Mason Health Celebrates Their First DAISY Award Winner, Birth Center Nurse Traci Wiley

Mason Health’s first DAISY Award recipient, Traci Wiley, RN (left) with Chief Nursing Officer Melissa Strong (right). Wiley was celebrated during a ceremony at Mason Health on February 29, 2024.. Photo credit: Cooper Studios
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Nurses are the backbone to any healthcare system and at Mason Health, each nurse is a vital contributor to warm, empathetic and quality patient care. As an acknowledgement of the incredible work that is carried out by nurses, Mason Health recently presented their first DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses to Traci Wiley, RN, who works in the Mason Health Birth Center. Wiley and fellow DAISY Award nominees were celebrated during a ceremony at Mason Health on February 29, 2024.

group of Mason Health employees posing for a photo, one in the center is holding a green leather award folder
DAISY Award winner Traci Wiley, RN, front, stands with DAISY Committee Co-Chair Nadine Cram, ICU Supervisor; DAISY Committee Co-Chair Kris Gaa, Birth Center Manager; Chief Nursing Officer Melissa Strong and Chief Executive Officer Eric Moll. Photo credit: Cooper Studios

‘Kind and Compassionate,’ Nurse Wiley Provides Exceptional Patient Care

Wiley is a night shift charge nurse in the Birth Center at Mason Heath, helping to care for patients who are in labor and delivery, postpartum and in the nursery. Kris Gaa, Birth Center manager and co-chair for the Daisy Award Committee at Mason Health, says Wiley is an extremely kind and compassionate nurse who cares deeply for her patients.

Wiley was nominated for the DAISY Award by a person who recalled Wiley’s exemplary care during their delivery and postpartum period. And when the nominator’s child was born with a condition that was not well understood by medical staff, Wiley did additional research on this condition to prepare and support the family as they waited for further medical appointments.

“That’s really worrisome for parents, sometimes,” says Gaa. “They have no idea what to expect and she was able to really help put them at ease and developed a really great relationship.”

Gaa says Wiley was also able to be present for the birth of the nominator’s second child, and with that bond already established, it fostered a more calm and caring experience.

“That is one of the nice things when you are in a smaller place,” says Gaa. “You have a chance of having the same nurse multiple times. That doesn’t happen quite as often in really big places. But it does a lot here and they were so pleased to be able to have her there again.”

Mason Health Nursing Staff Receives Esteemed Recognition Through DAISY Awards

The DAISY Awards are part of the DAISY Foundation, which celebrates the unique role of nurses, and their ability to connect with patients in hospitals, outpatient clinics and beyond. Award nominations may stem from patients, their loved ones, fellow nurses, physicians or other colleagues.

“It recognizes nurses for their meaningful contribution to the profession,” explains Nadine Cram, supervisor of the incentive care unit, and co-chair for the Daisy Award committee at Mason Health. “So, it’s not just that we do nursing, it’s that we go above and beyond.”

Cram helped bring the DAISY Awards to Mason Health after being a two-time award recipient when working for different organizations. Cram says it was an honor to be recognized for her work and wanted to continue that practice at Mason Health.

The committee collected nominations at Mason Health through a variety of methods, including displaying QR codes throughout the hospital, and providing patients with flyers, in case they wanted to make a nomination after recovering. Jennifer Capps, chief development and communications officer for Mason Health says that the hospital district recognized the milestone of bringing the DAISY Awards to Mason Health, and also helped to support its launch through an online advertising campaign that helped raise awareness and encourage nominations from patients, staff and the community.

Once nominations were collected, they were anonymized and sent to a group of nursing leadership and other staff members at Mason Health, who reviewed each nomination and helped vote on the winner of the DAISY Award. The group used a rubric with the acronym MASON, which encouraged them to consider Mason Health’s mission and values, as well as attributes like empathy, teamwork and professionalism while reading nominations.

group of Mason Health employees posing for a photo holding paper award certificates
Congrats to the DAISY award nominees, from left, Lean Coleman, RN; Marica Thomas, RN; CNO Melissa Strong; Kim Nicewonger, RN; Traci Wiley, RN; Taylor Rebh, RN; Michele Rose, RN; Rebecca Bingham, RN; and Patrick Santos, RN. Photo credit: Cooper Studios

DAISY Awards Help Strengthen Care and Culture at Mason Health

The DAISY Foundation, standing for “Diseases Attacking the Immune System,” and the subsequent DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, was created in honor of patient, Patrick Barnes, who passed away from complications of the autoimmune condition, Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), in 1999.

Cram says the Foundation was established by Barnes’ family as a personal way to thank the kind nursing staff who provided excellent care to Barnes while he was in the hospital. To extend that legacy forward, the Foundation now partners with thousands of healthcare facilities and schools of nursing in over 30 countries and territories, according to Cram. 

Formal recognition like the DAISY Awards are not only a professional honor for nominees and recipients, but can also boost morale for the entire healthcare team. During each DAISY Awards ceremony, it is tradition for the organization’s staff and leadership to gather and celebrate the accomplishments of honorees, while also enjoying cinnamon rolls, which were Patrick Barnes’ favorite dessert.

Recipients of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses receive a number of benefits, including an award pin, certificate and “Healer’s Touch Sculpture” crafted by artists from the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. Award recipients may also receive resources, discounts or benefits that can help them move forward in their nursing career.

“It enhances nurse engagement and really also, the patient and family experience” says Cram. “It communicates profound gratitude from the patients to the nurses and really creates a more positive work environment for our nurses.”

To learn more about the DAISY Awards at Mason Health, including how to nominate a nurse, visit the Mason Health website.

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