July 30, 2020

Second quarter 2020 DAISY Awards honor four extraordinary nurses

DAISY Awards are given to great nurses all over the United States and in many other countries.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has announced the second quarter of 2020 recipients of the DAISY Award, a recognition for extraordinary nurses who exemplify compassion toward patients and families.

VUMC is distributing the award in partnership with The DAISY Foundation, which was formed in 1999 to honor the memory of J. Patrick Barnes, a 33-year-old man who died of complications of the autoimmune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). Barnes’ family was moved by the care they received from his nurses and wanted to recognize them as a way to preserve his memory. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

Vanderbilt is one of more than 3,000 health care facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 17 other countries that offer the award. VUMC nurse committees determine the individual recipients.

This round of DAISY Awards honors four recipients, including two from Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics. The Cancer Clinic has received so many nominations that it was determined to present one award for a nominee of the Cancer Clinic and another for other clinics. The other two recipients represent Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Previous winners of the DAISY Award are here. The award is open to all licensed nurses and anyone can nominate — including co-workers, patients and their families. Nominations may be made here.

Recipients will be honored with a certificate, badge pin and a sculpture made in Zimbabwe called “A Healer’s Touch.”

The winners of this group of DAISY awards are:

Sophia Fickel, BSN, RN. Unit: Cancer Infusion Center. Entity: Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics

Sophia Fickel. From the nomination: “We came into the clinic exhausted, mentally shot, and unaware of what to do next. Sophia took the time to listen, to talk to us and give us incredible advice in our time of need. She didn’t have to, but she did it anyway. She regularly checked up on us, offering us food and drinks and blankets, and just to talk. All whilst being pregnant! Pregnant and working in a hospital during the time of COVID-19. In my humble opinion, she exemplifies everything great about nurses. She should be lauded and praised and held up as the moral exemplar for all nursekind. Her kindness, her manner, her grace and efficiency all shine bright in these darkest of hours. Thank you Sophia! You’re one in a million.” Photo by Donn Jones

Jordan Smith, BSN, RN. Unit: Eighth Floor Pod A, MRB IV. Entity: Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

Jordan Smith. From the nomination: “Jordan has been a joy to work with and know. His first-hand knowledge of diabetes has been a godsend to my recently-diagnosed daughter. During her clinical drug trial, he gave us all the information we needed, was incredibly patient and has been responsive to all communications. Of special note are two things:
1. Even though he did not have to do so, Jordan took the time to help my daughter ‘install’ her first Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor. He showed her videos, talked her through it and explained how he had been doing so for years. Taking the time out of his crazy research schedule to help her out was really exceptional.
2. We had to return to the adult CRC for blood work. True to form, Jordan was wonderful. We had to come back to the CRC because of something forgotten, and when he entered the room, my daughter ambushed him with a snowball! He laughed so hard and said, ‘That was awesome!’ What an incredible way to make a teenager feel special.”
Photo by Susan Urmy

Rachel Peladeau, RN. Unit: Labor and Delivery Entity: Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital

Rachel Peladeau. From the nomination: “I was nervous to have my baby. I was nervous to show up at my own place of work as a patient instead of being the nurse. I have never been on the other side before. How do those beds feel on my own back? What does IV placement feel like on the other side? I had so many questions. Even more so, I had never had a baby before and was only relying on my nursing education for the next 24 hours of labor and delivery. But I didn’t have to rely on myself, because Rachel was there with her expertise and skills ready for me! Nurses don’t nurse for the credit. It’s not who we are. But the truth is that Rachel Peladeau does amazing things every day regardless of anyone noticing, and she deserves the credit.”

Valerie Matthews, MSN, RN, CBN. Unit: Surgery Patient Care Center Entity: Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics

Valerie Matthews. From the nomination: “Valerie is truly amazing. She takes phone calls and manages the SWL [surgical weight loss] Facebook page, being there to support her patients, like myself, filter content to assure it is supportive and runs a support group in Hendersonville in her own time, unpaid and off the clock. This is a true example of going above and beyond, not for personal gain but because surgical weight loss patients don’t always have a crisis Monday to Friday, 8-5, but it can happen any time of day or night any day of the week and for this, Valerie needs to be recognized. If it weren’t for these extras not as many people would be as successful even with the tools SWL gives us. Thank you, Valerie. Your actions do not go unnoticed!” Photo by Donn Jones