MCDONALD ARMY HEALTH CENTER, FORT EUSTIS, VA -- Valerie L. Hicks was recently honored as one of the Health Center's top nurses.

During an award ceremony held Aug. 9 in the dining facility conference room, she was selected as the DAISY award honoree for 3rd Quarter 2012.

The DAISY award is a nationwide program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses each day.

The award is presented quarterly to an outstanding nurse nominated by his or her peers, co-workers and family members for consistently displaying a positive attitude; demonstrating professionalism in the work environment; collaborating with the health care team to meet patient's needs; communicating clearly and effectively with co-workers and patients; communication, and compassion.

"It is truly an honor to receive this award," said the humble Fayetteville, N.C., native who added that she was completely surprised when "they called my name." "I am thankful, and I congratulate all the other nurses who were also nominated for this award,"

The DAISY award was established in 2000 by family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at the age of 33 from complications of the auto-immune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP). In an effort to honor Patrick and turn their grief into something positive, the Barnes family came up with the acronym DAISY for "diseases attacking the immune system."

During Patrick's eight-week hospitalization, his family was impressed by the care and compassion they were shown by the nurses who cared for him. This caused them to set out to create a foundation in Patrick's memory "to recognize extraordinary nurses everywhere who make an enormous difference in the lives of so many people by the super-human work they do each day."

According to the DAISY foundation, each DAISY award honoree will be recognized at a public ceremony where they will receive a certificate, a DAISY award pin, a hand-carved Shona sculpture entitled "A Healer's Touch," a tote bag, and a jar of cinnamon in remembrance of Patrick's love of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. A celebratory banner is also hung in the honoree's work section.
Earning this distinction as the DAISY
award recipient is not something that is easily achieved, and for Hicks who has supported the Health Center for nearly 20 years, this recognition has provided an experience she won't soon forget.

"I enjoy my position here, and it is a blessing to serve our Soldiers and their Families," Hicks said. "I uphold MCAHC's mission and vision, and I am here to serve."
The Health Center's mission is "to ensure the medical readiness of our Nation's fighting forces and promote the health of all those entrusted to our care." Its vision is to be "a trusted patient-centered system of health that supports Soldier medical readiness and enhances the wellness of our community."

Hicks began working here in 1992, starting out in the Ward 2A Inpatient area. A year later, she moved to the Operating Room where she spent the next decade supporting the post anesthesia care unit. In 2003, she relocated to Fort Monroe and joined the health care team there at Craven Health Center. She worked at Craven for three years, and then returned here to McDonald where she currently serves as the lead licensed practical nurse for the Allergy/Immunization Clinic.