April Crites, RN, TCMH Fall 2019 DAISY Award recipient, center, with Steve Nece and his wife, Diane. Nece nominated Crites for the DAISY Award. 

Texas County Memorial Hospital honored April Crites of Houston with a DAISY Award during a ceremony held for all of the DAISY Award nominees on Friday, Nov. 15.

Crites is a registered nurse at TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks. The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is the highest recognition award for an RN and licensed practical nurse (LPN) at TCMH. 

The DAISY Award is part of the non-profit DAISY Foundation of Glen Ellen, Calif. The foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. 

The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while Patrick was ill and hospitalized inspired the DAISY Award as a way of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. The DAISY Award recipient must be nominated for a specific act of extraordinary care that was experienced by the person making the nomination. 

Crites received four DAISY Award nominations this year. She received the DAISY Award from the nomination she received from Steve Nece of Raymondville, which he submitted in recognition of the care he received from Crites while he was a patient of TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks.

In the nomination, Nece explained how he did not initially wish to have in-home care, but thought that his wife might feel more at ease if she had a little help to take care of him, so he agreed to it.

 “When I sat waiting for our nurse to arrive for my first home health visit, I could not help but wonder what I had gotten myself into,” Nece said. “I was absolutely stunned when April introduced herself to us as a cancer survivor.”

 “I couldn’t believe that the nurse coming to take care of me had gone through the same thing I was going through, but even more surprised that she was comfortable talking about it,” Nece explained.

Nece mentioned that he asked Crites many questions, and she had a vast knowledge about cancer, which he really appreciated.

 “During our time together, April was always on time and happy to see us, but most of all, she was very professional,” Nece said. “I think that it is a gift to be able to balance making people feel like they are your good friends, yet staying completely professional at the same time.”

Nece explained that one night he awoke and realized something did not feel right, so his wife called the home health on-call phone number.

 “April just happened to be on-call and arrived to our house just a short while later,” Nece said. “She suggested they go to the emergency room right away and she was right, I needed to go. I spent two more days in the hospital.”

 “Even when I came home from the hospital, April still continued to care for me,” Nece said.

Nece explained that when the time came for him to be released from home healthcare, he was very happy, but also sad.

 “It was so hard to let the person that I never really even wanted to come into our home, walk out of our lives,” Nece said. “It was hard to say goodbye.”

 “April has the respect and admiration, as well as the deep affection from both my wife and myself for the rest of our lives,” Nece said. “I definitely had the best nurse!”

Nece and his wife Diane, attended the DAISY award ceremony to honor Crites.

Crites received a special DAISY Award pin; a recognition certificate, a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a hand-carved stone sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch.” 

An additional recognition ceremony for Crites at TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks will feature cinnamon rolls because Cinnabon cinnamon rolls were a personal favorite food of Patrick Barnes. During his hospitalization he always shared the cinnamon rolls with the nursing staff.

 

Also receiving recognition and a DAISY pin for being nominated were: Jamie Terry, RN, obstetrics; Sandra Eaton, LPN, Hospice of Care; Shelby Ellison, RN, medical surgical department; Judy Vernon, RN, obstetrics; Stephanie Gingerich, RN, medical surgical department; Marybeth Casper, RN, Home Health of the Ozarks; Shelly Rust, RN, medical surgical department; Melissa Callicotte, RN, medical surgical department; Chelsea Sawyer, RN, obstetrics; Melinda Jewett, LPN, medical office complex; Makenzie Richards, LPN, medical office complex; Brenda Cooper, LPN, medical office complex; and Kristel Barton, RN, obstetrics.

TCMH employs 132 nurses.  The nurses work in many departments of the hospital — medical surgical, obstetrics, emergency room, surgery, intensive care, home health, hospice and clinics.

 

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