ROCK SPRINGS — Sheridan Schultz, a registered nurse at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s Intensive Care Unit, is the 2020 DAISY Award recipient.
The award, which she received Wednesday, is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day.
Schultz was nominated for the award by Tiffany Marshall. While Marshall is employed by Sweetwater Memorial as Executive Director of the Memorial Hospital Foundation, she said the ICU was not an area she was familiar with – that is, until her baby boy Paxton was admitted to the ICU at 13 days old with respiratory issues.
“She didn’t just take care of my very sick baby, she took care of me, too,” Marshall said. “From the moment I met her, I knew she was going to be special to us, special to my son’s life story. I wasn’t wrong.
“She was attentive to Paxton’s needs, she treated him like he was her own, she held him, she rocked him when he was upset, she genuinely cared for him. Most importantly, she was beyond proactive in ensuring that Paxton received the best care imaginable.
“Every time his oxygen dropped, she was by his side in the blink of an eye,” Marshall said. “When she felt something was wrong, she was proactive in exploring her gut feeling, which resulted in a huge breakthrough in my son’s recovery.”
Paxton spent a week in the ICU. Marshall says since then, when her family celebrates Paxton’s milestones, they think of Schultz.
Other nurses who received DAISY recognition include registered nurses Monica Bennett, Barbalee Ackerman and Afton Smith, all on the Medical/Surgical Floor; Jessica Dockter, Emergency Room; Susan Arguello, Dialysis Center; Shantel Guerrero, Labor and Delivery; and Robin Owens, Family Medicine Clinic. Gina Elkins, a medical assistant at Family Medicine, also was nominated.
“Having nine nominees in such a wide range of areas shows that compassion and caring permeates throughout our entire MHSC nursing team,” said Chief Nursing Officer Kristy Nielson, who is retiring. “It has been an honor to work with these nine healthcare professionals, as it has the hospital’s entire nursing team. I leave knowing our community is in skilled, compassionate hands.”
Schultz said the award is an extraordinary honor.
“To even be nominated is amazing,” she said. “I do treat everybody like they’re my family. And, we’re one big family here. I would want to know that somebody here was treating my loved one like family.”
Schultz received a sculpture titled A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe, as well as flowers and a gift bag. Schultz, along with each of honorees, received a certificate: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” Honorees also receive a DAISY Award pin.
Schultz also received cinnamon rolls – a favorite of J. Patrick Barnes. The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of Barnes, by members of his family. Barnes died at age 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic urpura, a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) 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 patient families.