Rachel Carlson, RN

Rachel was my saving grace. I had a bad 3 days and nights in the hospital and couldn't sleep. She managed to coordinate the blood draws, blood sugar draws and med dispensing so I could get some very-much needed sleep.

She showed a lot of compassion to me as her patient. She certainly earned my respect when she asked for my room the second night, after I was short with her on the first night.

Rachel is a shining example of what nursing should be.

Thank you, Rachel, for pulling me out of my misery and letting me get some sleep.

Nominated by a patient

Denise Mariner, RN

Denise was amazing during our stay in the PICU. Our daughter was in a terrible car accident and while she was in the PICU Denise helped me to wash our daughter’s hair and to keep her clean. Our daughter never got any bed sores or skin problems because the nurses were so diligent with her cares. Even if we had just changed the bed and we had to do it again Denise never complained. She was always just concerned with keeping my daughter cared for. Something as simple as washing my daughter’s hair was a big undertaking but Denise never made it feel that way. Those simple things made it seem like we were doing something while we were waiting for our baby girl to wake up. Denise was there when our daughter spoke to us for the first time and she celebrated with us- she also came and saw our daughter after she left the PICU.

Submitted by a patient’s family member

My Little girl came in having extremely low calcium and seizures. She had a tonic clonic seizure. Denise took the best care of her. She then comforted me as I broke down. She made sure things were right with her such as… Labs- they wanted to take too much blood, she questioned it and called doctors to make sure they didn’t take too much blood from her tiny body. She took my daughter on many walks and treated her with love! Even though she wasn’t her nurse the last day, she still came in checked on her and colored and took her on a walk. Denise did an Outstanding Job taking care of my baby. She wasn’t the only one who was awesome though!

Submitted by a patient’s family member

April Walker, RN House Supervisor

I cannot begin to describe how positively April impacted this tragic event in our life. It was one of the hardest things we have ever been thru. April took a personal involvement in the death of our loved one. From checking in on us at her every chance, to holding my four month old son so I could give my final good-byes. She is a calming force in an often chaotic situation. Making sure we were ok meant the world to us. After driving 10 hours and not sleeping for over 24 hours it felt good to know she was there to talk to, rely on and confide in. She is an AMAZING person and I feel so blessed to have met her. I want to say thank you and give you a big hug. I know her job isn't easy but anyone who has ever been in our situation is so fortunate to have her touch their lives either directly or indirectly. You are a gift from the heavens April, thank you.

Nominated by: Family members

Mary Tanner

We have had Mary be our nurse and help take care of each one of our kids. After all 5 of them it has always been an amazing experience. She is the one nurse that I can feel 100% confident with. She understands me and my baby’s needs perfectly. She loves her job and truly cares for the patients as individuals. Mary, thank you for helping us with our family, it meant the world to me to have you with each one of our kids.

Submitted by a patient

Mary was considerate of my questions and explained everything and anything in an easy way to understand.  She treated me as a friend and not just a patient.  She went above and beyond to make me feel valued and I really appreciate it.  She stayed on her shift longer than she had to just to help me check out because she said she would.  I am sure she had much better things to go home and do but she stayed longer to help me.  She would gladly oblige to my requests when others weren’t as willing.

Submitted by a patient

Mary took a lot of time to get to know me personally. She was always on top of medications and anything else I needed. She was outstanding in helping take care of my baby- made sure I felt safe and confident in my own ability to care of my baby. She offered help in all areas, pain, breastfeeding, personal care and care of the baby. I was sad when she went off shift. I knew I could ask her ANYTHING at any time and she would do all she could to help. I loved her.

Submitted by a patient

Great Nurse! Very respectful bed side manners. Mary made sure to help me with moving about until my legs were all the way un-numb. Once I was mobile she was very good about letting me handle things with my baby while still being there for support. On top of requests and times she needed to check in.

Submitted by a patient

Mary has been amazing helping us adjust to life with a newborn. She is amazing at what she does and you can tell that she works hard to do her best at everything.

Submitted by a patient

BreAnna Craig, RN

I have been sick for 14 months straight now. I have been in hospitals from Idaho to Utah to Wyoming. Needless to say, I have had my share of nurses. I have to say that of all the nurses who have treated me, none have matched the care that I have received from BreAnna.

Above and beyond is cutting her short, because she’s done more than that. From going to bat for me with the doctors, to chasing my coffee. Without hesitation, she has done everything I could ask and plenty of things I didn’t have to. The lengths she went to in attempts to help me find comfort. BreAnna made me feel like she really cares about me. I believe whole-heartedly her general concern is not only true and genuine but also a reflection of the wonderful person she is. I personally witnessed her hustle up and down the hallway to get to her next patient, yet when she gets into the room, she stops, focuses and takes time to listen. I have never had a nurse or doctor so thorough in their care for me. I would like to say thank you. While in extreme bone pain, Breanna with her efforts has provided a level of comfort to my struggles I haven’t been able to find. I am really at a loss for words, and I hope this letter makes its way to the right people that can give her the credit she deserves.

Remember 14 months, five hospitals, 20 plus of them stays, multiple doctors, hundreds of nurses and none of them have left an impression like she has. EIRMC has a gifted nurse with Breanna. I hope you guys appreciate her like me, and I am sure other patients. She is simply amazing!!! Thank You Breanna. Thank you for the great care it was definitely above and beyond my expectations.

Nominated by Joshua Walker

Ken Gunderson, RN, BSN

Ken went out of his way to check up on me when I was way over due from a procedure. He then went the extra mile to take my pain meds down to me when I was stuck in radiology. He is also very attentive to my needs and handles himself in a very professional yet caring manner. Ken has been very caring and you can tell that he loves what he does. You can tell that he loves his work and that it is more to him than just a job.

Nominated by a 5th floor patient

Bernice Wilkins, RN

When I came in to be induced I was very nervous. Bernice immediately made me feel very comfortable and at ease. When she found out that I could not have an epidural she took the extra time to teach me some great breathing techniques. Even though her shift ended and she was not there when I delivered, her advice and techniques helped me tremendously and then she came and visited us when she was back on shift to see how the delivery went, which meant a lot to us. She made my experience very good.

Nominated by: a former patient

Bernice from Labor and Delivery was beyond what my wife and I could have asked for in regards to helping us through labor. This was our first child, and thus our first delivery, and looking back my wife and I could not imagine the experience without Bernice there. She is the type of nurse that displays an obvious passion and love for her occupation, which is a rarity it today's world. Bernice struck a wonderful level between professionalism and personal, making us feel cared for and reassured. Her balance between these two takes such talent most individuals fail to ever achieve in their working life. This ability is evident of her talent as a Labor and Delivery nurse. My wife and I feel we gained a friend whom we both care for and who cared for us through the delivery. We truly care about her because we know she truly cared for us.

Nominated by: a former patient

We have had six babies at this hospital. Bernice is by far the best and most memorable nurse we have had. She went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable during the difficult labor my wife had (almost 24 hrs.). She goes the extra mile and doesn’t just do the job to “check the box”.

Nominated by: a former patient

Since the beginning, she was very welcoming and caring. Everyone that walked into the room to see us, she introduced herself, asked them questions making them feel comfortable, and welcomed. She made sure everyone there and I never needed anything while she was out of the room. Throughout my labor, she made me feel well taken care of and I felt like I didn’t have to worry about anything. We loved how happy she was as well as very detailed when she explained things. She definitely made us want to come back to this hospital with another birth.

Nominated by: a former patient

Jana Fugleberg, RN

We would like to nominate Jana for the Daisy Award. Because of her care, compassion and effort that she puts into every patient she encounters. Case management is not thought of as a “hands on the patient” caring area of nursing. This is where Jana puts the different spin on case management. She puts a special touch on every case to help the patient and their family have less worry and work. Like dealing with insurance, facilitating rehabs, crisis center, homeless shelters or just an ear to listen. Jana will exhaust every avenue for every patient she encounters to give them a better chance when they step outside the hospital. On top of that, she assists the house supervisors during tragic events. She has found family for patients, which is sometimes a challenge in itself. We work together to help the families deal with the immediate situation and bad outcomes.

There is so much more we can add about her care and effort. Working with Jana not only improves the patient’s experience but it also makes our EIRMC team stronger and better.

Nominated by April Walker, RN, House supervisor, and JJ Keller, RN, House Supervisor

Haylee Harrison, RN

I work as a CST in EIRMC’s operating room. On Monday night 3/6/17our CVOR call team was called in to care for a patient in extremely critical condition. Haylee coordinated our supporting staff so calmly and efficiently. She was there to help us at every turn while still meeting the needs of other OR teams who were also working at the time. It was a heart wrenching case and despite everyone’s dedication and determination we lost our patient. This is when Haylee brought me to tears and showed that she deserves the Daisy Award 100 times over. I cannot begin to describe the way Haylee comforted the grieving family. The way Haylee spoke with the family members, and the compassion she showed is not something that can be taught, it’s a gift. Haylee waited with such vigilance and understanding while each of the family members had their chance to say goodbye. She was able to show the grieving family such grace at one to the worst times in their lives. Haylee is an irreplaceable facet to our OR family and deserves this award.

Submitted by: Sophie Weber

Haylee is one of the best nurses I have the privilege of working with. Recently during a trauma, Haylee not only stepped up as the charge nurse and took control of the situation, she simultaneously provided excellent care to the family. She performed all of her roles that night flawlessly, especially in her care of the grieving family. She showed extreme compassion and kindness, going far beyond what was expected of her. Haylee is always cheerful and kind and goes out of her way to help everyone around her. She is an example to me of what an excellent nurse can accomplish. I am proud to work with Haylee and to be able to call her a friend.

Submitted by: Blake Stoddard

I just want to praise the evening crew for their assistance with the ECMO case on 3/6/17. Each person involved displayed exceptional skills and compassion. Many stepped in to positions that aren’t routine in the day to day running of the OR. Haylee is a charge nurse that I am pleased to work with. She provided logistic support for our case as well as keeping the family informed. It was great so see how her roles of responsibility changed especially after the passing of our patient. She made the change from supporting patient and staff to helping the family grieve look effortless. Words cannot express how impressed I am with her work.

Submitted by: Daryl Dalling, BSN, RN

Sean Brower, RN

Sean is probably the best nurse I know. Everyone loves working with him because he is always smiling, always positive, always has something kind or good to say, always helps whenever he can, always makes his patients feel cared about and always supports his fellow nurses. His level of patience, compassion and positivity are exceptional in any circumstance! There are countless examples of how he exemplifies the qualities of an ideal nurse. On one occasion, he stayed late (until midnight) after his 12- hour shift (due to short staffing) only to come back for his scheduled shift the next morning, and smiling through it all.

Sean will never complain and even on the bad days his positivity is un-wavering. Sean will do everything he can to support his fellow nurses. Whether he is answering call lights or teaching/helping another nurse before clocking in for a shift; changing his schedule to help accommodate another nurse. He always cares and most importantly his patients always feel cared about and he makes their hospital stay a more positive one or less miserable. Sean is so great and so humble about it.

Time after time, he makes his patients and helping fellow nurses his priority, somehow finding the time, even if he is beyond busy! Each patient feels cared about and every nurse feels supported by him. Always smiling, always positive, always has something kind to say, always helping, always serving. Sean is how every nurse wants (or should want) to be!! He is so appreciated.

Nominated by a colleague

Roxie Newsom, RN

Roxie truly knows what she is supposed to do to be certain that the triple bypass patient must have at any second in order to live. She follows the doctor’s orders and works so quickly that her shoes squeak on the sterile floor. Watching her bring my husband out of the six hour plus surgery was truly amazing.

She used her vast knowledge, experience and skill to be sure he was getting exactly the correct medicines at the precise times.

Every member of our family who watched her perform her magic in my husband’s room at ICU was extremely impressed by her exemplary caring. She was even there for us to hug as he was moved to the 4th floor to continue his recovery. God has blessed your hospital with a fabulous nurse in Roxie. She deserves every award you can present.

Nominated by Labor & Delivery patient

Lisal Drollinger, RN

""Lisal is very calm and attentive. She helped me focus on breathing during contractions. While getting the epidural, Lisal coached me in holding my body correctly and helped me to stay still and let me hold onto her."

"During labor she continued to check on my pain levels and when they were higher than I wanted, Lisal quickly got the anesthesiologist to help."

"She is a calming influence in the act of labor."

Nominated by Labor & Delivery patient

"My wife was 29 weeks pregnant and was cleared to fly to Virginia to visit family. She had a visit (routine two-week check up) with Dr. Huggins the day we were to fly. My wife’s flying status was revoked and we were told a c-section within 72 hours was fairly inevitable."

"I had still planned on flying, but after she had been admitted for monitoring, it was Lisal (after a shift change) who was there. She was the one who alerted us to the elevated situation and stayed with us virtually through the night, answering all our questions during our emotionally-charged turn of events."

"All of our nurses in the Women’s Center have been the absolute best, moving me to look into volunteering at EIRMC just to be a part of your caring and compassionate, yet action-oriented crew."

"Thanks a million for making our stay great!"

Nominated by a spouse of Labor & Delivery patient

Emily Bowcutt, RN

"Nurses are ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Emily is no exception. After a particularly uncomfortable few nights in the hospital, my patient and I were talking about how her friend hadn’t shown up to cut the patient’s hair. Countless time I have seen Emily cut patients’ hair (during her busy work night and on her personal time). After finishing in my patient’s room, I immediately texted Emily, knowing she would lend a hand. Sure thing! Just as promised, Emily was up to the floor bright and early on her day off. She worked her magic and left the floor without saying much. When I returned to my patient’s room, her face was glowing with the brightest smile, something I had not seen her do since she first arrived. The patient felt so good, she put her make-up on, even while dressed in a hospital gown. The patient expressed such gratitude towards what Emily had done."

"Thank you so much for taking time from your personal life to give to someone else."

Nominated by Jessica Stanfield, RN

"Emily came in on her day off to give a patient undergoing chemotherapy a haircut. The patient had been feeling uncomfortable with her long hair and really needed a change. Emily is always willing to help patients and do something extra for them. So, Emily gave this patient a very cute, shorter haircut. When the patient was then ready to shave her head weeks later, Emily helped the patient again."

"And on the patient’s wedding anniversary, Emily and a few other nurses made her a delicious pasta dinner so the patient could enjoy a romantic date with her husband while hospitalized for cancer treatment. Emily is an amazing nurse, never batting an eyelash at a request from a patient that will make their stay easier."

Nominated by Natalie Erickson, RN

"Emily is always willing to go the extra mile to help our patients and staff. When a chemo patient started losing her hair, Emily came in on her day off to cut her hair shorter. When the patient later decided she was ready to shave it all off, Emily volunteered to bring in hair clippers and help shave her head. When a long-term patient had been here for more than a month, and it was discovered that she would have to still be here for her anniversary, Emily spearheaded a surprise celebration with a few others nurses and the patient’s spouse. She again came in on her day off to decorate and prepare a special meal for the patient and patient’s spouse."

"Emily is always willing to lend a hand; to give a med if I’m running behind; to help me turn, boost, get patients to the bathroom and help clean them up. Even though she has her own responsibilities, she is always willing to help others. She also always is ready with a smile and uplifting words."

Nominated by Memorie Urbina, RN

Amber Cannell, RN

" Though all the nurses involved with my wife's recent stay were excellent, Amber's attention and professionalism were well beyond any we have experienced! It seemed she couldn't do enough to make our stay as pleasant and successful as possible. She treated us as if were family and in a short time we would have welcomed her into ours!

After pulling a 25 shift, she was there the next morning as fresh and thoughtful and concerned for our welfare as the day before! As the visitor/care giver for my wife, Amber made every effort to make me as welcome and comfortable as possible! I fell very privileged to have a local hospital with staff as outstanding as Amber and will certainly let friends and relatives know of the excellent medical and personal services that are available at EIRMC!”

Nominated by patient’s spouse – Dennis Wagner

MaKayla Linford Paulson, RN

"MaKayla was our Father’s (Larry) nurse for 2 night and 3 consecutive days following his quadruple bypass. It’s extremely difficult to identify a specific situation because MaKayla was consistently outgoing, compassionate, kind and professional!

"Our father was particularly challenging because he is mostly deaf and he is stubborn, particularly in these circumstances, as he has never been hospitalized. Throughout her time as our father’s nurse, MaKayla always had a smile on her face, an empathetic demeanor and she always took the time to communicate with our father despite his disability. She did all of this while still maintaining and providing professional care for our father.

”Additionally, she took care of us (family), always checking with us to see if she could get us anything or answer questions, etc. All of our father’s nurses provided outstanding professional care and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend EIRMC for cardiac care to friends and family.

" That said, MaKayla’s nursing care went above and beyond the call of duty and for that we are nominating her for the DAISY Award. Thank you for your consideration.”

Nominated by patient’s family - Aaron Otteman and the Otteman Family

Mary Duncan, RN-MSN

“I am 25 years old and came in at 7am for a loop implant monitor because I've had some heart trouble lately.

“My nurse was Mary. She was real friendly, cheerful and caring right off the bat. She made me feel like a star. She joked with me, gave me heated blankets, and talked to me. I could tell she was a true professional. She was attentive and competent.

“Mary had no trouble putting in an IV, something I usually dread because I have uncooperative veins.

“The surgery was delayed from 2:30am to 22:30am because the doctor, Dr. Lasseter, was up operating all night. Mary told my wife and I that she was sorry and brought my wife juice and some ice chips for me. It made the time pass quicker.

“I've noticed the EIRMC nurses are all quite good, but I think Mary is exceptional and deserves the DAISY award because she is compassionate and loves her patients.”

Nominated by patient Lloyd J. Willden

Rhett, Korrie, & Rod

“Rhett makes a difference every single day. His concern for each patient is genuine, and he will go the extra mile to make every patient feel like they are the only one on the unit.

“Rhett never complains and when asked how he is doing, his response of “never better” is real!

“His infectious smile and attitude makes even the sickest patient feel better.

“Rhett is a dedicated, loyal employee who is the most compassionate nurse that gives the same loving care to the ear infection baby or the patient who is critically injured.

“Rhett makes everyone’s day better and make’s everyone’s day NEVER BETTER!”

Nominated by Carmen Radford, Korri Smith, Rodney  Grgich, Matt Reeves, and Natalie Nelson.

Valerie Chessin, RN, BSN, CDE

"There are so many nurses at EIRMC who make a difference that I hate to highlight one over the other. But there is one nurse, Valerie Chessin, who has gone above and beyond to impact not only individuals but entire community health!

"Val has worked with patients to control their diabetes with not only medication but also through diet and exercise. It is not easy to help make lifestyle changes and can be very discouraging. Yet, she continues to have an impact! Diabetes Education has a 95% patient satisfaction.

"Val went above and beyond this last year when she applied for and received a grant from the CDC to teach cooking classes to the community. “Eat Better, Live Better” has been a HUGE success with overflowing classes and waiting lists. Val came upon many obstacles and naysayers, but she passionately continued to teach people how to cook healthy food in order to manage disease. Much of her time is donated above her 'day job.'

"Prevention and controlling disease isn’t very glamorous or exciting, but it has been shown to reduce diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer by 20-30%. Val has helped many!"

Nominated by colleague Rolonda Bjornson

Jennifer Bush and Dr. Aaron Gardner

Dr. Aaron Gardner and Jennifer Bush, RN

"Jennifer knows that excellence is in the details. She works incredibly hard to find and influence the seemingly "little things" that mean so much to patients, families and staff.

"As an example, late one evening while preparing for a direct admission to the PICU, it was noted that it was the pediatric patient's birthday. With lightning speed, Jen quickly retrieved supplies from her secret stash and had the patient's room completely decorated and gifts sitting on the bed before she arrived. This was an age-appropriate, gender-specific, remarkably personal production!!

"When the family, who had been through a tumultuous day, walked in the room with their sick child, they wept- knowing their child would receive the same careful attention clinically as she would emotionally.

"Jennifer blesses her fellow staff members with the same attention, whether it's repairing the broken equipment, decorating the unit, cleaning the fridge, or flavoring the ice. Her days are filled with hundreds of seemingly small acts that make life better for everyone.

"She's absolutely amazing!"

Nominated by EIRMC physician, Dr. Aaron Gardner

"Lisa is always going out of her way to be helpful to her co-workers and her patients. She goes the extra mile with all of her patients. One recent example was with a Rehab patient who had been in a car accident that totaled the vehicle. The car was the patient’s home, and she did not have family available to help or means to purchase clothes. On her day off, Lisa brought in two sets of clothes so that this patient could participate in her rehab ADL routine and fit in with the other patients dressed in street clothes. These clothes were given to the patient for when she went home.

"She has been on multiple shopping trips in the past to help patients who either did not have the means or the capability to provide for themselves. Another thing I have seen Lisa do is to help patients who are not close to home and when a spouse had to fly out to be with them. Lisa provided rides for the family member, took them shopping, and took them for meals. She is currently helping a coworker by making meals to help them cope with their situation.

"Any time there is a problem, she is the first one to help. She is a daily example of I am EIRMC values."

Nominated by EIRMC colleague, Matt Green, OTR/L

"Lisa consistently goes above and beyond what is expected of her. Her compassion and caring knows no bounds. When patients have needs outside the hospital, Lisa will find a way to help. She has provided patients with clothing and even transportation of family members when needed. She is the epitome of I am EIRMC."

Nominated by EIRMC colleague, Crystal Arave, Speech Therapy