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Tift Regional honors Leigh Luke with DAISY Award
(December 18, 2019, Tifton, Ga.) – Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) recently honored Leigh Luke, BSN, RN with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of The DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the care and compassion provided by nurses every day.

Leigh is the Nurse Manager on the Heart and Vascular Unit at Tift Regional Medical Center, and she has worked for Tift Regional for 10 years.

“When you think about words defining an extraordinary nurse, words like compassionate, professional, educator, honest, committed, comforter, and integrity often come to mind ,” said TRHS Senior Vice President, Acute Care and Chief Nursing Executive Carol Smith, MBA, RN, NEA-BC. “Leigh Luke is the epitome of all these words. She is an extraordinary nurse that goes above and beyond for her patients, their families, guests and co-workers on a daily basis.”

Smith said Leigh was nominated for the award partially because of the help she provided to one of her co-workers who had a son requiring a serious surgery at a specialized facility.

“Leigh assisted in driving the employee and her son to appointments, rallied other staff to help provide food, and helped arrange for a refrigerator and air conditioning to be installed at her co-worker’s home,” Smith said. “Because of Leigh’s help, her co-worker was able to give her child undivided attention.”

Smith said Luke was also nominated because of her tireless dedication to a patient with cancer, even outside of her normal working hours. When the patient had to have surgery at another facility, Luke showed up and was able to make the patient and her family more comfortable.

“When Leigh showed up, she was able to advocate for the patients and family,” Smith said. “The family sent a letter describing her extraordinary acts, which had made a big impact on them. The patient even declared Leigh her personal nurse after the experience.”

Through nominations by patients, visitors and co-workers, a nurse is selected periodically by a special TRHS committee to receive The DAISY Award. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

The DAISY Award was established by the DAISY Foundation in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of an auto-immune disease. The Barnes Family was awestruck by the clinical skills, caring and compassion of the nurses who cared for Patrick, so they created the national award to thank nurses everywhere.

One day while Patrick was in the hospital, he asked his family to bring him a Cinnabon® cinnamon roll plus enough for all the nurses in his unit. With the help of Cinnabon’s parent company, FOCUS Brands, The DAISY Foundation carries on this tradition by serving cinnamon rolls to all the nurses in the award recipient’s unit in thanks for everything they do for their patients and families.

“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.

Visit to learn more about The DAISY Award.