Dawn Shaver
August 2015
Neurosurgery Clinic
University of Virginia Health System
United States




I have worked with Ms. Shaver for several years with the combined Neurosugery/Neuroendocrine program which cares for patients with pituitary disorders (pituitary tumors, pituitary dysfunction); including surgical and post surgical care; addressing hormone issues regarding pituitary function. Ms. Shaver is an integral part of our program - she attends to patient calls, organizes outside hormone tests. I work very closely with her and and often use a computer in her office. As such, I have observed her telephone interactions with our post operative patients and our long term patients regarding their symptoms and concerns. In all of her interactions with our patients have shown remarkable compassion, attention to detail and appropriate medical advice to our patients. She always consults the physicians regarding medical recommendations. More importantly, Ms. Shaver has made a remarkable effort to educate herself regarding both surgical and endocrine aspects for these patients; she sees patients with me all day on Tuesday in which new patients and follow up patients are seen for new evaluations and for follow up issues. She has gained a great deal of expertise in addressing these issues for our patients.

During the combined Neurosurgery/Neuroendocrine clinic, all day on Wednesday, she is engaged in assisting 2 Neurosurgeons and 3 Neuroendocrine attending physicians with patient care issues with remarkable efficiency and expertise.

Ms. Shaver's role in our program is a vital and an expert part of our Neuroendocine/Neurosurgery program. Having observed her interaction with our patients, I can't emphasize enough about her compassion, willingness to address patients' questions and also work so effectively with the physicians who conduct this clinical endeavor.

I can't tell you how important and effective Ms. Shaver is to the success of our program. Patients identify with Ms. Shaver and ask to see her when they return for visits. She is the most compassionate nurse with whom I have worked with during my 30+ years of clinical practice.

Ms Shaver has achieved a level of expertise far beyond that of other nurses with whom I've worked with for over 30 years. This is because of her self-motivated education and participation in our Pituitary clinics. This has translated into a remarkable expertise in educating and advising patients regarding both endocrine and postoperative care for patients who have undergone a pituitary operation. She educates patients after the operation, before discharge from hospital regarding all aspects of post operative care, necessary blood tests after surgery, and her diligent contact with patients after surgery as well as addressing calls from our patients. She is (to use an overused term) "amazing" and such an effective and helpful nurse for our program. I can't adequately extol her accomplishments and her effectiveness in patient care. Our Pituitary/Neurosurgery/Neuroendocrine program has benefited so much from Ms. Shaver's work with us. I think that she is a superior candidate for the DAISY award.

There is one additional comment: many of our Pituitary patients require a great deal of postoperative contact, particularly those with Cushing's disease (many patients call daily with reports of their symptoms and questions because recovery from Cushing's is difficult for all patients). Ms. Shaver is so supportive, compassionate and informative for these particular patients during their difficult recovery from successful surgery. This is an exceptional challenge and Ms. Shaver is has been more than effective with this endeavor.

Ms. Shaver should be recognized and awarded for exemplary effectiveness, expertise and dedication to optimal patient care.