Chilton Medical Center nurse receives DAISY Award

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  • Stephanie Schwartz, Chilton Medical Center president, and Dr. Maureen Schneider, the center's chief nurse and operations officer, flank Fiona Ahern, recipient of the DAISY Foundation Award.

POMPTON PLAINS ‑ A nurse at Atlantic Health System’s Chilton Medical Center is being honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the superhuman efforts that nurses make every day.

Fiona Ahern, coordinator of the medical center's stroke program, was honored for showing kindness to a patient who needed to be hospitalized for a long period of time. She would walk the patient outside of the hospital in order for him to get fresh air, as well as bring clothing and food for him from home.

“A small amount of kindness shown to any patient goes a long way, whether it be a meal from home, a pair of pajamas, a walk outside or just a friendly ear to listen with,” Ahern said. “A hospital can be a lonely place so when a patient has no family or friends to support them, I make an effort to provide some of that comfort they’re missing. I think as nurses, we have a responsibility to take that extra step for our patients and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of a team that does just that on a daily basis.”

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 was 33 when he died in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a little known but not uncommon autoimmune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired the award.

"When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced firsthand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night.

Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the superhuman work they do,” said Bonnie Barnes, foundation president and co-founder. “The kind of work the nurses at Chilton Medical Center are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Nurses are nominated by patients, families, and colleagues, and award recipients are chosen by a committee of nurses at Chilton Medical Center.

The awards are presented in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients and visitors.

Each honoree receives a certificate that 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."

They are also given "A Healer’s Touch," a statue carved by members of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

“We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in the DAISY Award program,” said Dr. Maureen Schneider, chief nurse and operations officer.

“Nurses are heroes every day," Schneider said, adding: "It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”

For a complete listing of health care organizations that run the program, visit

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