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On November 14, 2019, UW Medicine hosted the 20th anniversary celebration of The DAISY Foundation.

For the past two decades, The DAISY Foundation has been helping to establish nurse recognition programs to honor the work that nurses do for patients and families.

In 1999, UW Medical Center was the first hospital to implement the DAISY Award program. Now, it’s used to celebrate nurses in over 4,000 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing across the world.

The DAISY Foundation was started by the family of Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 from complications related to the autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

Before ITP, Barnes was a survivor of Hodgkin’s disease. Barnes received care from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and other health systems, including UW Medical Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The quality and caliber of care that Patrick received inspired his family to create The DAISY Foundation to provide meaningful recognition to nursing staff.

“UW Medical Center has many extraordinary nurses who are caring for some of the sickest patients in the country. Our partnership with DAISY allows us to recognize these nurses for the amazing work that they do every day,” says Cindy Sayre, chief nursing officer at UW Medical Center.

Supporting recognition of clinical nurses is important in fostering a culture in which nurses are appreciated for their clinically excellent and compassionate care to patients. Nominations come from colleagues within the hospital organization or patients and their families.

“Excellent nursing care is recognized, which then reinforces excellent nursing practice. There is also evidence that meaningful recognition can reduce nurse turnover. Retaining experienced nurses is beneficial for patients,” says Sayre.

That’s why this 20-year legacy of passion and commitment to the care of patients and their families is so meaningful to both the DAISY Foundation and UW Medical Center.

At UW Medical Center, eight nurses are recognized each quarter for their outstanding patient care. If you know a nurse you would like to nominate, please visit the DAISY Award nomination page.


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