Princeton nurse earns prestigious DAISY award

·2 min read

Aug. 3—PRINCETON — A local nurse has become the first recipient at Princeton Community Hospital of the prestigious DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Dr. Nancy Lohuis nominated Chelsea Cooper, LPN of Mercer Medical Group Primary Care, for the DAISY Award and described her as a "vibrant, energetic nurse who goes above and beyond to improve patient care."

"Health care has become a difficult area for patients to navigate, especially in recent years. Chelsea is an expert at identifying barriers and removing them," Lohuis said her nomination letter. "Numerous patients have commented on her ability to problem solve on their behalf. One example in particular involves a patient who had been previously compliant with her diabetic regimen. Recently, her HgA1C jumped into the 9.0 region. We referred her to a nutritionists who did a consult with her via telehealth. During that call the patient admitted that she was embarrassed to say her insurance was no longer paying well on a few of her medications. She had started rationing her meds in order to afford groceries.

"The dietician passed on that information on to me and I passed it to Chelsea," Lohuis said. "Chelsea worked her magic. She contacted the patient, and in a helpful manner offered to assist. She determined the patient was getting her meds from a non-preferred pharmacy. This was corrected and her cost of meds plummeted, making them affordable once again. Chelsea went a step further and enrolled her in a special program with the drug company for another medication costing over $300 per month, and managed to get that medication for free. This is how Chelsea approaches many of the patient issues in our office. I am always impressed by how that extra step she takes, walks a mile for the patient."

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the family of Patrick Barnes. He was 33 years old when he died of complications of the auto-immune disease ITP. Like many families we see every day who go through this kind of horrific loss, the Barnes family wanted to do something positive to honor the very special man Patrick was. So, as they say, over a very "liquid" dinner right after Pat's death, they came up with DAISY — an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. As they brainstormed what The DAISY Foundation would actually do, they kept coming back to the one positive thing they held on to during Pat's 8-week illness: the extraordinary care he and they received from Pat's nurses, according to foundation officials.

What started out as a thank you from their family to nurses has grown into a meaningful recognition program embraced by thousands of healthcare organizations around the world.

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