Nursing at ChildServe: 2018 DAISY Award Winners

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 celebrated 11 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. Read the summaries of the winning nominations below!

Dez Jackson, RN
Nursing Team Lead – Inpatient Rehabilitation

After twelve-year-old Rylee was critically injured in a four-wheeling accident, she came to ChildServe’s inpatient rehabilitation program to work on becoming as independent as possible. As a nursing team lead, Dez could sense that Rylee was going to need something to look forward to as summer approached.

One weekend while Dez and Rylee were hanging out, they started talking about summer camp. Dez explained to Rylee that Camp Sunnyside wasn’t far and could make accommodations for her and her power chair. They looked it up and talked about all the things that Rylee could do while at camp. Rylee was very interested in the idea of spending time at Camp Sunnyside. This wasn’t something that the inpatient team had much experience with, but Dez saw it as an opportunity for Rylee. That’s all it took for Dez to get the ball rolling.

Dez began printing documentation and forms and spoke with her supervisor, stating “We have to make this happen!” Dez spoke with Rylee’s family, doctors, therapists, and anyone who would listen in order to advocate for Rylee and her summer. It gave Rylee the opportunity to look forward to, raise money for, and be excited about her summer. Dez helped with all of this and took no credit.

When I asked Rylee what her camp experience meant to her she said “Amazing!” When I asked what her favorite part of camp was she said “Horseback riding.” When I asked how Rylee would describe Dez she said “Loving.” And that’s the truth. Dez is loving and determined. She advocates for every child that comes to the inpatient rehabilitation program. This is why Rylee and I nominated Dez for the DAISY Award.

– Submitted anonymously

Kathy “KT” Needham, RN
Nursing Team Lead – Long Term Care

KT has worked at ChildServe for over 20 years – twenty years of dedication to the kids we serve. She has known many kids over the years and holds a special place for each and every one of them in her heart. There is one child, in particular, that she has a very special bond with. I would go as far as to say that they are best friends. If you work for ChildServe, or even if you are a visitor, I’m sure you have seen them “scoopin” the halls. It’s often hard to tell who is having more fun.

Naz has complex medical needs and KT is Naz’s rock. KT is someone Naz can count on. Naz knows what days KT works, her hours, if she is on vacation, or if she is out ill (which is rare). Every moment KT spends with Naz, she focuses on making it fun. They can be seen on their daily adventure to 3rd floor, driving over bubble wrap in the halls, taking care of plants, racing down the hall in the stander, playing in the snow, swinging in the healing garden, playing in the leaves, playing with toys — the list goes on and on!

Every day, Naz can count on having “kid” time with KT. Every day that KT is here, she tries to give Naz the time that all kids need, just to be silly. KT does this because she wants to; not because it’s assigned to her or even expected of her. KT goes above and beyond in everything she does and that includes helping Naz “just be a kid.”

– Submitted by Marie Porter, RN, Clinical Supervisor, ChildServe Long Term Care program

Chelsea Norris, RN
Nurse – Homecare

Chelsea has been a Homecare nurse for our son, Alex, longer than anyone we’ve ever had. She deeply loves our son, and we love her just as much back! I never have to worry about Alex when I leave the house.

She does his therapy exercises with him every day and he tolerates it for longer periods because of how she reads his cues and makes everything a game. It’s easier for Alex to get out into the community because of how helpful she is packing everything he needs. She knows him so well at this point that she doesn’t even have to ask me what he will need on a trip.

Chelsea has sensed when I’m overwhelmed and offered to take over certain tasks like making calls to order medical supplies and follow up with doctor’s offices. She can tell when Alex is getting sick and knows how to help him when he needs more suction or respiratory support.

Our lives can carry on with everyone’s needs being met because we have Chelsea. We just love her so much. She was made for pediatric homecare. Our lives would be very different without her.

– Submitted by Katie, Alex’s mom

Looking to honor a ChildServe nurse in your life? Nominate them for a DAISY Award.

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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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