When Page Hospital honored its top nurses last week, it was mostly a time of celebration. But one special award, brought out emotion not usually seen during times of celebration.
Brian Kellar, the CEO of Page Hospital, awarded the first Daisy Celebratory Award to John Redmond, a nurse who died in January after working for more than a decade at Page Hospital.
“John touched so many people in his 10 years at Page Hospital,” Kellar said. “He had a passion for patients, especially children. If you ever wanted to see Daisy in action, you should have watched him start IVs on small children. He was skilled and put the child and parents at ease.”
As Kellar explained the award, Redman’s widow, Felicia, came to the front to accept her husband’s award from Melisa Serventi, facilities coordinator for the hospital.
As Felicia listened in, Kellar read notes of gratitude sent from patients, after Redmond helped care for them.
“Several times he cared for my child,” one parent wrote. “You can only imagine the fear as you carry your small child into the ER knowing how very sick he was. John would scoop my child up and immedately put him at ease. He would tenderly coach my child to take deep breaths as he took his breathing treatments.”
Another parent wrote the following, “Because of John, I felt safe bringing my son to Page Hospital. He made us feel like he truly cared for all of us. It still amazes me how he knew exactly what we wanted. His balance of critical, efficient, life-saving skills, yet his kind and personal caring was truly inspiring to me as a nurse and as a mom.”
After Felicia accepted the award with tears among many in the crowd, Kellar emphasized the role Redmond played at Page Hospital.
“We all lost John this past January,” Kellar said. “If you got to know him or just met him, you loved him.”
While Redmond’s award brought out the most emotion, the top award given by Page Hospital went to another nurse. The Daisy Award, one of the biggest honors a nurse anywhere can receive, was awarded to Juliann Dalton.
“Juliann is so welcoming and knowledgeable,” said Susan Eubanks, chief of nursing at the hospital. “She is caring and kind to her patients. Juliann teaches with kindness and patience. She works with a cheerful disposition. She sees what needs done and always helps others.”
The Daisy Award began in the early 1990s after a young man named Patrick J. Barnes was hospitalized with an illness. Barnes eventually died after his hospitalization, but his parents were so moved by the care he received from nurses, they created the Daisy Foundation in his memory. Through the foundation, hundreds of hospitals across the country honor their best nurses with the Daisy Award program.
At Page Hospital, patients can nominate nurses throughout the year and only one is awarded the Daisy Award.
“Juliann is one of our young nurses,” Eubanks said. “The passion she brings to her nursing is a calm passion. She goes above and beyond. She definitely brings that care out into the community. She’s amazing.”
Six Page Hospital nurses were nominated for the Daisy Award. Along with Dalton, the nominees included Jeff Swyers, Julie Yucker, Glenda Washburn, Gail Roundtree and Mark Burkett.
During the ceremony during National Hospital Week, Page Hospital also honored some of its other great nurses.
Kristina Luster was given the Contribution to Nursing Leadership Award.
“Despite being part-time, Kristina has taken on serving as Page Hospital’s co-manager,” Eubanks said. “Kristina has maintained a collaborative trauma process improvement committee with staff members and four local EMS agencies. She participates on committees at the county and state level to improve outcomes for trauma patients.”
Brittany Hansen was awarded the Contribution to Society Award for her service to the community.
“Brittany has organized and taught summer camp for young girls every summer for several years,” Eubanks said. “Brittany serves in her church’s Relief Society, providing meals for families in crisis, family assistance services including budgets, cleaning and family needs. She serves on the Page Little League Board and coaches soccer. She is a natural helper and caregiver.”
Barb Pajunen received the Contribution to Profession Award.
“Barb has served as a mentor, advisor, instructor and wonderful resource for all nurses for many years,” Eubanks said. “She is always willing to share her knowledge of emergency medicine, billing, QA, policy and procedure and EMR charting. She serves as a vital member of several committees, including trauma and quality assurance.”
Only one award during the ceremony was given to someone who is not a nurse. The Ambassador Award was given to Mike Kelly.
“Mike is always happy to help in the ED/ICU in critical situations,” Eubanks said. “He helps answer phones, call lights, assisting with taking specimens to the lab and helping with the code chart. He works day and night and always has a smile on his face.”
Page Mayor Bill Diak is mostly known for his political work in the city, but for years he has made his living working at Page Hospital. At the ceremony, he thanked the nurses for the work they do.
“We all do it for different reasons,” Diak said. “For some of us, it’s a job. For some, it’s a career. For some of us it’s a whole lot more. It’s who we are and shows we care.”
Diak said the nurses he works with all go above and beyond every day.
“We care about our patients,” he said. “We care about helping others. It’s not just a career for us, it’s a way of life for us. I applaud you and I thank you for all you do.”