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Nurses Recognized During National Nurses Week

by | May 15, 2023 | In the News

ST. JOHNSBURY, VT (May 15, 2023) – Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) nurses Jan Oliver, RN, BSN, MSN, Megan Whitaker, RN, BSN and Pamela Sweet, BSN, CPST were each honored for their compassionate care and peer support with a DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses® during National Nurses Week, which ran from May 6 through May 12, 2023.

The DAISY award is part of The DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate care nurses provide their patients and their families every day. The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 from complications of the autoimmune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this award.

DAISY Award ceremonies include patients, colleagues and family members and are held on the units. Jan Oliver, whose ceremony was in the Women’s Wellness Center on Tuesday, May 9, has worked at NVRH for 47 years. She currently works as a nurse for the NVRH medical practices, and was nominated by fellow NVRH nurse, Marilee Tanner, RN.

“Jan is willing to jump in and cover in any of the specialty clinics,” Tanner wrote in her nomination. “She always offers help to the team and does so with a smile and helping hand. She is always happy, positive, outgoing and willing to help! Her years of experience are also an asset! Jan is amazing!”

Megan Whitaker, RN, BSN

Megan Whitaker, whose ceremony was held in the Courtyard Cafe on Wednesday, May 10, works per diem in the Emergency Department and serves as the NVRH Workforce Development Coordinator for Nursing Education. She was nominated by patient Katie Moritz.

“I was a mess in that ED room,” Moritz wrote. “Then Megan came in and everything changed. Her mood, her personality suddenly made me feel safe, grounded… She treated me like a person… it really made a difference in my care.”

Pamela Sweet’s ceremony was held on Saturday, May 13. Sweet works in the NVRH Birth Center. She was nominated by colleague Rachel Kenney, RN.

“A young first time mother arrived on our unit after minimal notice in active labor at 31 weeks of gestation,” Kenney wrote. “… as a rule, we do not deliver infants earlier than 34 weeks (at NVRH)… When the patient arrived, Pam remained calm and comforting to the patient who was understandably scared, providing her care quickly and thoroughly… The patient delivered within 25 minutes of arrival… Pam was able to obtain IV access, speak with the pediatrician, and initiate the transfer process in the background as well as assisting with delivery and stabilization of the newborn… Her skills were obvious and it is clear that she is passionate about the work that she does. As a coworker, I could not have had a better nurse by my side.”

From left to right: Birth Center Director Laura Emery, Nurse Supervisor Kelly Bormann, Birth Center nurse Rachel Kenney, Birth Center nurse Pamela Sweet, Birth Center LNA Kasey Putvain, VP of HR Betty Ann Gwatkin and Chief Nursing Officer Julie Schneckenburger.

NVRH Nursing Administration Project Coordinator Jillian Knight opened each ceremony with the background of The DAISY Foundation and The DAISY Award before turning it over to NVRH Chief Nursing Officer Julie Schneckenburger, who presented Oliver, Whitaker and Sweet with their certificates. They then received their Healer’s Touch sculptures, which are hand-carved from serpentine stone by artists in Zimbabwe and represent the bond between nurse and patient.

“NVRH is proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in The DAISY Award program,” Schneckenburger added. “Nurses are heroes every day. It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at NVRH. DAISY nomination forms and collection boxes can be found in units throughout the hospital and at all of our medical practices. Electronic nominations can also be completed by visiting