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DAISY Faculty Award recognizes extraordinary nursing faculty

Suellen Campbell, PhD, RN, presents Susan A. Riley, MS, RN, with The DAISY Faculty Award in May.
Suellen Campbell, PhD, RN, presents Susan A. Riley, MS, RN, with The DAISY Faculty Award in May.
Photo by Hilary Stein '14.

Assistant Professor of Nursing Susan Riley, MS, RN, became the first faculty member at St. Kate's to receive The DAISY Faculty Award during the pinning ceremony held on May 14, 2013.

The award honors a professor's exceptional impact on her students and her inspirational influence on the students' futures. It is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the important value professors and instructors of nursing play in inspiring outstanding quality and compassionate patient care in nursing students.

This is the first year St. Catherine University has participated in the program, which will honor faculty in the Associate Degree Nursing Program each year.  Mary Dee Hacker '74 is the sponsor of the award.  A board member of the Daisy Foundation, Hacker is vice-president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at Children's Hospital, Los Angeles, as well as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Riley, the first award recipient, was chosen for the award because of the high quality of her nursing education. She demands the best of students and role models nursing care, rooted in the mission of St. Catherine University.

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.

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. The Foundation introduced The DAISY Faculty Award in 2010 to honor what nurses describe as the “voice” in their ears at the bedside that guides and inspires their work throughout their career.

Each year, a professor will be selected by St. Kate’s nursing faculty to receive The DAISY Faculty Award. Each honoree will receive a certificate, as well as a DAISY Faculty Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

Said Bonnie Barnes, 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. We have been honoring these unsung heroes for the super-human work they do for ten years with The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses.

"Our DAISY Nurses tell us often how important their nursing school instructors and professors were when they were in school and that they still hear their voices as they practice at the bedside. Given the tremendous pressure on schools of nursing to retain great teachers, we are very proud to remind these excellent faculty members that they truly make a difference in their students and patient care.”

“We are proud to be among the schools of nursing participating in the DAISY Faculty Award program," said Associate Dean Margaret Dexheimer Pharris, Ph.D. "Faculty members are indeed very special, and The DAISY Faculty Award could not be launched at a better time.  It’s important that our faculty members know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.” 

Through its initiatives, The DAISY Foundation aims to help fight diseases of the immune system. The Foundation also offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and provides assistance to ITP support groups.

For more information, visit       

May 18, 2013 by Melissa Kaelin

See also: Faculty, Healthcare, Leadership