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Willow Springs nurse receives TCMH Daisy Award during Nurses’ Week


Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston celebrated the work of its 116 nurses during National Nurses’ Week, April 29 through May 3. 

Nurses’ Week is celebrated annually at TCMH. Nurses work in many departments of the hospital — medical, obstetrics, emergency room, surgery, intensive care, home health, hospice and clinics. 

“Every single day, our nurses work tirelessly to care for our patients, and their dedication is truly inspiring,” said Nursing Director Courtney Owens. “We appreciate every nurse for everything they do.”

On April 29 and 30 the TCMH nurse managers held a “skills lab” training session for all TCMH licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs). The skills lab included hands-on training activities such as medication tests, crash carts, transfusions, restraints, fire safety, Stroke/STEMI, patient safety, infection control and hand washing. 

According to Owens, 85% of the nurses completed the skills lab, which reflects their unwavering passion for providing top-notch patient care. The nurse managers at TCMH hold the annual skills lab training during Nurses’ Week to help nurses keep up with in-house educational needs. 

The Scrubs on Site from Holden came to TCMH on May 1 to allow nurses and other employees to shop for uniforms during the day.  

Culminating Nurses’ Week, a luncheon and ceremony were held for all nurses May 3.  

TCMH nurses Cheryl Maley, Hospice and Home Health director, RN; Ashtin Driskell, med-surg LPN; Mason Vandevort, med-surg LPN; John Sawyer, intensive care unit RN; Becky Marler, med-surg LPN; Julie Patton, med-surg RN; Jessica Collins, med-surg RN; Danielle Forester, house supervisor RN; Elizabeth Kuster, emergency RN; Alisa Contreras, emergency RN; Caden Davis, med-surg LPN; Ashley Davis, surgery clinic LPN; and Nici Brotherton, med-surg LPN were all nominated for the Daisy (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award. Each nominee was honored with special recognition and a Daisy pin for their nomination.

“All the nominees represent nurses that are recognized as ‘outstanding nurses’,” Owens explained. “The Daisy Award is the highest recognition award for an RN and LPN at TCMH.” 

The award is part of the nonprofit Daisy Foundation of Glen Ellen, Calif., established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a little-known but not uncommon autoimmune disease.  

The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while Patrick was ill and hospitalized inspired the Daisy Award as a way of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. The Daisy Award recipient must be nominated for a specific act of extraordinary care that was experienced by the person making the nomination.  

“At TCMH, we are fortunate to have an outstanding team of nurses who positively impact people’s lives,” said Quality Director April Crites, RN and Daisy coordinator. “Our nurses’ dedication and care inspire us all.”

From the nominees, Ashtin Driskell of Willow Springs was selected to receive the Spring Daisy Award. Driskell has worked at TCMH for a year and a half.   

Interim hospital CEO Bill Bridges presented the award to Driskell. 

“We appreciate those individuals who submitted nominations and recognized the exceptional actions of our TCMH nurses who went above and beyond their regular duties,” Bridges said. “These commendable acts highlight our nurses’ commitment to providing quality healthcare services to our patients.”

Driskell received the Daisy Award for nominations from a patient’s four daughters.  

In the nomination, the daughters remarked that Driskell demonstrated compassionate care and kindness during their mother’s hospital stay.  

According to them, Driskell treated their mother like her own family and went above and beyond her duties as a nurse. They praised her patience, bedside manner, and attention to detail. They said she always ensured their mother's medications were on time and even took the time to rub her arms and talk to her until she felt better. The daughters said they would always feel comfortable under her care and want her to care for them or their mother if they ever needed to return to TCMH.

The patient’s daughters also remarked on Driskell’s leadership qualities and the respect she received from her coworkers. They described her as the most loving person they had ever met, believing she was a tremendous asset to TCMH. They concluded that Driskell is “an absolute angel” and deserves the highest recognition TCMH can offer.

“Ashtin is an exceptional and compassionate nurse who always goes the extra mile to provide top-quality care to our patients,” Owens said. “She is a very deserving recipient of our Daisy Award.”

Driskell received a special Daisy Award pin, a recognition certificate, a bouquet of fresh flowers and a hand-carved stone sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch.”