First DAISY Honoree for 2021 DAISY Announced

Gilliam.SharonAs part of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses® program, Southern Regional Medical Center took time today to honor and recognize another incredible nurse as the first DAISY Award recipient of 2021. The award is based on the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate care that nurses provide patients and families every day.

The hospital’s 1st Quarter, 2021 DAISY Award recipient is Sharon Gilliam, RN, an outstanding nurse on the hospital’s Medical-Surgical Unit. For nearly 16 years, Sharon has dedicated her career to caring for others in hospice care, trauma care, and medical-surgical patient care. She joined the Southern Regional Medical-Surgical team in the summer of 2016 and has made an impact on her patients every day since arriving. Sharon was selected as the DAISY Award recipient for not only her dedication to patient care, but to their understanding and education of the care she provides. She was nominated for the award by a patient under her care on the unit. The patient stated:

“From the time she knocked on the door to introduce herself, she immediately made it all about me – my needs, my feelings, my health. She was the first to tell me exactly what every test was for, what every pill she gave me was and it helped, and what she put into my IV. She explained it all! I appreciate having someone like her take care of me. If I had to come back, I would definitely ask if she could be my nurse. My health meant a lot more to her than I could imagine, so I want to thank her and the staff for being AWESOME.”

Southern Regional recognizes all the 1st quarter DAISY nominees: Kerri Fort Lee, RN; Sharon Gilliam, RN; and Ashley Turner, RN.

“We are truly proud of our dedicated nurses at Southern Regional and are pleased to be honor them as a participant of The DAISY Award program,” states Southern Regional’s Chief Nursing Officer Dawn Alexander, MBA, MHA, RN. Adding, “Our nurses, like Sharon, are the everyday heroes who care for our patients and The DAISY Foundation provides us a special way to honor them for all they do.”

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick 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 Patrick 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.

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues, and recipients are chosen by a committee at Southern Regional. Awards are presented quarterly with a celebration attended by the honoree’s colleagues and family, all social distancing appropriately. Each Honoree receives a certificate commending her or him as 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.” Honorees also receive a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation stated, “When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do. The kind of work the nurses at Southern Regional Medical Center are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 3,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and for nurses participating in medical missions. For more information go to:

Southern Regional Medical Center has served the southern crescent of Atlanta since April 1971 as a small, community hospital. Today, Southern Regional is a licensed 331-bed hospital in Riverdale and operates the Spivey Station Advanced Diagnostic Center and Women’s Imaging Center in Jonesboro. Southern Regional is owned by Prime Healthcare, an award-winning health system that owns and operates 46 hospitals in 14 states. The hospital is one of 15 not-for-profit members of the Prime Healthcare Foundation.