ChildServe‘s 2020 DAISY Award Winners

Parent Talking to Child

The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem) Award is an international recognition program that celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day.

At ChildServe, we recently celebrated 5 nominees and three winners as families and nurses took the time to honor and thank the ChildServe nurses they have seen go above and beyond in their work in the last year. Read the winning nominations below, and join us in congratulating these nurses on their excellent care:

Kelly Andersen, RN, LPN
Role: Licensed Practitioner Nurse with IV certification in the Long-term Care program
Years at ChildServe: 10.5

“Kelly Andersen is a nurse at ChildServe’s long-term care program. Last year I witnessed what Kelly was able to do for a family whose child was about to pass away. It is our privilege to take care of children at the end of their life because they teach us so much. We also owe it to their families to make the last hours of their time with us as peaceful as possible, not only for the child but also for the family.

The child’s sister and aunt were here all day and were waiting for mom to get here. She was traveling from out of state in a snow storm. Kelly did everything she could to make the aunt and sister comfortable. She brought in a recliner and a cot so they could get some sleep, but not have to leave the child’s room. Kelly was texting back and forth with mom, and the doctor, keeping them updated on the child’s condition. She was trying to keep the child as comfortable as possible, while still keeping them alive until mom could get here. This was all while still passing meds and caring for other children on the unit as well.

Mom arrived at about 5 a.m., and she had driven all night. Kelly brought her to the room and explained what was happening. Mom spent some time talking to the child and holding their hand. When she was ready, she asked Kelly to give them more medication and take them off the oxygen. The child passed a few minutes later. What Kelly did then was the most amazing thing to me. She and another nurse, Ashley, got the child straightened up in the bed so the mom and the sister could lay with them. That meant so much to both of them and was very heartwarming to see. I had to step out of the room and collect myself at that point. Kelly has done an amazing job and this shows the compassion and care that she gives to our children and families every day. This is a moment that I will never forget. Thank you, Kelly, for everything you do!”


Matt O’Neal, RN
Role: Night Team Lead, Inpatient Rehabilitation
Years at ChildServe: 4

Nomination 1: “My daughter arrived at ChildServe on October 8. Since arrival, her tacrolimus (anti-rejection medication) levels dropped significantly. We had originally thought it was due to frequent emesis so her heart transplant doctor made a standing order for re-dose. October 19 was Matt’s first time having Natalie and that day she needed to be re-dosed. After handing me her medication, he decided to take another look. What he discovered was that the pharmacy had mislabeled her tacrolimus. Because of that error, she was getting only half of her dosage for 10 days. That medication is the most important one because it’s the most effective for antirejection. Natalie’s transplant team and my family are truly grateful he discovered the problem! On October 23, her tacrolimus levels were back where they were supposed to be.”

Nomination 2: “Matt is a great nurse who really cares about the kids. We are currently caring for a child recovering from an organ transplant, and her tacrolimus level was low. He figured out the pharmacy placed the wrong label on the medication, potentially saving this child’s life. All of us love Matt—he’s awesome!”

Role: Director of Nursing & Pediatric Palliative Care Consultant
Years at ChildServe: 4

“We would like to nominate Dawn Schwartz for the DAISY Nurse Leader Award. Dawn is our Director of Nursing and she is a compassionate leader and role model. We have witnessed tough conversations she has had with families and she always leads the conversation with kindness and understanding. She is also there for us when we need to debrief about a difficult situation, such as a child passing away. She is a champion of palliative care and supports our team and us. COVID has made things more difficult for all of us this year and we don’t get to see her as much, but we appreciate her continuing to check in with us. She is a role model for nursing and we look up to her and her motivation. She has spent the last few months leading our organization through COVID and we appreciate all that she and the COVID Command Team have done to keep us and the children we serve as safe as possible. You would never know that she does all the things she does by the way she acts and her calm demeanor. We greatly appreciate her and all that she does for ChildServe!”


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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