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NAVAL AIR STATION LEMOORE – Naval Health Clinic Lemoore awarded its first-ever DAISY Award to nurse Paula Smith for compassionate care given her patients.

“For a whole week I was experiencing horrible pain while breastfeeding,” Carolyn Morales stated in her nomination. “With two children and a husband on workups, I had no time to be seen. Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer and I called Paula at NHCL.”

Smith worked hard to find an appointment time that would work for the nursing mother and provided excellent customer service for Morales to be treated in a timely manner.

“Knowing that I can access care and receive help on base is everything to me, as I work and live on base,” said Morales. “It means so much to me to have access to a lactation specialist and to have the support of the Navy in my journey as a mother and wife of an active-duty service member. I don't think my husband would be able to do what he does in the Navy, without the security of knowing myself and our children are cared for within the Navy community. Paula Smith touches so many lives of both mothers and children, and she is so incredibly valued in our little community here at NAS Lemoore.”

Smith is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing from California State University, Fresno as well as a certified pediatric nurse and an International Board of Lactation Consultant.

“I’m a nurse because my brother passed away in the NICU,” said Smith in her acceptance speech. “I spent six months in the NICU with him and after that, I just knew I wanted to be a nurse because the nurses treated us really well.”

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem. The DAISY Foundation was formed in January 2000, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an auto-immune disease. His family was touched by the care and compassion of the nurses that took care of him so they developed a recognition program to honor and celebrate direct-care nurses, nursing faculty and nursing students. There are over 4,000 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 26 countries, committed to honoring nurses with The DAISY Award.

“Here at Naval Health Clinic Lemoore, we are very proud to partner with the DAISY Foundation to recognize our extraordinary nurses,” said Capt. Jessica Beard, the senior nurse executive at NHCL. “This is the inaugural DAISY presentation for this command. This is extremely important because Lt. Cmdr. Erica Nicoletti and her team worked nonstop to ensure that this program and the ceremony was possible. BRAVO ZULU to each of them!”

Nurses could be nominated by patients, family members, other nurses, physicians, other clinicians and staff, anyone who experienced or observed extraordinary compassionate care being provided by a nurse. Over 20 nurses were nominated from NHCL.

The other nominees from NHCL include: Anna Allen, Lt. Cheryl Buckley, Jenni Calvi, Dana Bruno, Lt. j.g. Melissa Campbell, Stephanie Genetti, Sarah Henriquez, Karen Horner, Lt. Cmdr. Lindsay Gillette, Pam Hayes, Lt. Jameson Haas, Melissa Hollingsworth, Tanya Lemmer, Patricia Jimenez, Carrie Miller, Lt. Cmdr. Erica Nicoletti, Lt. Kimbelee Orr, Carolyn Ramos and Kimberly Studnicka.

The nominees from the health clinic work in the Ambulatory Procedure Unit, Urgent Care Clinic, Case Management, Hornet Health Clinic, Medical Homeport, OB/GYN and Occupational Health.

After the ceremony, the nominees enjoyed a cinnamon roll. According to the DAISY Foundation website, the ailing Barnes had no appetite but he ended up eating his father’s cinnamon roll when he was in the hospital. He then requested another cinnamon roll for the next day and enough for all the nurses in the unit.

NHCL was commissioned by BUMED on July 1, 1968, and provides quality health care to 32,000 eligible beneficiaries at NAS Lemoore, California and NAS Fallon, Nevada. The command also provides dental care and medical administrative support to Navy, Marine Corps and international students at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Defense Language Institute and the Center for Information Dominance in Monterey, California.

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