergency Department at Bucyrus Hospital. She was nominated for the consistent and extraordinary care that she gives each patient. The nominator noted that Ms. Vaughn “listened and didn’t judge me when I told her about my substance abuse problems. She didn’t treat me any different and was just as nice and friendly as when I walked in. That meant a lot. She cared for me like any other patient, and even went above what I expected.”


Katie Vanetta, RN takes care of patients in the Intensive Care Unit at Ontario Hospital. She was nominated for the care she gave during the final hours of a patient’s life. According to the nominator: “We had no idea what we were in for that night. I cannot describe the comfort I had knowing that Katie was there. She made sure we had warm blankets and pillows and everything we needed for the unexpected evening. Her expertise at her profession, her kind, loving heart, and her overall presence was such a blessing. I knew she was placed there that evening to not only take care of dad, but to take care of me.”

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families. “When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night,” explained Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and co-founder of The DAISY Foundation. “Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do. The kind of work the nurses at Avita Health System are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues by filling out a form online at avitahealth.org/the-daisy-award or at one of the three Avita hospital locations. The award recipients are anonymously chosen by a committee of Avita employees and community members. There is specific criteria and scoring for each nomination. Awards are presented twice annually at celebrations attended by the honoree’s colleagues, patients, and visitors.

At the award ceremonies, Ms. McKeever, Ms. Vaughn, and Ms. Vanetta each received a certificate commending them for extraordinary nursing. Each honoree was pinned with a special DAISY Award Pin and presented with a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, which is hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

“We aligned our Spring DAISY Awards with Nurses Week,” explained Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Durflinger. “Although we had many nominations, these 3 registered nurses stood out above the rest because of significant impact they had on the patients who nominated them for this special award. As we celebrate Nurses Week, we celebrate and congratulate our DAISY Honorees, who are very deserving of this award!”

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