In a surprise ceremony, HMH’s Chief Nursing Office (CNO), Sharon Wright received the DAISY Nurse Leader Award from the patient who nominated her. Wright, HMH’s CNO since 2013, is the first ever recipient of the award at HMH.
Like other nurse leaders, Wright regularly recognizes HMH nurses with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, established by the DAISY Foundation in 1999.
The DAISY Foundation established the Nurse Leader award to honor “those who create an environment of compassion and recognition” and who should be “held up as models of outstanding nursing leadership.”
When Dillard Wells, a former HMH patient, was wheeled into the room, Wright broke down in tears.
Wells recounted several hospitalizations since 2014 and raved about the quality of care he received at HMH.
“Hardin Memorial has it together,” said Wells. “Your love, your concern, your compassion are second to none.”
When his most recent condition took him to Louisville for specialized care that included two surgeries in a week’s time, Wells said Wright and the nursing team at HMH continued to check on him and sent him a “love box” filled with an assortment of things including get well cards and a devotional.
“They treated me as if I was still their patient,” said Wells. “That’s rare … It’s something the people just don’t do.”
While all of that was important, what cemented Wells’ decision to nominate Wright was her banana pudding, he joked.
Wright said she was overwhelmed by the honor.
“After 35 years of nursing and a lot of different roles, there are days where it is very difficult to know that you are making a difference. The further you get from the bedside, the harder that is,” said Wright. “There is no possible way for you to know what seeing you smile and understanding that people care about you did for me as a nurse. It reminded me why we do what we do and work the hours that we do.”
Wells remarked that Wright’s faith is a major part of who she is and what makes her a great leader.
Wright said even when things are challenging she is reminded that “above all, we are God’s servants and we are here to care for each other. If we don’t care, we are just in the wrong field.”
HMH President and CEO Dennis Johnson said Wright could not be more deserving.
“This recognition from a patient is so well deserved and speaks to Sharon’s passion for her work,” said Johnson. “Her commitment to patients and to doing whatever it takes to care for them, sets the tone for the rest of our caregivers to follow.”
The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33. The nursing care he received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family. As a way to honor Barnes’ memory, his family wanted to recognize nurses everywhere like those who cared for him.
Over 75,000 nurses have received The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2,500+ healthcare facilities internationally. HMH nurses can be nominated for the award here.