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DAISY Award Winners 2010

2010 November DAISY Winner: Damaris Sanchez, RN
3 South

Damaris has gone above and beyond to make sure that my daughter, My daughter’s, stay here has been as warm and comfortable as possible, even under a hospital environment.  Damaris has an extremely compassionate heart which is clearly shown through her work here at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.  She has made sure that I, as my daugher’s Daddy, have been informed and comforted through each step of my daughter’s stay.  My daugher has had many hospital stays in many various hospitals throughout her life and Damaris, by far, ahs been the biggest blessing of a nurse to her. 


Damaris works from her heart and knows how to solve a problem when a parent is concerned with their child.

2010 October DAISY Winner: Annie Urbay, RN
Emergency Room
Annie Urbay, has been working several years as EMT for the ER, she has recently become an RN. She was awesome as EMT and now that she is in RN, she is someone to look up to despite her considerable infancy in the nursing profession.  I always regard her as an inspiration when it comes to working in the ER.  Thinking about it, I consider myself above average and I am regarded as senior staff by my peers but somehow I feel ineffectual when Annie is around.  She is far from intimidating but she delivers nursing care with so much sincerity and empathy that none of her patients would think she is a newbie.

Annie stands out from the rest rookies and experienced staff in the ER because her passion abounds in all that she does.  Her genuine enthusiasm to become a better nurse shows in her eagerness to learn and by being positive in learning opportunities that comes her way.  Unfortunately, sometimes it’s really shoved into her face, but still views the opportunity as a learning experience and the chance to make a difference to a patient.  Her infectious zeal to excel enables her to deliver nursing care with artful grace that most oftentimes I just watch how she does her procedures so I can look “professional” when I carry out my own orders. Being a relatively new nurse doesn’t hinder her from a masterful implementation of pediatric nursing care, she looks up stuff she does not know about, practices her skills and often seeks the advice of senior staff in an effort to make her a better practitioner to conform to the high standards that she set for herself.

Not only are the patients fortunate in having her as nurse, her co-workers are always thankful when she is around, she gets the mission accomplished efficiently and more importantly she makes the working environment fun and stimulating.  When Annie is around not only are the patients and their families smiling from satisfaction, but the staff is smiling as well because Annie makes us feel good and safe. At the back of my mind I think “Even if we had the busiest night of all, we will be ok because Annie is here”.

2010 September DAISY Winner: Zoila Infante, RN
2 East

Mrs. Zoila is a great nurse and she speaks clearly and explains to my parents and I what is going on what is going to happen.  When I need something she is here in 2 seconds or less and she always brings a smile to my face.  She really deserves this AWARD......... GOOOOOOO Zoila hahahaha.

She has been absolutely AMAZING! What a perfect personality for a children’s nurse. She relates extremely well to both my daughter and us. I can’t say enough about her. I always request Zoila on every shift.

She is super sweet! Zoila comes when I need her and truly cares about my son and
his well being.  She interacts with him and does a great job.  My 6 month old son loves
to flirt with her.

Zoila is an exceptional nurse.  She is very competent, admiring and funny.  She has
excellent communication skills and understand exactly how I feel.  She does everything in her will to make me feel better and secure.  From all the nurses I have encountered she truly is the best!

2010 June DAISY Winner: Michelle Conger, RN
Dan Marino Urgent Care

I had an MRI done at your facility.  I was extra nervous of the procedure.  However;
within five minutes the kind nature of your nurse (I believe her name was Michelle), had
me calmed down enough to give me a shot.  That shot is an outstanding feature
because I have a fear of needles.  Not only that but she had my hand held during the
procedure.  Her kindness and compassion has made me not only look back at this
experience as pleasant but it has prompted me to write this letter to you as an
expression of gratitude for myself and my family.  Thank you Miss Michelle and all of
your employees working in the MRI department for making my experience stress less,
easy, comfortable and shockingly happy.


2010 May DAISY Winner: Juno Limbo, RN
3 North

I wrote a passage for nurses week about how it takes a special person to be a nurse.  On May 13th, 2010 Juno brought a new meaning to that   phrase.  The Patient he was singing and playing the guitar for is what i like to call a "Frequent Flyer", He's with us all year long on and off...  However on this day he wasn't feeling well at all, he was vometing and feeling really down.  Juno wasn't his Nurse that day but after he finished his rounds, he went in to see the the PT.  Now the PT's Dad is learning to play the guitar so theirs always a guitar in the room.  Juno picked up the guitar and started to play and sing to the Pt.  Remarkabley after 10 Minutes the Pts face was completely lit up, Nothing like he was before!  I often use this quote: "The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is that little Extra"!  That little Extra lit up this childs Mood, Room, and most of all his strength to keep fighting.  I've always had great respect for Juno but after this day he really showed me the tools that a "Special Nurse" need to have.  It all comes from the HEART!  Cheers my friend...  


2010 April DAISY Winner: Maria Penate, ARNP, Neurology

When I first started working the evening shift on the Neuro floor, Taylor back in 1980, I used to get so annoyed by the report I would get from one of the day shift nurses.  She would always say exactly how much to feed a baby, how often to burp it, how to turn a patient, how to give a patient their medicine.  I used to think “does she think I’m stupid?”  but what I came to learn was that she was just always about the patients and wanting to make sure that the care they got was the best .  I ultimately realized we shared a similar philosophy about patient care and became close friends.  With the encouragement of Dr Morrison and Joanne Vignari we joined the American Academy of Neuroscience Nurses and studied and became certified.  We learned as much as we could about neuroscience and neurosurgery; Maria developed a special interest in patients with brain tumors.  She soon became an expert on preoperative and postoperative care.  More than that, she became a staunch advocate for these patients.  She would always be there for the parents when they received this terrible diagnosis.  She is able to encourage them to keep having hope when they feel there is none.  She is not afraid to show her feelings and cry with them.  She lets them know how much they matter.

She started a Brain tumor support group and became involved with the pediatric brain tumor foundation to insure her patients would get the help they needed.  Every year she throws a Christmas party for these kids and makes sure that they are smothered in gifts!

She was eventually made “Assistant Head Nurse” on Taylor and because of her incredible skill as a neurosurgical nurse, she was abducted by Dr Morrison to help him, help his patients.  She became a skilled OR assistant and was used this to be better able to tell her young patients and their families exactly what would happen in the OR.  She continues to be there constantly for these patients as well as any other Neurosurgical patient that needed help.  She taught the nursing staff on Taylor and then 3 South how to properly care for these patients.  She stuck them into Dr Morrison’s schedule even when he was not thrilled with seeing one more patient.  She made sure they got their surgery when they needed it and when the family wanted it.  Her patients and their families know they have an ally in Maria and she will always be there for them.

I would like to let you know how much I appreciate the special care I was given by Maria Penate she not only showed professionalism but Maria was caring, loving and very helpful to my daughter Ashley. Maria always put her heart into helping Ashley first.
Maria, the assistant nurse to Dr. Morrison, has help my daughter, Ashley through several surgeries and procedures done at Miami Children hospital. Without Maria, standing by her side throughout these things we as a family could not have made it through. Maria is someone on your staff that you should be very, very proud of. Her compassion, understanding, strength, professionalism, and kindness to my family and our daughter will never be forgotten. She calmly handled all the details from how to tell Ashley about the surgery to actually walking us to the operating room. Maria was there after the surgeries to answer any questions we had whether they were repeated ones or serious ones. Her strength became our strength and I truly appreciate her help. Maria has even helped us this year through yet another surgery that she did not have to help with. Maria has been a God sent to us and is a very special person to our family. Thank you so much Maria.

The Howell Family


It has been my honor and privilege to work with her.  She has always pushed and inspired me to be better.  I can think of no one who better describes the kind of nurse that the inspired the Barnes family to create this award.

2010 February DAISY Winner: Rosanne Wills, RN
Nicklaus Children's Hospital Nurse of the Year
3 Northeast
Rosanne has been a dedicated nurse to this organization for over 35 years. Rosanne always comes to work with a positive attitude. Whenever there is a volunteer or a student nurse that needs a mentor, Rosanne always volunteers to mentor them. Rosanne makes sure she gives them an in-depth experience.  She enjoys teaching them and this makes their experience very exciting and fulfilling. Rosanne is also very dedicated and compassionate with her patients. Rosanne advocates for  her patients and acts like a mother figure to her patients when they are alone.  She makes sure she spends more time with them and ensures a child life consult is ordered. Rosanne ensures her patients have age appropriate toys at the bedside to help take their mind off the hospital stay.  Rosanne has brought in clothes for patients that were in need. Rosanne is on the poster for the Bill of Rights for patients and families. She is a role model for the hospital and is dedicated to the profession of nursing and Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Every day that Rosanne works she displays compassionate care and demonstrates the Nicklaus Children's Hospital way. Rosanne cheers up patients by giving them beads and stickers she brings from home, works in her community church where they help to assist the poor, and helps out with a boy scout troop by helping them with fundraising and other activities.Rosanne puts her patients and co-workers first and acts with integrity. Rosanne collaborates and is a co-worker that you can trust and depend on. There are so many positive attributes of this exemplary nurse:

She started as a candy striper at 17.

She has been a great employee all these years. This is the only place she has ever worked.
  • She is the sweetest person you will ever find.
  • Her pleasant disposition is seen and felt by all patients, families, and colleagues.
  • She is slow to anger.
  • She is an excellent, patient and caring preceptor to employees and nursing students.
  • She is an excellent resource;always willing to help.
  • She offers her words of wisdom to her younger colleagues and students when solicited or needed.
  • She is a joy to work with.

2010 January DAISY Winner: Melinda Duran, RN, PICU

Laura Hernandez, ARNP, MSNMelinda was nominated for being an angel and consistently delivering holistic care to her patients. Melinda came in on her day off at the request of a family to be present as the nurse during the harvesting of their child's organs. Melinda is truly a wonderful nurse and role model. We are Blessed to have her.




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