Top News
Tift Regional honors hospice nurse with DAISY Award
(Aug. 28, 2019, Tifton, Georgia) -- Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) announced that Cherry Cornelius, RN with Hospice of Tift Area is the latest recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. This award recognizes nurses who are skilled, caring, understanding, nonjudgmental and have a strong ability to empathize with patients and family members from all walks-of-life.

Cornelius is a registered nurse who has been with TRHS since 1999. She worked at Tift Regional Medical Center for six years and then transferred to Hospice of Tift Area. As a hospice nurse, Cornelius works with terminally-ill patients to help ensure their quality-of-life during their remaining days.

“Cherry is a special person, and it takes a special person to be a hospice nurse,” said Carol Smith, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Executive and Senior Vice President, Acute Care for TRHS.

Smith said that Cornelius received the DAISY Award nomination for serving the needs of a mother who lost her infant child. Cornelius, who was on-call for hospice, drove to the mother’s home in the middle-of-the-night to officially pronounce that the baby had passed. The father was out-of-town and had a six-hour drive back home.

“Cherry stayed with the mother for hours until family members, the primary hospice nurse and social worker arrived,” said Smith. “Cherry comforted the grieving mother, gave words of inspiration and helped her with funeral home arrangements. She went above-and-beyond in her role as a hospice nurse. She showed humanity and compassion that was much needed during this sad time.”

The DAISY Award is made possible by the DAISY Foundation, which was formed in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at age 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The nursing care Barnes received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family. The family wanted to say “thank you” to nurses everywhere by establishing a recognition program with hospitals around the country.

“The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is designed to honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day,” said Smith.

All the nurses and staff in the recipient's department are treated to cinnamon rolls at every DAISY Award presentation. Once, Barnes ate his father’s cinnamon roll when he was in the hospital without an appetite for food. He then requested one for the next day - and enough for all the nurses in the unit.

“A large celebratory banner is also displayed in the recipient's unit for a month, generating very positive conversation about the special role nurses play in patient care,” Smith added.