DAISY Awards

Every quarter the Nursing department honors one special nurse with the DAISY Award and recognizes him or her for demonstrating excellence through clinical expertise and compassionate patient care. The award is given in partnership with the DAISY Foundation, which was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died of complications of the auto-immune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) at the age of 33. DAISY is an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system. During Barnes’ 8-week hospitalization, his family was awestruck by the care and compassion his nurses provided not only to him but to everyone in his family. One of their goals in creating the foundation in his memory was to recognize extraordinary nurses everywhere who make an enormous difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families.

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital is proud to be a partner in the international program that celebrates nurses for the extraordinary service they give to patients and their families every day. DAISY Award winners are outstanding role models in our nursing community, and they personify the MedStar Good Samaritan Experience, living out the MedStar SPIRIT values of:

  • Service
  • Patient First
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Innovation
  • Teamwork

Patients, visitors, nurses, physicians, and hospital employees may nominate a deserving nurse by filling out nomination forms provided on each nursing unit. The DAISY Award honoree will be recognized at a surprise ceremony at his or her unit and will receive a DAISY Award pin and certificate, a hand-carved stone sculpture and a bouquet of flowers (daisies, if possible). In addition, all managers, physicians, hospital leadership, Professional Development Council (PDC) nurses, and the winner’s family is invited, and everyone celebrates with Cinnabon® cinnamon rolls, one of Barnes’ favorite treats during his illness.

To find out more about the DAISY Foundation and DAISY Award program, visit DAISYfoundation.org.

2018 DAISY Nurse Leader Award Winner - CeCi Pukacz, RN, 4 East/Observation

CeCi Pukacz, RN, patient care manager on 4 East/Observation, received the 2018 DAISY Nurse Leader Award during the Nurses Week luncheon. The prestigious annual award recognizes nurse leaders who make a difference in patient care through outstanding leadership. CeCi cares about her associates both professionally and personally. Working with her staff and across departments, CeCi is a leader who finds solutions to better patient care. Her nomination stated, "While CeCi speaks up when she sees that something is compromising patient or employee safety, she will be the first to praise us for a job well done."

The nomination also noted, “CeCi advocates for her staff at all times…is also very easy to approach…makes herself available at all times–even when she is not working…CeCi even checks in on the unit on weekends when she is off just to see how things are going.” In addition, “she knows and understands that our lives extend beyond work and she makes an attempt to get to know each of her employees as an individual.” 

March 2018 DAISY Award Winner - Christine Kreiser, RN, O’Neill 4

Christine Kreiser, RN, received the DAISY Award for providing compassionate care and concern for her patients. The patient who nominated her said, “Mrs. Christine listened to my concern and gave me a reassuring talk. After the surgery, Mrs. Christine took the time to explain everything she had to do from hanging my IV, to pain management, to finding the right medication to help me deal with the pain...She was invaluable from her bedside manners to her professional knowledge."

October 2017 DAISY Award Winner – Kaley Corrigan, RN, ICU

Kaley Corrigan, RN, was presented with the prestigious DAISY Award for exemplifying nursing excellence and providing extraordinary patient care. In her nomination letter, a patient’s daughter stated, “As a nurse, I felt blessed to have Kaley caring for my mother. Her care and compassion made me feel like my brothers and I were being held in the palm of her hand (much like God does with us).” In addition, Kaley helped the family feel more ease by explaining their mother’s medical treatment and allowing them as much time as they needed to be by their mother’s side. “Kaley is truly a DAISY nurse…She had a hospitality cart brought into the room as an added measure of comfort...it allowed for us to be with our mom longer....She truly is a special person with the gift of love for others.”

July 2017 DAISY Award Winner - Johanna Romero de Slavy, MSN, RN, CRRN-BC

Johanna Romero de Slavy, MSN, RN, CRRN-BC, received the DAISY Award from our Professional Development Council (PDC) for going above and beyond the call of duty for a patient. Her award nomination stated, “Jo Jo is a very compassionate nurse who extends her nursing practice even outside of the hospital. [Fourteen years ago, Johanna] met a quadriplegic. Her rehab skills benefited [this patient] each time he was a patient on the rehab unit. Not only did she work with [him] as a nurse but she looked beyond his limitations and developed a deep friendship...she took him to baseball games, watched movies, listened to music, and talked. She completed his p.m. care each Friday and enjoyed doing it…She truly is an extraordinary nurse and person.”

April 2017 DAISY Team Award Winners - Comprehensive Cardio Pulmonary Care Unit (CCPC) 

The associates of our Comprehensive Cardio Pulmonary Care Unit were the first within MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital to receive the prestigious DAISY Team Award. Their effort began in 2016 on Valentine’s Day when the staff provided small gifts to three patients who seemed to be alone without visitors. With most of the planning and organizing done on the staff's own time, they readily volunteered to do whatever was necessary to show the patients that they cared about them.

April 2017 DAISY Award Winner - Sandra Avalos, RN, Short Stay Unit (SSU)

Sandra Avalos, RN, received the DAISY Award from our Professional Development Council (PDC) for the compassionate care and support she provided a patient and his family. The patient's son recognized Sandra for taking time to listen and clearly communicate the care she provided and for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve his father. He said, “It was clear at the beginning that Nurse Sandra cared deeply for my dad‘s care (as if he were her own family). With such care and compassion, Good Sam is at the top of our list for professional and elite care…for its expertise and compassion. [Her] extraordinary, above and beyond the call of duty care exemplifies the underlying mission of MedStar Good Samaritan.” Sandra is pictured above (second from left) with her fellow SSU associates.

November 2016 DAISY Award Winner – Oliver Macale, BSN, RN, Vascular Access Team

Oliver Macale, BSN, RN, received the DAISY Award for providing exceptional patient care and assisting fellow nursing staff. When one of his colleagues asked for help during a rapid response, Oliver, having many years of cardiac care experience, jumped in to help stabilize the patient. He remained with the patient when they needed an emergency CT scan and then transported them to the Intensive Care Unit. “Oliver is a true team player,” his colleague said.

June 2016 DAISY Award Winner – Emma Osei-Adu, RN


Emma received the prestigious DAISY Award for the compassion and concern she displays to her patients, their families and her fellow associates. She was nominated by a patient’s wife who appreciated Emma for her professionalism, diligence and extensive experience in nursing. She explained how Emma stayed two hours past her scheduled shift to make sure her patient’s needs were met before Emma went home. She said, “[Emma] is compassionate and concerned about the patient’s family’s welfare.” Above, Emma is pictured with Patient Care Manager Carole Hiteshew, RN, MSN.

March 2016  DAISY Award Winner - Bernie Krol, BSN, RN, Ambulatory Surgery Unit (ASU)


Bernie was awarded the DAISY Award for providing compassionate care and service to a patient in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit (ASU). Bernie closely monitored her patient following an outpatient procedure, and over time, the patient needed an emergency procedure. During the patient's extended hospital stay, Bernie visited the patient even when she was no longer the patient’s assigned nurse. In nominating Bernie, the patient's daughter said, "Thank God for Nurse Bernie's knowledge... [Her] expertise was so appreciated that night by my entire family...She deserves this award. She goes beyond her calling as a nurse. She is thorough, kind, compassionate, and just an exceptional nurse. Thank you, Bernie."

October 2015 DAISY Award Winner - Roxanne Baker, BSN, RN, Heart Care Unit (HCU)

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Roxanne was honored with the DAISY Award for providing compassionate care and going above the call of duty to make sure her patient was comfortable during her stay. She was commended by her fellow nurses, including Nadine Stewart, RN (ICU) and Judy Armus, RN (HCU). One nominator wrote how Roxanne’s patient was concerned about her bird, and since she had no loved ones nearby, Roxanne went to the patient’s house to check on the bird and to bring clothes for the patient to wear when she was discharged. The patient was so grateful and appreciated Roxanne’s kindness. Knowing that her bird was okay, the patient could relax and focus on her recovery.

June 2015 DAISY Award Winner - Elizabeth Smart-Chapman, RN, Short Stay Unit (SSU)/4 East


Liz was recognized with the prestigious DAISY Award for her exceptional charisma in caring for a terminal cancer patient and his family. Fellow nurse Brenda Eno, RN nominated Liz and commended her for taking extra time to help the patient’s family and case management to arrange for medical equipment and transportation which was delayed for hours. She said, “Liz worked with the family to address their needs, and the patient was very pleased with his care. When he was leaving he said ‘I will miss you all because all the help Elizabeth gave to me’.”

October 2014 Daisy Award Winner - Timairee Sutton, RN, O'Neill 4




Here are some of the wonderful comments that were submitted about Timairee that demonstrate why she encompasses all the qualities of a Daisy Award winner:


“This nurse always displays courtesy, ownership, enthusiasm and teamwork while working. She is constantly going above and beyond to ensure that patients are cared for. She never hesitates to pitch in and help will ALL patients.”


“Timairee is consistently reliable and dependable. I am always happy when I work on the same shift as her because she takes pride in her profession.”

“Our unit recently had a patient that required a lot of extra care and attention. Although Timairee was not originally scheduled to work with the patient, she was always there to assist in their care and keep them safe.”


“As a charge nurse, I observe Timairee’s willingness to go the extra mile when providing patient care. Not only does she provide excellent patient care, she consistently offers help to her co-workers.”


Previous Daisy Award Winners at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital:

Jessica Ruff - May 2013
Brenda Madison - December 2012
Lakita Godsey - July 2012
Michele Pitt - April 2012
Cassandra Baker - January 2012
Jackie Tela October - 2011
Cliff Madden - July 2011
Ruth Bertuzzi - April 2011
Debbie Cash - January 2011
Nitza Larb - October 2010
Susan Clark - June 2010
Sandra Avalos - April 2010