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Hunterdon News

Hunterdon Healthcare Nurse Receives The DAISY Award® For Extraordinary Nurses


On January 7th, Lebanon Township resident, received the Daisy Award. Emily Heitkamp, BSN, RNC, 5 North Surgical Unit at Hunterdon Medical Center received the Daisy Award.

January 8, 2020

In 2019, Hunterdon Healthcare launched an international nurse recognition program called, The DAISY Award. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the clinical skill and the compassion nurses provide to patients and families every day.  On January 7th, Lebanon Township resident, Emily Heitkamp, BSN, RNC, 5 North Surgical Unit at Hunterdon Medical Center received the Daisy Award.

The husband of a patient of Emily’s wrote, ““My wife was admitted to Hunterdon Medical Center with severe abdominal pain. Emily was professional, caring and my wife and I were impressed with not only her skills, but her depth of knowledge of the treatment plan and why it was being given.  Emily helped to reduce our anxiety in a stressful situation.  She was supportive of the physicians and the care team, however, when the routine course of action didn’t seem to be helping, Emily was a real patient advocate and presented facts on my wife’s case to the decision makers. Emily communicated and listened. Paid attention to details and gave us the confidence and care we needed. As a retired CEO, I always looked for people who viewed their role as not just a job, but as a responsibility for success.  Emily is that person and Hunterdon Healthcare is lucky to have such a wonderful nurse.”

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes.  Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families.

Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation said, “When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human work they do.  The kind of work the nurses throughout Hunterdon Healthcare are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses has been adopted by 3,500 health care facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 21 other countries, committed to honoring their nurses for their extraordinary care and compassion.  Individual nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues and they are chosen by a Hunterdon Healthcare committee.

“We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in the DAISY Award program.  Nurses are heroes every day.  It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that,” explained Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services, Patricia Steingall, MS, RN, NE-BC.

DAISY Award recipients are presented with a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, a beautiful hand-carved serpentine stone sculpture from Zimbabwe, and a spotlight page on The DAISY Foundation website, featuring a photo and telling the story of why this nurse was honored. In addition, each DAISY Award facility will receive a large celebratory banner that is hung in the recipient’s unit for a month.

At each award presentation, all the nurses and staff in the recipient’s unit are treated to cinnamon rolls. The reason?  Once, Patrick ate his father’s cinnamon roll when he was in the hospital without an appetite for food.  He then requested one for the next day – and enough for all the nurses in the unit.

To nominate a nurse that works for Hunterdon Healthcare System or to learn more, visit www.hunterdonhealthcare.org/daisy-award.



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