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What is The DAISY Foundation?

In memory of J. Patrick Barnes

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died from complications of the autoimmune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) at the age of 33. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

Patrick Barnes

In 1999, at the age of 33, Patrick Barnes was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia). His family was fortunate to spend the eight weeks of Patrick’s hospitalization with him. During those weeks, they experienced the best of nursing. While they expected great clinical care, they did not expect the incredible kindness and compassion shown to Patrick and them every day, even when Pat was completely sedated. It eased their minds, and the nurses’ sensitivity to the situation made a great difference in the hospital experience. The nurses helped the family through the darkest hours of their lives with soft voices of comfort and strong, loving hugs.

After Pat died, the Barnes family knew they wanted to honor him, to somehow turn their grief into something that would help fill the giant hole in their hearts that Patrick’s passing had left. The family kept coming back to conversations about his nurses, and that’s when they decided to say “Thank You” for the gifts nurses give their patients and families every day, just as they had experienced.

Pat’s wife, Tena, developed the acronym DAISY, which stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. Paperwork was filed to become a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and 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 was the first program of its kind to give patients, families, and co-workers a way to express their gratitude to nurses for what they became nurses to do – provide compassionate care to patients and their families. Since then, The DAISY Award has become a strategic tool for nurse recruitment, retention, and resilience that has been adopted by thousands of healthcare organizations and schools of nursing in the U.S. and around the world.

About Patrick

Everyone who met Patrick even once was touched by his positive spirit and his sense of humor. Twice a survivor of Hodgkin’s Disease, Pat was driven by a desire to befriend others and help them in any way he could. His legacy is clear: whenever he came across anyone in need, he never turned his back. He reached out to comfort, to make them feel okay. Pat was a natural mentor, sharing his phenomenally positive outlook on life with a wide network of friends and family around the country with whom he stayed in constant contact. The DAISY Foundation was established to keep his very special spirit alive.

The DAISY Mission Statement

The DAISY Foundation expresses gratitude to Nurses with programs that recognize them for the extraordinary compassionate, skillful care they provide patients and families. By honoring compassionate nurses, DAISY reinforces the importance of compassion in healthcare.

The DAISY Vision

Every organization where nurses practice in the world will want to embed DAISY recognition programs in their cultures since DAISY Awards inspire nurses to provide extraordinary care not only with their brains but also with their hearts.

What is a Daisy award

Nurses every day go above and beyond to not only provide patients and families with excellence in clinical care but also compassion. At The DAISY Foundation, we aim to honor them by showing our profound gratitude for all that they do. The DAISY Award is a recognition program to celebrate and recognize nurses by collecting nominations from patients, families, and co-workers. It is run by our partners as a way to thank nurses for the care and kindness they provide.

What Does the DAISY Honoree/Recipient Receive?

After the DAISY Honoree has been selected, a celebration is planned. The Honoree’s peers, leadership, nominator, and sometimes friends and family are all invited to attend. At the presentation, the Honoree 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 (optional for schools of nursing), a copy of their nomination, a gift bag, and cinnamon rolls to share. After the presentation, the Honoree is added to our website, and the nurse is then eligible for numerous professional development, education, and wellness benefits.

How are Nurses Nominated for The DAISY Award?

Nurses can be nominated by anyone. In the healthcare setting, nominations come from patients, family members, other nurses, physicians, clinicians, or staff – who experience or observe extraordinarily compassionate care being provided by a nurse. In the academic setting, nominations are submitted by students, preceptors, faculty, staff, or alumni. To nominate a nurse in the healthcare setting

Impact of DAISY Recognition

Today thousands of facilities and schools of nursing worldwide are committed to honoring nurses with The DAISY Award.

DAISY is an evidence-based form of meaningful recognition. Its success spans more than two decades and has been featured in research studies for effective nurse recognition within healthcare organizations. The strategic impact of these programs on nurses and their organizations is deep and has a positive effect on their job satisfaction, retention rate, teamwork, pride, organizational culture, and work environment.

Three areas of profound impact are:

Nurse Engagement
  • Ignites extraordinary compassionate care
  • Improves satisfaction and retention
  • Promotes well-being and resilience
Healthy Work Environment
  • Celebrates all the right
  • Reminds nurses why they became nurses
  • Builds team spirit
Patient & Family Experience
  • Communicates profound gratitude
  • Reinforces patient and family-centered care
  • Inspires community loyalty

Link to the Daizy website