By Corbin Smith
Another semester is under full swing, which means one thing: DAISY Awards! The College of Nursing at Brigham Young University continues to partner with the DAISY Foundation to recognize nursing professors and students who show extraordinary compassion and exemplify the Healer’s art.
The DAISY award was founded after the death of Patrick Barnes at the age of 33 from complications of an autoimmune disease, the Barnes family decided to do something positive to honor him. DAISY—an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system— was established to thank the nurses who cared for him and to recognize exceptional nurses around the world.
The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students was awarded to semester-four student Emma Westhora.
Emma was nominated by fellow semester-four student Meg McDowell. McDowell writes: “Emma is a silent and humble server, who does not make any show about her service, compassion, and love. Recently, I have watched her stand on the train on the way home from clinical so that others could enjoy a seat. Last semester in clinical, I had a couple of chances to be in the same unit as Emma. She never stopped working. She was always walking from room to room (even the ones who weren’t her patients)—looking for people to help and serve. She skipped lunch a lot of times also because there was just so much to do.”
Her undying dedication to serve as the ultimate Healer did inspire not only her patients but her peers as well. We believe Emma epitomizes someone who genuinely wants to be kind and be better. Westhora is a perfect example of what DAISY truly means as a student.
The College of Nursing was also pleased to honor teaching professor Dr. Kent D. Blad with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty.
Kent received entries from two students, each one showing his level of compassion in nursing.
Semester-six student Annie Rowley states, “Kent treats each of his students as if they were his children. He loves, serves, and supports us so thoroughly. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t emphasize that he is rooting for us! I want to be a nurse, friend, and parent just like Kent.”
Semester-five student Yazmine Tovar also writes, “Kent incessantly is kind to his students. Last semester, I was having a bad day; however, Kent warmly said hello like he had known me for years, when I had just met him. He encourages his students and treats everyone with kindness. He is hands-down, a spiritual giant; I hope to become even half the nurse he is.”
Dr. Blad is a constant source of empowerment and joy for all of his students. He inspires those around him to be better and encourages them to remember their purpose and potential. He is an enormous asset for both the students and the college as a whole.
The College of Nursing also announced an inaugural award. The third DAISY award given out during the professionalism conference on February 21 was the DAISY Circle of Friends award. The College of Nursing believes that teamwork is crucial to facilitating effective communication and promoting positive patient outcomes as nurses work closely alongside physicians and specialists to provide well-organized comprehensive care. That same support at the college-level for faculty and students is no different.
Many students and faculty members, as they hear the description of this award, think of one staff member who epitomizes positivity and hard work in the college. That person is Delsa Richards. As the undergraduate program secretary, Delsa Richards is a great support to faculty, staff, and students. Her nomination says, “The love she has for everyone who walks through the doors of the Dean’s office is amazing. No matter what she is doing, she always makes time for others, and she makes them feel like their lives and experiences are essential. She has worked hard creating and being a mentor for the new N.E.W. club (Nurses Empowering Women). She has also worked hard in making the global women’s studies minor a significant part of the experience that students have at the College of Nursing.”
Each semester, the College of Nursing opens nominations for additional DAISY Faculty and Nursing Student Awards. The call for submissions is your opportunity to nominate someone that reflects compassion and is an example of the Healer’s art.
Each recipient received a hand-carved sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch”. They are all personally carved by members of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.