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The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary compassionate and skillful care given by nurses every day. These nurses are respectful, anticipate needs, share information, promote teamwork, and encourage patient and family participation. They are recognized as outstanding role models.


Click here for 2016 Recipients



Click here for an application

Patients, visitors, physicians and employees may nominate a deserving nurse by filling out a nomination form and submitting it to:


          North Mississippi Medical Center

          Nursing Leadership Department

          830 South Gloster Street

          Tupelo, MS  38801


NMMC will honor one nurse each month with a DAISY Award beginning in January. Each honoree will be recognized at a public ceremony in her/his unit and will receive a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled A Healer’s Touch.

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 Barnes’ eight-week hospitalization, his family was awestruck by the care and compassion his nurses provided not only to him but to everyone in his family. So one of the goals they set in creating a Foundation in his 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.

For more information, call (662) 377-3431 or email


2016 Recipients


January 2016

Maria Wilson, RN

6 South


"When I was hospitalized, Maria Wilson took the time to explain to me what I was being diagnosed with and the medication she was giving me. Not only did she take care of me, but my daughters as well. She explained to them what 'all' she was doing. Not only was I important to her, but my family as well. Even months later after all this time, she still speaks and asks how I am doing and offers any other information I might need, or that might be helpful to me. Her compassion for patients is beyond anyone's expectation. Not to mention her sincere smile. I know deep down in my heart that anyone who encounters Maria is in good hands."


"During the last few years, my Mom was a frequent guest at NMMC battling several conditions (lung cancer, heart conditions), and was on several different floors of the hospital. All of our RNs were good, some better than others, but I have to say Maria went above and beyond. She always seemed as though she had all the time in the world for Mom. I knew a lot of times she was really busy, but she never seemed that way. My Mom loved her so and talked about her often. We lost Mom in July, but she asked about Maria often and shared stories with her Home Health Nurse. She blessed my Mom more than she will ever know."


February 2016

Hollie Waldron, RN

Baratric Center


"Hollie is the reason I came here to have my surgery. She answered phone calls and questions without hesitation beforehand. While I was here, she has been the best. Keeping me informed, keeping me comfortable and most of all making sure my Mother was well taken care of as a visitor. While Hollie was on her lunch break, she would bring my Mother lunch and breakfast so she didn't have to leave me. Hollie took my Mom home when she got off and made sure she was home safe. We feel like Hollie went above and beyond her duty as a nurse."


March 2016

Angela Cooper, RN

6 South


"My father was admitted to 6 South with bronchitis. Angela Cooper was his night shift RN every night my father was in the hospital. Each night, she checked on my father and mother multiple times. When my father couldn't sleep at night, she would make it a point to come in and chat with him. Each day when I would come to visit, my father and mother would brag on Angela. After my father was discharged, she would call my Mother and Father to check on him and how he was doing. This is going above and beyond her duties and really made an excellent impression on my parents and me. By showing so much compassion both on and off the clock for my Father, Angela Cooper made his experience the best it could possibly have been considering the circumstances."



April 2016

Greg Kovalick, RN



"Greg was very caring and hard working. He took good care of my father by making sure he was clean, comfortable and content,” his nomination reads. “He talked to him to assure him that he would take good care of him. Greg is very smart and knowledgeable about my father’s health issues. He closely monitored him and gave us updates. He tried to feed him when he was not able to eat and just gave A+ service. Greg was very kind and concerned for my Father and he did not give up on him because he was 86. Thank you for taking care of my father. He means the world to me."




May 2016

Mary Beth Johnson, RN



"Mary Beth is a caring and empathetic nurse. Her passion for neonates cannot be described in any one single situation. She is very attentive to her patients' needs and also parents. She has very strong clinical skills and judgment. I have always noticed her to be calm and supportive in all critical situations. I have enjoyed working with her, and she is a valuable asset to our NICU."



June 2016

Sharon Cox, RN

6 South


“Sharon was his nurse over the weekend and spoke with me by phone, answering questions and reassuring me that he was doing ok. The peace of mind she gave me when I couldn’t be there is greatly appreciated. Sharon’s caring and thoughtful personality were evident so many times but especially on the evening of June 7 That afternoon, my Mom found out that she needed a pacemaker right away and was scheduled for June 8, my parents’ 53rd anniversary. Sharon went out of her way to comfort my Dad and ease his fears for my mom. She gave him a stuffed raccoon, made him laugh and cheered him up. She also sent my mom flowers and a cross. She was such a help explaining everything happening with my Mom to my Dad in a way that helped him understand and not be afraid. This was a huge help!”




July 2016

Kandi Hilliard, RN

Labor & Delivery


”Kandi was smiling, very kind and reassuring. She immediately calmed my nerves and explained everything to me in detail.... You could tell that she takes her time with her patients to make every one of them feel special, and she always had a smile on her face no matter what.... Kandi calmed my nerves by staying with me in my room and having a long talk with me and hearing me out. Then, she even offered to stay late and see me off to surgery if need be... Any patient would be lucky to have her taking care of them.... She was an answer to my prayers, and I’m so thankful that God put her in my path.”




August 2016

April Cole, RN

Emergency Services


"She took care of him physically, and most importantly to me, emotionally. My Dad has struggled with anger and hopelessness since he found out that the cancer was back. He confessed some feelings to April and she took the time out of her shift to make sure he never felt uncomfortable or unable to voice his concerns to the doctors that came in and out during the evening.... She even searched the floor for a bag of Bugles (these are his favorite chips).As if all of these things weren’t a blessing enough, she even visited and talked with my Dad once he was admitted on 5 West days later after she worked a long hard night in the ER the night before. I visited with my Dad that same day and the first thing he said was, ‘Do you remember April, the nurse from the ER? She came to see me today, and it made my entire day. I thought I was just another grouchy patient, but she really made me feel special. And she brought me some Bugles!' With tears in my eyes, I read a little note on a happie she had left him and it said, 'Keep fighting.'"



September 2016

Jodie McMillen, RN

5 West

“They never would have convinced me that she is new to your staff, with her compassion and dedication to her patients,” a patient wrote in her nomination. “She took the time to help me heal from my affliction as much or more mentally as physically. She gave me the courage and the strength to walk out of your hospital with her extraordinary love and compassion for what she does.”


October 2016

Contesta Barnes, RN

Medical Intensive Care Unit


Barnes was nominated by a family member of a patient who was in MICU before he passed away. “I can’t explain what her caring and compassionate nature meant to our family at that time,” the family member wrote. “She took time to teach and explain aspects of his care in a way that his 83-year-old wife and family could understand.” One day she even sang his favorite song to comfort him.






November 2016

Claire Wilkerson, RN

3 West Surgical Intermediate Care Unit


“She was so caring and patient and engaged from the very moment he walked into the room. Watching her work with him made me feel like he was more than just a bed number to her,” wrote a patient’s daughter in her nomination of Wilkerson. “My dad is probably the fussiest patient you’ll ever meet. He’s talkative and will ask for a thousand things a day. Despite this, there is not one single thing my dad asked of her that she did not fulfill happily.”

Wilkerson was cited for caring not only for the patient, but his family as well. “She didn’t once leave the room without asking if there’s anything she could do for us as well,” the nomination states. “She’s so incredibly genuine and such a perfect fit for her job.”



December 2016


Lisa Hallmark, RN

Greg Kovalick, RN



Hallmark and Kovalick were nominated by the mother of a patient who was admitted to SICU after a car accident. “I was distraught and scared that our son wasn’t going to make it,” said the mother, who lives two hours away. “The two of them put us at ease. They told my husband and I what they were doing and what they were going to do with Davis, and how he was progressing. I always had lots of questions and they always had an answer for me."


The patient’s mother wrote that these nurses also explained the situation in terms she could understand. “I knew my son was in good hands, and I knew they loved their job and the people they took care of,” she stated. “I would have to say the time I spent at NMMC was the worst time of my life, but Greg and Lisa made the time more bearable. I felt like they understood our pain and made sure we knew what was going on.”