HOWARD HONORED

DAISY Award winner Christi Howard is shown.

Christine Howard, Pendergrass, a registered nurse who works on the 5th Floor Medical/Surgical Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, has received St. Mary’s system-wide DAISY Award for nursing excellence.

“She is the epitome of nursing excellence,” writes Chaplain Steve Bauer, one of her two nominators. “When I think about nurses who bleed compassion, empathy, and just good old hospitality, I think of Christi every time.”

Howard’s nominations highlighted three examples of her commitment to care. In one, she reached out to her church and made connections with a church in another city to ensure a homeless patient with a life-threatening diagnosis was able to receive follow-up care after discharge. In the second, she raised a patient’s spirits and improved her recovery time by reuniting the patient with a loved one. And in the third, she demonstrated that she valued the dignity of another homeless patient by taking time to clean and trim his hair and beard.

“This is the kind of nurse I want to take care of me, one who is not just concerned about my present care but my outcome. She definitely went above and beyond, but she did it with such a kind and willing heart,” writes nominator Shannon Howell, 5th Floor unit secretary.

Howard joined the St. Mary’s family in August 2019.

The DAISY Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. Inspired by the care that nurses provided to a dying young man, the DAISY Foundation partners with some 4,000 hospitals and schools in all 50 states and 26 nations to honor extraordinary nurses.

At St. Mary's, each DAISY Award recipient is recognized at a COVID-safe public ceremony on their unit. They receive a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, and a hand-carved sculpture entitled "A Healer's Touch." In addition, they and their colleagues are invited to celebrate the occasion with cinnamon rolls, a favorite of the young man whose nurses inspired the creation of the DAISY Foundation.

Anyone can nominate a St. Mary's nurse for the DAISY Award, including patients, patients' family members, providers, or colleagues. Any nurse in the St. Mary's system is eligible, including those at all three hospitals as well as home health care/hospice and medical group offices. The nomination simply asks you to share your story of why a nurse is special to you. St. Mary's honors eight nurses each year. Nomination forms can be obtained by calling Melissa McDaniel at 706-389-3890, ext. 3.

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