Michele Brewer, VDMC nurse, awarded 2024 Daisy Award

Michele Brewer, RN, third from the left, received the 2024 Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses Monday afternoon at Van Diest Medical Center. Also pictured are, from the left, Lauren Jones, RN, who submitted Brewer’s nomination, Lisa Ridge, CEO, and Amy McDonough, CNO.

Michele Brewer, a nurse at Van Diest Medical Center, was presented the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses Monday afternoon in the hospital board room. She was one of seven nominees for the annual award.

The presentation coincided with the beginning of National Nurses Week, May 6 through 12, 2024.

The Daisy Foundation was created in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by his family. The Daisy Award was established to honor and thank nurses all around the world for their skillful and compassionate care.

Nurses can be nominated by patients, family members, other nurses, physicians and staff – anyone who experiences or observes extraordinary compassionate care being provided by a nurse. VDMC has nomination forms available on its website, vandiestmc.org.

The seven nominations were reviewed by a selection committee of leaders from VDMC.

“I thank our nurses for your unwavering dedication, your tireless efforts and your tremendous compassion. We are forever grateful for the invaluable work that each of you do,” said Lisa Ridge, VDMC chief executive officer.

“It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind of being a nurse. The varying degree of emotions that a nurse experiences on a daily basis is unrivaled by any other occupation,” said Amy McDonough, chief nursing officer. “There will be moments of happiness, moments of sorrow, moments of laughter and moments of fear. But through the joy of tears and the tears of pain, always be proud to call yourself a nurse.

“This is important to remember as we all have challenging days, but the difference we make for patients, their families and in turn, the community, is immeasurable.”

Brewer was nominated by Lauren Jones, nurse manager at VDMC.

In writing the nomination, Jones said, “Michele has delivered wonderful care to the patients at Van Diest Medical Center over the past few years as she cared for the many patients we see. She builds relationships with many.”

Jones went on to detail one specific patient with whom Brewer built a relationship of trust.

“This patient had an unfortunate diagnosis that had affected his memory. However, Michele remained a familiar face to him during every visit. In difficult times with this patient, she was able to calm him and

reassure him. Even on his final visit with us, he stated, ‘I can’t see your face anymore, but I know that’s you!’ He recognized her just from her coming into the room and saying hi.”

Jones went on to say in the nomination that Brewer gives that feeling to many patients she sees and teaches this to the student nurses she precepts.

“This gives future nurses a great view of the nurturing side of nursing, while they are still growing and developing their nursing skills,” Jones wrote. “Michele provides calm, capable and nurturing care to all patients she sees. This allows the patients to feel confident in the care they are receiving. She takes time to be informed before entering the room and to teach this importance to every student she meets.”

Brewer was presented with a certificate, a Daisy pin, a bouquet of daisies and a sculpture called The Healer’s Touch. The sculpture is meant to represent the bond between nurses and their patients.

Several members of Brewer’s family were on hand to watch her receive the Daisy Award.

The other Daisy Award nominees were: Maureen Carver, RN, Cindy Christensen, RN, Brain Gray, RN, Natalia Harrington, RN, Emily Maines, RN, and Christopher Mobley, RN. Each was presented with a certificate, a pin and a copy of their nomination.

McDonough also recognized Anna Anderson, RN, quality director, Christina Peterson, RN, EMS director, and Amanda Snell, RN, Emergency Department. The three nurses were selected as 2024 Great Iowa Nurses.


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