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Salute to local heroes: Hunterdon Healthcare nurse honored for patient care


Ringoes, N.J., resident Jordan Vitelli, a registered nurse in the 5 North Surgical Unit at Hunterdon Medical Center, received the DAISY Award on May 22.

The DAISY award is an international nurse recognition program to recognize the clinical skill and the compassion nurses provide to patients and families every day.

The wife of a patient of Vitelli’s wrote, “Jordan is the epitome of what a nurse is – professional and compassionate. My husband was admitted to Hunterdon Medical Center for severe bronchitis. He has limitations both emotionally and physically from a brain tumor resection. Jordan made sure my husband was treated with dignity and respect and ensured that all his needs were met.

“In addition to being compassionate, Jordan knows her job well. She thoroughly went over Jim’s medication list and when one medication was not working, she quickly engaged the physician to work with me to get it right. She explained everything to my husband so that he completely understood what was going on.”

The nonprofit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an auto-immune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses has been adopted by 3,500 health care facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 21 other countries, committed to honoring their nurses for their extraordinary care and compassion. Individual nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues and they are chosen by a Hunterdon Healthcare committee.

DAISY Award recipients are presented with a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, a hand-carved serpentine stone sculpture from Zimbabwe, and a spotlight page on The DAISY Foundation website, featuring a photo and telling the story of why this nurse was honored. In addition, each DAISY Award facility will receive a large celebratory banner that is hung in the recipient’s unit for a month.

At each award presentation, all the nurses and staff in the recipient’s unit are treated to cinnamon rolls. The reason? 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.