MISSOULA — Nursing can be an overworked and underappreciated profession, but the DAISY Award is looking to change that.
Jeremy Williams — a nurse at Providence St. Patrick Hospital for six years — was recently given the DAISY Award, honoring his work as a leader in Missoula.
The DAISY Foundation was founded in 1999 in honor of J. Patrick Barnes, who died from complications of Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura, an auto-immune disease affecting the blood.
The Barnes Family wanted to show appreciation for the nurses who cared for J. Patrick during his hospitalization, hence the creation of the DAISY Award.
Kristin Petersen, chief nursing officer for St. Patrick Hospital, introduced the DAISY Foundation to her hospital as a way to say thank you to her staff.
“I just saw how much it meant to other nurses I had worked alongside,” she says.
Winners of the award are given a plaque, a personalized sculpture and a month-long celebration at their hospital. Plus, the award is a great addition to their resume, according to Petersen.
“I know when I’m looking at resumes to hire people, and I see that they’re a DAISY Nurse Award recipient, I definitely know that they provide compassionate care,” she says.
Nurses can be nominated by patients, family members and colleagues for a Daisy Award.
Williams’ coworkers at St. Pats nominated him for the Nurse Leader Award, which is specifically for nurses in leadership positions, such as directors, supervisors or managers.
Danelle Stengem, a caregiver at St. Patrick Hospital wrote the nomination letter, saying: “Jeremy exemplifies nursing leadership at its best. He continually strives for excellence in problem solving, safe patient care, and the safety of our caregivers. He embodies our Providence Mission and core values in the work he does every day at St. Pats…”
Williams was told of his award on January 19 and felt both shocked and grateful.
“I was immensely surprised, felt blessed and honored,” he says. “To me, to get this recognition, this is like a highlight of my career.”
Williams has been in the medical field for almost 20 years, six of those as a nurse at St. Patrick Hosptial.
His mother inspired him to enter the field, building a career as a nurse herself.
“One of the things that really spoke out to me with being a nurse is being able to impact people’s lives,” he says.
Williams currently serves as director of emergency and psychiatric services, a role that can be as equally stressful as rewarding.
“The individuals that work in mental health, seeing people suffer, it’s hard, you know, there’s a level of trauma that can come with that,” he says. “That being said, it’s also immensely rewarding to see the resiliency that humans have.”
During his time at St. Patrick Hospital, Williams helped create the Missoula Mobile Support Team and a new Mental Health Crisis Receiving Center.
He established an Orange Zone in the Emergency Department at the hospital, where rooms are designed to safely hold an individual in a mental health crisis.
His goal is to improve overall community health in Missoula.
“How do we find ways to improve the care of our community? And it really takes a group effort to do that,” he says.
And the recognition he's received for the award is shared with his team of over 200 nurses.
“While it’s a DAISY Award that I received, it’s also just calling out the great work that our team is doing, and I just have the blessing of leading our team in that direction," he says.
The DAISY Award is a respected and celebrated honor in the medical field.
Forms to nominate a nurse can be found at the front desk of St. Patrick Hospital, or online.
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