“Each morning when we’d arrive at the police barricades, people would be standing there with pictures of their loved ones, asking us to look for them,” Susan Diehl says. “Hours later, after a hard shift when we were ready to get back on the shuttle bus, they were still there—waiting for word.”
The daisy pin. The sculpture. The banner. The cinnamon rolls. The DAISY Awards are more than a certificate recognition program.
Mass General selected six extraordinary nurses—chosen from more than 250 nominations submitted by colleagues, patients and patient families—to receive the hospital’s inaugural DAISY Awards.
Debra Burke, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, senior vice president for Patient Care and chief nurse, led the surprise celebration which included pins, banners, sculptures, certificates and cinnamon rolls. The first honorees were Richard Piccuito, RN, of the Bigelow 14 Burns and Plastics Unit; George Lillie, RN, of the Yawkey 8E Infusion Unit; Elyse Loving, RN, Blake 8 Cardiac Surgical ICU; Abigail Shaughnessy, RN, Outpatient Epilepsy Division; Becca Faulks, RN, Ellison 8 Cardiac Step-Down Unit and Marysa Duffy, RN, Blake 7 Medical ICU.
The DAISY Awards were founded by the Barnes family in 1999 to remember their son Patrick, who died at age 33 from complications of the autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenia. The family wanted to create a way to honor the strong relationship their son had with his nurses and they developed this program to say “thank you” to nursing staff for the exceptional care they provide.
Awardees receive a DAISY honoree pin for their ID badges, a “A Healer's Touch” sculpture representing the bond between a patient and caregiver, a banner to display on the unit signed and dated by the winner and cinnamon rolls for the care team—recognizing the one thing Barnes was able to eat when he was sick and what he often shared with his nurses in appreciation of their compassionate care.
Richard Piccuito, RN
Piccuito’s nominations from his colleagues lauded his generosity and ingenuity in taking care of his patients. His coworkers shared stories of when he brought a stroller to a patient who could not afford one for her child or when he handed out special socks featuring a patient’s hobby.
George Lillie, RN
Lillie was recognized for his ability to make people more comfortable in the often uncomfortable environment of infusion treatments. “I know she felt lucky and blessed to have him as her nurse and as a family member we did too,” said the sister of one of his former patients. “He became family to us. I am so happy other patients get to experience and enjoy the light in the dark that is George.”
Elyse Loving, RN
Loving was honored for her dedication to patient care when she ensured that a patient’s family could rest comfortably with their loved one in the final hours of life. A colleague in her nomination said, “Elyse went forward to adjust all the patient’s devices to allow the spouse to lay in the bed with the patient and have the closure that she desperately needed and wanted. Having been able to watch this makes me an extremely lucky nurse to work with such a wonderful colleague who constantly goes above and beyond to meet the needs of the family and patient.”
Abigail Shaughnessy, RN
During an emotional presentation recognizing Shaughnessy, a section of a patient nomination was read aloud. “Abby communicates to me in a way that I understand when transferring important doctor's information. When I email questions, I feel like I am waiting for a response from a friend.”
Becca Faulks, RN
Faulks was nominated by the wife of patient who said, “When Becca is here, I see my husband look better, feel better and try harder. She always pushes him toward independence. She alone has restored some of his pride and dignity. Becca always reminds him to ‘do it yourself,’ while always showing tenderness and care.” But it wasn’t only the care that Faulk showed to her patient; she cared for his wife as well. “Becca has also been so concerned and kind to me. Allowing me to help and reminding me to eat and rest. When I enter my husband's room and see Becca is there, my stress level settles down and I look forward to a day of healing.”
Marysa Duffy, RN
Duffy was nominated by the daughter of a patient—a nurse herself who attended the presentation via Zoom—who applauded the compassionate care she provides. “Throughout the last three months I've been by my mom’s side and never left it. But not many people asked me how I was doing, and Marysa had been one of the few who did that. I did not feel like I was talking to my mom’s nurse; I felt like I was talking to a friend.”
Nomination InformationThe DAISY Awards will be given to six nominees every quarter. For more information or to nominate a nursing colleague, employees can visit the DAISY Awards website or they can scan the QR code on posters throughout the organization. Nomination boxes also are available throughout the hospital for paper nominations.
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