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Daisy Award Winners—Recognizing Extraordinary Nurses

Daisy AwardsDAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Award was established by the DAISY Foundation in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died at 33 of ITP, an auto-immune disease. The Barnes Family was awestruck by the clinical skills, caring and compassion of the nurses who cared for Patrick, so they created this national award to say thank you to nurses everywhere.

Anyone can nominate a nurse for the DAISY Award. The DAISY Award committee selects one nurse who exemplifies the following characteristics each month:

  • Established a special connection with a patient/family
  • Has significantly made a difference in the life of a patient
  • Shows empathy in all situations
  • Is an outstanding role model for the nursing profession
  • Generates enthusiasm and energy towards meeting the challenges of nursing
  • Consistently exhibits excellent interpersonal skills
  • Exemplifies the essence of professional nursing in all activities

Each month’s winner receives a nominee pin, a DAISY Award recipient pin, a Healer’s Touch hand carved statue and an award certificate. In addition, the selected nurse’s unit receives a banner to post for the month and freshly baked cinnamon rolls for everyone on the day the award is presented.

To nominate a nurse, fill out this form and return it to the Nursing Administration office at Gwinnett Medical Center. 

GMC Recipients of the DAISY Award

View our previous Daisy Award winners.


2018 DAISY Award Winners

July 2018

Joan Sinclair, an RN in procedural nursing at GMC-Duluth, was named the DAISY Award winner in July. Her nomination follows: 

Joan has been my nurse every six weeks, when I get my infusion. She manages my treatment with the highest level of professionalism, skill and compassion. I have had many reactions during the infusions, and she has always identified the reaction quickly and given me the needed medications for each emergency. She keeps me calm and comfortable. She is an outstanding role model for the nursing profession.



June 2018

Jessica Waddy, an RN in the CVC at GMC-Lawrenceville, was named the June 2018 DAISY Award winner. An excerpt from her nominations follows:

Jessica has a great heart that shows caring and professionalism in all she does. She is a great communicator and person that shows wonderful compassion in all her actions. She made a stressful time bearable and helped the family members feel at ease. Another patient only spoke a foreign language, but had family members that did speak English. She was very thorough in communication with procedures as they were deciding between open heart surgery or additional stenting. She took the time to ensure the patient understood their options. The surgeons and cardiologists had good communication between the groups and the patient eventually decided on additional stents.


May 2018

Karen Smith, an RN in the GMC-Duluth ICU/IMCU, was named the May 2018 DAISY Award winner. An excerpt from her nomination follows:

Karen is very professional and on her job. She is patient, professional and she took time to understand the patient's needs and concerns. She is also very good at follow-up on a patient's concerns. She stayed on top of things until a resolution was found. She is very knowledgeable and upbeat.

She made sure we were heard, understood and validated. She took the time to genuinely address our concerns, followed up with the doctor for us and kept us informed. She also made sure my fiancee had a guest tray to eat and checked in with us after her shift ended. Her selfless care to everyone was so appreciated and we know she gave the same care to everyone in her section. She was always accessible and never made us feel like we were imposing.  


April 2018

Sherley Jussome, an RN in the GMC-Lawrenceville Pre-op, was named the April 2018 DAISY Award winner. An excerpt from her nomination follows:

During my stay at GMC, my husband and I were very concerned about my recovery. This nurse greeted us and took time to listen and address my concerns. She asked if I was satisfied with our discussion and if I'd like her to contact our doctor.

She gave me a lot of information and reviewed it with me and my husband. She printed Krames teaching guides and continued to check on us throughout her shift. My husband and I were very confident during shift change as we were well informed.

This nurse showed a lot of compassion and patience and was very empathetic to our needs and concerns. Thank you so much, sweet nurse, for all you do!


March 2018

Valyncia Carter, a nurse in ICU/IMCU at GMC-Duluth, received the DAISY Award in March. Read her nomination below:

She radiates warmth and generosity. She is very patient and truly listens. She is extremely professional while remaining completely humane. Her sympathy and care of me will not be forgotten. She is a tremendous member of your organization.

During the evening while on the regular floor, my husband's blood pressure dropped and he was unresponsive. We yelled for staff and the team from ICU arrived. She sprang into action and directed everyone on what to do. She brought him back from crashing. If it weren't for her quick response and knowledge my husband would have died. She saved his life and she is a HERO!


February 2018

Taurus Womble, RN in the Emergency Department at GMC-Lawrenceville, was named the February DAISY Award for providing compassionate care. An excerpt from his nomination reads: 

I am nominating this nurse because he is very deserving. He has been with the system since 2012. He is known for his consistent compassionate care. He is a patient advocate always, even if he is the only one. The department lights up when he clocks in. He is happy to be here and it shows. He is an excellent critical care nurse and more important than that is he takes care of his patients with his heart.

This is one example of his practice: the supervisor on nightshift received a call from the crisis team from the Gwinnett Police Dept saying a lady and her two children were in a hotel lobby and the hotel was not allowing her to stay because she could not pay for the room. They were calling to see we if we would allow them to stay in our lobby overnight when in the morning someone would be able to find shelter for them. It was approved.

The supervisor then called this nurse to be on the lookout for this family, who didn't show as the police did not know we had okayed this request. This is when his heart takes over. He went around to his co-workers and collected enough funds to pay for a night's stay in the hotel and some extra for food. He then reached out to the Gwinnett Police Dept and they informed him what hotel they were in.

When he got off work at 3 a.m., he drove to the hotel and met this family and paid for their room. He found out while he was there this family were evacuees from Florida and arrived here with nothing. He returned to the his dept, found some appropriate clothing from what had been left in the department and drove back to the hotel to give the family clothing for cooler weather.

I am certain this act of kindness not only affected the family but the hotel staff also. It made an impact on our staff as it reminded us why we are all here. This is just one example of how this nurse nurses with his heart!

January 2018

Adrienne Nickerson, an RN in the GMC-Lawrenceville Pre-op, is the January DAISY Award winner. An excerpt from her nomination follows:

I wanted to thank your staff for making an emotionally challenging time into a pleasant experience. My wife and I want to acknowledge Adrienne for her amazing ability to connect and diffuse a very emotionally charged event. We have had a number of visits to the OR for one reason or another over the years and I will tell you the experience we had with Adrienne was the best ever. 

My wife was admitted for cancer surgery and was quite emotional and scared. This nurse met us as we entered the pre-op and took us to our room. She was not only professional and thorough but incredibly empathetic while showing a sincere desire to immediately connect as she calmed my wife. Her kind words and sense of humor were very helpful and welcomed. When the OR nurse came to take her to surgery, the nurse requested a few minutes alone with us and shared some encouraging words, assuring us all was well and we were in good hands.

Wow! What a simple but powerful moment before a major surgery/life event. That was pleasantly unexpected. Early in the evening, she made a surprise call to my wife's room to check on her. That was impressive! I can't tell you how much that meant to my wife and me at a critical time with us. Please share this with this nurse and let her know that she is impacting patient lives and making a difference.