Oaklawn's Leslie Olmstead receives second award for top nursing service

MARSHALL – Leslie Olmstead, a registered nurse at Oaklawn Hospital, received a quarterly DAISY Award during a recent presentation honoring her exemplary service.

It was the second time Olmstead had received a DAISY Award, which is presented as part of a nationwide program that celebrates and rewards extraordinary clinical skill and care given by nurses each day.

Olmstead was nominated for the new award in August by a family member of a recent Oaklawn patient, who praised the nurse’s skill and demeanor.

“Leslie was incredible,” the patient’s family member wrote. “She went above her normal duties as a nurse. She was spot-on with her care … [and] was on top of things before they were even needed. She made me feel welcome, also asking about my needs as a visiting spouse. She was happy and cheerful and kept our spirits up. She also worked hard to be mindful about letting us sleep.”

Olmstead worked formerly as an accountant and began to pursue a nursing career about nine years ago. She joined Oaklawn in 2007 and has worked on the hospital’s medical and surgical floor since then. Her first DAISY Award was presented to her in 2009.

“I love it here – especially today,” said an excited Olmstead, who was surprised with the award during a celebration on her hospital floor. She and her husband have two sons ages 22 and 14, and live in Coldwater.

“It’s an absolute joy to visit the hospitals that partner with us and celebrate extraordinary nursing,” said Janet Silvestri, regional program director for the DAISY Foundation, who visited Oaklawn for the occasion. “It’s absolutely the best part of my job.”

Silvestri said she enjoys being on hand when nurses are celebrated for their special contributions to health care.

“Nurses feel that it’s just part of their job – but they’re doing things that are bringing comfort to patients and their families every day,” Silvestri said. “It’s amazing.”

As a DAISY Award Hospital Partner, Oaklawn Hospital recognizes one of its nurses with the special quarterly honor. Recipients are given public recognition in his or her unit, along with a certificate, an award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch.”

DAISY is an acronym for “diseases attacking the immune system.” The Glen Ellen, Calif.-based DAISY Foundation was established in 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died of complications of the autoimmune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura at age 33.

Patients, visitors, nurses, physicians and employees are encouraged to nominate a deserving employee. A DAISY Award nomination form may be obtained from the hospital, or online by visiting the “News and Events” area at the hospital’s website, www.oaklawnhospital.org.