Newest DAISY Winners Bloom

Posted: January 15, 2020

An inspirational nurse and leader, and a delivery room nurse who helped calm a patient are NorthBay Healthcare’s newest DAISY award recipients.

Isabelle Johnson, R.N., who works on 1-2 West, was surprised to receive her DAISY award Dec. 16. MacKenzie Anderson, R.N., in Labor & Delivery, was honored during a surprise ceremony on Dec. 13.

Other finalists this quarter were Danielle Manno, R.N., NorthBay ICU; Alex Sadat, R.N., 1 West; Lauren Wiessler, R.N., 1600 Unit; Meropi Wilson, R.N., 1800 Unit; and Lina Zughbaba, radiation oncology-certified nurse. Finalists are nominees who were top contenders for the award and received a DAISY nomination pin to recognize them.

Isabelle was awarded a DAISY for the care she shows not only her patients, but her coworkers. Isabelle Johnson (center) was selected to receive a DAISY award for the thoughtful touches and compassionate care she shows not only patients, but co-workers.

“Isabelle is one of our fearless leaders on our unit. Serving in the lead nurse role for many years, Isabelle brings her leadership, humor and compassion to everything she does. She not only facilitates care of the patients and families, but takes an active role in caring for the staff,” according to the nomination. “She often uses her own money and an abundance of her time to beautify our unit. Recently, she converted one of our small offices into a relaxation room and she did an amazing job! It is a little piece of quiet paradise with faux candles, a recliner, and a forest-style mural that she herself applied to an entire wall. It has been a source of excitement and pride for the staff.

“The most amazing program that Isabelle put her heart and soul into is to create care packages for our newly diagnosed cancer patients. She had the idea to create a care package that she named ‘Brighten a Day Bag’ for every new patient who is diagnosed with cancer and begins treatment on our unit. The care packages, that she personally puts together, have a variety of items, such as a soft blanket for patients to use while they’re in the hospital, a journal or book, soft stuffed animals, pretty lotion bottles for women, or a neck pillow for men. She accepts donations from staff and from community businesses, as well as contributing from her own pocket.

“Often these patients come into the hospital with a brand-new symptom and discover that they need to prepare for the battle of their life. They’re afraid, anxious and sad. This has made an amazing difference for patients who are faced with a life-altering diagnosis. The bags have been met with gratitude and sometimes tears. Isabelle is an amazing nurse who we are proud to call one of our own!”

The patient who nominated MacKenzie Anderson for the DAISY award returned to help in the presentation, bringing along her young daughter, who MacKenzie quickly scooped up for a hug.MacKenzie Anderson took the time to listen to her anxious patient, which made all the difference, according to her nominator.

“Looking back on the events, I recognize that I was far from the easiest patient, adding my input where I should have let the staff care for me. However, MacKenzie took my wishes into consideration and supported me the best she could. She recognized that I wanted things to be explained and helped me understand what was happening, the risks and the issues,” wrote her patient. “Despite a lot of my time being a blur, I’ll never forget MacKenzie leaning over and telling me ‘you will know you’re in the clear when you no longer see my face.’ She kept her promise and only left when I was safely back in my room. From my recollection that was 10:30 p.m., three hours after her shift ended, despite having little children and a husband at home waiting for her.

“MacKenzie is the kind of nurse every patient wants to have in her room. She stayed around long after her shift ended to make sure that her patient was in the clear. She talked me through each stage of the process and explained things to me so I’d understand what was happening. While being a challenging patient, she helped me remain calm during one of the most challenging and scariest moments of my life. She showed compassionate care and empathy throughout the entire process. I could tell she truly cared about my outcomes.

“I have a newfound respect for all nurses but in particular, MacKenzie, whom I’ll forever be grateful for. Thank you, MacKenzie, for holding my hand and helping me through one of the most important and scariest days of my life. I don’t believe we would have had the same outcomes without you. Your compassion, empathy and attitude helped me get through to the other side.”

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize super-human efforts nurses perform every day.

More information is available at www.DAISYfoundation.org. Forms to nominate a NorthBay nurse can be found online at www.NorthBay.org/DAISY.

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