DAISY Nurse Leader Award

daisy logoThe DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the auto-immune disease ITP in 1999. During his hospitalization, they deeply appreciated the care and compassion shown to Patrick and his entire family. When he died, they felt compelled to say “thank you” to nurses in a very public way.

We are excited to add The DAISY Nurse Leader Award to our DAISY Program!

The DAISY Nurse Leader Award recognizes nurses who are extraordinary in the impact they have on compassionate patient care. Honorees can be any nurse leader who impacts patient care directly including supervisors, managers, educators or nurses who specialize in case management, informatics or patient flow.

Nominate a Nurse Leader by describing the impact they have had on staff and the patient care they manage!

Nominate a Nurse Leader for the Daisy Award

This Nurse Leader impacts staff and/or the patient care they manage by:

  • Role modeling extraordinary behavior
  • Creating an environment where attributes of trust, compassion, mutual respect, continued professional development and ethical behavior are modeled and supported
  • Motivating staff with a shared vision and enthusiasm to achieve better outcomes for themselves and for their patients
  • Promoting and enhancing the image of nursing within the organization, the community and the profession

Patients, visitors, employees or physicians may nominate a deserving nurse by filling out the nomination form and submitting it to the nominee's nursing manager. We will be presenting 4 awards per year.

awardee wearing a headband of daisies, daisy award statue, and certificate.

Daisy Nurse Leader: Peter Cruz, MHA, BSN, RN (ED Director)

September 2022

Being a leader is more than a title and a role. It is not forgetting how you felt on your very first day on the job and taking people under your wings and showing them, that they too will one day be able to fly. Staying humble, being consistent and fair, and looking at the glass half-full at all times may not be an easy task but the leader I will be writing about encompasses qualities that are nothing short of admirable. Greeting you with a gentle smile no matter the chaos that may be ensuing in the background and keeping calm while navigating uncharted waters, this individual has been able to lead his team not only during the good times, but most importantly during the turmoil as well. Being a leader, is not about the title, it is about what you do with the title for the better. It is being the example and being physically part of the team and being present to round with staff and patients and families, but also taking a team and opening a team or being charge nurse when his staff needs him.

A mentor to many, he has helped inspire and shape nurses both new and seasoned. Always having an open door policy and being an active listener, he goes out of his way to build rapport with his team. He checks in on the staff and often remembers the smallest details of each individual. I witnessed on one occasion when this leader heard after an orientation follow up that one of the horizon nurses was having a challenge successfully completing a finger stick for a glucose check and iStat blood collection. He did not hesitate to reach out to the employee and show them step-by-step exactly how to do it and even offer some words of wisdom and tricks to be able to accomplish this on the first try. He then had a conversation with the employee and paired her with a buddy that gone through something similar, and to this day, I have seen the nurse continuously express her gratitude for his actions. This however, is a common occurrence for this leader, as he truly believes in people and makes sure they know he is in their corner.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought upon many changes and many uncertainties to say the least. Quick to adjust his sails, this leader took control of the situation and steered his team through one of the most challenging times in the history of the department. The unknowns were more than the knowns. The department he leads is often referred to as the “front-door” and the volume and series of events that ensued were very unpredictable. As if the pandemic was not chaotic enough, at one point he was the only manager leading and supporting one of the biggest units with the most staff members. Paving the way, he supported his team and helped nurture and build the new manager he mentored. During a very busy surge in late December of 2022, the new manager and him had been taking turns working 12 hour shifts on the floor and on one night, he showed up at 3:30 am to relieve the new manager. He does not hesitate to jump in when his team needs him, but this leader not only shows up for his team but he also ensures patients are receiving amazing patient care by directly impacting and interacting with patients and families. Fast-forward to this morning when this leader stood up from his desk after receiving a call from a patient’s mother he had helped just last weekend when she called him asking for help. The patient had been an ED patient last week and had to return to an outpatient office this morning. When the patient was here last week, the leader had provided the mom with his phone number and had offered his help should they ever need to return to the ED. To provide some background and without going into too much details, the mother had brought in her son due to a toothache. However, the patient is nonverbal and has a difficult time expressing his pain and needs. During his initial visit, the patient was very anxious and visibly in pain. With all the patience in the world, this leader was able to help the family and place them in a safer room for the patient so he wouldn’t hurt himself and would be able to receive the care he needed. It didn’t however end there, this morning like I mentioned, the leader went to the parking lot and met up with the mom and the patient and personally escorted them to their destination. He managed to help keep the patient calm and was able to give the outpatient office a heads-up and walk the mom through what she may expect and reassure her she was in good hands before leaving.

Overall, the nurse leader I am referring too, deserves a Daisy Nomination not only for the above mentioned specifications but for being more than a leader. Peter Kevin Cruz is our ROCK in the Emergency Department he meets all the demands expected of a leader which include but aren’t limited to “provide a haven of safety for staff, both physically and emotionally, he ensures standards of quality patient care are maintained, ensure nurses have access to the technology and equipment they need – and the information, manage human and financial resources across staffing, supplies and more. He drives team development, resiliency, and competency, ensuring their team members are meaningful recognized for the work they do for patients and families and lastly he provides a setting where compassion is valued, and staff, in turn, treat patients and their families with deep humanity.”

- Lisbeth Mosquera, BSN, RN, ED Manager

awardee wearing a headband of daisies, daisy award statue, and certificate.

Daisy Nurse Leader: Kristen Mendez, Clinical Education Specialist (6T)

August 2022

"Kristen is an extraordinary educational specialist on 6T! She is always going out of her way to share her knowledge and any new educational resources that she finds. She is compassionate and dedicated to her job. She is intentional about coming in early or leaving late to make sure nightshift is also up to date with the best practices. Kristen is a support to the nursing staff in more ways than just with education.

Kristen lends a helping hand with call lights and in patient rooms with tasks whenever needed. She always leaves her door open allowing for those that want to ask questions or need support. She is concerned not only with all these things, but also in bringing unity among our staff. She is positive and always sees the “bright side” of things, shining a light on new perspectives! I am honored to work alongside Kristen!"

-  Valerie Nieves