Program recognizes nursing excellence

Lorraine Pellegrino and Carol Robinson, Daisy awardee Lorraine Pellegrino and Carol Robinson, UC Davis Medical Center's chief patient care services officer and director of nursing.

Lorraine Pellegrino, a nurse in UC Davis Medical Center’s East 6 Cardiology unit, and Bradley Yeargain, a nurse in the hospital’s cardiac catheterization laboratory, received DAISY Awards for Extraordinary Nurses this fall in recognition of the excellence they provide in the delivery of patient care.

The DAISY Foundation regularly bestows The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a nationwide program that recognizes nursing excellence. UC Davis Medical Center was among the first hospitals in the country to join the foundation, which has grown to a membership of over 1,500 medical organizations worldwide.

Leading patients to embrace prevention

Pellegrino was honored for her lifesaving work in providing care for a newly diagnosed stroke patient that arrived through the emergency room and was admitted to her unit. Pellegrino provided comfort and answered questions for the patient and his family members, and they thanked her for making time to speak with them at length about positive lifestyle changes that would prevent future illnesses. 

Family members reported being so moved by the conversations that they immediately altered their daily routines. For example, the patient quit smoking, began taking aspirin and monitoring his own blood pressure. He and other relatives also began walking on a daily basis, dramatically limiting their fast-food consumption, and opting for healthier foods when dining out.

A calming, dedicated presence

Bradley Yeargain, left
Bradley Yeargain, left, with fellow cardiac catheterization laboratory staff.

Yeargain was recognized for his calming presence, honest dialogue and compassion for patients, in addition to his assessment and intervention skills in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. Many staff members seek his help with inconsolable or difficult patients due to his calm, respectful approach.

In addition, Yeargain earns praise for his dedication. He arrives early to help prepare for delicate valve-replacement procedures, and often comes to work on his day off to help in the hospital’s electrophysiology laboratory.

Pellegrino and Yeargain received certificates, DAISY pins and sculptures called "A Healer’s Touch," hand carved by artists of the Shona tribe in Africa. Their names will be added to the DAISY sign in UC Davis Medical Center.

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 late 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 this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families.