Open Accessibility Menu

Outpatient Infusion Nurses at Salinas Valley Health Receive DAISY Award

Outpatient Infusion Nurses at Salinas Valley Health Receive DAISY Award

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

SALINAS, CA, December 18, 2018- Members of the Outpatient Infusion team are the December recipients of the DAISY Award at Salinas Valley Health. Salinas Valley Health participates in the national DAISY Award program, which celebrates compassionate and skillful nursing care. The individuals being honored are Marilyn Barriger, RN, Mary Ann Artuz, RN, Tracey L’Hommedieu, RN, OCN, CRNI, Leslie Souza, RN, Elizabeth Baxter, RN, Teresa Salah, RN, BSN, OCN, Melissa Ortiz, RN, Elena Hermosillo, RN, Kelly Daun, RN, Michelle Roberts-Reyes, RN, and Glorinda Pastorius, RN, MSN, CCRN. For some, the passion they bring to their clinical position is deeply personal.

“My son Carson is the reason I went into nursing,” says Leslie Souza, RN. “From birth he has required blood transfusions every 2 to 3 weeks. I became a nurse the year he turned 5. Fast forward 15 years and I’m now an infusion nurse working in the department where he gets his transfusions. I love my patients and treat them like family.”

The DAISY Award is most often given to an individual however the Outpatient Infusion team is a close knit group with a collective and compassionate approach to patient care. The DAISY Award nomination specifically recognized the team’s efforts to make patients feel comfortable and also help celebrate milestones. One Infusion Department tradition is surprising the patient on their last day of chemotherapy with a cupcake, a handmade crown and a sign that reads: Last Chemo, I am awesome! The patient receives a group photo of the celebration.

“It’s very emotional,” says Tracey L’Hommedieu, RN. “The patients come at the beginning of their journey and they’re crying, they feel worried they can’t make it through. They’re worried they will lose their hair and when they’re done, they’re crying because they made it through chemotherapy treatment. We become very close to our patients.”

“The Outpatient Infusion Team is remarkable,” says Christie Gonder, RN, Chief Nursing Officer. “These nurses have proven success in navigating a complex clinical environment. Their nursing practice is of utmost importance to protect this vulnerable patient population who are receiving medications with potentially serious side effects and health risks. I commend this group of nurses who demonstrate professional nursing practice, consistently displays a high level of emotional intelligence, critical thinking and technical skills.”

The publicly elected Board of Directors will recognize the Outpatient Infusion team at the December board meeting. Every month, Salinas Valley Health recognizes an outstanding employee with a DAISY Award (for nurses) or a STAR Award (for all staff). Nominations can be submitted by patients, visitors and staff. Nomination forms and drop boxes are located throughout the hospital. To learn more about the awards visit Nurse Recognition | Salinas Valley Health or STAR Award | Monterey County Health System (

Photo: back row left to right: Donna Hughes, RN, Tracey L’Hommedieu, RN, Mary Ann Artuz, RN, Leslie Souza, RN, Elizabeth Baxter, RN, Michelle Roberts-Reyes, RN, Glorinda Pastorius, RN. Front row left to right: Kelly Daun, RN, Teresa Salah, RN and Elena Hermosillo, RN.

Sign Up For Our E-Newsletter

We are providing our community with health and wellness information. If you would like to receive these e-newsletters, sign up below.