Four nurses, each of whom works at a St. Charles hospital, were honored for extraordinary work.

HOLLY M. GILL/MADRAS PIONEER - Four St. Charles Health System nurses, including Kelli Jo Hammack, who works at St. Charles Madras, were honored for their compassionate care.St. Charles Health System nurses Tammi Jo Virgil, Monica Conklin, Kelli Jo Hammack and Teresa Standley have been honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, recognizing the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day.

Virgil works at St. Charles Bend, Conklin at Redmond, Hammack at Madras, and Standley at Prineville.

Nominated by patients, families and colleagues, the award recipients were chosen by a committee.

The nurses — who represent all four St. Charles hospitals in Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville — were recognized with a ceremony on their respective units and presented with a certificate, a pin and a "healer's touch" sculpture by Chief Nursing Officer Pam Steinke. The DAISY honorees will also receive ongoing benefits, such as special rates for tuition and ANCC certification.

"Our nurses are exceptional and deserve to be formally recognized for their dedication, spirit and the quality of care they provide in the community," Steinke said. "We are excited to celebrate all the stories of compassionate care we hear every day."

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by members of his family. Barnes died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system.)

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 patient families.

"When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced firsthand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night," said Bonnie Barnes, president and co-founder of the DAISY Foundation. "Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do. The kind of work the nurses at St. Charles are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of the DAISY Award."

One initiative of the DAISY Foundation is to express gratitude to the nursing profession. Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, the DAISY Faculty Award to honor inspiring faculty members in schools and colleges of nursing and the DAISY in Training Award for nursing students. More information is available at

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System Inc., headquartered in Bend, owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond, as well as family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters.

St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,200 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to local communities.

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