Connecticut Children’s DAISY Award Winners

Patients and families can nominate a Connecticut Children’s nurse for The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Learn more about our recent winners here!

Mandi Boisvert, MSN, RN

Daisy Award Mandi

Mandi was nominated by Kerry Varney, BSN, RN, CPEN for the Daisy Award.

“Mandi made a huge difference in the life of her patient and their family! The family of a 2-year-old had arrived for a complaint of abdominal pain after a fall a few days prior. All testing was negative and the patient was ordered for discharge. Mandi, an experienced, dedicated, compassionate nurse just knew something wasn’t right. She trusted her ‘gut feeling.’ Trusting yourself and intuition is an integral part of excellent nursing care. And in this case actually saved the patient’s life! Mandi noted the patient was having periods of increased work of breathing and decreased alertness. Mandi is a terrific advocate for her patients.”

Lora Rizy, BSN, RN, CPN

Daisy Award Lora

Congratulations to Lora Rizy, who helped make a stressful family’s stay a little easier.

“My daughter of 11 weeks was unexpectedly admitted to Connecticut Children’s and Lora was our nurse. She went above and beyond to make our stay as comfortable as possible. She thoroughly explained all the tests my daughter went through in a manner we would understand. At one point my husband had to leave so Lora offered to sit with our daughter so I can could get something to eat since I was so nervous about leaving her. Had she not done that I probably would not have eaten. She was so kind and compassionate and a true definition of a nurse.”

Sherry Scagnelli, BSN, RN

Daisy Award Sherry

Sherry was nominated by Donna Sevas, BSN, RN, CPN for the Daisy Award.

“Sherry is an amazing nurse who never looks or expects praise, but always goes above and beyond. She can turn a negative situation into a positive one, she easily talks and listens to patients and forms bonds with them especially with patients who boarded in the PACU during the winter – she made families understand the rationale and the benefits of boarding in the PACU. She gives families individual attention, makes them feel comfortable in the environment in a manner that is calming an positive. Sherry always knows the right thing to say – I saw this first hand over and over during some of the busiest of times. She can cross cover to multiple areas and does so without complaints – she is a wonderful bedside nurse, triage RN, educator and preceptor – she always remains calm and thinking each decision through until completion.”

Diane Cabral

Daisy Ward Diane

Congratulations to Diane Cabral! The nominating family praised Diane for not being “just” a nurse, but become a member of the family and a friend. Read the excerpt below.

“Diane was the first nurse that I had when I was first admitted to CCMC, and she was my last nurse on my last hospital visit to CCMC. Diane has become much more than just a nurse to me, she has become not only a friend, but a member of my family. I remember her helping me in some of my worst times. She always kept my family and I in the loop about what was happening, and never did anything without telling me and my parents what was happening. I never felt nervous about the medical procedure that I was having done when Diane was there.

When I got my g-tube after chemotherapy and radiation, Diane was the first person there to explain to me how to use it. Working with Diane never felt like working with some other nurses on the 8th floor. Some nurses do their job and help kids get better, and some nurses, especially Diane, go above and beyond. She became a friend while I was sick, and think that she deserves this award for her amazing care of me and all the other kids on the 8th floor.”

Rachel Mariani, RN, BSN

Daisy Award Rachel

Congratulations to Rachel Mariani! The nominating family praised Rachel’s poise and her ability to put the family at ease. Take a look at the excerpt below.

“My son had a trying stay while we were at the hospital. Every time she came on shift she was up-to-speed on what had transpired during the day. She was able to not only answer the questions my wife and I had about our son’s care but keep us calm as our initial 2 day stay turned into many more. She not only watched out for our son but my wife and I telling us it was OK to get some sleep.

Every time I drifted off in the rocking chair I would wake up and she would be there by the crib checking on our son.Without her there and her ability to build trust and a relationship with my family, it would have been a different experience. She is a true asset to the children’s team. Her calm, poise and knowledge truly made a difference for our family.”

Christine Baldi

Daisy Award Christine

Congratulations to Christine Baldi! The nominating family praised Christine’s ability to provide empathetic, efficient care. Take a look at the excerpt below.

“The doctors and nurses were all terrific and caring professionals, but one particularly stood out: Ms. Christine Baldi. Whenever she came into the room, with her radiant smile, calm effectiveness, and loving handling of the infant, we felt reassured, knew the precious baby was in excellent hands, and hoped that all would turn out well. Christine’s evident compassion, love for the little being in her care, and understanding of our anguish was invaluable at this difficult time. She would explain everything in laymen’s terms, answer all our questions, and speak gently to the little patient. She would talk with us and always appeared to have enough time, although she had many other charges. Christine seemed to wish us to be educated about our grandaughter’s condition and reassured that, although she might face some difficulties, she would be all right. Christine was the bright spot in some very dark times.”

Nathalie Mascolo

Daisy Award Nathalie

Congratulations to nurse Nathalie Mascolo! Her nominating colleague praised Nathalie’s willingness to go above and beyond to ensure the safety of her patients. Take a look at the excerpt below.

“Nathalie goes above and beyond in all areas of care on a daily basis. She is uplifting, truly cares for her patients and families and is an absolute joy to work with. She always demonstrates a questioning attitude which has raised and prevented numerous safety issues. Nathalie has ‘stopped the line’ on a few occasions which has ultimately led to prevention of errors. I remember one day she questioned a child’s weight that seemed to ‘not fit.’ Come to find out…the weight had been written in pounds on the H&P form the PCP instead of Kilograms and was transcribed incorrectly by the pre-op provider. She then went out of her way to educate others on the error so everyone could have heightened awareness of the potential issue. This is the type of attention to detail that saves errors from happening and the educating prevents it from happening again.”

Kandice Nelson, BSN, RN

Daisy Award Kandice

Congratulations to nurse Kandice Nelson! The nominating family took note of Kandice’s willingness to go above and beyond to make sure her patients are comfortable. Take a look at the excerpt below.

“Kandice is a ‘take charge’ nurse who is exteremely friendly, compassionate and efficient when she goes about her duties. She always make certain that [my son] Josh is well taken care of. Her efficiency in drawing blood and connecting IV fluids is unmatched…Because Kandice is extremely good at her job she often has other nurses in training following her…Kandice always jokes with Josh and the rest of us. She makes us feel like a member of her family. When there are donated gifts to be given out (to patients), she always selects age appropriate ones (and has even set aside select ones when she knows Josh will be coming in)…Prior to moving up to the 8th flooor, Kandice calls ahead to attempt to reserve a room that she knows Josh and his family (and friends) will like…Also, because she knows that Josh doesn’t like looking at the various IV fluids she always places a colorful covering (usually with superhero symbols or cartoon characters) over the IV bag…Hopefully, after reading the foregoing paragraphs, you too will agree that Kandice is a special nurse deserving the Daisy Award.”

Edie Black

Daisy Award Edie

Congratulations to nurse Edie Black! Edie was nominated by the Connecticut Children’s PICU Patient/Family Workforce Group. Here’s what the group had to say:

“Edie is not only a remarkable nurse, but she has the ability to maintain a calm, caring presence in even the most strenuous situations. Recently, a family was transported via Lifestar with their 2 month old. The parents were appropriately distraught and watched from the hall as their babies room filled with medical staff. Throughout this admission, Edie was completely attentive to the medical needs of this critically ill baby, while continuously updating and including the parents.

After their baby was settled, Edie again explained what the team had just done and what to expect in the ICU, while offering the parents empathy and support. A week later, the parents were still praising Edie’s ability to reassure them both medically and emotionally.  Edie has a natural ability to reassure families, not only in her nursing skills, but her genuine approach and bedside manner.  She always takes the extra time to listen to families and truly does her job with grace and compassion.”

Nicole Mendelson

Daisy Award Nicole

Congratulations to nurse Nicole Mendelson! The nominating family took note of Nicole’s positivity and compassion, calling her a friend and an important part of Chelsea’s successful recovery. Take a look at an excerpt below:

“Every time Nikki came into the room, she brought positive energy and conducted her nurse routines with a smile on her face, which helped immensely in building Chelsea’s morale.

Every hour or so, Nikki was in the room, assisting Chelsea in gaining her leg strength back and begin to learn to walk again – proving to be a vital component to a successful recovery. This was extremely tough for Chelsea as she often wept during this process, but Nikki was able to keep a positive attitude every step of the way. She even wrote positive daily mottos on the room board such as ‘You can do it’ and ‘Birthday week!’

I hope you consider Nicole Mendelson for the prestigious Daisy Award. She truly made a huge difference in Chelsea’s hospitalization and recovery. We are so thankful for the wonderful nursing care she provided.”

Melissa Goddard

Daisy Award Melissa

Congratulations to nurse Melissa Goddard. The nominating family took note of Melissa’s warmth and compassion and readiness to always go above and beyond the call of duty. Take a look at a excerpt below.

“While Melissa knows it is important for Kiley to feel comfortable with other nurses and encourages those relationships as well, she has gone out of her way to make difficult times easier for Kiley by doing things such as coming in to the clinic early so she can be the one to access her, meeting us down in the Emergency Department to help Kiley feel less anxious, and coming up to the 8th floor while Kiley is inpatient to help facilitate the process by communicating what has worked and not worked for Kiley in the past. She truly is a gift, and we can’t think of a better nurse to nominate for The DAISY Award as she clearly goes above the criteria described.

We know Connecticut Children’s has many wonderful nurses, but we feel very lucky to have Melissa as the primary nurse on Kiley’s team.”

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