Several nurses at Adventist Health Central Valley Network received The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses. The award is given as a part of the DAISY Foundation's program “to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.” It was the Central Valley Network’s first DAISY Awards.

Recipients included Stacey Alvarado, RN (Medical-Surgical Unit, Adventist Medical Center Reedley), Valerie Jesus, RN (Emergency Department, Adventist Medical Center Hanford) and Debbie William, RN (House Supervisor, Adventist Medical Center Selma) for their extraordinary care and work.

“They were surprised. As nurses, we go to work every day and we just do the right thing, so to be recognized for that heartfelt compassion is, I think, pretty special,” Debbie Lemaster, clinical nurse educator, said.

Alvarado was nominated for obtaining donations of food from her church when a patient was being discharged home with no way to put food on the table.

Jesus was honored for her determination to ensure that a patient, who was hospitalized during the holidays, had a wonderful Christmas and gift to give her son.

William received the award for her collaboration with case management to ensure that a patient received the resources he needed. The patient said that he had never trusted anyone more than he trusted William. 

“It was quite flattering. I had no idea. I was very blessed to know that I was thought of that way,” William said.

“It was a new process for our nurses. It was very emotional. I think they felt very special [and] honored because it was the first [awards]. I don’t think any of them expected it. They were all emotionally touched. I think they all began crying either from the beginning or pretty soon into it,” Donna Shipp, clinical nurse educator, said.

The DAISY Awards are given throughout the year. Each honoree receives a certificate and sculpture of "A Healer’s Touch,” which is hand-carved by artists of the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe.

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues. Award recipients are officially selected by a committee of nurses.

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. In 1999, Barnes died at the age of 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an auto-immune disease.

The care that Barnes and his family received from nurses inspired the creation of the awards.

The first awards were presented in February of 2001 and Bonnie Barnes, president and co-founder of The DAISY Foundation, was thrilled to see the program take off.

“As a family, it was pretty overwhelming to see there was going to be some impact on the nurses. It was our way to say thank you,” Barnes said. 

Now 16 years later, the awards have spread across the country and even internationally. Countries that have implemented the DAISY program include Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, Lebanon and Vietnam, to name a few.

“What it speaks to is the power of gratitude to nurses. Nurses are doing extraordinary work,” Barnes said of the accomplishment.

For more information on the DAISY Award, please visit