Extraordinary Nurses Recognized at Avita Health System

BUCYRUS/GALION/ONTARIO – 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 2020 DAISY Award recipients are Valerie Carter of Galion Hospital, Nancy Branam of Bucyrus Hospital, and Sarah Tingley of Ontario Hospital. These three registered nurses (RN) go above and beyond to make a meaningful difference in the lives of many people.

Valerie Carter, RN

Valerie Carter, RN works in the Emergency Department at Galion Hospital. She was nominated by a fellow RN for her strength and compassion while providing emergency care for a sick child. Said the nominator: “I was recently in a terrible code pink with Valerie. This was the most heartbreaking code I have ever done in my 9 ½ years as a nurse. During that time, I witnessed excellent compassion, endurance, professionalism, and empathy from Valerie. She showed amazing strength when I needed her the most.”

Nancy Branam, RN

Nancy Branam, RN serves patients in the Surgery Unit at Bucyrus Hospital. She was nominated by an administrator, who is not employed at Avita, for providing exceptional patient care. “I came in today with a back surgery patient. She is elderly and her family lives out of state, so her anxiety about this surgery was out of this world,” noted the nominator. “Her nurse Nancy, made a difference in this woman’s life today. She was very comforting and did an outstanding job.” The nominator added, “I live in Columbus and we think we are the only healthcare services out there who do an outstanding job and I’m here to tell you that I was so impressed with your hospital and staff. I will tell my friends about this health system that gives great care. Thank you Nancy, for being an exceptional nurse and to Avita for doing good things for your patients.”

Sarah Tingley, RN

Sarah Tingley, RN works in Cardiology at Ontario Hospital. She was nominated for her persistence and courage while helping a patient who was in emotional distress. Sarah calmly engaged with the patient, gained his trust, and encouraged him to obtain the mental and emotional help that was needed. According to the nominator: “Sarah clearly displayed a vested interest in the well-being of this individual and went above and beyond to get him the help he needed. Though she would say she was doing her job, I would say that she was so much more than just a nurse to that man in the moment, she was a lifeline. Thank you, Sarah, for intervening in this man’s life and making a difference.”

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 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. Carter, Ms. Branam, and Ms. Tingley 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.

“Our DAISY Awards were postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as we were operating in Hospital Incident Command for several months,” said Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Durflinger. “Now more than ever, we need to take time to recognize our front line nursing staff. These nurses went beyond the call of duty despite the challenges they faced while navigating through this pandemic. Each of these life-changing stories represents the selflessness and exemplary compassionate care demonstrated by these nurses. We are blessed to have them serving on our front lines. They are very deserving of this award!”