Nurses from across the region shine for Mission Health: Spring 2017 DAISY Award Honorees

Congratulations to our 2017 Spring Daisy Award honorees from across Mission Health for excellence in nursing, who were honored during Nurses Week in May — including a first-ever DAISY Award team nomination at Angel Medical Center.

Meet our DAISY Award winners and read what some of our patients, families and team members said about these extraordinary nurses.

Angel Medical Center

Beth Sears, RN, Women’s Health Care Unit

Nomination from patient and colleague:

“As a first time mom, and a fellow nurse at Angel Medical Center, I was nervous, excited, experiencing many emotions and pain. Beth was so helpful, calming, and a constant teacher during my whole experience. During the labor process, she was right by my side the whole time, coaching, calming, and encouraging me, without being annoying or hovering. She made my husband feel included and comforted as well. She even stayed over into the day shift to be there when the baby was born. I truly couldn’t have wished for a better nurse to be there with me for my first child-birthing experience.”


AMC’s first team Daisy Award
Emergency Department

Nomination by Karen Gorby, AMC president and CNO, and Bonnie Peggs, AMC pastoral care:

“One spring day in the early morning hours, a toddler was brought into the Emergency Department unresponsive, an apparent drowning.  The entire team responded, under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Taft, and worked on the child.  Dr. Taft and all the staff would not give up even with fixed and dilated pupils, ongoing CPR, a body temperature below 85 degrees, and no pulse.  After an hour, the baby was breathing about 10 breaths a minute on his own, while receiving help from respiratory…and the team continued to work.  As the time approached to transport the baby to Mission Hospital after 90-minutes of working on him, the toddler’s eyes were reactive; he was breathing on his own, and his body temperature was almost normal. A truly miraculous happening thanks to the nurses, Benjamin Lackey, Respiratory Therapy, Matthew Pearson, Radiology, Kevin Cope, Radiology, Tori Dragoo, Lab, Delaney Garris, Western Carolina University Paramedic Student, Reverend Bonnie Peggs, and Dr. Taft in Angel Medical Center’s Emergency Department.”

Blue Ridge Regional Hospital

Sara Ledford, RN
Medical-Surgical and CCU/ICU

From a patient’s family: 

“We know our Dad’s life was in God’s hands but He allowed Sara Ledford to be there that night with compassion to love, care and help Daddy with all she could!!!! So! My Dad and my family think that this angel Sara Ledford deserves above and beyond the Daisy award!!!”









Lydia Foster, RN
CarePartners Rehabilitation Hospital

Nomination from a colleague:

“Lydia is consistently educating herself and others on what it means to be a nurse. I truly believe that she goes above and beyond in everything she does to provide the best patient care. She thinks critically when it comes down to situations where there may not be a clear answer. I know she is professional at work, and she also displays the same core values outside of work that Mission Health believes in.”







Melissa Roland, RN
CarePartners Home Health

From nomination: 

This nurse goes above and beyond anything I have experienced as an Occupational Therapist in Home Health. She is dedicated to the patient and her team. And she is always positive, telling us, “You guys got this!” She is incredibly team oriented and really brings us all together.” 









McDowell Hospital

Austin Banaszak, RN, Acute Care Services

Nomination from a patient nomination:

“He was the first nurse with my brother, and was with him his last day. Austin helped me a lot through this ordeal. You have several nurses you can be proud of, but Austin stood out to me.”









Mission Hospital

Brian Pedersen, BSN, RN, Cardiovascular Progressive Care

Nomination from patient’s family member:

“My grandfather had 3 different hospital stays recently. On this occasion, Nurse Pedersen was excellent. This was a very difficult time for our family as it was becoming increasingly evident that my grandfather’s life was fading. Mr. Pedersen showed compassion and knowledge.”








Emily Redmon, BS, RN, 7 North General Surgery

Nomination from patient:

“Emily started her shift with a smile and tender presence. My comfort was very important, she scheduled time to walk with me, and she was encouraging and made me feel I was a priority in her day. Her warm and cheerful personality translated to her professional bedside manner. Emily is confident with her nursing skills and her compassion shined through with her great sense of humor.”






Naomi Ernst-Smith, RN, Women’s Surgical Unit

From patient nomination:

“Naomi was my nurse for 3 nights. She was awesome! She went the extra mile, always making sure to check on my every couple of hours. She has that extra special something that lets you know this is not just a job to her. It’s obvious how much she cares.”









Transylvania Regional Hospital

Jim Kuss, RN
Emergency Department

Nomination from a team leader:

He will tell you that this is a part of nursing care that can get lost in an environment where time is of the essence and there is a constant push to get ready for the next patient. As one of his leaders, I have the mental picture of Jim sitting there beside her stretcher and holding her hand while she cried and told him her story is priceless. It reminded me why I became a nurse. It was a moment of seeing a true connection between patient and nurse.

Nursing is truly a calling for this nominee. We are blessed to have this RN as part of our team.”



A big WooHoo! and congratulations to all of our extraordinary nurses!

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