Berlin, Vt. — The University of Vermont Health Network - Central Vermont Medical Center named Jane Hartzell, RN, its first DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses recipient Feb. 23.
The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem) Award™ is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day.
Hartzell, a nurse with Central Vermont Urology on the CVMC campus, was nominated for her skill and compassion in caring for a patient who'd recently lost his beloved wife.
In nominating Hartzell for the award, the patient's daughter, Karen Safford, wrote: "Every visit (Jane) took the time to keep us informed, answer so many questions and reassure us that things were in fact improving. Sometime during the course of treatment, she found out that my mother had recently passed. My uncle accompanied my father to his final appointment at Central Vermont Urology, and I quickly found out that while there, Jane sat with them and asked them to share more about Mom. They told her story after story and she responded to them with compassion and honest, open arms."
Safford read the nomination aloud at the surprise award ceremony, attended by hospital leadership, colleagues, family and friends. Safford’s father Matthew was among the attendees, and shared a warm embrace with Hartzell once the award was announced. President and Chief Executive Officer Judy Tartaglia, who retires March 17, was also in attendance.
“This is especially meaningful because you’re here, Judy,” Hartzell said. “It feels so good to be part of this place and it’s nice to have those you esteem witness something like this.”
Hartzell said the award means a great deal because she could empathize deeply with the way Safford and her father felt when she met them.
“My dear father, who was very much in grief the way Matthew and Karen were when my mother died in 2009, the year I joined CVMC, is ‘walking on air’ that I have been honored with this award,” Hartzell said. “We also lost a son/brother at age 49, four years earlier, to a rare cancer, so you can see how the meaningfulness of the DAISY goes deep.”
The DAISY Foundation and DAISY Award were established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in 1999. During his hospitalization, family members deeply appreciated the care and compassion shown to Patrick, relatives and friends. When he died, his family felt compelled to say “thank you” to nurses in a very public way.
The DAISY Award was presented to Hartzell by CVMC’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Matthew Choate, BSN, RN, MBA, CEN, CPEN. A pin commemorating the honor was presented by Charity Cerminara, MSN, RN, CVMC Nurse Manager.
This “award is meaningful because it gives us the chance to stop, take notice and applaud the amazing job that nurses do every day,” Cerminara said. “So many nurses feel that what they do is ‘part of the job’ or ‘what I should do as a nurse.’ But what they don’t see is the profound effect that their caring, compassionate and genuine actions have on their patients/families and other staff members.”
“Nurses care for people who are often in their most vulnerable states,” Cerminara continued. “When we do this well, we change lives without ever knowing it.”
Hartzell’s photo will be the first to grace an awards case in CVMC’s main lobby, with additional award-winners joining her later this year.
Current/former patients, family members and friends are encouraged to nominate nurses who provided extraordinary care to loved ones at https://www.cvmc.org/daisy-awards.