Nurses at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital are being honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the National DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day. The first Riverside Walter Reed DAISY Award recipient is Susan Frishkorn, RN in the Emergency Department. The nomination is in relation to the extraordinary care given to a family vacationing in the Williamsburg area … they were enjoying the day in Williamsburg when their 9 year old son suddenly began to have some difficulty breathing that quickly progressed to a full blown asthma attack. The mother, being unaware of the area, plugs the nearest hospital into her GPS and begins to drive. She continues to drive and drive and his breathing became more audible and more labored. She was concerned with the distance but couldn't afford to stop so she continued to drive. The GPS led her to RWRH from Williamsburg.

Upon arrival to the ED she was met with numerous nurses that welcomed her and comforted her while other nurses treated her son immediately. It was determined that her son needed to be transferred to a Pediatric hospital and arranged transport to MCV. The care didn't stop there...Susan Frishkorn ensured that all siblings and mom had a warm meal before they left. She also went above and beyond her excellent care and, with mom's permission, called the hotel and worked with the hotel management to extend her stay and received a credit for their stay. "This is a primary example of caring for others as we would care for those we love and this is but one example of how Susan lives the Riverside Care Difference and is one of our extraordinary nurses," said Gaynor Callis, Riverside Walter Reed Director of Nursing.

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Daisy Award Winner, Susan Frishkorn, RN at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital (center) with Gaynor Callis, RWRH Director of Nursing (left) and Terris Kennedy, Chief Nursing Officer, Riverside Health System (right)

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes.  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.  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 their patients and patient families.

Said Bonnie Barnes, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation, "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 work they do.  The kind of work the nurses at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award."

Each quarter, nominations are reviewed and a nurse will be selected by Riverside Walter Reed Hospital's Nursing Professional Practices/Shared Governance Group and Nursing Administration.  Nurses are nominated by patients, families and their peers. Nominations are taken throughout the year at the displays located in the hospital lobby and registration areas.

At a presentation given in front of the nurse's colleagues, physicians, and peers, the honoree will receive a certificate commending her or him for being an "Extraordinary Nurse."  The certificate 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."  The honoree will also be given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer's Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.  

Riverside Walter Reed Director of Nursing, Gaynor Callis said, "We are proud to be among the hospitals across the country participating in the DAISY Award program.  Nurses are heroes every day.  This is one step in recognizing their extraordinary efforts on behalf of their patients. It is important that our nurses know their work is highly valued and does not go unnoticed. The DAISY Foundation and award provides a way for us to do that."

This is one initiative of The DAISY Foundation whose overall goal is to help fight diseases of the immune system.  Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and provides assistance to ITP support groups.  More information is available on their website


Published: June 5, 2014