Amanda Sowards, RN, wins DAISY Award

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Nurses at Upson Regional Medical Center are being honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. ® The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day. The DAISY Award recipient this quarter is Amanda Sowards (RN) in the ICU. "Amanda went above and beyond for our family. She played music for my sister and even called me to ease worries," stated Deanna Williams who witnessed Amanda's compassion. "She has been a true blessing and a ray of sunshine," Deanna added. Congratulations also to honorees Jessica Strickland (RN) and Candace Streetman (RN) also from Upson’s Emergency Department.

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System). The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at Upson Regional Medical Center. Awards are presented throughout the year at celebrations attended by the winner’s colleagues, patients, and visitors. Each Honoree receives a certificate commending her or him as an "Extraordinary Nurse." The certificate reads: "In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people." The winner also receives a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation, "When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do. The kind of work the nurses at Upson Regional Medical Center are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Said Lane Harrington, Upson Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer, “The DAISY Award is a very special celebration that recognizes extraordinary nurses for what they do every day. We had 36 nurses nominated this quarter for this prestigious award. I am very proud of our nurses and the overwhelming care and compassion they show our patients. During our DAISY celebration, we recognized all of the nominees as each of them make a difference to our patients and their families. It is always difficult to choose just one nurse when they all are so extraordinary! Congratulations to our winner, Amanda.”

This is one initiative of The DAISY Foundation to express gratitude to the nursing profession. Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, The DAISY Faculty Award to honor inspiring faculty members in schools and colleges of nursing, and The DAISY in Training Award for nursing students. More information is available at


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