Memorial Hospital of Chester held its biannual DAISY Award Ceremony Dec. 14. The ten nurses nominated for The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses were: Jerina Reese, RN; Kaitlynn Smith, RN; Lisa Wingerter, LPN; Marci Klein, RN; Kim Fedderke, RN; Heide Knop, RN; Audrie Otten, RN; Lane Gibbs, RN; Austin Gendron, RN; and Vicki Hamer, RN.
Lisa Wingerter, LPN at Memorial Hospital's Rural Health Clinics, was recognized as the DAISY Award recipient for the second half of 2021. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's programs to recognize the superhuman efforts nurses perform every day.
Memorial joined the program in 2020 and holds an award ceremony two times a year to recognize nurses who go above and beyond.
Wingerter, who lives in Chester and has been employed at the Rural Health Clinics since 2011, received two nominations -- one from a patient and one from her co-worker, which read:
"Every time I go to the clinic, Lisa is there to greet me with a smile. She is always in a good mood and quite wonderful at her job. I always like seeing her when I am there. She helps keep track of what I need and makes these visits enjoyable."
"Lisa is an amazing nurse and truly cares for her patients. She always goes above and beyond to make sure they are taken care of and understand the plan of care. A large majority of her patient population is elderly and need more time and more detailed explanations, and Lisa always takes that extra time with them. Recently Lisa had a patient who had done multiple tests throughout the week to figure out what was causing them horrible pain. The final test result came back on a Friday afternoon that led to the patient needing an urgent referral and procedure. Due to insurance, this process became long and complicated. Lisa brainstormed with providers, co-workers in the clinic and multiple departments within the hospital to make sure this patient was able to have the procedure before the weekend. While juggling multiple phone calls and questions, Lisa continued to work on the floor with her provider to keep their scheduled patients flowing. Lisa is a great resource for her co-workers and always jumps in to help when needed."
Wingerter was surprised and honored to receive the DAISY Award. "I love being a nurse! This is such an honor and I feel blessed that his family has chosen to celebrate nurses in this manner," Wingerter said.
"There are so many strong and wonderful nurses in the world that deserve to be acknowledged for what they do and how they care for patients. Nurses are a tight group and I love and appreciate all of the nurses that I have had the privilege to work with during my 20 years of nursing."
Wingerter also said she feels lucky to work in an office setting where she is able to get to know her patients on a personal level. "I love when they com in for an appointment and are so excited to show me updated pictures of their grandchildren, vacation or pets."
Wingerter said she is grateful that someone sees her as hope in their life when things are not going well. She loves the people she works with and says "they are more like family and they make it fun to come in to work even on the tough days."
The additional nominations submitted included the following:
• Heidi Knop, submitted by a patient: "I came to the ER with what I suspected was diabetic ketoacidosis. After taking my vitals, the ER nurse had me wait in triage for a room with an attached bathroom. Nurse Heidi came into the triage room and knew right away I was in diabetic ketoacidosis. She immediately took me to get a gown on, into a bed, and started fluids on me. By the time I got the gown on, a room had opened up and she took me straight into the room. I credit her for saving my life because of the quick action she took to start my care as quickly as possible. I've told everyone I've talked to she was my guardian angel in the ER that day."
• Marci Klein, submitted by a co-worker/patient family member: "Marci is a wonderful nurse and co-worker. When I brought my child into the ER because I was concerned about his breathing due to being RSV positive, she did not hesitate to bring me straight back to a room. She checked his oxygen right away and let the doctor know what was going on. She made me feel more relaxed being there for me and my child and not only made sure he was taken care of, but me too. She made sure we had everything we needed on discharge and even worked part of my shift the next day so I could be at home with him. I couldn't be more thankful for her care as a nurse and her consideration as a co-worker."
• Kaitlynn Smith, received two nominations from co-workers: "A patient had been in the hospital for a few weeks with COVID and had several medication changes during that time. The patient wasn't quite sure what they had at home anymore and what they did not, so after they were discharged there were about six medications on their list that they did not have. Their family member called the next day realizing that they didn't have these medications almost frantic. Kaity spent over an hour on the phone going through each medication with them and talking to the doctor and the pharmacy to make sure that they had everything that they needed. The patient had even lost the remainder of a 90-day prescription and was unable to fill it through insurance, so Kaity looked on good RX and found it where they could get this medication for $15 rather than the over $200 that it would have cost for the cash price, and then called that prescription to a pharmacy. At the end of this, over an hourlong ordeal, I could overhear how grateful the patient's family member was for Kaity taking all this time to help them and they thanked her profusely. Most impressively though, all Kaity had to say at the end of all of that was, 'Well, that's settled.' I was so proud of her patience and kindness."
"I want to nominate Kaity because of her dedication to her patients, especially how she has gone above and beyond for an emergency room patient who was recently referred to [extended care]. Kaity, another employee and myself, were able to work together as a team to make sure that this particular client could access much-needed resources in an area they were unfamiliar with and where they did not have much familial support. It is an amazing thing to see organizations work together so well to help our community and its citizens, and Kaity showed amazing compassion and empathy."
Smith said she feels honored to be nominated for the DAISY Award. She quotes Bill Belichick in stating, "On a team it's not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together." She said she feels lucky to be able to work beside amazing teammates who support and encourage each other. She enjoys working with her team and caring for the community.
• Jerina Reese, received a nomination from a patient's family: "Her patience and understanding dealing with my elderly father had no bounds. NONE!"
• Kim Fedderke, a multi-nomination recipient and received a nomination this half of 2021 from a patient: "I came in to convenient care with a very sore neck. The pain came and went. Kim F. was very nice and helpful about what I was experiencing. After a short while, Kim told me Dr. Carr was working that evening. Dr. Carr was also very nice and helpful. Dr. Carr ordered a CT scan of my neck. Nurse Kim Fedderke helped me in whatever it was I needed. She was always very nice and friendly as to whatever I needed, asking if I needed a blanket and brought me water while being very pleasant and seeing to my needs while being very professional in her duties as my nurse. I would highly recommend nurse Kim Fedderke and want to thank her for everything she did for me. Kim has helped me before, not too long ago. Again, she was very thoughtful while being very professional doing her duties as a nurse. May god bless you and yours always, I know you'll keep up the great work. Thank you so much Kim Fedderke. She is a credit to her profession."
• Audrie Otten, received a nomination from a patient, "I went to the ER one morning. This nurse took my symptoms and got me in bed. She came back where I was and checked on me several times. She was very comforting and optimistic about my condition, and explained all my meds before I went home. Also Dr. Britt explained everything well."
• Lane Gibbs, received a nomination from a patient: "I came into the ED with chest pains, Lane was my nurse, it turns out I was having a heart attack. Lane was kind, attentive and communicative. If I had questions, Lane was prompt with answers. He made sure my family and I knew what and why all treatments were happening. I honestly felt that he cares about his patients and wants to make sure they get the best care possible. An extra note, all of the staff took my situation seriously and were beyond professional."
• Austin Gendron, received a nomination from a patient: "I was in the hospital for crisis and Austin was nice and put Netflix on for me on his laptop and we even played some card games. He was an awesome conversationalist in my time of waiting to be transferred. He was really awesome and super sweet."
• Vicki Hamer, received a nomination from a patient, "I came in not having any idea what was causing my pain. Vicki was great. She listened, explained things well and did a great job starting an IV. As a nurse myself, I couldn't have asked for better care."
Nurses at all of Memorial Hospital's locations, including the rural health clinics, can be nominated for the DAISY Award. Patients, family members, and co-workers can request paper forms at any of our locations or visit www.mhchester.com to nominate a nurse.