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Sparrow Hospital nurse receives DAISY Award for exceptional patient care

Catherine Velaquez receives Daisy Award
Posted at 1:23 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 13:23:11-04

LANSING, Mich. — Sparrow Hospital’s Catherine Velaquez, RN, was honored with the DAISY Award for the extraordinary care she provided to a patient who was facing the end of his life and wanted to be baptized.

Velaquez took the time to honor this patient’s last request and arranged for his baptism with assistance from Sparrow’s Pastoral Care. She then spent time with the patient reading letters written by family members. Catherine has been a Sparrow Hospital nurse for four years, having spent the past year delivering exceptional care in Sparrow’s Medical Stepdown Unit.

“Catherine is a truly amazing nurse and demonstrates Sparrow’s ICARE values daily,” said Unit Manager Leslie Rush, BSN, RN, CMSRN.

“Catherine showed leadership and compassion towards her patient and that is what makes Sparrow nurses so great, said Sparrow Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Amy Brown, MSN, RN, NE-BC. “She didn’t ask permission to do the right thing for her patient, she just did it. What she did for her patient is one of the best things a nurse can do; she cared for the whole patient, ensuring not only his physical needs were met but also his emotional needs. Catherine is a wonderful asset to our nursing team.”

The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary, compassionate and skillful care given to nurses every day.

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Award is a national program created in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died in 1999 of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, or ITP, at age 33. His family was overwhelmed by the skillful and compassionate nurses who cared for him, and the DAISY Foundation and Award were created as an expression of their gratitude.

Velaquez received a certificate, a DAISY pin, a beautiful stone sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. The sculpture depicts the embracing relationship nurses have with their patients.

For more information about the DAISY award at Sparrow, go to

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