Rebecca Overman, 2004 graduate of the Anderson University School of Nursing, received the DAISY Award at Riley Hospital for Children, a Clarian Health partner. The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is a nationwide program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassion provided by nurses.
The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes. It was established to keep Barnes spirit alive. He died at age 33 of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). During Barnes eight-week hospitalization, his family was mesmerized by the care and compassion his nurses provided not only to Barnes but to everyone in his family. This Foundation has two goals: to recognize extraordinary nurses everywhere who make enormous difference in the lives of patients’ daily and to fund research. [Rebecca Overman and family at her 2004 AU graduation.]
As of November 2009, 442 hospitals committed to honoring nurses with The DAISY Award. About 5,000 nurses have received it to date. This award varies from major urban teaching hospitals to small rural community hospitals and offers a recognition program that provides hospitals to help retain their excellent nursing staff.
Two families nominated Overman for the excellent care she provided. One family’s 5-year-old daughter Jennifer landed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Riley after a motor vehicle accident. She ended up with a spinal injury that left her without movement below her neck. Overman cared for Jennifer and her family for three months.
“I got to know the family really well,” said Overman. “What I love about my job the most is the relational aspect, being able to gain a family’s trust and then help educate them.”
Overman initially became a nurse because she wanted to care for others. She soon realized she wouldn’t just be caring for the patients. A lot of the time her patients are sedated and sometimes paralyzed and on a ventilator. “I’m providing physical care for the patients and emotional care to their families,” said Overman. She was recognized because of the great care she gave to families that needed her most.
During her time at AU, Overman loved the international involvement. Caring for patients in Honduras with the School of Nursing was a great opportunity her senior year. She loved being able to travel to a developing country and provide care for people who needed it the most. Throughout her time at AU Overman also traveled to Guatemala and Jamaica.
— Lydia Smith is a senior from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in peace and conflict transformation. Smith is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.