By Gloria Montgomery, CRDAMC Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas –Armed with an oversized banner, flower bouquets and precious gifts, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) recently created a birthday memory of gigantic proportions for beneficiary Julia Statuto.
It was, Julia said, the best birthday gift ever. Only the gifts weren’t for Julia. They were for ICU nurse Tamara Hoffman, who, thanks to the efforts of Julia and her mother, was honored with the quarterly DAISY Award, a national award that recognizes extraordinary nurses for the “super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.”
“I can’t think of a better person to receive this award,” said Statuto, who accompanied the caravan of CRDAMC staffers recently during their journey to the second floor ICU to surprise Hoffman with the award presentation. “This really is the best birthday present ever.”
This past April, when Statuto was admitted into the emergency room for a critical medical condition, Hoffman was her nurse. Already familiar with the DAISY Award because her mother is a former recipient, Statuto noticed the DAISY Award information box as she was being wheeled into surgery. She then asked her mother to nominate Hoffman for her extraordinary care and compassion.
“She was amazing. Not only did she keep me calm, but she really made me feel like a person and not another number on the board,” the former patient said, admitting she was in tears when she was told Hoffman had won. “I was so happy when I got the call. I was just over the moon because she is very deserving of this special award.”
But it wasn’t just Statuto who remembered the night of April 29.
“She wanted peach tea and pizza,” a stunned Hoffman said as the two reignited their bond through hugs and tears.
For Hoffman, the award is not only an honor, but a validation for what nurses do every day for patients and family members.
“I get to come in every day and advocate for people who aren’t having the best time in their life and hope that maybe I can be a small point of happiness in something that may not be the most amazing time for them,” Hoffman said.
An acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, The DAISY Foundation was created in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The family was so touched by the nursing care Patrick received, that they created the DAISY award to say “thank you” to nurses everywhere. Today, there are more than 3,000 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 17 other countries who participate in the DAISY Award program.
In presenting the award to Hoffman, Col. Jennifer Robison, CRDAMC chief nursing officer, praised Hoffman for the “incredible care” she provide to Julia and her mother.
“The care and compassion you provided just epitomized everything this DAISY Award is about,” said Robison, adding that the CRDAMC DAISY Award committee receives more than 300 nominations each quarter. “It’s patients thanking nurses, and that’s what makes this award so exciting and beautiful.”