Texas County Memorial Hospital’s newest DAISY Award recipient, Stephanie Gentry right, pictured with Karen Geer, wife of Peter Geer who nominated Gentry for the award.

A week of celebrating nurses at Texas County Memorial Hospital culminated with a “Nurses’ Day” event recognizing specific nurses in the organization on May 10.

Stephanie Gentry of Willow Springs, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at TCMH, received the fifth DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award. It’s the highest recognition awarded at the event for RNs and licensed practical nurses at TCMH. 

The DAISY Award is part of the non-profit DAISY Foundation of Glen Ellen, Calif. The foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes. He died at age 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. 

The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while Patrick was ill and hospitalized inspired the DAISY Award as a way of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

The DAISY award recipient must be nominated for a specific act of extraordinary care that was experienced by the person making the nomination. Gentry received two DAISY award nominations this year. She received the DAISY award from the nomination she received from Peter Geer, which he submitted in recognition of the care provided to his 91-year-old father and their family while was a patient in the ICU at TCMH.

In the nomination, Geer said his father was admitted to TCMH and that he did not do well mentally on the medical surgical floor, so he was transferred to the ICU, where he stayed for a few days before finally being transferred to a long-term care facility.

“My dad had to adjust to a routine that he was not used to, and he had to adjust to not having his family with him 24/7,” Geer said. “Stephanie was willing to do anything he needed to help him recover. She laughed and joked with him and she listened to his stories.”

Geer said Gentry would answer his father’s questions over and over again with a smile on her face.

“Stephanie never let my dad realize that she had just answered the same question five minutes earlier,” Geer said. “Stephanie not only treated my dad with the up most respect and care, but she was very patient with the whole family as well. My mom was a basket of nerves and Stephanie was always there for her well-being, and to provide comfort.”

Geer said it was difficult to try to explain to his dad why Gentry did not come to the nursing home to take care of him. 

“Our whole family appreciated the care my dad received from Stephanie, including my dad,” Geer said. 

Geer’s wife, Karen, attended the DAISY award ceremony to honor Gentry.

“We couldn’t be happier that Stephanie received this award,” she said.

Gentry received a special DAISY Award pin; recognition certificate; bouquet of fresh daisies; and hand-carved stone sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch.”  An additional recognition ceremony in the TCMH ICU with Gentry will feature cinnamon rolls because Cinnabon were a personal favorite food of Barnes during his hospitalization. He always shared the cinnamon rolls with the nursing staff.

Several other TCMH employees received special recognition and a pin for also being nominated for DAISY awards: April Crites, RN, TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks; Bailey Howell, LPN, medical office complex; Brittany Walter, RN, emergency department; Cameron Brown, LPN, TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks; Chris Weaver, RN, emergency department; Delilah Jones, RN, obstetrics; Holli Massey, RN, emergency department; Jade Moore, RN, obstetrics; Jerri Sue Crump, RN, emergency department; Jessica Collins, RN, medical surgical department; Judy Vernon, RN, obstetrics; Kristel Barton, RN, obstetrics; Kalli Wade, RN, emergency department; Marybeth Casper, RN, TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks; Miranda Coen, RN, emergency department; Samantha Williams, RN, medical surgical department; Shasta Head, RN, medical surgical department; and Shelby Ellison, RN, medical surgical department.

Also during the week, a mandatory nursing skills lab was provided for the nursing staff. Twelve stations provided education — some of which were hands on — on topics such as wound and skin care, drug-resistant organisms, patient safety, chest tubes and medications.

Great Scrubs & More came to TCMH to allow nurses and other employees the opportunity to shop for uniforms during the day. 

On Friday breakfast or lunch was served to all members of the TCMH nursing staff.

TCMH employs 120 nurses. They work in many departments of the hospital — medical surgical, obstetrics, emergency room, surgery, intensive care, home health, hospice and clinics.

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