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WEST JEFFERSON MEDICAL CENTER NURSES TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR EXTRAORDINARY PATIENT CARE

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is a proud supporter of The DAISY Foundation’s The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national program to recognize nurses, at West Jefferson Medical Center.  

The DAISY Award at West Jefferson Medical Center will take place on September 25, 2009   at 11 a.m. at 1101 Medical Center Blvd., Marrero, LA 70072

UnitedHealthcare’s support brings total grant contributions to $70,000 to the DAISY Foundation since 2006.   West Jefferson Medical Center joins 45 other hospitals where The DAISY Award is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.  

The not‐for‐profit DAISY Foundation (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes.  Barnes died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little‐known but not uncommon autoimmune disease. The care Barnes and his family received inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families.

“When Patrick was ill, we were awed by the skill, care and compassion he – and we, his family – received,” said Bonnie Barnes, president and co‐founder of The DAISY Foundation.  “We created The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2001 to say thank you to nurses around the country, as we believe they are truly ‘unsung heroes.’  We thank UnitedHealthcare for helping us acknowledge the remarkable, superhuman work nurses do every day.”  

Each month, nurses in more than 400 participating hospitals across the United States are nominated by their colleagues and patients to receive The DAISY Award.  The honorees receive a certificate commending outstanding clinical care and a designation of being 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.”  The honorees are also given a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand‐carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

“UnitedHealthcare is proud to support The DAISY Foundation in recognizing talented nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty to provide exemplary care to their patients,” said Glen Golemi, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Gulf States Region.  “In spite of the current nationwide shortage, nurses are part of the foundation to help people stay well, get well or live with illness.  Through countless interactions each year with our members, they put our mission into action by improving the way health care works for people.”   

“We are honored to have the Daisy award for the recognition of our nurses in conjunction with United Health Care,” said Theresa Anderson, R.N., M.S., F.A.C.H.E., Chief Nursing Officer. “This recognition is a tribute to our nurses and the DAISY Foundation.”

According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, more than 70 percent of hospital CEOs report experiencing a nursing shortage at their facilities.  The American Hospital Association reports that 126,000 nurses are needed now to fill vacancies at hospitals nationwide.  Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2004, stated that more than 1 million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2012.

Barnes added, “When we created The DAISY Foundation, we could not have anticipated that our program would come to be regarded by some of the best hospitals in America as a strategic tool for nurse recruitment and retention – two key elements in managing the nursing shortage.”