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Daisy and Bee Awards: Washington Hospital Healthcare System Honors Both Clinical and Nonclinical Staff for Their Commitment to a Patient First Ethic

Daisy and Bee Awards: Washington Hospital Healthcare System Honors Both Clinical and Nonclinical Staff for Their Commitment to a Patient First Ethic

The DAISY and BEE awards recognize extraordinary patient care in a hospital setting. Washington Hospital recognized and celebrated recent award recipients. These are staff members who consistently go above and beyond their daily responsibilities to deliver exceptional service to patients.

Washington Hospital Nurse Manager, Alix O’Brien, RN-BC, MSN, explains that the DAISY Award is meant to honor the above-and-beyond work that nurses do for patients and families every day. The DAISY Foundation launched the award in loving memory of Patrick Barnes, who died of complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). The Barnes’ family created the award to recognize and thank nurses who routinely provide exemplary patient care and compassion. The name DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

“Every year, Washington Hospital patients and their families nominate dozens of nurses for the DAISY Award,” says O’Brien. “It has been over a decade that we have had the program and in that time the award has been given to more than 30 recipients.”

O’Brien, who originally joined Washington Hospital as a staff nurse in 2010, speaks animatedly about the Hospital’s DAISY Award recipients. “This past quarter’s recipient, Jing Hu, BSN, RN, worked with a patient who had been in the Hospital for a number of weeks. The patient shared stories about nurses who had provided her with care far above what she had expected. The patient wrote a lovely note about how nurse Jing helped her prepare written questions for her doctors so that she could better understand her course of treatment and care.”

The criteria for the DAISY award includes being compassionate, professional and respectful; going above and beyond to improve the health of the patient; and making a significant positive difference during the patient’s stay. Nominated individuals are anonymously reviewed by one of the Hospital’s nursing councils.

O’Brien says that the idea to establish the DAISY Award at Washington Hospital originated with a patient. “Deeply ingrained in all of our decision-making is the Hospital’s Patient First Ethic. For the nursing community, the DAISY Award is a way for us to recognize and celebrate the outstanding quality of care our colleagues provide.”

To better acknowledge the enormous contributions to patient care made by non-nursing staff, this past year the Washington Hospital Nursing Council began honoring BEE Award recipients for Being Exceptional Everyday (BEE).

“Like the daisy flower needs bees, nurses recognize that many individuals contribute to patient care,” explains O’Brien. “Providing great care everyday takes a team, and the BEE Award recognizes the indispensability of every role.”

Washington Hospital launched the BEE Awards during Nurse Week in 2023. “This year, Nurse Week and Hospital Week overlapped. From May 8 through 12 we held events to honor our clinical and nonclinical staff,” notes O’Brien. “We decided to kick off our BEE Award by giving the award to six extraordinary individuals who are passionate about their work and patient care.” The recipients included a medical social worker, an environmental services aide, two nurse assistants, a pharmacist, and a physician. In the future, the nursing council will announce BEE Award recipients quarterly alongside the DAISY Award recipients.

O’Brien adds, “For all of us who provide care at Washington Hospital, it is our patients who inspire and motivate us. The DAISY and BEE Awards are a wonderful reminder that our work is recognized and appreciated long after a patient has left the Hospital.”

Is there someone you would like to nominate for a DAISY or BEE Award at Washington Hospital? If someone has provided you or someone you know with exceptional care at the Hospital, you are invited to send an email to or to describe your experience.