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Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Partners With DAISY Foundation - Announces Its First Winner of Foundation's Nursing Award

Children's is the first hospital in Pennsylvania to join DAISY Foundation

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has become the first hospital in Pennsylvania to join the DAISY Foundation, and today Children's announced the inaugural recipient of its DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Julie Donnelly, RN, a professional staff nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), is the first-ever winner of Children's DAISY Award and will be recognized at a ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 18, 2006.

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The award was initiated in 2001 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Patrick's family was awed by the skill, care and compassion their son received from nurses during his illness.

"We got to see day after day, night after night what nurses do," said Patrick's stepmother, Bonnie, who traveled with her family from California to attend Children's first DAISY Award ceremony. "It's more than technical skills they provide; it's the compassion and caring they bring to patients and their families. After our experience with our son, we wanted to share our message across the country."

As of January 2006, the DAISY Award has been bestowed on more than 800 nurses from approximately 50 hospitals across the country who have partnered with the DAISY Foundation. As a new member of the California-based DAISY Foundation, Children's will honor one of its nurses each month with the DAISY Award. Each honoree receives a special award, pin and hand-carved Shona sculpture titled "A Healer's Touch."

"It is an honor for us to partner with an organization like DAISY that helps celebrate nurses nationwide," said Diane Hupp, RN, interim vice president and chief nursing officer. "Children's is very proud of all of our nurses and we especially applaud Julie on this well-earned achievement. Part of being a world-class pediatric hospital is having highly skilled nurses who are able to demonstrate care and compassion to our children and families, as Julie does so well."

Donnelly began her career at Children's in October 1985, working with newborns in the 20-bed NICU the entire time. "Julie is the epitome of a professional nurse," said Bev Sahlaney, RN, nurse manager of the NICU. "She's very focused and intelligent at her job, and at the same time, she shows a great deal of compassion towards the babies and their families."

The mission of the DAISY Foundation (which is supported by US Airways) is to help fight diseases of the immune system like the one that struck Patrick. The foundation funds medical research into ITP, provides support to ITP patients and their families, encourages donations of blood and bone marrow, and recognizes the work of nurses by conducting this nursing appreciation program at hospitals around the country.

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,

Last Update
February 18, 2008
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Last Update
February 18, 2008