Michele Johnston, R.N., was honored with Coffey Health System’s inaugural DAISY Award® For Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s programs to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.
Michele was nominated by a patient’s wife, who wrote: “My husband was a patient at Coffey County Hospital. He was very sick; he had pneumonia and a very high fever. Michele packed him in ice to get the fever down and it worked two times. She was so kind and nice to both of us. She checked on my husband as often as she could, she had other patients to care for too. She was always very pleasant and caring. Michele is what the world needs more of as a nurse. You don’t find many good, caring nurses. Thank you for the great care you gave us.”
This level of excellence is no surprise to those who work alongside Michele.
“She is an exceptionally talented nurse who takes great pride in the care she provides,” said Chief Nursing Officer Jessi Workman. “She treats her patients and their loved ones with respect and dignity, giving them the time and attention they need so they can understand what is happening. She is meticulous and detail-oriented in her care. She has been complimented many times recently for her postpartum care. It has been said that she ‘mothers the mothers,’ which I think is a unique and meaningful compliment. She often demonstrates her compassion through gentle touch.”
In her 29 years at Coffey County Hospital, Michele has touched countless lives and become a trusted advocate for her patients. As a result, she has earned the utmost respect of the medical staff.
“Michele has a sincere concern for our patients’ well-being and brings that compassion every day to work,” said Chief Medical Officer John Shell, M.D.
She is also a stalwart of the nursing staff.
“Michele willingly volunteers to work days, nights, weekends, and holidays when she is needed, which makes her invaluable as a member of the nursing team,” Workman added. “She is a wonderful resource to her teammates and is often available if staff have questions, even when she is off duty. In addition, when Michele identifies an issue, she comes in with active solutions to help resolve the problem.”CHS joined the DAISY Award program this year. Nurses throughout CHS are eligible for recognition, with awards presented twice yearly. Nomination forms are available at all CHS facilities or online at coffeyhealth.org.
In this inaugural round, patients, family members, and colleagues nominated five nurses for their exceptional compassion and skill: April Birk, hospital medical/surgical; Tracy Dougherty, hospital ER; Monica Rolf, Sunset Manor; and Tammra Schillig, Coffey County Medical Center; and Johnston. All nominees receive a bouquet of daisies and a unique pin to adorn their ID badges.
“Simply having someone take the time to write a thoughtful nomination for a nurse is—in and of itself—worthy of acknowledgment to the nurse,” said CHS DAISY Award Coordinator Shelly Moss. “Special pins are presented to all nominees to recognize their work. These pins also help to build awareness of The DAISY Award and ensure that meaningful recognition goes on all year long.”
Award recipients receive various educational and professional membership opportunities, as well as a hand-carved sculpture called “The Healer’s Touch,” representing the bond between nurses and their patients. The sculptures are made of serpentine stone and are signed by the Shona artist from Zimbabwe who created it.
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, Doctor of Humane Letters (h.c) and co-founder of The DAISY Foundation, said, “When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human work they do. The kind of work the nurses at Coffey Health System are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”