ICU Nurse Earns First DAISY Award™

Sonora, CA…Watching a loved one battle a serious illness in the intensive care unit is a stressful time. But receiving the skillful care of a compassionate nurse can help relieve some of that stress. That is what Dede Mustill recently experienced when her husband was admitted to the ICU at Sonora Regional Medical Center. Taking advantage of a new program at the Medical Center, Mustill was able to recognize one of her husband’s nurses, Caleb Kirk, RN.


The DAISY Award™ was introduced at the Medical Center with a launch party in July and is being used to recognize one outstanding nurse each quarter. After receiving dozens of nominations from patients and family members, a selection committee at the Medical Center chose Mustill’s nomination, making Kirk the first DAISY Award™ honoree at Sonora Regional Medical Center.

On her nomination form Mustill writes, “From the moment [my husband] was admitted to the ICU, Caleb was on top of things. His patience, kindness and skill were clearly seen and deeply appreciated at a time when our family was in desperate need.” Mustill describes Kirk’s attentiveness and ends her nomination letter with this ringing endorsement, “As a retired nurse, I know and appreciate great nursing care and can say without reserve that Caleb has the heart and devotion to his patients that make him the extraordinary nurse that he is.”

Julie Kline, RN, Vice President of Patient Care Services, helped bring the DAISY Award™ program to Sonora Regional Medical Center. “This award is extremely meaningful,” explains Kline. “Nurses don’t often have the opportunity to see the results of their work but having this recognition provides a glimpse at the impact that compassionate nursing care has on our patients and families.”

It is remarkable that the very first DAISY Award™ was presented to a nursing graduate. While Kirk has worked at Sonora Regional Medical Center since 2007, he just completed nursing school last December and became a registered nurse earlier this year. “This is amazing,” Kirk said at his DAISY Award™ celebration with his colleagues in the ICU. “This is just what we do. I guess we get to make a difference in people lives just for doing our jobs.”

And Mustill’s husband, Ted Mustill, is recovering from his illness and doing fine. Both Mustills were able to visit the
Medical Center to attend Kirk’s DAISY Award™ presentation and celebration to show their appreciation in person.

About the DAISY Award™
The DAISY Award™ is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary compassion and skillful care given by nurses every day. DAISY Award honorees are recognized at a public ceremony in his or her department and receive a DAISY Award™ pin, a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled A Healer’s Touch, and everyone in the department celebrates with Cinnabon® cinnamon rolls.

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died of complications of the auto-immune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) at the age of 33. (DAISY is an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system.) During Pat’s 8-week hospitalization, his family was awestruck by the care and compassion his nurses provided not only to Pat but to everyone in his family. So one of the goals they set in creating a Foundation in Pat’s memory was to recognize extraordinary nurses everywhere who make an enormous difference in the lives of so many people by the super-human work they do every day.
To find out more about the program, including the growing list of Partners, please go to