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EXTRAORDINARY NURSES RECOGNIZED AT Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center

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Jasper – Nurses at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center are being honored with The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.

Memorial Hospital is excited to announce the first recipient is of this award is, Sara E. Vaal, RN! Sara was recognized for her compassionate and caring demeanor and is described by her nominator, Abby Recker, RN, as “ of the most caring, kind and compassionate individuals I know. She always goes above and beyond to ensure our patients and their families are receiving the best possible care. Sara puts her patients at the forefront. When she enters a patient’s room, she is in that moment and focuses completely on her job.” Thank you, Sara, for your dedication to your patients and Memorial Hospital and Health Care center!

We would also like to congratulate all of the nominees for the DAISY Award, Katie Pfaff, RN, Laura Roettger, RN, Billie Sickbert, RN, and Michelle Wineinger, RN. The DAISY Award is presented quarterly. For more information or to nominate a nurse, visit or contact Tammy Billings at 812-996-0154.

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 patient families.

Each quarter, a Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center nurse will be selected by a specially formed committee to receive The DAISY Award. At a presentation given in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients, and visitors, the honoree will receive a certificate commending her or him for being an "Extraordinary Nurse." The certificate reads: "In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people." The honoree will also be given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

Bonnie Barnes, 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 are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Tonya Heim, Vice President Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Memorial Hospital, says “We are proud to be among the hospitals participating in the DAISY Award program. Nurses are heroes everyday. Given the current national nursing shortage, The DAISY Award could not be launched at a better time. It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”

This is one initiative of The DAISY Foundation whose overall goal is to help fight diseases of the immune system. Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and provides assistance to ITP support groups. More information is available on their website