IHI Recipients

In 2015 DAISY partnered with the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) to recognize and celebrate nurses for their personal commitment to patient safety in the delivery of compassionate care to patients and families. In 2017, NPSF merged with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and other than a name change our shared goal of raising awareness of the significant contributions by nurses with respect to patient and workforce safety continued.

We are recently wrapped up our 6th application cycle for The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses and Nurse Led Teams in Patient Safety, presented in collaboration with IHI and sponsored by Hill-Rom.

Below highlights past recipients!


Michael Blomquist, RN, CCRN, a critical care nurse at the University of Kansas Hospital, was chosen to receive the individual award in recognition of his professionalism and patient-centered approach. The Emory University Hospital Serious Communicable Disease Unit (SCDU) nursing and interdisciplinary team received the team award for their care of critically ill Ebola patients.

Mr. Blomquist, unit coordinator in the medical intensive care unit, was also a member of the hospital's first rapid response team. He developed the Rapid Response Team Boot Camp, a course to help new members understand their roles, standards of care, and resources available.

"Impeccable communication is a key component of patient safety, and Michael has mastered patient-centered communication with his team as well as with patients and their families," said Tammy Peterman, RN, MS, executive vice president, chief operating officer, and chief nursing officer at University of Kansas Hospital. "His commitment, passion, and expertise make him most deserving of this award."


Michael Blomquist receives his award, pictured with (L to R), Melissa Fitzpatrick from Hill-Rom, DAISY Co-founder Bonnie Barnes and DAISY's Executive Director Cynthia Sweeney.

The Emory University Hospital SCDU nursing and interdisciplinary team was honored for risky and complicated work of caring for four patients who were critically ill with Ebola virus disease (EVD). Members of the team include critical care and medical surgical nurses, along with a host of interdisciplinary colleagues. In addition to the direct care they provided, the team compiled their safety protocols and posted them on a public website. Nearly 20,000 providers have downloaded the protocols for their use.

"Team Ebola set the standard in safety for all of Emory Healthcare," said Susan Grant, MS, RN, FAAN, chief nurse executive and chief patient services officer, Emory Healthcare. "Moreover, they made a difference for health care workers caring for Ebola patients across the world."

In a written statement of support for the team's nomination, Dr. Ian Crozier, one of the EVD patients treated at Emory, wrote, "I owe my life to the team at Emory, and the world has benefited from their bravery and innovative contributions to the knowledge of Ebola care. I cannot think of another team more deserving of this prestigious award."

Team Ebola

Team Ebola


Rachel Whittaker, BSN, RN, CPN, of Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, was the recipient of the individual award, and was chosen for her leadership, compassion, and practice of patient-and family-centered care, particularly during end-of-life decisions.


Rachel Whittaker

The Clinical Informatics Council of the University of New Mexico Hospitals in Albuquerque, received the team award for their efforts to address safety issues including an alert designed to prevent complications from ventilator use, a Pediatric Early Warning Score to predict a deteriorating patient, and a streamlined method for documenting wounds. Sheena Ferguson, MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN, chief nursing officer, noted this as a "huge improvement" in patient safety, because it allows multiple disciplines to document wounds in the same place and with consistent terminology.

CIC Team

The Clinical Informatics Council Team


Peggy Kattenberg, BSN, RN, CMSRN, of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, the recipient of the individual award, was chosen for an initiative she led concerning the risks associated with nurse interruptions during medication administration.

"Peggy designed a study in which she discovered the astounding number of phone calls nurses receive during specific times when medications are administered on the floor. Her goal was to find a way to decrease the amount of distraction nurses incur during medication administration," said Cynthia Latney, MSN, BSN, chief nursing officer at Penrose-St. Francis. "The study ultimately led to practices that now prohibit nurses from being interrupted when they are in the medication room."


Peggy Kattenberg receives her award! Pictured (L to R) Carlos Urrea Vice President Medical Affairs at Hill-Rom, DAISY Co-founder Tena Barnes Carraher and Patricia McGaffigan Vice President, Safety Programs at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

The Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center received the team award for Team Kalynn, a patient-centered effort to optimize the safety and quality provided to a patient who spent 11 months in the MICU waiting for a lung transplant. The MICU team coordinated staffing and the care planning required to keep the patient safe as well as care for her emotional and social needs over an extended period of time.

"This effort assured both safe handoffs at shift changes and continuity of care, which resulted in the patient's comfort and kept her safe from complications," said Karen A. Grimly, PhD, MBA, RN, FACHE, chief nurse executive, UCLA Health.

Team K

Team Kalynn


Erin Harlow-Parker, MS, APRN, PMSCNS-BC, of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, received the individual award. The team award went to the Surgical Care Unit at Children's National Health System in Washington, DC.

Harlow-Parker is an advanced practice nurse specializing in behavioral health in the pediatric population. She has led or contributed to numerous initiatives to improve the care of young patients in the emergency department, particularly those in need of timely placement of inpatient psychiatric treatment. She has also collaborated with Georgia state officials to advocate on behalf of children with behavioral and developmental disorders, a population that is especially hard to place in treatment because of a lack of appropriate facilities.

"Children with psychiatric disorders are at serious risk of harm, and they and their families often experience long waits in emergency departments while seeking appropriate placement. Erin has worked tirelessly to improve patient safety and quality of care for this at-risk population, not only in our hospitals, but across the state of Georgia," said Linda Cole, RN, MBA, FACHE, Senior Vice-President of Operations and Chief Nursing Officer at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Erin Harlow Parker receives her award! Pictured (L to R) DAISY Co-founders Mark and Bonnie Barnes, Patricia McGaffigan Vice President, Safety Programs at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Carlos Urrea Vice President Medical Affairs at Hill-Rom

The Surgical Care Unit (SCU) at Children's National Health System is part of the organization's Pediatric

Level I Trauma Center. In 2016, the team cared for a severely burned and traumatized teenaged patient. Rehabilitation began right away, but areas for physical and occupational therapy on the unit were mainly public spaces. The patient's stress, pain levels, and concern about her physical appearance often led her to refuse crucial therapy outside of her room.

This case influenced the SCU team to develop a better solution for young patients in need of rehabilitation, especially burn patients. With the help of local foundations, the team raised $50,000 for a special dedicated gym space that features bright lighting, slip-resistant flooring, and other features to ensure patient-focused goals can be achieved in a safe and more private environment. As an example of impact, the SCU has outperformed national benchmarks for patient falls with injury over the past two years. Additionally, the patient who sparked this effort is now an active and thriving high schooler.

SCU Team
The Surgical Care Unit Team with DAISY, Hill-Rom and IHI Representatives.

Jobic Ray Butao, BSN, RN, CCRN, received the individual award. The team award went to the Wound Ostomy Nursing Team at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Individual award recipient, Jobic Ray Butao, is a critical care nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Miami. He has worked with his organization's executives to initiate nurse sensitive indicator outcome-specific leadership rounds in the unit and has led efforts to reduce central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The unit had no cases of CLABSI over an 11-month period and only one case of CAUTI. The practices put in place through Butao's efforts are being implemented in other units of the hospital.

"Jobic is a dynamic peer leader, a skilled clinician, and a researcher," said Sandra McLean, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, West Kendall Baptist Hospital. "He is also patient, kind, and compassionate with his patients and their families — truly the picture of an extraordinary caregiver."


Jobic Ray Butao

Similarly, the wound ostomy nurses at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) were recognized for their technical skill and knowledge as well as their leadership in promoting interprofessional teamwork and their compassionate care of patients who find themselves in wholly unexpected circumstances.

The eight-member team of specialists assesses and cares for patients with all manner of wounds — from pressure ulcers to ostomy wounds. They have kept the organization below national benchmarks for pressure ulcers, in part with a program of quarterly skin surveys of all adult and pediatric patients. They also established an interprofessional committee to address hospital-acquired pressure injuries and worked with information technology teams to develop an innovative, tablet-based application to enhance processing of skin survey data.

"We are so proud of our wound ostomy nursing team," said Cindy Dawson, MSN, RN, CORLN, Chief Nurse Executive, UIHC. "They demonstrate excellent clinical care every day through their interprofessional teamwork, use of evidence-based care, and outstanding quality improvement work. This award truly highlights the incredible work they do every single day for patients, families, and staff."

WON Team
Wound Ostomy Nursing Team


2020 Recipients:

Shelly Brown, MSN, RN, SANE-A, Clinical Nurse V, formerly at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center, earned the individual award. The Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) at South Texas Veterans Health Care System has been honored with the team award.

Shelly Brown, the individual award recipient, practiced forensic nursing at VCU Medical Center. Forensic nurses are advanced practice nurses with special expertise in caring for patients who have been victims of violence. Having cared for victims of human trafficking, Brown has become an advocate and educator on the topic, increasing awareness among health care administrators, government leaders, law enforcement, first responders, and health care professionals through lectures, seminars, and other initiatives.

Brown is also certified as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE). She is being honored in part for her care of a patient who had been abducted, drugged, and transported across multiple state lines. In addition to providing immediate care and involving social services and law enforcement, Brown arranged for ongoing care once the woman returned to her home and family.

Shelly Brown
Shelly Brown

The MICU team at South Texas Veterans Health Care System was honored for instituting a series of initiatives that have virtually eliminated central-line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated events (such as pneumonia), and falls over the past year. Following high-reliability principles, the team began conducting twice-daily huddles, enlisting hand hygiene “sheriffs,” and using evidence-based care bundles for infection prevention. Initially recognized for compassionate care of a veteran who was their patient for more than two years, the team — 27 registered nurses and 5 nursing assistants — has increased situational awareness – the ability to perceive and comprehend a patient’s status and project the course of action – from 62 percent to 98 percent, resulting in safer care for patients and better communication among staff.



Christa Bedford Mu, MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN, C-ELBW, receives the individual award. Co-recipients of the team award include the ICU Nursing Team at Swedish Edmonds hospital and the Faith Community Nurses Team at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

Individual award recipient, Christa Bedford-Mu is a clinical nurse specialist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento, California. She was honored for her clinical improvement achievements and unwavering commitment to supporting and educating the families of infant patients. A trained wound treatment associate, Ms. Bedford-Mu has collaborated with several surgical units across UC Davis Children’s Hospital to spread standardized approaches to multiple types of complex wounds and skin integrity issues. Her work, including implementation of a neonatal checklist, has contributed to significant reductions in postoperative complications, faster healing, and decreased risk of infection, which have led to reductions in lengths of stay and use of health care services. In addition, she has supported patient families with important post-discharge resources and the launch of a telehealth project to improve the NICU-to-home transition.

Co-recipient of the team award (top left photo), the ICU Nursing Team at Swedish Edmonds, located in Edmonds, Washington, volunteered to be their hospital’s pandemic unit. Nurses in the 13- bed ICU modified their clinical practice to meet the needs of critical COVID-19 patients and their families. They sought out and tested improvement efforts that were then instituted throughout the Swedish system (the hospital system has five campuses located in the Puget Sound area), including process innovations that improved workforce safety and quality of care initiatives that lowered intubation rates, improved patient handoffs, and increased mobility. Through 2019 and 2020, the team experienced zero harmful falls and no instances of catheter-associated urinary tract infections. In addition, in the last seven years, the ICU team has recorded only one case of a central-line associated bloodstream infection.

Also receiving the team award (lower left photo), the Faith Community Nurses Team at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, located in Atlanta, Georgia, were honored for its work with patients who have complex, chronic conditions. Through its Nurse Navigator program, the team helps patients develop and hone self-management skills that improve their health outcomes and quality of life. They assist in the coordination of patient care, interacting with providers and resources inside and outside the walls of their institution. They also focus upstream, educating high-risk communities about chronic disease prevention, including diabetes.  The team’s clinical and community-level efforts have contributed to a 77 percent reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions, 51 percent reduction in inpatient hospital admissions, and 28 percent reduction in length of stay when admitted to the hospital. Read more about their program here.

2021 Honorees

To learn more about the award click here