Thank your nurse for extraordinary care—nominate a nurse for the DAISY Award. DAISY Award honorees personify Capital Region Medical Center's remarkable patient experience. These nurses consistently demonstrate excellence through their clinical expertise and extraordinary, compassionate care. They are recognized as outstanding role models in our nursing community.
DAISY Award recipients
Erin Myers, LPN
Capital Region Physicians - Primary Care Clinic
I'm sure there is a term for what others have deemed "white coat" syndrome or my genuine fear of medical providers and the places they work. What I know to be true is that in the rest of my life, I am a confident and generally joyful person. When I am faced with having to go to a medical appointment, I am terrified and upset and not in control of my emotions or myself. So, selecting a new doctor due to a medical plan change was stressful. Then, having my first interaction forced due to illness was even more terrifying. And then there was Erin Myers - and she was in my corner - in scrubs (or a white coat or something medical). She is the first nurse ever to ask me if something happened to make me feel the way I do. She listened - didn't judge how I felt - and found a way to help me feel brave and cared for. I am pretty certain she talked me out of a panic attack when needles became involved in the visit, and she sat with me after the procedure until I was my normal self. It is one of the first times in my life I can honestly say I didn't feel worse walking out of a clinic or hospital, because she didn't make me feel stupid or childish. Erin made me feel safe and equipped and brave. I would love to say that she goes out of her way for just me, because she makes sure my questions are answered and that there are no delays in receiving results....but she probably does that for everyone. Still, people who aren't concerned about a call from a medical center might not notice. I do. I am genuinely grateful for her service, her kindness, her professionalism, and her work to become such an amazing medical care provider. I feel very blessed that in my search for new care I found Dr. Jamie and Nurse Erin. While I'm sorry I am probably not the easiest patient, I am grateful that I never feel that way when I'm in your presence.
Amanda Schwartze, RN
Progressive Care Unit
My daughter, Riley, has sensory processing difficulties so anything unfamiliar is very scary for her. So when she had her tonsils and adenoids removed on Feb. 16 I knew there was the potential of multiple meltdowns. Our nurse's name was Amanda. She was so patient with her! She made a point to show Riley what she was going to do and why she needed to do it. She even asked Riley to help her with tasks such as putting the blood pressure cuff on or gliding the thermometer across her forehead. It made a WORLD of difference in how Riley reacted to everything. I am so thankful that we got to have her as our nurse. She made that day so much less stressful not only for Riley but for me as well. She truly was outstanding. Thank you!
Amy Halsey, LPN
Capital Region Physicians - OB/GYN
Amy Halsey, LPN, is a true role model for all staff. She is friendly, courteous and compassionate to all patients and respectable of doctors and staff. She is friendly and efficient on the phone and in person, giving her full attention to every patient. Amy always introduces herself to any patient who does not already know her and welcomes them to our practice. She thanks them and says "good-bye" to every patient whether on the phone or in the office. She listens patiently to the patient's questions or concerns and relays this information to the doctor. Amy always communicates results of testing done in the office and always returns her phone calls promptly. She explains procedures and visit plans in advance and works efficiently to have the patient seen in a timely manner.
Amanda Sommerer, RN
Amanda Sommerer, RN is deserving of The DAISY Award not because of just one extraordinary patient care story, but because of her dedication to Capital Region Medical Center, the services it offers to our patients and support of our physicians
When the idea of the "Pain Clinic" was presented, it was Amanda who came to top-of-mind to successfully lead this new clinic to success. Her experience and education would represent herself and Capital Region Physicians (CRP) extremely well in this new adventure with JCMG. Amanda rose to the challenge and immediately started working with Dr. Harris and his nurse from JCMG to learn their workflows and the different procedures. She was an important member of the team and asking appropriate questions to different CRMC departments to make sure we were all on the same page, not only for patient care, but for the billing and reimbursement side as well. A short time after the pain clinic began, the JCMG nurse announced his resignation from JCMG and he would no longer be working with Dr. Harris in the clinic. Because of Amanda's "I got this" attitude and determination, Dr. Harris' clinic continued without skipping a beat and we no longer needed the JCMG resource. Amanda has gained knowledge and experience with this new specialty, which in turn, benefits the CRMC organization and helped begin a good relationship with a community partner.
Of course, there is always a new challenge around every corner. We soon learned of changes to the Gastroenterology Clinic. Once again, it was Amanda and her experience as a long time GI nurse within our Internal Medicine clinic who helped rally the CRP clinic team. They were successful in making the necessary changes to transition patients to new physicians and on-board the new physicians. Amanda not only has great patient care skills, but also has people skills. Her understanding of physicians and their needs ultimately reflects on their quality of life to our staff and to our patients.
Amanda may not be a visible member of teams attending every meeting held; however, I guarantee she is a vital member of the CRP team. Her time is valuable as she is the nurse for Dr. Rice and the team-lead of the Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Pain Clinics. Interestingly, Amanda is quick to recognize that her value to the CRP team is largely due to her continued pulse on patient care because she works in the clinic doing day to day tasks. Her ability to work in the trenches while keeping her mind moving in a managerial motion is appreciated. We are all lucky to be able to work with her and learn from her.
Amanda is routinely asked to lead a project, serve on a team, give an opinion, test a function in ECW and even asked the occasional "Do you want to transfer to my department?" - All of which are huge compliments to Amanda and as to why she is deserving of the DAISY Award.
Kelly Echternacht, RN
Intensive Care Unit
Kelly always goes above and beyond in the care of her patients; however, one incident in particular stands out in my mind. Kelly was caring for a patient who had terminal cancer and more than likely did not have more than a few months left on this earth. Over the three days Kelly was assigned this patient, I watched a connection form. When this patient would ring her call light, if it was answered by anyone other than Kelly, she would politely state that she would just wait until Kelly was available. On several occasions, I would watch Kelly enter this lady's room, pull the curtain, provide the care that she needed, then Kelly would sit next to this patient and care for her soul as well. They would talk at length about things other than healthcare. I saw a visible transformation in this woman's demeanor after having Kelly as her nurse. Her anxiety was all but non-existent, her vital signs improved, she rested better and for longer periods of time. Kelly wasn't doing anything any different from a medical stand point that anyone else had done—she had simply connected with this patient on a spiritual level and that just happened to be exactly what this patient needed. Along with the gift of spiritual care, Kelly provided this patient with a tangible gift as well. She gave this lady her own personal copy of a spiritual devotional that I know Kelly references daily herself. She could see the puzzled look on my face when she gave this patient her book and she simply replied, "She needs it worse than I do right now." This lady's anxiety regarding her departure from this earth was lessened by having Kelly as her nurse. I can't think of a more important, higher calling than to assist one in their transition from this life to the next. Kelly is awesome at saving lives; however, she is equally adept at assisting patients and their families when life-saving efforts are futile. She is beyond an asset to the ICU and to CRMC as a whole.
Debra Ousley, ASU
Debra is always a joy to work with! She comes to work with a smile and truly loves what she does. Debra loves each and every one of our patients that comes to this floor whether they come once or come 100 times, she just loves them. My favorite thing that I love that she does, is when one of our long term antibiotic-patients has completed their course of treatment (which is sometimes up to six weeks that they come every single day), she is always so excited to get a little piece of cake for them to celebrate that it is their last day and they finally made it! We all get so excited because the joy that single cake brings to the patient is priceless. I just want to thank Debra for all she does and has done for this unit. She is such a great member of our CRMC family.
This form is designed to give you an opportunity to recognize a staff member who has demonstrated exceptional service. If you observe exceptional service and would like to nominate an employee of Capital Region Medical Center please fill out the following form.
Star Award recipients
Amanda Schwartze, RN
Progressive Care Unit
Two nominations from two different families:
March 17, 2017: My mom was in the hospital and Amanda was without a doubt one of the best nurses my mom has ever had. She was prompt, helpful and answered all our questions. Thank you so much for being such a great and caring nurse.
April 6, 2017: Amanda helped us contact the chaplain and priest for anointing of the sick (Catholic) and came back with a tray of food and drinks to help us in our need. She fulfilled all our requests and needs with great compassion.
Wendy Hartman, LPN
Wendy has been instrumental to our Rehab Unit and many times has taken a lead role. She willingly has picked up shifts to help cover during our shortages. She has been a consistent clinician in our day shift who has helped train new staff that work on the unit in nursing responsibilities, documentation and rehab regulations. She has come in to assist on days when there may be several new admissions to the floor to help care for our other patients. Also when she has been called to Med-Surg or PCU when the rehab census has been low-the feedback I get from those nurse managers has been, “We really appreciated having Wendy on our unit-she does an awesome job!” During the recent high census for acute care, she recognized the need for her to transfer to another unit when the rehab census was low. In her own words, “It’s crazy over on acute, they have so many patients and so many needs—I need to be there to help them.” Thanks for being a TEAM Player. We really appreciate the difference that you make!
I have knee problems and have to use a cane to walk. A short time ago, we were going to get frozen precipitation during the night. I could not find a parking place in a covered area so I parked out in the regular lots. Rick saw where I was parked and came in, got my keys and moved my car to a covered space that had opened up. He was so kind to do that so I would not risk falling. Rick, you are a true STAR!!!
Debra Ousley, RN
Debra Ousley, RN, ASU helped to save a man’s life in December 2016. The patient had a physician’s order to have blood work and to receive two liters of fluids. While starting the IV, Debra noticed that he was warm to the touch. His temp was 104.5°F. After giving him the fluids and Tylenol, the patient’s temp didn’t change. Debra did not feel comfortable sending the man home, so after speaking with his doctor, they convinced the patient to be admitted through the emergency department. Debra took him there and stayed until they could take him to a room. The patient ended up being admitted to the ICU and went on a ventilator. Great job to Debra for ensuring this man received proper care.
Elizabeth Enloe, RN
Intensive Care Unit
Liz Enloe, RN is a caring and compassionate nurse, and last week I witnessed her take that care and compassion up a level. She had cared for a very critical patient throughout the weekend, and bright and early on Monday morning (her day off), she came in to check on the patient and his family. The family was amazed that a nurse cared enough to come in on her day off. They shared their delight with me over and over the next few days. Thank you, Liz, for going above and beyond to care. You made a huge difference.
Vanessa Faulkner, RMA
Vanessa Faulkner, RMA, is an exceptional employee and went far above the call of duty for me. She helped me get my personal records straightened out as they were not correct and were outdated. It was hard to determine what was right and wrong before she took the time, working along with me, to get the job done correctly. It took a lot of patience and diligence to get this done. She was very kind and considerate; very respectful of my concerns and had a desire to complete this properly so there would not be any mistakes in the future. I am so grateful for her insight and compassion and wanted you to know that she deserves to be recognized for the precious act of kindness to me! She is a wonderful and top notch employee, and I am so glad God brought her in my pathway. Thank you so much for your time, Vanessa. It means so much to me. Great job!
Jennifer Maurer, Physical Therapist Assistant at Healthplex West, has continually gone above and beyond to help her patients. One patient's son commends Jen on her outstanding work, and even more, her caring heart.
"After a hip replacement about six years ago, my mother, who resides in Jefferson City and is 88 years old, began going several times a week to the Healthplex where Jen has worked with her and really become a close friend to my mom. Her extraordinary care for my mother over the years has been greatly appreciated by my siblings and I as none of us live in Jefferson City anymore. On numerous occasions, Jen has let us know when Mom was "off" just a little or not feeling well so we could get right on it. Additionally, when Jen observed a severe bruise that was not healing properly she alerted us. She even came to the Urgent Care center Mom had gone to after she got off work to see if she was all right. Most recently, I was on an extended trip, and Mom developed a severe chest cold. She was very weak and not eating. Jen went to her house to check on her after work on a Friday night. She sat with her for over an hour taking her blood pressure and assessing Mom's situation. She even went and got chickens and cooked Mom chicken soup. What a STAR and just a great person. Jen Maurer is clearly one of the reasons why Capital Region is the premier health center in Central Missouri. I cannot thank Capital Region enough for having the good judgment to employ a kind and caring health care professional like Jen. Thank for all you do for the people of central Missouri and my mom!"
Susan Lamb, Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Capital Region, went the extra mile to get a patient's insurance updated to cover $900 worth of medications. Susan made several phone calls to make this happen, and the patient ended up having to pay only $25. Way to go, Susan! Thank you for your hard work!
Debra Barr, Physical Therapist at Healthplex West, evaluated a patient on a Tuesday for neck pain and headache issues that have been going on for a while. Unfortunately this patient was scheduled to leave for vacation the next week after the evaluation. Healthplex West does a wonderful job treating their patients, thus it is challenging to get appointments, especially the same week of the evaluation. No other appointments were available that week so Debra came in on her day off to treat this patient so they would feel better before going on vacation. Debra gives her all with every single one of her patients. Thanks for all of your hard work!
Alice Griggs, Physical Therapist, took on a leadership role with coordinating the patient dining experience on the Rehab Unit. She developed a schedule with the help of the rehab team for staff to assist patients during meals at lunch so that we could encourage patients to participate in socialized dining. Many patients have found the experience very beneficial as they are able to develop a camaraderie with other patients on the unit as they go through the rehab process. Thank you, Alice, for organizing this and allowing our patients to a have a fun and therapeutic experience as they go through their rehab program.
Kathy Kolaga, Medical Laboratory Technician at Capital Region Physicians - Internal Medicine, has gone above and beyond to help out the Laboratory. Lab was in a staffing crisis trying to find coverage for 4 a.m. phlebotomy shifts after several phlebotomists left. Kathy is used to drawing blood at the clinics. She worked several shifts for lab coming in at 4 a.m. and staying until her regular shift started at the clinic. This was a huge help for the lab and the phlebotomy team. Kathy has also been great to help staff Health Fair phlebotomy teams when needed. She is truly a team player. She is willing to step outside her comfort zone to help out the organization. Let's face it—no one likes to come to work at 4 a.m.! Yet Kathy did it for a department that is not her home department. Kathy, the lab and phlebotomy team thanks you for helping out in a time of need. You are truly a star.
Mary Glascock, ER Technician in the Emergency Department, has one of the most giving hearts and routinely goes above and beyond for patients and her coworkers. She recently voluntarily paid for a taxi cab for a patient instead of letting the patient wait for Medicaid transport. Small gestures like that are why CRMC exceeds in customer service. This is more than a job to Mary. Thank you, Mary, for being an advocate for our patients.
Jennifer Piland, Laboratory, is constantly going above and beyond for us on the night shift! When we need anything, she is right there to help us out. She also picks up extra shifts, even when she is exhausted. Jennifer goes back out every morning after doing her share of draws to pick up the stragglers (misses, lines not working, etc.). Sometimes she is drawing double or more of her share. Jennifer does all of this without question or hesitation, and she does her job very well. She is always wanting to learn new things as well so she can be more helpful. We need more people like Jennifer in our lives.
The Southwest Campus recently experienced an incident of vandalism where an individual set fire in a trash can in the men's restroom, and smoke quickly permeated the first floor entrance area. While the Corporate and Community Health Department began evacuating, Paul Janowiak of the maintenance department was searching for the source of the smoke. Paul identified the men's restroom as the source, made sure no one was in the restroom and removed the burning trash can from the building. While fire alarms were blaring, Paul was more concerned about the safety of others than himself. His clear thinking and his act of service is very admirable.
A patient that was in a CRMC waiting room became distressed due to low blood sugar. EVS Technician, Rae Mades, was working in the area and noticed something was not right with the patient. Rae immediately alerted someone, which ended up with a "Rapid Response" being called. The patient and bystanders were very impressed with not only Rae, but the entire "Rapid Response" team and the hospital in general.