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Robert Fitzsimons, along with his team in the Progressive Care Unit, accept his DAISY Award from CTMC CNO Catherine Amitrano and CTMC CEO and President Anthony Stahl. Photo courtesy of CTMC

Extraordinary nurses honored at CTMC

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Twelve nurses at Central Texas Medical Center were honored Tuesday in the hospital’s first ever the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses ceremony. 

The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day. 

“We are proud to participate in the DAISY Award program,” said CTMC Chief Nursing Officer Catherine Amitrano. “Our nurses are the backbone of this facility and it’s important that they know their work is highly valued. the DAISY Foundation provides a great way for us to do that.” 

Robert Fitzsimons, RN, was selected from the 12 nominees as the DAISY Award recipient. Fitzsimons, who works in CTMC’s Progressive Care Unit, was chosen after going above and beyond not only for a patient, but the family as well. As the last nurse at CTMC to care for the patient before he was moved to hospice care, Fitzsimons offered important information to the patient’s granddaughter, advising her to let her grandfather know how much she loved him and was grateful for everything he’s taught her. This touching moment is demonstrative of the type of care Fitzsimons offers all his patients and their families. 

The other nominees were: 

  • Jacqueline Barrios, BSN, RN 
  • Ping Boggess, RN 
  • Shelby Fitzgerald, RN 
  • Marisela Fratianni, RN 
  • Cheryl Giberson, LVN 
  • Nicole Heynis, RN 
  • Laetitia Jones, RN 
  • Karrah Kaufmann, BSN, RN 
  • Ellena Machado, RN 
  • Alicia McCool, BSN, RN 
  • Nichole Rodriguez, BSN, RN 
  • Robyn Williamson, BSN, RN 

CTMC will continue to honor its nurses with the DAISY Award quarterly. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at CTMC to receive the DAISY Award. Awards are presented throughout the year at celebrations attended by the honoree’s colleagues, patients and visitors. Each honoree receives a certificate commending her or him as an "Extraordinary Nurse." The certificate reads: "In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people." Honorees also receive a DAISY award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. 

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Barnes died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. 

"When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the superhuman, extraordinary, compassionate work they do," FAAN President and Co-Founder of the DAISY Foundation Bonnie Barnes said. "The kind of work the nurses at CTMC are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of the DAISY Award.” 

This is one initiative of the DAISY Foundation to express gratitude to the nursing profession. Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, the DAISY Faculty Award to honor inspiring faculty members in schools and colleges of nursing, and the DAISY in Training Award for nursing students. More information is available at the DAISY Foundation's website

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