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Codie Brown, RN, Receives Alice Hyde’s Inaugural DAISY Award

Registered Nurse CodieBrown is the recipient of UVM Health Network — Alice Hyde Medical Center’s inaugural DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, after being nominated by the mother of a young child who received care in the hospital’s Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU) earlier this year, after being rushed to the hospital due to difficulty breathing.

Brown received the award Tuesday morning, during a surprise ceremony on the hospital’s Medical-Surgical Unit, where he currently serves as a charge nurse. Rebecca Shutts, Alice Hyde’s Chief Nursing Officer, called the care he provided to a 2-year-old patient and her family a perfect example of what the DAISY Award seeks to celebrate.

“Any parent of a young child can tell you how stressful a hospital stay can be,” said Shutts. “Codie's compassion during what was a very frightening time for this patient and her parents made a tremendous impact on their family, and we are thrilled to present him with Alice Hyde’s first-ever DAISY Award.”

Brown, who said after the ceremony that he was surprised by the ceremony, called caring for the patient “a privilege.”

“I definitely remember her, and it was a privilege to care for Piper while she was at Alice Hyde,” he said. “The little things aren’t necessarily hard to do, but you can see how big an impact it makes on patients and their family. I’m just honored by all of this. It was totally unexpected.”

Going Above and Beyond to Care for a Young IMCU Patient

Being admitted to the hospital can create anxiety for any patient, regardless of their age. For the youngest patients and their families, however, a trip to the emergency room or an overnight stay on an inpatient unit comes with added complexity – especially when the patient is so young that they often struggle to communicate with their loved ones and care team.

Keeping a young patient calm and providing compassionate care to both the child and her family is what prompted Kara Leonard to nominate Registered Nurse CodieBrown for Alice Hyde’s first-ever DAISY Award.

Alice Hyde’s emergency department (ED) is where Kara’s husband, Mike, and her two-year-old daughter, Piper, found themselves on the night of Valentine’s Day 2022. Piper, a spunky child who had recovered from COVID-19 the previous month, had come down with a high fever and was struggling to breath when Mike rushed her to Alice Hyde’s ED.

“It was just a very stressful situation,” said Kara, who was pregnant with the couple’s second child at the time. “It’s scary for Piper, because she’s two; she’s very sick; we’re getting ready for another baby … It was just nerve-wracking and stressful.”

Kara, a billing specialist and insurance coordinator at Alice Hyde Dental Clinic, said that Piper’s condition was serious enough that she was placed on supplemental oxygen when they arrived at the ED. As Piper’s care team searched for an open bed in pediatric care units around the region, Kara arrived at Alice Hyde determined to spend the night with Piper in Alice Hyde’s ED.

For Kara, the experience was stressful. But she said her familiarity with members of the care team and the fact that the hospital had cared for Piper as an infant— Piper had spent eight days at Alice Hyde, due to an infection that caused breathing problems — gave her comfort.

“It was comforting to be here and around people that we knew,” said Kara.

The next morning, with no available beds in dedicated pediatric care facilities, Piper was admitted to Alice Hyde’s Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU), where she first met Codie Brown, RN. As Piper’s treatment continued – she required multiple IVs in addition to oxygen, and would remain in Alice Hyde’s IMCU for four days — Kara said Codie quickly emerged as someone who could bring a smile to her daughter’s face.

“He was just very good with her,” said Kara. “Codie took the time to interact and talk with her, and it was amazing to see how they connected. I think it’s hard for people to understand how big a job it is to keep a young child calm and entertained in that situation. When they’re two, they don’t want to sit still with an oxygen meter on one foot and an IV in the other.”

By Piper’s third day in the IMCU, Kara said, Codiehad created a balloon for her to play with using a surgical glove, and continue to find ways to keep the restless 2-year-old, who would eventually be discharged the following day, calm and comfortable.”

“My husband, Mike, and I both know Codie, and we trust him. Seeing him walk through the door of Piper’s room that first day made us feel so much better, even during what was a really, really anxious time for our family,” said Kara.

How to Nominate a Nurse

Alice Hyde launched the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2022 as a way to recognize and reward licensed nurses for making a meaningful difference in the lives of their patients. Nomination forms are located in each of the hospital’s clinical offices and on the Alice Hyde website. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. A committee reviews nominations and one DAISY Award is given quarterly to a deserving nurse.

The Award of part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate care licensed nurses provide to patients and families each day. The DAISY Foundation is a national, not-for-profit organization established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by members of his family. Patrick died in 1999, at the age of 33, 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 patients’ families. More information is available on the DAISY Foundation website.