The DAISY Award is a national recognition program through the DAISY Foundation to recognize nurses who provide above-and-beyond compassionate care to patients and families. The Sister Gramen Gratitude Award is a recognition program through Saint Francis Healthcare System to recognize our non-nursing colleagues who provide extraordinary care and kindness to all through the work they do in our Healthcare System. Three DAISY Awards and three Sister Gramen Gratitude Awards will be awarded quarterly to recognize colleagues who work hard to live our Mission.
October – December 2023 Awards
Jenna Houchins – DAISY Award
On February 8, 2024, Jenna Houchins, RN, Registered Nurse at the Level III NICU, was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Jenna truly displays every listed criterion and beyond. I was admitted to the NICU with my newborn baby who only weighed 1lb 12oz, and I also underwent a hysterectomy during my C-section. With the stress of the procedure and the status of my baby, not to mention my five-year-old child who was at home, I was stressed to say the least. I could not have asked for a better caregiver than Jenna, not only for myself, but my baby and my entire family. Anything, and I mean anything, I needed, whether that be personal items or medical assistance, Jenna was an incredible source of support, knowledge and unwavering care. Jenna was so impactful for me and my children that I ended up requesting her as my primary nurse and will continue to request her moving forward.”
Nominators speak highly of Houchins’s personable attitude, noting, “Jenna has genuine personal skills that go so far beyond anything that could ever be taught to someone; they come natural to her, like Jenna’s ability to tailor herself to meet whatever need is warranted. Jenna’s passion is helping others and that became abundantly clear while she was caring for me and my family. Jenna made us feel like we were an extension of her own family. She was so accommodating with the smallest details that the average person would never consider.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Houchins, one nominator shares, “During my stay at Saint Francis, I have noticed just how valuable Jenna is to her colleagues. She was always so quick to jump in where she was needed, but also very successfully handled workplace interruptions when a co-worker had a question or needed some additional guidance with patients. Jenna never rushed anything with me as a patient, but at the same time was always prompt and calculated with team member needs.”
Thank you, Jenna, for your outstanding commitment and kindness to our patients here at Saint Francis Healthcare System!
Johanna Chamness – DAISY Award
On February 20, 2024, Johanna Chamness, RN, Registered Nurse at Saint Francis Clinic Poplar bluff Urgent Care, was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Johanna has great empathy, generosity, compassion and competence. She places each patient and their family first. She works hard to ensure every patient experience is positive and they receive the best care possible. She goes out of her way to help not only her patients, but all patients who come through urgent care. She connects with patients, making them feel comfortable. Her kindness is admired and goes unnoticed. Her clinical knowledge and skills are proficient. She always has a smile on her face and eager to help. She holds great respect for Saint Francis, our Mission, values and vision. She is a tremendous asset to our corporation, our employees and our patients.”
Nominators speak highly of Chamness’s positive attitude, noting, “Through observation and experience I have found that empathy, compassion, generosity and hard work is scarce. Workplace morale is seemingly poor everywhere. Johanna’s personality is uplifting and pleasant. She exemplifies the meaning of NURSE. She inspires others through her bright personality, eagerness and warm heart. Phoebe, the first nurse in the Bible, gave care to strangers, orphans and travelers in her own home. She held the heart that it takes to fill the body of a true nurse. Johanna also holds this heart within herself. She is selfless, determined, trustworthy and has great dignity for her patients. She upholds the ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, justice and non-maleficence. She is the healing hands that patients need during difficult times.”
Thank you, Johanna, for your positive spirit and caring heart towards our patients!
Katie Childs – DAISY Award
On February 16, 2024, Katie Childs, RN, Registered Nurse at Family BirthPlace was awarded The DAISY Award.
“As someone who was recently admitted to Saint Francis three separate times, I encountered Katie and her kindness each time and received her help in some form or fashion. There were times where Katie was not assigned to me as my primary nurse, and Katie, having met me before and been at my bedside, always made an effort to stop by and check in with me, make sure that I was okay and accommodated and communicated my needs to her colleagues. Katie made me feel like I truly mattered, which, as a patient, is huge. I have been to so many doctors’ appointments where I feel like another transaction, and Katie restored my faith in good healthcare.”
Nominators speak highly of her caring spirit, noting, “Katie always made me feel well cared for, safe and like my symptoms mattered. I have felt like a burden to nursing staff before, and Katie has never made me feel that way, and that is why I feel as though she needs to be recognized.”
When asked if there is anything else the selection committee should know about Childs, nominators answered “How a healthcare organization makes their patients feel is so important, and Katie understands and practices that. She has such a passion for her job and patients; she deserves this award ten times over. Give her all three DAISY awards!”
Thank you, Katie, for your commitment and dedication to our staff and patients!
Timothy Assink – Sister Gramen
On February 7, 2024, Timothy Assink, Centralized Scheduler at Saint Francis Medical Center, was awarded the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“Timothy is a colleague who truly demonstrates amazing patient care in his role. He always greets each patient with a smile and a warm welcome as they come through the doors. He utilizes all resources to ensure each patient receives the most efficient experience as they are registering for their appointments.”
Nominators speak highly of his positive attitude, noting, “Timothy is known for always being positive and uplifting to not only the patients but his fellow colleagues, as well. He welcomes in each patient to Saint Francis Medical Center.”
When asked is there anything else the selection committee should know about Assink, nominators answered, “Tim is beyond so very deserving of this award. He is very humble and kind. It shows to our patients, their families and fellow colleagues as well. He sets goals to improve the customer experience weekly, takes note to all of the scoring from Press Ganey and strives to make sure our patients have the best possible experience every single time. He also has an aura about him that is infectious to the colleagues around him and has also helped them to excel in their actions as well. Tim is a win-win colleague for Saint Francis and my practice in particular. We are so very lucky to have him on our team!”
Thank you, Timothy, for always going above and beyond for our patients, colleagues and community!
Renee Smith – Sister Gramen
On February 8, 2024, Renee Smith, Environmental Services colleague at Saint Francis Medical Center, was awarded the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“This young lady goes above and beyond her work ethic! She does a fantastic job keeping second floor Tower East looking amazing. We call her family. We appreciate her work ethic. I have never seen any other housekeeper keep it as clean as she does. She details the hall and is very polite to the patients in the room. We are blessed to have her on our floor. Renee can clean and is very pleasant and kind! She went out of her way to buy me some flowers to cheer me up. We do not even know each other at all. All I know is her big smile and pleasant kind heart and how she kept my room so sparkly clean.”
Nominators speak highly of her work ethic, noting, “She should be rewarded for her kind heart, how well she treated me and for keeping the hospital so clean. Her work ethic is outstanding and she cares. She takes pride in her work and is amazing with all the patients that walk through the door.”
Thank you, Renee, for all your hard work and contributions to our patients, colleagues and community!
July – September 2023 Awards
Matt Gerler – DAISY Award
On October 26, 2023, Matt Gerler, RN, Rehab Perspective Payment System Coordinator in Inpatient Rehab, was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Since day one that I have worked with Matt, he has demonstrated a caring heart and generous spirit with patients and colleagues alike – first as a RN, and now as intake coordinator for Inpatient Rehab. He forms special bonds with his patients, treating them like they are his own family member. Just the other day, Matt took time out of his schedule to assist a patient in need, even when he did not have to and it was not even under his job description. Matt is just always there to help if and whenever you need him! He truly lives out the Mission of Saint Francis.”
Nominators speak highly of Gerber’s thoughtful personality. “Matt takes the time to get to know people, even in a fast-paced environment such as ours on the Rehab floor. Matt never fails to check in with colleagues, ask how they are doing and, of course, give out countless high fives to passersby. He also spends time with patients and their families, encouraging them and comforting them during their stay. His positive and welcoming spirit has been a steady constant on our Rehab floor for years, and I know so many people appreciate what he does for our department.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Gerler, one nominator shares, “Sometimes, there can be a gap between therapy and nursing as we all attempt to understand what our roles are in the system and serve our patients the best we can. I believe Matt does an exceptional job of building bridges across those gaps and making our Rehab floor feel like one big family. He is an irreplaceable part of this team, and I am so honored I got to work with him for as long as I have. Inpatient Rehab would not be the same without him!”
Thank you, Matt, for your unwavering support and commitment to Saint Francis and our patients!
DAISY Award – Jo Norman
On October 30, 2023, Jo Norman, RN, Care Manager in Population Health, was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Jo is such a supporting, loving, kind colleague to get to work beside every day. She is so knowledgeable and always willing to help me to learn, coach and uplift. She takes on many other roles within the team that just helps to make our workflow and days easier. She is always there to talk to you if needed and provides the Mission outside of her work life to her family helping them through complications that they face on day-to-day basis.”
Nominators praise Norman’s caring attitude. “Jo cares so much about her patients. She is always very in depth with the care she gives. She has a lot of other roles she places on and for our care management team that truly help out on a day-to-day basis. She at any time would go the extra mile to help her patients or provide the resources needed for them. If a patient needed her, she would always be willing to accommodate her time for them. “
Thank you, Jo, for your caring spirit and commitment to Saint Francis and our patients!
DAISY Award – Alyssa Kozlovsky
On October 27, 2023, Alyssa Kozlovsky, RN, Charge Nurse with Orthopedics was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Alyssa demonstrates amazing clinical skills by being able to prioritize care, time manage appropriately and complete charge nurse tasks while still providing compassionate care by making each patient feel important and ensuring her colleagues feel comfortable and have had the chance to eat.”
Nominators speak highly Kozlovsky’s constant dedication to Saint Francis Healthcare System. “She exemplifies the Mission, values and vision of Saint Francis by ensuring that each staff member and patient feels respected and cared for. She truly is focused on patient centered care and advocates for this by also ensuring her fellow staff members feel valued and seen.
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Kozlovsky, two nominators share, “Alyssa goes above and beyond and never complains about what those entails. Alyssa’s positivity and efficiency allows her to establish a unique relationship with her patients, their family members and her fellow co-workers”
Thank you, Alyssa, for going above and beyond for our patients!
DAISY Award – Robin Brugger
On October 27, 2023, Robin Brugger, RN, Oncology Nurse Navigator in The Cancer Institute was awarded The DAISY Award.
“She exemplifies the true meaning of empathy and compassion when it comes to caring for our cancer patients. Not only is she an expert oncology nurse but is a true patient advocate who applies the Golden Rule in every aspect of her role as Cancer Navigator. She goes above and beyond setting up transportation/lodging, providing education, coordinating care across the Healthcare System and assisting with financial barriers and access to care. She builds relationships with patients/families and is an integral part of their cancer journey – even ‘babysits’ patients’ young children during radiation treatments.”
Nominators speak highly of Brugger’s work ethic stating, “Robin gives 110 percent every day and is dependable and trustworthy – she does not hesitate to jump in and help even if ‘it’s not her job’ and will get the job done quickly and accurately. She goes the extra mile to make sure patients have the best experience possible.”
Thank you, Robin, for your outstanding amount of commitment to our Mission and the work you do to impact our patients, colleagues and entire Healthcare System!
Sister Gramen – Tasha Garner
On October 30, 2023, Tasha Garner, Registration Specialist in the Registration Center at Saint Francis, was awarded the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“Tasha comes into work every day with a smile and a kind word for everyone she encounters. She greets patients with a warm welcome and makes them feel at ease immediately. She works hard to make sure their needs have been met. Tasha is known throughout this facility for her big heart and warm smile to make each day brighter. She makes the work environment feel like family. When tough times happen, she is the first one to volunteer to pray and offer a shoulder to lean on. We recently had our AC break in our waiting room, and Tasha really was a trooper at keeping our patients calm, informed and anything she could do to make them more comfortable. Her voice and smile bring so much comfort. If she has a day off, patients will often ask where she is. She completes our Cape Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery family.”
Nominators praise Garner’s positive attitude stating, “Tasha is a friend to EVERYONE she meets whether she has known them for years or minutes. She treats everyone as if they are truly her family. Tasha has the sweetest personality and the most positive attitude even in the toughest situations. She cares about every person who walks into the office whether they are a patient, family member or colleague.”
When asked what makes this colleague unique in the care they provide throughout the Healthcare System, one nominator shares, “Tasha is set apart from others by her willingness to help our patients, colleges and family members. She just has the best outlook on any situation. She definitely brings a smile to anyone. She pours her heart into her job each and every day. Everyone is treated like family; she will make multiple calls to try her very best to get the patient exactly what they need. Tasha is so deserving of this award. She will take on any task and willing to go the extra mile to ensure it is done correctly, efficiently and always with a smile. My life is better for having a friend and co-worker like Tasha.”
Thank you, Tasha, for your positive impact on our patients, colleagues and community!
Sister Gramen – Amanda Adams
On October 30, 2023, Amanda Adams, Medical Assistant at Cape Care for Women, was awarded the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“Amanda went above and beyond each time. She was always quick to respond and could always get me to focus and relax. With my last baby, I was really needing support. Amanda came in on her day off to be with me during my C-section. THAT is what being a nurse is about. I could never thank her enough for everything she did for my babies.”
Nominators speak highly of Adam’s commitment to “Where People Come First” stating, “When you become a part of the Healthcare System, you are vowing to put patients first….to take care of them in the best way you can. Amanda has done that time and time again and deserves some recognition.”
When asked is there anything else you would like the selection committee to know about the nominee, one nominator shares, “I could not have made it through my stressful pregnancies without Amanda by my side. She is the sweetest soul. After so many years being her patient, we have become like family. We still keep in touch to this day, and I do not think we will ever lose contact because of the bond that was formed. She is an angel, and you all are so lucky to have her!”
Thank you, Amanda, for all that you do for the Saint Francis Family and our patients!
April – June 2023 Awards
Rebecca Burger – DAISY Award
On August 8, 2023, Rebecca Burger, RN, System Care Coordinator with Population Health was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Rebecca demonstrates empathy and a caring attitude in everything she does. She created the media campaign ‘You Matter, Your Voice Matters,’ and uses that attitude to honor the time she gets to spend with the moms being served by our Cape Care for Women and Saint Francis Clinic Dexter. She talks to moms from a mom-to-mom perspective which quickly puts a mom at ease and creates a safe space for conversation.”
Nominators praises Rebecca’s positive attitude and will to do. “Rebecca always finds the positive in a situation. I have never seen or heard her say a negative word about her job, her co-workers or the clients she serves. Rebecca demonstrates the mission and values of Saint Francis every time she engages. She is kind and thoughtful and works to empower and support those who feel they are often unheard and unseen.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Rebecca, one nominator shares, “Rebecca has been a nurse for several years and has worked with new parents and children. She understands what parents go through and their daily life struggles. She looks at the whole picture. For example, it is not just arranging transportation for a patient because they do not have someone to care for their children. Rebecca is kind and nonjudgmental. She works well with her families and staff to obtain the best plan for her patients. She is such an asset to this organization and definitely deserves this award.”
Thank you, Rebecca, for your positive mindset and commitment to Saint Francis!
Christy Cruz – Sister Gramen
On August 7, 2023, Cristy Cruz, Food Service Associate with Food and Nutrition Services at Saint Francis Medical Center, was awarded The Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“In addition to performing her job at an exemplary level, Christie demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to her colleagues as well as to the general public. Christie takes it upon herself to provide exceptional support and service to new faculty and staff. She is a wonderful ambassador for our hospital. She is the kind of person who gives to give. Christie epitomizes a servant leadership and inspires others to give back and pay it forward. When I asked how I could show her my gratitude, she smiled and said, ‘All I want is for you to pay if forward when you can.’ She is fondly known as the ‘go-to’ for most things at our kitchen: she is helpful, caring, resourceful and happy to offer service no matter the task. She often performs above and beyond. Even though it is not required of her, she does so willingly and cheerfully. I have known Christie to be a fantastic teammate…always cheerful and exceptional in everything she does. Her quick wit, attention to detail and loyalty to the hospital have endeared her to her colleagues. She is a true champion with a tireless commitment to serving.”
Nominators speak highly of Christy’s energetic personality, noting, “Christie has continued to be positive and she can often be found ‘rallying’ our team. She often leads our huddles in prayer, asking for God to watch over our doctors and nurses. Her genuine love for her job and colleagues is one in a million. I witnessed a beautiful moment in the Tuscan Sun recently, where she joined three people in the Tuscan to pray for their loved ones currently in the hospital. I teared up watching her work her magic. It was amazing, selfless act of kindness, hope and togetherness… and an example of a good steward beautifully representing the Mission of Saint Francis!”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Christy, one nominator shares, “Christie has made a significant difference at our department, exemplified the mission of Saint Francis, and has positively impacted the people of our hospital. Her skills, knowledge, willingness to help others and dedication make her our Sister Gramen nominee.
Thank you, Christy, for your positive contributions to our patients, colleagues and community!
Sharon Fornkohl – Gramen Award
On August 9, 2023, Sharon Fornkohl, Centralized Scheduler at Saint Francis Medical Center, was awarded The Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“Sharon is literally the glue that holds our area together, particularly in the area of scheduling and registration. Her gentle and calm demeanor, regardless of the busyness that is going on around her, remains constant. She is often the first person our patients interact with as they exit off the elevator to attend a rehab session. Sharon consistently greets them with kindness and compassion, ensuring their needs are met. The task of scheduling in Outpatient Rehab is a very difficult job, one that must be accomplished while performing many other tasks. Her ability to “magically” be able to get patients scheduled when the schedule is already past capacity is a mystery to me…. but something that is greatly appreciated! Sharon can multi-task better than anyone I have ever seen, and it does not matter if she has one thing going, or ten, she has the same consistent calm demeanor regardless. She is consistently kind and respectful to colleagues and patients alike. When faced with adversity, regardless of the situation, she figures out a way to get things done while always maintaining a positive attitude. She truly lives the Mission of Saint Francis by sincerely caring for each colleague and patient she interacts with. She consistently answers ‘yes’ when asked to do any task and does so without hesitation. Her connection with all individuals she interacts with is genuine and sincere. She truly values each and every individual.”
Nominators speak highly of Sharon’s willingness to help noting, “Sharon is ‘Everything!’ If we need help scheduling a difficult patient or making sure that a patient gets a message, she is a friendly and re-assuring presence at the front desk. She always has a smile for you and is willing to help with anything even though she may have a pile of work beside her.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Sharon, one nominator shares, “Sharon is so humble that she would not expect recognition for what she does. She would say she is simply being who she is and ‘doing her job.’ I would say that Sharon goes above and beyond and has had a huge impact in our area, with both patients and colleagues alike. Sharon is greatly respected, and I cannot fathom how our department would function without her.”
Thank you, Sharon, for your tremendous amount of kindness and for always going above and beyond for our patients, colleagues and community!
Dana Westrich – DAISY Award
On August 9, 2023, Dana Westrich, RN, registered nurse in the Emergency Department at Saint Francis Medical Center, was awarded The DAISY Award.
A common theme among Dana’s nominations included her unbelievable generosity and kindness towards patients. “The doctor was not so kind to us, but Dana made up for it with all her kind words and helpful gestures. My dad passed away a few days later after that last visit to the ER. My family just really appreciated the way Dana kept coming in to make sure we are all good and that my dad was not in any pain and that he did not need anything.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Dana, one nominator shares, “One thing that really stole our hearts was the last few weeks of his life he started sucking on suckers. We did not bring any to the ER with us, but Dana heard us talking about going to get him some suckers and she went and found some and surprised my dad with them. That just shows how compassionate she is for her patients and for her work in the ER. My father did not pass in the hospital, he was able to go home and pass, but Dana made his last visit to the ER very comfortable. My family and I are very grateful for her kind, compassionate care that she gave to him and us.”
Thank you, Dana, for your kindness and dedication to our patients!
Joseph Swan – Sister Gramen
On August 9, 2023, Joseph Swan, Environmental Services Colleague at Saint Francis Medical Center was awarded The Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“Joey is unique in the that he values the work that he does, but also values the work of others around him, and that can be difficult to find in a work setting currently. So many are concerned with working to get a check, but Joey comes to work because he likes what he does, and he values the work that he and his team do, as well as those around him.”
Nominators speak highly of his work ethic, noting, “Joey is unique in the that he values the work that he does, but also values the work of others around him, and that can be difficult to find in a work setting currently. So many are concerned with working to get a check, but Joey comes to work because he likes what he does, and he values the work that he and his team do, as well as those around him.
When asked if there was anything else the selection committee should know about Joseph, nominators answered, “Joey is one of those colleagues with, what is now considered to be, a rare work ethic. He is dependable, responsible and trustworthy, and one never has to question whether or not Joey is going to show up and handle his job responsibilities. You can have peace of mind working alongside Joey, knowing he will always be there to take care of what is needed. We are lucky to have someone like Joey on our team at Saint Francis!
Thank you, Joseph, for your tremendous hard work and dedication to support our patients, colleagues and community!
Stacey Heisserer – DAISY Award
On August 14, 2023, Stacey Heisserer, Registered Nurse at Cape Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, was awarded The DAISY Award.
“When thinking of The Daisy Award, Stacey’s picture automatically comes to mind. She is one of the hardest working and most caring people I have ever met. Frequently, she will stop whatever she is doing to help someone in need. Whether this be a patient or her Saint Francis family, she does not hesitate when aiding those in need: taking time out of her day to make sure any questions the patients may have are answered, having patients feel completely reassured and that they are being listened to, aiding in rescheduling testing and procedures to ensure efficiency, never not volunteering to help even with the most unpleasant of tasks and making anyone feel like they are family no matter if they are a patient or colleague. Though completing all of the previously listed objectives in a day seems implausible, she somehow is able to it daily with ease.”
Nominators speak highly of Stacey’s dedication to Saint Francis Healthcare System. “Stacey has worked for Saint Francis as long as I have been alive. For her to have worked for a company so long it takes a certain type of person who truly believes in the company’s Mission statement and other colleagues for this to work. I believe Stacey is an exceptional employee who truly represents the Saint Francis Mission statement and is an astonishing person who still has much to offer her community.
Thank you, Stacey, for your dedication and all you do for our patients and families here at Saint Francis Healthcare System!
January – March 2023 Awards
Bernadette Hannaford, RN – DAISY Award
On May 11, 2023, Bernadette Hannaford, RN, Hospice Nurse at Saint Francis Healthcare System, was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Bernadette is the nurse I want to care for me or my family in any situation. She is a patient advocate and will not stop working to get her patients and their families what they need,” one nominator says of Hannaford. “She truly has the heart for hospice. Bernadette has cared for many patients and those who are former patients’ family members. She exemplifies the Mission of Saint Francis in her everyday work, ensuring that she provides the highest quality of care to all her patients.”
Nominators speak highly of Hannaford’s patient-focused approach to care. “Last summer, Bernadette spent her own time staying overnight with a family of a patient who was passing to give the family members and caregivers a break. She remains connected and involved with her patients’ families long after the patient is gone.”
Thank you, Bernadette, for embodying the Mission and Ministry of Saint Francis Healthcare System!
Melinda Maxwell – Sister Gramen Award
On May 11, 2023, Melinda Maxwell, Food Service Associate with Food and Nutrition Services at Saint Francis, was awarded a Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“Melinda goes above and beyond what is expected in her daily role. She is a bright light of positivity and kindness with an amazing attitude,” one nominator praises. “Melinda is kind to everyone she encounters in Food and Nutrition Services. Whether that be patients or other colleagues, Melinda treats everyone so nicely and with respect. She leads by example with her empathy, consistency and resiliency. She puts people first in all that she does for her team, coworkers and our patients. She honors God with her actions and attitude.”
Nominators speak highly of Maxwell’s kindness and compassion, noting, “There are challenging moments in every job; however, Melinda remains cool, calm, collected and kind in those challenging situations she encounters daily. She not only feeds our colleagues’ stomachs but their spirits as well! She is well deserving of this honor!”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Maxwell, one nominator shares, “I witnessed a beautiful moment in the Tuscan Sun Restaurant recently, where Melinda joined three visitors who were dining so that she could pray for their loved ones currently in the hospital. I teared up watching her work her magic. It was an amazing and selfless act of kindness, hope and togetherness and an example of a good steward beautifully representing the Mission of Saint Francis.”
Thank you, Melinda, for your incredible dedication to the Saint Francis Family and the patients we are privileged to serve.
Surita Bieser, PT – Sister Gramen Award
On May 5, 2023, Surita Bieser, PT, Senior Physical Therapist with Inpatient Physical Therapy at Saint Francis, was awarded a Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“Surita is a long-term colleague at Saint Francis and exemplifies the characteristics of the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award,” one nominator notes. “She exhibits an empathetic and caring attitude with both patients and colleagues. She understands that her job as a physical therapist sometimes causes discomfort or pain, but both are necessary for a person to heal and progress. She gently pushes patients to do their best while being sympathetic to individual situations. She provides reassurance to family members who are also scared and overwhelmed.”
Nominators praise Bieser’s consistency and empathetic nature toward patients and colleagues. “She provides consistent excellent care with a servant’s heart. She builds relationships with colleagues and invests her time in their lives, getting to know them personally and professionally. She accepts patients where they are and gently moves them forward. All of this she does without the expectation of recognition.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Bieser, one nominator shares, “Surita exemplifies the Mission and Values of Saint Francis both inside the walls of the hospital and in her life outside of the hospital. Her life is inspired and guided by her faith in Jesus.”
Thank you, Surita, for your incredibly hard work and dedication to supporting our patients, colleagues and community!
Katrina Calhoun, RRT – Sister Gramen Award
On May 5, 2023, Katrina Calhoun, RRT, Respiratory Therapist with Inpatient Respiratory Therapy at Saint Francis, was awarded a Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“Katrina goes above and beyond for our patients,” one nominator notes. “She is patient, encouraging and incredibly caring. She provides each patient with the same care, as if they were the only one she had to care for despite having an ICU or floor full of patients. She is not afraid to pray with or for the patients. She will advocate for the patients to ensure they are getting the best care while also respecting their wishes.”
Nominators speak highly of Calhoun’s consistent kindness stating, “Katrina exudes joy and goes out of her way to check on her coworkers and ask them about their day. She is genuinely kind and has one of the biggest hearts. Katrina is a huge asset to the Respiratory Care Department and the Intensive Care Unit. She is our family.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Calhoun, one nominator shares, “Katrina does not do all of the aforementioned things for praise, she does them because she is an excellent respiratory therapist and an even better person.”
Thank you, Katrina, for all that you do for the Saint Francis Family and our patients!
Reed Thomas, LPN – DAISY Award
On May 5, 2023, Reed Thomas, LPN, licensed practical nurse on the Neurosciences floor at Saint Francis Medical Center, was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Reed is hands down one of the best nurses a person could ask for,” one nominator praises. “Reed made sure my family and I knew everything about my loved one’s care and new cancer diagnosis. She was there for us in one of the hardest times of our life. She was both personal and professional when telling us anything we needed to know. She was very realistic, knowledgeable and made us feels as though we were not alone. She spent 1:1 time with us without interruption and not once acted like we were taking too much time. Reed is a one-of-a-kind nurse and deserves this award without a doubt.”
Nominators speak highly of Thomas’s professionalism and compassion. “Reed can relate to people given any circumstance. She is very honest and open, and she respects patients’ decisions while also giving personal and professional advice. Sometimes people get in a groove and just go to work and go home, but I feel as though Reed takes every situation and person seriously, treats each patient with dignity and is a patient advocate. She is not there to just get a paycheck and go home. She came back to check on us even after her shift was over.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Thomas, one nominator shares, “I work with nurses every day and have never come across a nurse quite like Reed. If every nurse would be as caring, insightful, respectful, advocating, loving and professional as Reed, no patient would ever be scared or nervous to go to the hospital. Reed embodies the Saint Francis Mission statement.”
Thank you, Reed, for your incredibly hard work and dedication to support our patients, colleagues and community!
Taylor Noe, RN – DAISY Award
On May 4, 2023, Taylor Noe, RN, Labor and Delivery Nurse at Saint Francis Family BirthPlace, was awarded The DAISY Award.
“Taylor is an amazing nurse. She is caring and does everything she can to ensure her patients have the absolute best experience,” one nominator describes. “Taylor’s presence, enthusiasm, warmth and excellent bedside manner make every patient she comes in contact with feel like they are right at home. Being first-time parents can be scary and overwhelming. Taylor always takes the time to help the patients and their family understand what is going on or what is going to happen next. She truly has the patience of a saint.”
Nominators praise Noe’s empathy and patient-focused care. “Taylor not only has vast knowledge and extensive expertise but shows compassion and understanding in any situation. She is the first to jump in and help in difficult situations or trying times. Taylor always goes the extra mile, and her patients truly love her. She is a team player and an excellent patient advocate.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Noe, one nominator shares, “Taylor is a unique, one-of-a-kind individual, and Saint Francis is blessed to call her one of their own. She always goes above and beyond for not just her patients but her coworkers as well. She will do anything within her power to help a coworker or anyone in need; she is just an all-around amazing individual. I cannot think of any better qualities for an employee or coworker to possess. Taylor is the full package, and we are extremely grateful to have her with us at Family BirthPlace.”
Thank you, Taylor, for your incredibly hard work and dedication to supporting our patients, colleagues and community!
October – December 2022 Awards
Rob Bunger, ATC, CEAS – Sister Gramen Gratitude Award
On February 23, 2023, Rob Bunger, ATC, CEAS, Senior Athletic Trainer at Saint Francis Outpatient Rehabilitation, was awarded the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award.
“The best word I can think of to describe Rob is consistent,” one nominator describes. “Every single day, without fail, he arrives to work ready to contribute whatever is asked of him, whether it is related to patients, the STARR Program, Emergency Management, CPR training, ergonomics and injury prevention, infection prevention, sports medicine and industrial medicine or the Foundation, he is always willing to contribute, participate or serve as a ‘go-to’ for many individuals.
“Nominators praise Rob’s versatility and positivity. “His positivity is contagious and oftentimes helps to deescalate stressful situations,” one nominator states. “His professionalism is second to none and his positive and sincere connection with both patients and colleagues is consistently observed. I can always count on Rob.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Rob, one nominator praises, “I feel Rob is very deserving given the time and effort he puts in day in and day out, most of which are above his job duties. He is not here to simply ‘do a job,’ but is consistently engaged with the end goal of delighting our patients and taking care of staff.”
Thank you, Rob, for your incredibly hard work and dedication to support our patients, colleagues and community!
Jordan Hadler, RN – DAISY Award
On February 3, 2023, Jordan Hadler, RN, registered nurse in the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Francis Medical Center, received The DAISY Award. ‘Jordan not only meets but exceeds the criteria to receive The DAISY Award,” nominators praise. ‘Her knowledge in caring for the tiniest patients sets a standard for others around her in not only her nursing skill, but her empathy for parents and her ability to bring peace and comfort to a room filled with anxiety and worry.”
Nominators praise the unique, high-quality care Jordan provides. ‘Jordan cares for babies as little as one pound with meticulous care and compassion, transports sick and premature infants from outlying facilities to a higher level of care in our Level III NICU and responds to our Emergency Department when in need of assistance caring for infants,” one nominator states. ‘She is calm and confident in emergency situations, bringing a comforting assurance to staff and family.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Jordan, a nominator says, ‘Jordan is humble, kind and brings joy to those around her. She is very deserving of recognition for her commitment to her career as a Saint Francis NICU Nurse.”
Thank you, Jordan, for the above-and-beyond care you are committed to providing to our tiniest patients and their families!
Whitney James, RN – DAISY Award
On February 3, 2023, Whitney James, RN, registered nurse in Learning and Development at Saint Francis Medical Center, received The DAISY Award. A common theme among Whitney’s nominations included her dedication and passion for patient care. ‘Whitney doesn’t do anything halfway,” one nominator describes. ‘She goes all in, and her colleagues, family and patients benefit from that. Patients are so well cared for in her company and so are her patients.”
Nominators praise Whitney’s versatility. ‘Whitney has worked in many roles at Saint Francis. She adapts easily and is an asset to any department she is working in,” one nominator states. ‘Her medical knowledge accompanied with her caring and compassionate nature make her a truly exceptional nurse.”
Along with exceptional patient care, nominators noted the commitment Whitney has to the Mission, Vision and Values of Saint Francis. ‘Whitney lives and breathes the Mission with pride in every aspect of her role,” one nominator praises. ‘From the students who first enter our facility scared and uncertain, whom she embraces with humor and positive reassurance, to the new nurses and travelers whom she pridefully trains and monitors to ensure the highest quality of care, she exemplifies a Christ-like love of healthcare and how we provide it.”
Described as helpful, compassionate, positive, a role model and mentor, our Healthcare System is blessed to have nurses like Whitney providing high-quality patient care. Thank you, Whitney, for the incredible commitment you have to our patients, colleagues and community!
Daniel Asmus – Sister Gramen Gratitude Award
On January 27, 2023, Daniel Asmus, CAD Designer from Saint Francis Healthcare System’s Facilities Management department, was awarded the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award. Nominators describe Daniel as “a one-of-a-kind colleague and the epitome of who you want working on your team.” Though his job duties change daily, or sometimes hourly, Daniel upholds a positive attitude and handles all situations head-on. “He stays optimistic and spreads his optimism and positive attitude to those around him,” one nominator notes.
As CAD Designer, Daniel creates and upkeeps signage crucial to our patients, visitors and colleagues. “It is actually amazing to think about everything Daniel has created signage-wise for the Healthcare System,” one nominator said.
Daniel is professional, incredibly knowledgeable in his field, dedicated to our Mission and a friend to all within the Healthcare System. “His friendly personality aside, I really feel as though Daniel’s dedication to his faith and how he exemplifies the Mission of the organization set him aside in the workplace,” one nominator states. “Daniel goes out of his way to make special connections with colleagues and patients, and truly values the work he does as well as the work of others around him.”
Thank you, Daniel, for your selfless commitment and dedication to impacting the lives of our patients, colleagues and the entire Healthcare System!
Chris MacKinnon, RRT – Sister Gramen Gratitude Award
On January 27, 2023, Chris MacKinnon, RRT, respiratory therapist at Saint Francis Medical Center, received a Sister Gramen Gratitude Award. Nominators for this award said of MacKinnon, “Chris does this all with a positive attitude. She is like the energizer bunny; she never stops and is constantly working to help our patients.” Nominators praise the extra hours MacKinnon contributes to the Healthcare System to provide the best care for our patients. “Chris works many extra hours to ensure adequate respiratory coverage for the Medical Center,” one nominator notes. “She takes extra call shifts to cover NICU transport and goes above what is expected to ensure we have coverage to accept transports for our tiniest patients.”
Along with going above and beyond for patient care, nominators praise MacKinnon’s assistance in educating colleagues. “She serves as a clinical instructor and arranges clinical hours for the students in our local respiratory program,” one nominator comments. “She works with every new colleague helping them transition into their new role and helps the entire department with setting up EPIC in the most user-friendly way. She is the go-to when it comes to policy, procedure and charges.”
After more than 20 years at Saint Francis, MacKinnon has become a trusted role model for many colleagues. “She is a great example for all colleagues and students alike,” one nominator praises. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award.”
Thank you, Chris, for your unwavering commitment to our Mission and the work you do to impact our patients, colleagues and entire Healthcare System!
Jodie Wells, RN – DAISY Award
On January 27, 2023, Jodie Wells, RN, registered nurse at Cape Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, a Saint Francis Medical Partner, was awarded The DAISY Award at Saint Francis Healthcare System. “Jodie is an exemplary colleague who has become a vital necessity for Cape Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery,” one nominator said. “Several patients know her by name and feel comfortable speaking to her when a provider is not available.”
Along with patient care, nominators noted the work ethic and good attitude of Wells. “Daily, she comes into the office with a positive attitude and completes any work that comes her way efficiently,” a nominator praises. “She goes out of her way to ensure patients are happy, be it limiting the number of times they have to travel, transporting patients, giving a listening ear or providing extra care where she can.”
Nominators praise the unique care Wells provides. “Jodie is different from others as she takes the time to get to know each patient and goes out of her way to make their lives easier, no matter how insignificant the action may appear to others,” a nominator notes. “These small actions make a large impact on patients, and they always let us know how grateful they are for Jodie.”
Thank you, Jodie, for the above-and-beyond care you provide to the patients we are called to serve!
July – September 2022 Awards
Kalyn Thurman, RN – DAISY Award
On November 4, 2022, Kalyn Thurman, RN, registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Saint Francis Medical Center, received the DAISY Award. Thurman’s nominators describe her as empathetic, caring, patient, strong, kind and an advocate for her patients. “Kalyn is the kind of nurse I would want to care for me or anyone else in my family,” one nominator states. “When we come to visit my dad in the SICU and see her, we know, without a doubt, we can breathe a little easier since Kalyn is there, whether she is his nurse or not.”
Along with excellent patient care, Thurman’s nominators describe her as an amazing team member and inspiration to fellow colleagues. “Kalyn has a strong clinical presence in the ICU and serves as a mentor for many new and experienced nurses,” one nominator describes. “She is a powerhouse at the bedside, always so kind, caring and supportive of not only our patients but our colleagues as well.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about the nominee, one nominator says, “I have met and gotten to know hundreds of nurses over the years, and I would say Kalyn is most definitely in the top ten of the best nurses I know.” Another nominator adds, “Kalyn’s consistent commitment to high-quality, personalized care truly makes a difference in the patient experience.”
Thank you, Kalyn, for your outstanding care and commitment to making an impact in the lives of our patients, colleagues and community!
Lisa King, CNA – Sister Gramen Gratitude Award
On November 2, 2022, Lisa King, CNA, certified nurse assistant in the Orthopedic-Surgical department at Saint Francis Medical Center, received the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award. King received nominations from volunteers, patients, providers, colleagues and more, which is a testament to the impact she makes on all who enter the Medical Center. “Lisa is a welcoming and considerate colleague and is caring and empathetic towards all of her patients regardless of their demeanor,” one nominator states. “She is the first person you would want to see on your first day on the job or as a patient arriving to the floor because she has a calming nature that assures you everything is going to be okay.”
Frequent words used to describe King throughout her nominations include caring, empathetic, hardworking, positive, friendly, loving, cheerful, ray of sunshine and a Godsend. “I have never seen Lisa giving less than 150 percent of herself,” another nominator adds. “Her joy is infectious, and her work ethic is unmatched.”
When asked if there was anything else the nominating committee should know, a nominator answered, “I have heard patients call her an angel, a blessing and amazing just to name a few. She is truly one of a kind and an asset to Saint Francis; the world would be a better place if there were more Lisa’s in it.”
Thank you, Lisa, for your outstanding commitment to our patients, colleagues and community!
Sara Beattie, RN – DAISY Award
On November 1, 2022, Sara Beattie, RN, registered nurse at Cape Physician Associates, a Saint Francis Medical Partner, received the DAISY Award. Beattie’s nominations described her as extraordinary, kind and an excellent communicator. ‘Sara treats all our families with the utmost kindness, respect and compassion,” one nominator describes. ‘She greets each patient with a smile and friendly attitude, talks with families during her time in the room giving immunizations and cheers on pediatric patients when they have been really brave with immunizations.”
Nominators praise Beattie’s commitment to putting colleagues and patients first. ‘Sara will take time out of her busy day to help providers with needs or call families just to check in to make sure their kids are doing okay if they have been seen recently for illness or called in previously with concerns,” one nominator says.
Additionally, nominators praise Beattie for her positivity. ‘She is always positive, even on very busy days where workloads can seem overwhelming,” nominators claim. ‘She goes above and beyond to make sure our patients have a great experience at Saint Francis, whether it be thoroughly answering questions on the phone or providing a calm and positive experience in the clinic.”
Thank you, Sara, for going above and beyond to make an extraordinary impact on our patients, colleagues and community!
Margaret Pender, CNA – Sister Gramen Gratitude Award
On October 31, 2022, Margaret Pender, CNA, certified nurse assistant at Saint Francis Home Health and Hospice, received the Sister Gramen Gratitude Award. Pender’s nominations reflected a deep commitment to bringing joy to patients and their families during an extremely tough time. “Many of Marge’s patients come to feel like she is part of their family,” one nominator notes. “Her care brings peace and joy to each patient’s life she touches. Quality shines through in every job Marge does; she goes above and beyond for every patient and her colleagues.”
Nominators credit Pender’s commitment to her faith and the joy it brings to those around her. When asked what makes Pender unique in the care she provides, a nominator answered, “her love for God and others. She speaks God’s love in all situations.” Another nominator adds, “Marge loves God and is not afraid to share with anyone how great He is and how working here is a part of her ministry. Her faith is unwavering, and stronger than almost anyone I know.”
When asked if there was anything else the selection committee should know about Pender, nominators answered, “Marge has a servant’s heart, which inspires me to try to be more like her every day. She is truly a rare gem here at Saint Francis.”
Thank you, Margie, for your unwavering commitment to our patients, colleagues and community!
Maggie Barron, RN – DAISY Award
On October 26, 2022, Maggie Barron, RN, registered nurse from Saint Francis Medical Center’s Emergency Department, was awarded the first DAISY Award at Saint Francis Healthcare System. Barron received nominations from grateful patients and their family members, who noted “kind, empathetic, knowledgeable, hardworking, competent, respectful and committed are just a few words to describe Maggie.” Nominators noted that Barron’s advocacy for patients, commitment to their care and ability to make her patients and family members feel at ease in a time of distress make her an extraordinary nurse.
One nominator accredits Barron for her kindness and compassion through her father’s last days. “The entire way Maggie handled my father’s situation was comforting,” the nominator notes. “Maggie showed compassion and empathy beyond what most nurses I have encountered have. Maggie had the ability to deliver news and plans for care with love and understanding for our situation; I was so thankful to have her as my father’s nurse in his last days.”
When asked what else the selection committee should know about Barron, nominators answered, “the word outstanding is the best word I could use to describe her,” and, “I have never met her before, but I felt at ease knowing she was taking care of my loved one.”
Thank you, Maggie, for the tremendous amount of kindness and love you demonstrate to make a meaningful impact on our patients, colleagues and community!
Greg Heinsman – Sister Gramen Gratitude Award
On October 26, 2022, Greg Heinsman, Chaplain in Pastoral Care at Saint Francis Medical Center, received one of the inaugural Sister Gramen Gratitude Awards. The nominators for this award describe Heinsman as, “one of the most caring, empathetic individuals at Saint Francis,” and praise the way his compassion, kindness and personable demeanor inspires faith to patients and colleagues alike. His love and support through this role is not only essential to our Ministry, but to support patients in critical care moments and beyond.
“Greg is unique because he is truly essential in the spiritual element of holistic care,” his nominator notes. “He meets patients where they are to support them spiritually and help optimize their healing. In doing so, he has also successfully brought many patients to faith.”
When asked if the nominator would like to add anything else, they noted, “Greg is just the best! He is such a kind soul and works so hard to keep our Mission alive and be a support to all throughout our Ministry. I cannot think of anyone more deserving.”
Thank you, Greg, for the commitment and dedication you have to our patients, colleagues and entire Healthcare System!