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Published on May 16, 2019


               May 6, 2019 – Nurses at UNC Lenoir Health Care 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 recipients are Jonathan Thigpen, RN and Candace Jackson, RN.  Jonathan has been a nurse at UNC Lenoir for 10 years and currently works as a Staff Nurse on the Critical Care Unit.  His nomination stated “Even though my husband was unconscious, Jonathan talked to my husband as if he was awake and alert.  This speaks volumes about this nurse’s respect and empathy for his patients.  He also extended the same courtesy to me by keeping me informed of everything that was happening as he was caring for my husband.”  Candace has been a nurse at UNC Lenoir for 19 years and currently works as a Case Manager.  An excerpt from her nomination stated “Candace was understanding and kind. Her compassion was what I needed to help me because I am overwhelmed.”

               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 UNC Lenoir Health Care to receive The DAISY Award. Awards are presented throughout the year at celebrations attended by the Honoree’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."  Honorees also receive 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.

               Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation states, "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 [hospital] are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

                UNC Lenoir Health Care is proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in The DAISY Award program.  Nurses are heroes every day.  It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for our organization to do that.                  

               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