WATERBURY — Three nurses at St. Mary’s Hospital were honored recently with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day. The award is facilitated by the Center for Nursing Professional Practice and Innovation at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Award recipient Baylie Spillane, R.N., received many DAISY award submissions from both patients and colleagues. She is known for consistently going above and beyond in her work as a nurse. Patient care is the foundation for all she does.

Ms. Spillane is compassionate, dedicated to ensuring her patients receive the best care possible. As a colleague, she is always willing to provide extra support wherever it is needed. In the words of one submission, “She is a real example of what a true nurse should be. Baylie always puts her patients and co-workers first.”

Shakira Vasquez-Flores, R.N. was presented the DAISY award for her professionalism, attentiveness and compassion.

In a nomination form submitted by a patient, she was recognized for her personal touch and working diligently to provide comfort. “She took excellent care of my privacy, dignity and pain. I nominate her for being excellent!”

Emergency Department nurse Crystal Gerace, R.N., is known throughout the hospital for her work inside and outside the hospital. She exudes compassion and generosity. 

Ms. Gerace’s nomination form, submitted by a colleague, refers to her efficient and caring approach with patients, and states “her passion for nursing is unmatched in all the years of my medical professional life.”

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at St. Mary’s. Awards are presented throughout the year at celebrations attended by the honoree’s colleagues, patients and visitors.

Each honoree receives a certificate commending her or him as an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “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 and a sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

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