Team members were gathered in the pediatric intensive care unit at SSM Cardinal Glennon in the early-morning hours on March 29, prepared to honor Linda Fecenko, RN, as the winner of the Daisy Award for exceptional nurses. But the guest of honor was not making her way toward the break room, despite having reached the end of her shift.
“This is exactly why she’s the winner,” one of the nurses said with a laugh. “She’s too busy taking care of her patients to come get this award.”
Fecenko was honored as SSM Cardinal Glennon Children Medical Center’s first winner of the Daisy Award, which recognizes exceptional nurses who push themselves beyond the expected to care for their patients. Fecenko has worked as a nurse at Cardinal Glennon for 22 years.
“We are so excited to present our first award to Linda,” said Jeannie Mollohan, executive director of Nursing. “She does such a wonderful job for our patients at Glennon, and we are so proud that she’s a member of our team.”
As Fecenko was honored, it was apparent how much it means to Glennon team members to celebrate their nurses: Tears of happiness and pride were a common sight at the short ceremony. Recognizing nurses means a lot to the Daisy Foundation as well.
The Daisy (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation was established in January 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes, 33, died of complications from Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). His family was so touched by the compassionate and exceptional care provided by his nurses that they made nurses the cornerstone of their philanthropic foundation.
Nurses are honored for the monthly Daisy Award by Glennon patients, families and co-workers. A mother nominated Fecenko for the first-rate care her child received while staying in the PICU recently.
“Linda’s expertise and knowledge helped whisk our son through recovery in the PICU,” the mom wrote. “After they removed my son’s breathing tube, he was anxious and scared. Linda watched movies with him and relaxed his mind for the road ahead.
“Linda communicated with us constantly and was very personable. The thing I loved most about Linda is how effortlessly she did her job. It was easy leaving the PICU at night knowing Linda was on duty. Linda was such a blessing to us.”
Fecenko was grateful and humbled at the awards ceremony, saying: “My team all deserves this as much as I do.”
As winner of the Daisy Award, Fecenko received a certificate, Daisy Award pin and hand-carved sculpture titled “A Healer’s Touch.” The entire unit was treated to Cinnabons. A banner announcing the Daisy Award will reside in the PICU for a month, until next month’s winner is selected.
Daisy Award nomination forms can be found in the cafeteria or at nursing units across the hospital.