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Tomah Health Recognizes Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown never thought she would receive an award for taking care of people. The Tomah Health Emergency Services registered nurse was named the hospital’s 2021 recipient of the internationally recognized DAISY Award May 10 as part of Nurse’s Week.

Above: Tomah Health Emergency Services Registered Nurse Jackie Brown, left, is congratulated by Emergency Services coordinator / Registered Nurse Ariel Bohm, BSN,RN and Chief Nursing Officer Tracy Myhre, MSN, RN.

“I feel very honored; it is a special thing and I definitely don’t feel like I deserve it,” said Brown, who has been a nurse for nearly 12 years, and part of the Tomah Health Emergency Services Dept., the last three years.

The 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.

Tomah resident Wendy Wright nominated Brown based on the care Brown gave to Wright’s husband, Todd, during a visit to the Tomah Health emergency room Dec. 10. “Due to COVID, I was not able to stay, but Jackie kept me in the loop,” Wright wrote in the nomination form. “Her compassion with me as a spouse not being able to be his side was simply amazing,” Wright wrote. “The first thing my husband said when he got in the car (following his hospital visit) was, ‘My nurse was great’”, Wright explained. “I’m so thankful Jackie was the nurse on duty that night. This was our first experience with Tomah Health, and I would recommend anyone to visit your facility for the health needs,” Wright concluded.

Brown said she was a “bit shocked” by the feedback saying she was simply doing her job.

Tomah Health Emergency Services Director Suzanne Downing, DNP, RN, said she was not surprised by Jackie’s reaction but very proud of the accomplishment. “Jackie is wonderful. She is caring, she is knowledgeable and jumps right in to help the team wherever is needed and gives excellent care to patients,” Downing said.

Brown, who lives in Elroy, was the first Emergency Services nurse at Tomah Health to receive the award.

“I think it says a lot about our department especially this past year with the pandemic,” Downing said. “It shows that our department has staff that really cares and wants to keep families involved even when they can’t be physically present in the (department) rooms.” Currently, Tomah Health allows one visitor over 18 yrs. old in the hospital’s Emergency & Urgent Care Departments.

Brown was one of 30 nurses at Tomah Health nominated for the award this year, and the fifth person to receive the DAISY award since the hospital first implemented it in 2017.

“It is always hard to select the winner,” Tomah Health chief nursing officer Tracy Myhre, MSN, RN, said. “It speaks to the depth of the nominations.”

Myhre said the hospital takes part in the DAISY Award because it validates the type of nursing care provided at Tomah Health. “It is an international award and given all over the world, and when someone says they are a DAISY Award recipient, it is recognized and to me signifies the care we provide.”

Patients, families and colleagues can nominate nurses for the recognition using a DAISY Award nomination form located at the hospital and on the hospital’s website, CLICK HERE.

Tomah Health