Saturday, December 4, 2021

Nurses Matter—All Year Long



By Scott Lowe
CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd

B20-CBN-5-1-7Award-winning American filmmaker Carolyn Jones said, “At one point in our life each of us will encounter a nurse, whether it’s as a patient or as a loved one and that one encounter can mean the difference between suffering and peace; between chaos and order. Nurses matter.”

National Nurses Week begins every year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

This is the very special week that each hospital, doctor’s office and healthcare facility sets aside to honor our nation’s national healthcare treasures: our nurses.

As the CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System, I have a responsibility—no, the obligation—to lead the charge in saluting the gifts of these exceptional women and men.

Physicians Regional Healthcare System became involved with the Daisy Award organization in February 2013. The Daisy Award was launched in 1999 by the family of Seattle’s Patrick Burns who passed away at the age of 33 after eight weeks in the hospital.

By establishing the Daisy Award, Patrick’s family found their very personal—yet ultimately very public—way to say “thank you” to all the extraordinary nurses who cared for him. Today, hundreds of heath care facilities all over the country patriciate in Daisy Award activities.

Daisy Award recipients are nominated by patients, families, or coworkers. The recognized nurse is awarded, among other items, a sculpture entitled “A Healers Touch.” The sculpture is hand- carved by an artist from the Shona Tribe of Zimbabwe.

Physicians Regional-Pine Ridge’s Lori Aylwin was nominated after a supervisor witnessed an incredible gesture—one that brought her to tears. A patient had just died and his family—including children and grandchildren—had witnessed the passing.

When Lori noticed a confused granddaughter, she got down on her knees to comfort the child. The little girl pointed to the angel pin Lori wore on her uniform and said: “Now my grandfather is an angel.”

Lori promptly took off her pin, fastened it on the little girl’s stuffed bear, and told the child she could keep the angel so she could always be close to her grandfather.

Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard’s Brianna Sharp is another recent recipient of the Daisy Award. A patient’s family shared that Brianna—from the beginning to the end—had exhibited outstanding concern and compassion. In addition, Brianna was extremely positive and always smiling.

Although they knew Brianna had



other patients, she treated this patient and this family as if they were her one-and-only concern.

Here’s a segment from the Daisy Award nomination for Johanna Maksimowitzj of Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard: “My wife was a patient at your hospital in March. We found Johanna to be outstanding. This nurse reviewed all my wife’s records in detail and asked many questions. I felt this nurse accurately understood all her medications and possible allergies. This nurse made sure that the records accurately reflected my wife’s needs. Johanna gave both my wife and me a feeling of confidence that she was being taken care of in a complete and professional manner.”

Daisy Award recipient Marissa Laney of Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard was nominated by a physician family member. He wrote: “Last Sunday, my father was admitted to the emergency room at Physicians Regional Healthcare System. That evening, he was transferred to the ICU. Nurse Laney was considerate of his (and our) needs while maintaining concern, advocacy and total focus on my father. My father has been in hospitals from Colorado to Louisiana, and Marissa Laney is one of the top people we have worked with during the last five years of this difficult sojourn through the medical world.”

Nursing is a calling. Nurses don’t just learn to care for the body, they care for the mind, the soul and the family.

Though I am proud of our recent Daisy Award recipients, they are only four examples of the team of exceptional nurses who grace the halls at both Physicians Regional campuses, our physician offices and clinics.

Each day, I witness random acts of kindness:

  • A nurse brought in clothes for a homeless man;
  • A Spanish patient was unable to eat the American cuisine. The nurse went home after a 12-hour shift and prepared Spanish food for the patient;
  • A nurse identified that a young boy likely had no money to purchase food. She went on her lunch break and brought back McDonald’s treats.

This year, Physician Regional Healthcare System will be celebrating Nurses Week with special gifts, breakfasts, snack rounding, ice cream socials and other food delivered to nurses.

All of this will most certainly be enjoyed by the nursing staff, but nothing is actually more important than a kind word, a smile, and our collective thanks for a job well done.

Because yes, nurses matter—365 days a year.


Scott Lowe is CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System.

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