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Children’s National Nurses Recognized for Extraordinary Patient Care

February 22, 2011

Washington, DC – Twelve nurses at Children’s National Medical Center have been recognized by The DAISY Foundation with its DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national program that notes clinical care excellence.

The national, not-for-profit DAISY Foundation (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died in 1999 at the age of 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a little-known but not uncommon autoimmune disease. The care Barnes and his family received inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families.

“When Patrick was ill, we were awed by the skill, care, and compassion he – and we, his family – received,” said Tena Barnes Carraher, Vice President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation. “We created The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2001 to say thank you to nurses around the country, as we believe they are truly ‘unsung heroes.’ We thank UnitedHealthcare for helping us acknowledge the remarkable work nurses do every day.”

“We are thrilled that the DAISY Foundation has recognized our nurses,” said Nellie Robinson, Nellie Robinson, RN, MS, FAAN, Executive Vice President of Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer. “Ms. Barnes Carraher brings the family perspective to the recognition of the work nurses do. Her appreciation for the nurses who cared for her husband has grown to an appreciation for nurses nationwide, and we are pleased to be included in her embrace.”

UnitedHealthcare has supported The Daisy Foundation since 2006. James Cronin, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic and Edward Koza, MD, Medical Director, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic, participated in the awards along with Ms. Barnes Carraher. Children’s National joins 84 other hospitals where The DAISY Award is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.

Each month, nurses in more than 500 participating hospitals across the United States are nominated by their colleagues and patients to receive The DAISY Award. The honorees receive a certificate commending outstanding clinical care and a designation of being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” The honorees are also given a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

“UnitedHealthcare is proud to support The DAISY Foundation in recognizing talented nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty,” said Cronin. “In spite of the current nationwide shortage, nurses are part of the foundation to help people stay well, get well or live with illness. We congratulate Children’s National Medical Center nurses for improving the way health care works for people.”

Barnes Carraher added, “When we created The DAISY Foundation, we could not have anticipated that our program would come to be regarded by some of the best hospitals in America as a strategic tool for nurse recruitment and retention – two key elements in managing the nursing shortage.”

Media contacts
Children’s National: Paula Darte, Public Relations – 202-476-4500
UnitedHealthcare/The DAISY Foundation: Anita Sen – 310-422-7568

About The DAISY Foundation
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established in 2000 by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. The DAISY Foundation supports the nursing profession with recognition programs for bedside nurses and nursing faculty and with grants for research and evidence-based practice projects conducted by nurses. As of February 2010, more than 6,000 nurses at over 500 hospitals have been recognized with The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses. More information is available at

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare ( provides a full spectrum of consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to individuals, public sector employers and businesses of all sizes, including more than half of the Fortune 100 companies. The company organizes access to quality, affordable health care services on behalf of approximately 25 million individual consumers, contracting directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals to offer them broad, convenient access to services nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

About Children's National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is one of the nation’s Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. 

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