Nathan Baughman, Putnam County Memorial Hospital
Nathan does it all! He covers the clinic and the ER while on duty. He is extremely intelligent. He goes above and beyond to answer questions so patients and families can understand what is going on. It’s a small town hospital, so everyone knows the excellent care he gives. They will call and see if he will come in the ER and take care of their family members. If he is available, he will make every effort to do so.
Madison Blyth, Liberty Hospital
Madison is an exceptional nurse! She comes to work every single day to make it happen, no matter what comes her way. Not one complaint, always stays positive and works very hard. There is barely a month that goes by that I do not have a patient mention Madison by name in the hospital scorecard reviews. She is making our hospital have the premier face of patient care. Some patient comments include her working with them to understand what the patient needs and put the patient first to create an environment of care and compassion. She is certainly a Champion of Care in the eyes of Cardiology Services at Liberty Hospital.
(Photo: Second nurse from the right)
Labea Butler, MU Health Care
During the pandemic, Labea served as operations manager of COVID-19 outreach, working tirelessly during MU Health Care’s mass vaccination events in the winter-spring 2021 at Faurot Field and assisted with the de-escalation planning to offer vaccinations in clinics. She was a key member of the COVID-19 and Seasonal Flu Vaccination Committee and led collaboration efforts with Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services in 2021, hosting community outreach/vaccination events to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake in underserved communities. Between December 2020 and June 2021, MU Health Care provided more than 80,000 COVID-19 vaccinations.
During 2022, Labea assisted with a series of COVID-19 and flu shot drive-thru events at MU Health Care clinics that provided more than 5,000 vaccinations. In addition, she collaborated with the health department and Columbia Public Schools to host COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine clinics on four Saturdays in the fall of 2022 that provided an additional 373 COVID-19 boosters and 186 flu vaccinations. Labea also took time out of her busy schedule to educate the public through media. In February 2021, she appeared on KMIZ-TV with other community experts to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Labea’s contributions to MU Health Care and public health have been significant and worth of recognition.
Tabitha Carter, MU Health Care
A Daisy nomination from a grateful family member of a patient that was cared for at MU Health Care. “My father-in-law had a massive stroke, which left him brain dead. We spent six days in an ICU room. Our hearts and spirits were broken. Not only did Tabitha truly treat our father as family, she treated us as family. She laughed with us, cried with us, reassured us no matter what decision we made – it was the right one. She made sure our father was comfortable every second she was there. She made us feel so comfortable… she truly made a bad situation – better. She is the reason we have good memories of the last days with our dad. I don’t look back and hate that week, it was filled with love – due to her! I will forever tell everyone about her! She is beyond amazing at her job! She must have been made to be a nurse!” Nurses have the honor to make a positive impact in some of the most vulnerable times in the lives of our patients and their families, Tabitha exemplifies nursing excellence.
Sarah Choe, Kindred Hospital Northland
Sarah came to Kindred as a new grad and has blossomed into such a compassionate, smart and hardworking nurse. Sarah comes to work every day with a smile and goes out of her way to offer help to everyone she works with. Sarah has such an infectious smile, she is such a positive leader for the nurses she works with. She has been assigned several of our termination of life support patients, and the care that she provides patients and families at the end of their life is extraordinary. We have had several patients’ families come to us to recognize Sarah for making them feel more at peace with their loved one’s passing. The extra care and compassion that Sarah shows for her patients makes such a huge impact on their overall experience and outcome. Sarah exemplifies what a nurse should be: compassionate, caring and driven. Everything Sarah does is for her patients’ best interest, and we could not be more happy that she chooses to be a part of our team!
Brian Cline, Children’s Mercy Hospital
Brian has been a pediatric RN for over 25 years, working in specialty areas of neonatal intensive care and vascular access. He excels as a vascular access specialist through his skill in inserting PIVs, lab draws, midlines, arterial lines and PICC lines in pediatric patients. He is truly exceptional in his ability to obtain good vascular access in the most challenging cases like the 550 g premature infants. Not only is he able to care for the most challenging and vulnerable patients through exceptional skill, he also does this with kindness and compassion for the patients and families by always ensuring patients have adequate comfort and support during these difficult procedures. He is exemplary to the staff he works with by constantly improving his knowledge, enhancing his skills, precepting new employees and working in collaboration with multiple disciplines. He is an exceptional RN.
Sarah Gonzalez, Excelsior Springs Hospital
Sarah goes above and beyond staff. She is very knowledgeable in her role and is the go-to person for the hospital when questions arise. She works very closely with her staff and peers to make sure that patient satisfaction is at its highest. She stays up-to-date on the latest trends and topics of health care. She goes out of her way to make new leaders feel welcomed to the facility and the team. I am honored to work with Sarah!
Jill Kelly Hahn, Shriners Children’s St. Louis
Jill Hahn, RN, is a care coordinator for the Lower Limb Deficiency Program at Shriners Children’s in St. Louis. Jill has been a driving force of patient advocacy at Shriners for many years. Her role ensures that children from all over the world receive exceptional care from the moment they reach out to Shriners, through their interventions and throughout their entire recovery — which at times can take years. She advocates for the entire family to ensure that the patients — many of whom experience many socioeconomic disparities — get every option available to them so that they may reach their full potential. She works tirelessly with the surgeons at Shriners to make the care process as seamless and as efficient as possible. She works with medical and nursing students to share her knowledge and skills. She is an advocate, she exemplifies care and she is a champion for children with limb discrepancies from all over the globe.
Marina Jacobs, Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Marina is never short on compassion for the patients we work on together. She really puts every ounce of knowledge, ability and integrity into her service to others. Our patients of Dr. Massad brag, constantly, about how wonderful Marina is and how appreciative they are that they have her as their RN while they ensure treatment. She really does define the phrase “going above and beyond.” We would be lost without her.
Kim Lenhardt, Christian Hospital
Although Kim’s interactions with patients are brief, she makes a lasting impact. As a member of the palliative team, I have had multiple patients receive treatments in IR and they remember her. They also remember the fear they experience going down for a procedure where they are told they will not be put to sleep. Each patient I have had smiles and shares fond memories of the comfort that Kim has brought them when they were fearful. The patients understand that the procedures are necessary, but that doesn’t make it any easier. A smile, someone making them laugh and making them feel comforted — that makes it easier. That’s what Kim brings to the team and am I proud to say I know that nurse when I follow up with the patients post-procedure. Thank you, Kim, for all that you do.
Shannon Morris, Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Shannon is a nurse that patients and families dream of! Shannon has a passion for nursing and treats each and every patient with such great care. When Shannon accepted the interim ANM position, we jokingly said that she would NEVER be in the office, and we were right! Shannon enjoys helping her unit and making sure they are set up for success. She is ALWAYS smiling and laughing, which is contagious to everyone around her. If there is ever a nurse that I will forever sing their success and praises, it will be Shannon! She exemplifies the BJH standard of nursing and leads with her heart to provide the utmost care for every patient she encounters.
Erin Morrow, MU Health Care
Erin goes above and beyond by always being there for her patients whenever needed. Even outside of work, she will meet up with patients just to make sure they are okay. She went to Disney World around the time one of her previous patients was going, and she made it a point to go out of her way to spend time with him. She has the kindest heart and a work ethic like no other.
Riley Page, Cox Medical Center South
Riley has stepped up in her role to impact the Cox South Hospital at CoxHealth. She serves on our Final Salute for Veterans committee and plays a key role in honoring our veterans at Cox South. Riley has also played a huge role with our No One Dies Alone program at Cox South, as well. This program is truly impactful for our patients that are in their last phase of life who have no family or friends near them. Riley truly lives out the vision of CoxHealth, which is to be the “Best For Those Who Need Us.” Riley also has the utmost respect from her team and is truly a servant leader.
William Rhinesmith, Christian Hospital Northeast
Bill has always been such a delight to work with. I have worked in adjoining departments with him from 2010-2013 and then in the same department from 2015 to the present. He always has a cheerful disposition and brings the most joy to our department, both to staff and to the patients. He is always the first to try to make light of hard situations. The rapport that he carries with his patients is always a delight to see and hear him interact with his patients. He is always encouraging and works on keeping his coworkers smiling. We have all fallen in love with his joy in participating in the National Calendar Days and bringing in treats or different objects that go with that national day. We know we will be getting rubber duckies to take home on National Rubber Ducky Day. He always tells people that I am the nurse he wants to be when he grows up (if he ever grows up), but it is truly the opposite in that I hope that I will be the kind of nurse that he is!
Stephanie Shane, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
From the time Stephanie was 5 years old, she had two dreams. One was to be a mommy, and the other was to be a “baby nurse.” Needless to say, she’d been preparing her whole life for the life she’s living right now! She is the mother of seven beautiful children and has been a pediatric, NICU and ECMO nurse at St. Louis Children’s Hospital for the past 15 years.
Her humanity is extraordinary. She’s not afraid to step right in and hold space for those who are grieving, as well as celebrate the miracles achieved. Every patient is her kiddo, and every family member is her friend. She walks into a room and assesses ALL of the needs — whether it is keeping them alive or washing their hair because they said they feel gross. She can sense what is needed, and she fills that need. That is why she STILL maintains friendships with some of those families, even after 15 years. Being a “baby nurse” is not just a job for Stephanie. It’s not even a career. It’s her calling. And she answered.
Heather Simunich, BJC HealthCare
Heather goes above and beyond for her patients and her staff. No matter what, her patients come first. I have seen her work very hard to make sure all patients are taken care of by the end of her shift. Heather is someone who got into health care specifically to help people and it shows. I am proud to work with Heather.
Victoria “Tori” Smith, North Kansas City Hospital
An influential team player, Tori Smith, BSN, RN, PCCN, works to elevate nurses’ knowledge of evidence-based practices and research as chair of NKCH’s Research and Innovation Council. She is also active on the Steering and Unit-Based councils.
“Tori is a phenomenal leader,” said Director of Staffing Operations Sarah Jackson, RN, MS. “She is resourceful and jumps in when needed but still allows others to do their jobs. She always stays calm, even on our toughest days.”
Known for proactive patient care, Tori received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in January. She takes pride in knowing the condition and diagnosis of each patient on her floor when serving as a charge nurse.
“Tori has a passion for nursing research,” said Clinical Excellence Senior Director Ashley Peacock, MSN, RN. “She was the lead investigator on three nurse-led studies, with two published in peer-reviewed journals. Her use of EBP and research shows in the exemplary care she provides.”
Jeanna Gooch Tharp, Northeast Regional Medical Center
Jeanna has been an employee of Northeast Regional Medical Center for over 31 years. She always puts patient care first. She works countless hours to help cover call-ins and make sure her teams always have adequate staff. Jeanna is an experienced nurse in Med/Surg, Step Down, Critical Care and Swing Bed. She is a patient advocate and works hard to educate staff and serve as a mentor to new nursing leadership.
Jamille Twedt, Cox Medical Center Branson
Jamille in one word is dedicated. Jamille is dedicated to being the best and doing the best for our patients, staff and management. Jamille is dedicated to serving the patients with all their needs, even with the needs of their family. Jamille is dedicated in her staff. She communicates to her team with a positive demeanor, even when there is a problem. Mistakes are a learning tool with Jamille. Jamille is dedicated to learning new practices. She encourages her staff to be better than her, she encourages them to continue education, to learn new practices. Jamille is team-oriented. Jamille is extremely approachable, you can talk to her about anything. She will be honest with you and help you work it out. Jamille is flexible with her staff, as a team, Jamille has helped us find coverage if one of the team members needs to be off. Jamille has an optimistic outlook on life in general. Jamille is very intelligent. She looks at the big picture and thinks out of the box each day to better our process.
Stephanie Welch, Liberty Hospital
Stephanie is always advocating for her patients and responds to all calls in a timely fashion. Stephanie is also a great coworker and a true teammate by offering others assistance when needed. Stephanie even requests her time off around the schedule of her aligned provider to decrease work for her teammates. Stephanie is also a “Ray of Sunshine” because every month she changes the decor at her desk to go along with the holiday/season. She ensures her tasteful decor injects a positive vibe. Many co-workers have mentioned Stephanie’s name when they discuss someone they enjoy working alongside and when they talk about an amazing nurse. Stephanie may fly “under the radar” because she doesn’t just do one thing that is amazing — she is consistently providing amazing care and the examples are too many to mention — and that is why Stephanie Welch is so deserving of this award. So proud to work with her. Every day of work with Stephanie is a good day!
Katie Womach, Liberty Hospital
I have had the privilege of leading Katie for the last year and a half. She is a float nurse at our organization and possesses everything nursing is. She is kind, compassionate and delivers patient-centered care every shift. She precepts new nurses with the patience it requires and meets them where they are at. Despite the challenging days health care sometimes entails, you won’t see her without a smile on her face. She is there for her team and most of all her patients. She is worthy of this award for her personal devotion to care about the patient not just for them. Thank you for your consideration.
Jane Young, Samaritan Hospital
Jane is a caring and unique caregiver, her heart is her biggest asset! She has been in the health care field for many years, and as the Director of Nursing and Administrator, she goes above and beyond every single day. There is not a staff member in our hospital or surrounding hospitals that does not recognize how amazing she is. She can fill in pretty much any and all departments in the hospital and never is too busy to help a coworker. Her love for her patients is seen in all aspects of care. Her leadership is undeniably what every leader should strive to be like. Jane is involved in the community in numerous ways, as well. Without a doubt when she retires, they will need to hire 20 people to replace her!