BVHS Nurse Honored For Making A Difference In Lives Of Patients

(From Blanchard Valley Health System)

Lauren Phillips, RN, has received the first DAISY Award at Blanchard Valley Health System.

The DAISY Award is an international recognition program honoring nurses who have made a special difference in the lives of their patients.

Nurses are nominated by patients, families, coworkers, or anyone who has seen the difference they make in the lives of others. Phillips, a nurse in the intensive care unit at Blanchard Valley Hospital, was nominated by a patient, Brooke Taylor Kruse, who had been admitted into the ICU after having twins.

“When Brooke was very sick, Lauren was there for her not only as a nurse but also someone who made her feel comfortable,” said Nikki Ballinger, RN, outgoing chair of Nursing Congress and co-coordinator of the program. “Lauren was a listening ear and a healing touch for Brooke and her family.”

Phillips was honored at a surprise celebration in late December.

“I was absolutely stunned when I heard my name called,” she said. “I was looking around the room as they mentioned the DAISY Award, wondering who the recipient might be, but it never occurred to me it would be me.”

“I hadn’t even noticed Brooke standing right next to Nikki until after they said my name. After that, the tears just came so fast,” she added.

Phillips has been a nurse in the ICU at BVH for six years since receiving her nursing degree. She is also a house supervisor for the hospital as needed. She previously worked as a weekend supervisor for Bridge Home Health & Hospice, also a division of BVHS.

She said nursing is a meaningful career because she loves people and feels like she gets to make a difference.

“I feel privileged to do this work,” Phillips said. “Taking care of my community when they’re most vulnerable is so special to me.”

She added that she loves educating patients on their care, supporting other associates, and being part of a team at BVHS.

“I love feeling like I am part of a community when I come to work,” she said.

Ballinger said the celebration honoring Phillips made it clear how much impact nurses have on their patients and families.

“Honoring the first DAISY recipient at BVHS was an unforgettable experience,” Ballinger said. “It was emotional in the best way possible, and it felt special to present such a meaningful award. Seeing Lauren and Brooke unite again, this time at a celebration, was touching for everyone there.”

The DAISY Award was created to honor the late Patrick Barnes, who was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia) at age 33 in 1999. Pat’s family was moved by the incredible kindness and compassion his nurses demonstrated throughout the eight weeks he was hospitalized. After his death, they created the award to honor him.

Pat’s wife, Tena, developed the acronym DAISY, which stands for “Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem.” The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses began at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at the University of Washington Medical Center, where Patrick had been a patient. It has since been adopted by thousands of healthcare organizations and schools of nursing in the United States and worldwide. Partner organizations run the recognition program.

Each DAISY Honoree is honored at a celebration and receives a certificate in a DAISY portfolio, a beautiful hand-carved “Healer’s Touch” sculpture from Zimbabwe, an honoree pin, a congratulations banner to hang in the unit, a copy of their nomination, and a gift bag. Each honoree also receives cinnamon rolls to share in recognition of the fact that, while Patrick had lost his appetite during his hospitalization, cinnamon rolls were the exception.

“I am so grateful and feel truly honored to be the first recipient of the DAISY Award at BVHS,” Phillips said. “It is truly so special to me.”

Community members are encouraged to nominate a BVHS nurse for their extraordinary efforts. Any nurse at any BVHS facility or location is eligible.

For more information or to nominate a nurse, please visit 

Printed nomination forms are also available at various locations across the health system.