Cleveland nurse earns DAISY Award from her peers

Debbie Harris (left) is presented the DAISY Award by Cassie Cavanaugh, director of nursing with Texas Emergency Hospital.

Texas Emergency Hospital of Cleveland has picked Debbie Harris, RN, as the recent recipient of the DAISY Foundation Award, which recognizes the extraordinary efforts of nurses. As the quarterly winner, Harris will be a finalist for the annual DAISY Foundation Award.

Harris was selected from a field of five other candidates and was nominated by one of the hospital’s ER doctors.

In the nomination letter, the doctor explained that he recommended Harris because she went above and beyond for the hospital during a time of crisis that impacted the ER nursing staff.

“Debbie, as house supervisor, pleasantly surprised me. She not only cared for patients and facilitated transitions of nursing shifts, she also actively continued patient care and communications to make sure the admissions of five patients we were caring for went smoothly. Her attitude and communication skills are excellent. Her supportive staff and caring attitude were wonderful and greatly appreciated. I must admit that most of our other ER nurses and house supervisors have acted at times to deserve this award, But Debbie, in her role of house supervisor last night, really went above and beyond what was expected of her,” the doctor wrote.

The award was announced by Cassie Cavanaugh, director of nursing at Texas Emergency Hospital, at a gathering in late September. Cavanaugh said being nominated is a “big deal.”

“The nominations come from patients and staff members regarding nurses who stand out. The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the family of Patrick Barnes. He was 33 years old when he died from complications of an auto-immune disease. Like many families that we see every day through a horrific loss, the Barnes family wanted to do something to honor Patrick. They gathered for a dinner for Patrick’s death and came up with this idea,” Cavanaugh said.

While Barnes was still hospitalized, his friends and family began bringing cinnamon rolls to the nursing staff at the hospital where he received care. It became a tradition and each day at least one member of his family would arrive with a cinnamon roll, which Patrick shared with his nurses as he could not eat.

“They came up with this award to honor him and remember him, and to honor the nurses who took such great care of him,” Cavanaugh said.

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