Wilkes Medical Center proudly announced Jessica Lara, RN as the hospital’s latest DAISY Award winner on January 15, 2021.
The DAISY Award is a nationwide program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. Wake Forest Baptist Health Wilkes Medical Center plans to recognize one of its nurses with this special honor every quarter. Each honoree receives a banner, certificate, DAISY Award pin and a hand carved “A Healer’s Touch” stone sculpture.
Jessica said she decided to become a nurse to make a difference in the lives of her patients. “Nursing is more than just caring for others” she said. “As a nurse, I make time to get to know my patients. I want them to know that I am here for them and that they can count on me."
Jessica’s manager, Michelle Kennedy, RN, said: “Jessica truly deserves the DAISY award because her nursing care is clearly grounded on the framework of compassionate care and teamwork." She always has a smile on her face and is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that our patients received the best care possible. We are so thankful to have her as a part of our Hematology and Oncology – Wilkes team."
The next DAISY Award winner will be announced in April 2021.
Previous DAISY Winners
When asked what he enjoys most about being a nurse practitioner Timmy had this to say:
“I am honored to have been chosen as a Daisy award winner for Wilkes Medical Center. Being a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is a second career for me. My parents raised me on a tobacco farm and I can remember my dad working so hard to give me what he could. He always was an encouraging figure in my life. I always said, ‘he always thought I was better than I actually was’. Nowadays, I think I try to use his patience more than anything else. After spending time as a bedside nurse and a transport nurse, I have been an NNP for 22 years. I absolutely love taking care of babies and I do realize the gravity in what I do. Every decision has a consequence. Each day you may be talking to parents on their best day ever or it may be their worst. I want to be able to give them something positive to look back on. I have learned over the years that it takes managers who will stand up for employees, strong nurses, nursing assistants...all the way to housekeeping, security and engineering to have a successful organization. But it has to be a special situation where it comes together to be a family like I have at Wilkes Medical Center”
Debbie Mancusi, RNC, Timmy’s manager said:
“Joining our team at Wilkes Medical Center a few years ago, Timmy, along with all the nurse practitioners, have been a tremendous support and a wonderful asset to our department. He has provided countless hours of education to the nursing staff and developed several improved processes and policies that have improved patient care. His greatest strength however, is his ability to connect with patients and their families. Timmy has a calming, compassionate demeanor which has helped patients through the most difficult times. He is very deserving of this award and we are proud he chooses to share his knowledge, expertise and skills with us. He definitely lives our patient and family promise each and every day”.
The Daisy Award is a nationwide program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day.
Wake Forest Baptist Health Wilkes Medical Center plans to recognize one of its nurses with this special honor every quarter. Each honoree receives a banner, certificate, DAISY Award pin and a hand carved “A Healer’s Touch” stone sculpture.
Jessica Absher has spent her entire five year nursing career at Wilkes Medical Center.
One of Jessica’s coworkers nominated her for the DAISY Award. In the nomination letter, one event stood out as an example of her work ethic. Jessica was moments away from clocking out at the end of a long 12 hour shift when she heard a code being called which meant that a patient needed help. She pulled her badge back and ran down the hall to help.
When asked what she enjoys most about being a nurse, Jessica had this to say:
“More than anything, I love knowing that I may play a small part in the healing process for patients and families. Many times that may be through nursing care to help them achieve the level of health and independence that they had prior to hospitalization and other times that means holding the hand of a sweet soul and their family as their loved one passes into eternity with peace and dignity. Not just the patients, but I enjoy the facility that I work at and my amazing co-workers, who have become family. Wilkes Medical Center has the small-town hospital charm that so many large facilities lack. I consider myself fortunate to work with these wonderful individuals at Wilkes Medical Center."
“From the time I was a child, family and friends jokingly called me ‘Mama Jessi’ because of my overwhelming need to coddle and cure everyone around me. As I grew and began to contemplate a career, I was drawn to the nursing field because of my desire to care, serve, and help others. Fast forward five years and I now have the career I always dreamed of, along with a wonderful and supportive husband and two precious children."
“There have been many experiences that have made me realize how mentally and physically exhausting you can become trying to balance home life and this incredible profession, but never for a minute have I regretted my career decision or desired anything different in life. For all the bad that comes with the job, the good has always outweighed it. God didn’t place us on this earth to be idle, he gave us all a purpose and mine is to care for others until he decides my time is done.”
Jessica’s coworkers enjoy working with her and said she treats every patient as a beloved family member and is a strong advocate for her patients.
Heather Gibb, nurse manager of the intermediate care unit (IMCU) and the intensive care unit (ICU) commented, "often times it is the power of a touch, smile, kind word, or listening ear that has the potential to turn life around and bring comfort to those in their most dire moments. Jessica exemplifies this caring and compassionate persona. I have had the privilege to be able to work beside Jessica and watch her grow from a new nurse, eager to learn, on our intermediate care unit; to a confident nurse in our intensive care unit. I am proud of Jessica and all that she has accomplished in her service to others and her commitment to the health and wellness of our community."
“Not only did we have an outstanding winner in Jessica, but we had more than 20 nominations,” said Susan Bachmeier, chief nursing officer at Wilkes Medical Center. “We are so proud of our nurses and are grateful for all they do for our patients and our community every day.”
The next winner will be announced in January.