DAISY award honoree and nominees

Congratulations to our DAISY award honoree and nominees for providing the best possible care for our patients and community, and for making a difference in your patients' lives. We are proud to recognize you.

This program is made possible with support from Montage Health Foundation.

August DAISY award honoree

  • Jamiee Smith

Jaimee Smith, Cardiac Catherization Laboratory


"My husband came in on June 17 for a STEMI. From the moment we came into Emergency, we were well taken care of. A Code Cath was called overhead, and he was taken to the Cath lab within 30 minutes. Waiting to hear word was one of the most difficult waits of my life. The doctor called to inform me that all went well, and I was able to finally breathe a sigh of relief. As my daughter and I sat waiting for ICU visiting hours to start, my husband's Cath lab nurse, Jaimee, happened to spot us. She came over and asked if we were family, and I immediately said yes. Jaimee provided us with the most compassion and knowledgeable answers to our plethora of questions. She had her break food in her hand, but she chose to take the time to ease worried minds and hearts. She reinforced that I had done everything right and following my gut had saved my husband's life that morning. She answered every question and calmed many a frayed nerve. I remember at the end of the conversation, she clearly said she could tell just how much we all meant to my husband by her limited interactions with him prior to the Cath procedure. I will never forget the compassion she showed us in one of the worst possible times. She is a prime example of what a nurse should be and how such a little act of kindness can have such a great impact. Thank you Jaimee. Your kindness will never be forgotten. My husband (now a total of 8 stents later) is doing great and has made a full recovery."

August DAISY award nominees

  • Dylan Auker, Terrace West
  • Alison DeCarli, Short Stay Unit
  • Griselda Tamez, Terrace East
  • Desirae Ruiz, Terrace West
  • Julie Franke, Intensive Care Unit
  • Veronica Graver, Emergency
  • Devon Lowery, Garden Pavilion
  • Catherine Barger, Garden Pavilion
  • Chei Shields, Garden Pavilion
  • Annette Valdez, Garden Pavilion
  • Sarah Kendall, Intermediate Intensive Care Nursery
  • Christina Patricio, Terrace East
  • Kristine Olalia, Main East
  • Erica Marquez, Main East
  • Sofia Estrella, Main East

Past DAISY award honorees and nominees

July 2022

July DAISY award honoree

  • JiJi Ryerson, RN, DAISY award winner

JiJi Ryerson, Terrace West

Patient Nomination:

"JiJi was my grandmother's nurse while she was an inpatient on the oncology floor. My grandmother has not stopped talking about the ways JiJi cared for her while she was in the hospital. My grandmother had never been hospitalized. During this hospitalization, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She knew this was coming as she has been a life-long smoker. She was so worried that she would be judged for her choices and feared the consequences of them. JiJi cared for my grandmother with kindness, empathy, humor, gentleness, and intense compassion. Every morning, when I called my grandmother, she was so excited to tell me JiJi was back because it meant a day where she knew she would receive beyond excellent care but also someone she could talk to. JiJi stepped in to fill the void of my family not being there all the time. JiJi remembered our names, facts about our family, and joked with us through a very difficult time. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the care my grandmother received while JiJi was her nurse. She is someone my family will never forget. I am sure because of her care, my grandmother was able to heal, not just physically. Thank you so much JiJi."

July DAISY award nominees

  • Grace Tamez, Terrace East
  • Lisa Burris, Float Pool
  • Melissa Ortega, Clinical Decision Unit
  • Tina Hall, Clinical Decision Unit
  • Elaina Hernandez, Clinical Decision Unit
  • Dylan Aucker, Terrace West
  • Jennifer Wolf, Westland House
  • Jennifer Bigiogni, Emergency

June 2022

DAISY award honoree and nominees

Congratulations to our DAISY award honoree and nominees for providing the best possible care for our patients and community, and for making a difference in your patients' lives. We are proud to recognize you.

June DAISY award honoree

  • Azadeh (Azi) Owfee, RN, DAISY award winner

Azadeh (Azi) Owfee, Main East

Patient Nomination:

"Azi was the first in my room to explain what was happening and that she would help me. She did just that from the first rough night through the next few days. I trusted her care for me. Azi went out of her way to help and answer questions and show true caring for a frightened patient in pain. She is outstanding and needs to be recognized for her interest, knowledge, compassion, and outstanding support to her patients."

June DAISY award nominees

  • Scott Metcalf, Garden Pavilion
  • Alyssa Reid, Main West
  • Nathan Moore, Main Pavilion
  • Nicoleta Wilson, Emergency
  • Taylor Prulhiere, Clinical Decision Unit
  • Jennifer Onaka, Garden East
  • Vanessa Maung, Westland House

May 2022

May DAISY award honoree

  • Betsy Intravia, Intensive Care Unit

Betsy Intravia, Intensive Care Unit

Nomination from a patient’s family member:

(Story rewritten to maintain patient privacy): Betsy knew that her patient wouldn’t have long to live. As the patient was unable to speak and share information for her family members, Betsy took it upon herself to find the patient’s family. Because of her efforts, the patient was able to hear her father’s voice before she passed and her family was able to celebrate her life without wondering or without closure. “Thank you, Betsy, from the bottom of our hearts.. for she is at peace!”

May DAISY award nominees

    • Robert Drake, Intervention Radiology

    • Kristen Smith, Intervention Radiology

    • Lia Simmons, Emergency Department

    • Susan Edwards, Intervention Radiology

    • Pramila Upadhyay, Garden West

    • Sarah Kendall, Family Birth Center

    • LeAnne Cook, Family Birth Center

    • Anna Cuva, Terrace East

    • Ralph Spencer, Interventional Radiology

    • Chrissy Andante, Terrace East

    • Rebecca Killough, Main East

    • Tracy Moyle, Main Pavilion

    • Armando Martinez, Emergency

    • Maria Koscar, Emergency

    • Jaimee Smith, Cath lab

    • Stephanie Harr, Admission Services

    • Lauren Rogalsky, Main Pavilion

    • Misato Blust, Outpatient Surgery Center

    • Jack Sawyer, Terrace West

    • Kristopher Martinez, Main Pavilion

    • Azadeh Owfee, Main East

    • Kyle Rosenlund, Garden Pavilion

    • Nalani Faber, Garden West

    • Dillon Hoffman, Intensive Care Unit

    April 2022

    April DAISY award honoree

    Rachel Duncan, Terrace East

    Nurse nomination:

    "When you think of extraordinary, one specific nurse comes to my mind, Rachel Duncan. As a Charge Nurse, I've witnessed Rachel interact with her patients on numerous occasions, and she’s always consistent - loving, caring, kind, knowledgeable, and compassionate. There was one specific complex patient, who was unable to express their needs and I saw how Rachel truly cared in all aspects, for the patient and their family. She always explained what she was doing with the patient, in a calming manner. Rachel attended to all her needs, taking her time with her and being present for the family. Even on days when Rachel was not assigned to the patient, she checked in on the patient and family. We received a bouquet from the family and Rachel’s name was the first on the card."

    April DAISY award nominees

      • Kelly Stephens, Family Birth Center

      • Robert Drake, Interventional Radiology

      • William Brooke, Emergency department

      • Jennifer Madrigal, Garden East

      • Amy Fuller-Crocquet, Family Birth Center

      • Brittany Brubaker, Radiation Oncology

      • Ashleigh Landry, Emergency department

      • Bertilla Smith, CDU

      March 2022

      March DAISY award honoree

      Kelly Stephens, RN, March Daisy Award honoree

      Kelly Stephens, RN, Family Birth Center

      Patient nomination:

      "I recently gave birth to our first child. Kelly was my nurse the entire day throughout my entire labor. I don't think I could describe a more perfect nurse to be present for such a huge moment in my husband's and my life. Kelly was patient, knowledgeable, kind, helpful, and just plain amazing. Kelly had this calm about her throughout the whole process which made me feel so safe and secure in her care. I knew my baby would be safe with her coaching me. She explained everything, advocated for me and my wishes, educated me on options, including my husband, in every step of the way. She was a true warrior for me and my little boy. My husband and I truly talk about our experience with Kelly almost daily when we stare into our beautiful baby boy's eyes because that experience could have gone a lot different. I know it's not possible as babies come when they come, but I will find a way to somehow request Kelly when we eventually get pregnant and have baby number two. We will remember her for years and years, because she was such a meaningful piece of our pregnancy and labor journey. She truly is an outstanding, amazing nurse and person and the Family Birth Center is truly lucky to have her on staff. We can't thank her enough."

      March DAISY award nominees

      • Christina Patricio, Terrace East

      • Marisa Ortiz, Terrace East

      • Katrina Cameron, Terrace East

      • Araceli Alfafara, Emergency

      • Bertilla Smith, Emergency

      • Alma Villarreal, Garden Pavilion

      • Antonio Flores, Garden Pavilion

      • Celeste Frye, Outpatient Surgery Center

      • Pinky Carlos, Terrace West

      • William Brooke, Crisis Intervention

      • Andrea Goldberg, Garden East

      • Tiffany Callaway, Garden West

      • Melissa Sadowsky, Garden West

      • Nikki Uchida, Main Operating Room

      • Miguel Concha, Emergency

      • Nhi Tran, Garden West

      February 2022

      February DAISY award honoree

      Patricia Allen, RN, February Daisy Award honoree

      Patricia Allen, RN, Main East

      Patient nomination:

      "Patricia was meticulous in her examinations. She actually listened to me while looking me in the eye as opposed to just mumbling "uh-huh" while staring at the computer screen and never looking at me.

      She explained everything patiently and clearly. I am sure she is just as overworked and exhausted as all the other nurses, but you would never know it by her excellent bedside manner. Thank you for easing my stay."

      February DAISY award nominees

      • Laura Jones, Clinical Decision Unit
      • Rose Servano, Short Stay Unit
      • Christina Patricio, Terrace East
      • Maryann Galicia, Terrace East
      • Cecilia Criste, Emergency
      • Jennifer Kahl, Main West
      • Liza Claros, Garden East

      January 2022

      January DAISY award honoree

      • Ashley Kijeck, RN, January Daisy Award honoree

      Ashley Kijeck, RN, Terrace West

      Patient nomination:

      "I've never felt so quietly seen by a nurse. Ashley is an amazing watcher and gifted observer. She is so young to have so much wisdom and when I saw her face over the next few days I was in the hospital, when I knew she was going to be my nurse again, I relaxed because I knew I would be safe and I knew I would be pain-free and I knew I would be listened to and seen. She has a safe, gentle, comforting ear. The nurses at CHOMP are for the most part, exceptional. Ashley is above and beyond that. …She's an amazing problem solver and an incredibly thoughtful nurse. She sorted out my meds so that we could keep ahead of my pain and I'm grateful."

      January DAISY award nominees

      • Lauren Rogalsky, Main Pavilion
      • Isabella Mavrakos, Garden East
      • Liza Claros, Garden East
      • Sarah Kendall, Intermediate Intensive Care Nursery
      • Andrew Radcliff, Outpatient Surgery Center
      • Jennifer Kahl, Main West
      • Amy Furman, Terrace West
      • Lindsey Savko, Family Birth Center

      December 2021

      December DAISY award honoree

      • Linda Nakagawa, RN, December Daisy Award honoree

      Linda Nakagawa, RN, Garden East

      Patient nomination:

      "I recently had to spend a somewhat stressful night at CHOMP and although everyone was courteous and responsive, there was one nurse and her aide who were just extra and I want to give them virtual hugs. My nurse, Linda has a way of creating a human connection that felt genuine and caring. You can take fine care of another person without creating a connection, but some people can tap deeper into their well of empathy. It can be difficult to do when one is tired and busy, but Linda obviously can. Perhaps she pauses before interacting with her patients and tells herself "this is the most important thing I have to do right now - all else can wait." She was present, she was kind, she made every effort to make me as comfortable as possible. I could see her kind smile through her mask and that put me at ease. She even stopped in to check on me as she was on her way out the door. Her bag was over her arm, but she took one moment, that may seem so insignificant, and it made me feel valued. Separately, all of these things can seem so unimportant, but being in the hospital is stressful and uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing. Having a caregiver who makes you feel like you are someone who is worth their time makes a huge difference. I work with a dozen two year-olds every day. The difference between chaos and harmony lies in genuine human connections... taking the time to put everything else in the back while you focus on the present. You are lucky to have her and I was fortunate to have her as my nurse."

      December DAISY award nominees

      • Taylor Prulhiere, Clinical Decision Unit
      • Ashleigh Landry, Emergency
      • Jennifer Madrigal, Garden East
      • Theresa Rozell, Diabetes Services
      • Jennifer Ferreyra, Main East
      • Vicky Rodinsky, Family Birth Center
      • Stephanie Corcoran, Family Birth Center
      • Antoinette Thompson, Short Stay Unit
      • Joey Houde, Outpatient Surgery Center
      • Bertilla Smith, Clinical Decision Unit
      • Theresa Crisp, Garden Pavilion

      November 2021

      November DAISY award honoree

      Ian Higuera, RN, November Daisy Award honoree

      Ian Higuera, RN, Garden South IRU

      Patient nomination:

      "Following a recent medical event, my husband was admitted to the IRU. Both my husband and I were taken back by this life-changing event. We were fearful and apprehensive as to what would lay ahead for his recovery. All of the IRU personnel are wonderful caregivers. One nurse in particular, Ian Higuera, provided to my husband, and I, extraordinary care. Ian immediately sensed our anxiety. His calm, strong, yet gently manner assured us that the IRU was where my husband should be to get on the right road to recovery. And, he made us both feel important, and not as just another patient. In no time, we felt as if we had known Ian for a long time. On those days that Ian was my husband's nurse, we both felt more comfortable and taken care of. He made sure I, as the spouse, was also getting through this ordeal and even offered tea and water to me. Ian is just extraordinarily respectful and caring."

      November DAISY award nominees

      • Jacqueline Sherbert, Family Birth Center
      • Alexandra Sherwood, Intermediate Intensive Care Nursery
      • Emily Haney, Intensive Care Unit
      • Samantha Valdez, Main West
      • Rebecca Soliz-Fuller, Main Operating Room
      • Sukon Philuk, Terrace West

      October 2021

      October DAISY award honoree

      Jennifer Kahl, RN, October Daisy Award honoree

      Jennifer Kahl, RN, Main West

      Patient nomination:

      "Words can't describe how grateful I am that I met Jennifer while in postpartum recovery from birth. Her knowledge about post-partum care and the way she approached me with nothing but support, compassion and kindness was everything I needed during this tough recovery time. I had a very speedy and intense birth experience that went from 0-100 in the space of 8 hours. So, I was still in major shock and in quite a bit of pain. Not to mention, there was a huge learning curve for me when it came to breastfeeding and newborn care. Both my husband and I are brand new parents (this is our first baby) so we didn't know how to change a diaper, how to swaddle and were terrified with every cry our baby had and not knowing how to soothe her. Jennifer immediately picked up on all these fears and emotions and sprung into action. She helped me initially learn how to latch my baby while breastfeeding and also went above and beyond to get a lactation nurse to come help me. In addition, she educated me and my husband on how to change diapers and swaddle. She went above and beyond to stay with us for quite some time answering all our first-time parent questions and concern (which were quite a few). When our baby was screaming, crying and nothing seemed to soothe her, Jennifer saw that we were stressed and I was in tears. She came into our room to stay with us for a good 30 minutes and show us different holds that immediately soothed and calmed our baby, so she stopped crying. Basically, Jennifer is a baby whisperer. She has an incredible way of connecting with her patients and providing customized care that has a huge and lasting impact. She made me feel supported and setup for success to make the transition to motherhood. Jennifer is an extremely special person and nurse. Thank you, Jennifer, for making such a difference in our lives and being part of this key milestone of becoming new parents. We couldn't have done it without you."

      October DAISY award nominees

      • Andrea Goldberg, Garden East
      • Unsuk Lee, Intermediate Intensive Care Nursery
      • Tracy Moyle, Main Pavilion
      • Kelly O'Donnell, Garden West
      • Jacqueline Sherbert, Family Birth Center
      • Bertilla Smith, Clinical Decision Unit
      • Rebecca Soliz-Fuller, Main Operating Room

      September 2021

      September DAISY award honorees

      • Bianca Hurtado, RN, September Daisy Award winner

        Bianca Hurtado, RN

      • Corrine Speziale, RN, September Daisy award winner

        Corrine Speziale, RN
        Main West

      Bianca Hurtado, RN, honoree

      Co-worker nomimation:

      "I had the opportunity to orient with Bianca when I started working at hospice and the amazing care she gives to all her patients is commendable. I believed one patient in particular was profoundly affected by the kindness shown by Bianca. We had a patient who didn't have any family members and relied on friends, neighbors, and hospice nurses to care for him. This patient was very private and allowed only a few people into his life. The patient was bed-bound and at one point, and did not have the means to pay for caregiver to help him with food preparation or toileting. Bianca went above and beyond for this patient. She made calls to a former caregiver, the patient's friend, and even asked for help from other professional caregivers. She was able to coordinate a schedule where the patient had someone to check in on him daily. This patient has since passed but I know if he could he would let everyone know how much he appreciated Bianca. Her patience and kindness is inspiring and I'm so grateful that this patient had Bianca as his nurse."

      Corrine Speziale, RN, honoree

      Patient nomination:

      "Corrine went above and beyond the care she needed to give me while I was here for two weeks. She has amazing bedside manners and made me feel like a friend she was caring for instead of a patient. Corrine always listened to my concerns and helped explain doctor's orders and procedures to me. She looked out for my mental health as well as my physical health, making sure I was happy, cleaned, and at ease. Corrine made me feel comfortable with being poked and being vulnerable in a gown while receiving care. She took time to get to know me and spend time with me. She never made me feel like I was complaining and she validated my worries. When I was only two days post-surgery, I had no idea what day it was and wanted to go home, so I tried to stop my medications and Corrine calmly explained that I had only been out of surgery for 36 hours and my pain was expected and taking pain medications was a normal part of recovery. I love that Corrine would take time to laugh and joke around with me. She made me feel at home rather than the hospital. She was my favorite nurse after these two weeks and Corrine should be honored for her outstanding nursing skills and fantastic bedside manners."

      September DAISY award nominees

      • William Brooke, Crisis Intervention
      • Yoli Cerantes, Main West
      • Amanda Coetzee, Emergency
      • Tonya Mahone, Terrace West
      • Lilianna Monosca, Emergency
      • Jennifer Riccobono-Nichols, Garden South IRU
      • Nina Rodriguez, Clinical Decision Unit
      • Shannon Rood, Terrace West
      • Melissa Padilla, Main East
      • Christina Patricio, Terrace East
      • Taylor Prulhiere, Clinical Decision Unit
      • Nicole Walker, Terrace West

      August 2021

      August DAISY award honorees

      • DJ Guyton, August Daisy Award winner

        DJ Guyton, RN
        Garden West

      • Tong Higgins, August Daisy award winner

        Tong Higgins, RN
        Main Pavilion

      DJ Guyton, RN, honoree

      Patient nomination:

      "I am a nurse who works on the COVID unit and got sick with COVID myself in December. During my stay I got really sick and required a stay in ICU. Even though I am familiar with COVID and the process of it, going through it myself was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I was blessed to have DJ as my nurse. She held my hand through the scary parts, calmed my fears, talked to my mom when I physically couldn’t, stayed by my side, and made it bearable. I truly believed she saved my life that day. She was by my side up to the point where I was transferred to the ICU. When I returned to Garden West she was my nurse again and once again such a blessing. Thank you DJ for taking such great care of me in my time of need."

      Tong Higgins, RN, honoree

      Patient nomination:

      "I nominate nurse Tong. She helped me during my stay at main pavilion. Besides being patient, she is caring and compassionate in all that she does. She made me comfortable. I am very thankful for nurses like Miss Tong because they show kindness, patience, compassion, and choose to travel on the road that has heart! She even took her break-time to see me off when I was transferred to another wing of the hospital and to wish me well. I thank her and all the wonderful nurses and nurse assistants who care for patient with soft hands and warm hearts.

      From the patient’s sisters: Ms. Tong was able to give gentle, competent compassionate care to my brother. I could tell that Ms. Tong was a special nurse who went above and beyond the normal expectation of care providers. In dealing with my brother, she was always patient, cheerful, professional, and yet kind and warm. I could tell that my brother’s spirit was lifted when she entered his room. Ms. Tong always returned my call when I asked for updates. Due to my brother’s medical conditions he required constant attention, Ms. Tong always came in with a smile."

      August DAISY award nominees

      • Aaron Kellington, ICU

      • Amy Furman, Terrace West

      • Amy Landry, Terrace East

      • Celeste Fry, OPSC

      • Claudia Long, Terrace West

      • Danielle Gerrity, FBC

      • Diane Johns, ICU

      • Dillon Hoffman, ICU

      • Elaina Hernandez, CDU

      • Fortunate Canepa, Terrace East

      • Jennifer Kahl, Main West

      • Jillian Castor, Terrace West

      • Judy Sumitt, Garden West

      • Karen Gagnon, ICU

      • Lauren Carver, Main East

      • Marie McCarty, Main Pavilion

      • Miguel Marquez, Garden West

      • Nalani Faber, Garden West

      • Patti Pollard, ICU

      • Peter Anitoni, Main East

      • Sherlene Rodriguez, Garden East

      • Tara Gardner, Emergency

      • Tonya Mahone, Terrace West

      • Tori Clark, ICU

      • Tyler Wood, CDU