Siera Williams always felt she had what it took to be a nurse and take care of people. She never thought her efforts would be recognized with a worldwide nursing award. The Tomah Health Hospice Touch & Life Choices Palliative Care registered nurse was named the hospital’s 2022 recipient of the internationally recognized DAISY Award May 6 as a kick off to Nurse’s Week.
The DAISY Award recognition program was established by the not-for-profit DAISY Foundation, based in Glen Ellen, California, by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease. Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation said the care Patrick and his family received from nurses inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. There are over 5,000 health care facilities, and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 31 other countries and territories that honor nurses with The DAISY Award.
“I’m very honored to receive this award,” Williams said. “I would have never dreamed of it. It speaks for all of us at Tomah Health; all of the nurses and all the care giving staff. It’s not just me that made this experience special for the family that nominated me. It’s a team effort for this family that we helped,” said Williams.
Siera was one of 26 nursing staff at Tomah Health nominated for the award. Her nomination came from the family of a Tomah Hospice Touch patient who said Siera “saved the day” for their family. “She so beautifully and understandably described life’s final days to our family. She linked what we were seeing our mother’s condition to how she was progressing on her end of life journey,” the family wrote. They concluded the nomination by saying, “Siera is the epitome of a hospice nurse.”
Williams, who lives in Sparta, was the first Tomah Health Hospice Touch / Life Choices Palliative Care nurse to receive a Daisy award, and the sixth person to receive the award since the hospital first implemented it in 2017. “I am so thankful to work for an organization like Tomah Health. They support me and my co-workers, it’s an amazing organization to work for and I’m thankful to be a part of it,” said Williams, who has been a nurse with the hospital’s hospice program two years. She started her career at Tomah Health as a surgical nurse in 2017.
Hospice Touch & Life Choices Palliative Care Director Heidi Stalsberg said Siera’s recognition was well deserved. “Siera brings a culture of support to not only the patients and family members as well which ends up being contagious to our staff,” Stalsberg said. “It really exemplifies the fact that we have amazing nurses at our department as well,” Stalsberg said.
Tomah Health chief nursing officer Tracy Myhre, MSN, RN, said Siera characterizes the important role that nurses play as well as the care provided to patients. “Nurses are the ones who are really building the rapport with the patients and the set of eyes that goes back to the providers,” Myhre said. “They really are the core of our team.”
Myhre said the hospital takes part in the DAISY Award because it validates the type of nursing care provided at Tomah Health. “It really sets the standard for nurses internationally so it sets that bar to a level of our nurses who provide the absolute best care; the same care that patients get at any large facility. I would argue that patients get even better care here because it is really personalized and special,” Myhre said.
Nurses are nominated for the award by patients, families and colleagues, and then chosen by a committee of nurses at Tomah Health to receive the award. To nominate a nurse for The DAISY Award CLICK HERE.
More than 180 nurses are part of the Tomah Health staff.
To Learn More About our Hospice Touch & Life Choices Palliative Care program, CLICK HERE