MedWest honors three nurses with award for their outstanding work

From the press release:

Clyde, Sylva and Bryson City, N.C. – MedWest Health System and the American Organization of Nurse Executives have honored three MedWest registered nurses with The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses for their outstanding work.

Nurses Brittany Ellenburg, RN, of MedWest-Haywood in Clyde, Melanie Gibson, RN, of MedWest-Harris in Sylva, and Michelle Roland, RN, of MedWest-Swain in Bryson City each have been recognized with DAISY awards. These awards are part of the California-based DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the everyday extraordinary efforts nurses put forth in the caring of their patients.

Ellenburg has worked in the emergency department of MedWest-Haywood for nearly four years. She loves being a nurse, she said, because it gives her the opportunity to help people. “As a nurse, I’m able to be a healer, a teacher, a counselor, an advocate and a role model,” Ellenburg said.

A colleague in MedWest-Haywood’s security department nominated Ellenburg for her help with a situation in the emergency department that involved a family member who was being treated and an accompanying child. “Brittany showed honest concern for the child,” Ellenburg’s nominator wrote, “and I have no doubt that she made the girl’s day 100 percent better by her act of unparalleled kindness. I could never thank her enough for her compassion to a small child in an intense situation.”

Gibson has worked on the 3-East wing of MedWest-Harris for 14 years. She said her favorite thing about being a nurse is “educating people and teaching them how to take care of themselves and their family members.”

A patient who was cared for by Gibson for two nights nominated her for a DAISY Award. Of Gibson, the patient wrote: “Not only was she more than efficient and knowledgeable on the clinical side, she was extremely mentally and emotionally supportive. She took the extra time to talk with me, answer all my questions and at no point was too busy for me. She made me feel as if I was her top priority, smiled and made me feel completely at ease, as if she was taking care of family.”

Roland, a medical-surgical nurse at MedWest-Swain who has been with MedWest and its predecessor WestCare for 22 years, said, “the thing I enjoy most about nursing is being a patient advocate.”

A co-worker nominated Roland for a DAISY Award for the help Roland provided with drawing a patient’s blood one particularly busy Saturday. “She was willing to go the extra mile to help a co-worker out and had her patient’s best interest at heart,” the nominator wrote of Roland. “This shows that she is a true professional who demonstrates quality, respect and service to her patients and co-workers.”

MedWest Health System presents DAISY awards quarterly to three MedWest nurses. Nurses from MedWest-Harris, MedWest-Haywood, MedWest-Swain and MedWest’s office practices, urgent care facilities and other outpatient facilities are all eligible for nomination for the awards.

All MedWest employees, physicians, patients, patients’ families and visitors are encouraged to submit nominations based on their own experiences with extraordinary nurses in the MedWest Health System. To nominate an extraordinary nurse, contact Tiffany Brackett at or (828) 452-8461. Nomination forms also are available at

The nonprofit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died at the age of 33 in 1999 from complications of the autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The care Barnes 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 patient families. For more information, visit

MedWest Health System provides healthcare for the people of western North Carolina at MedWest-Harris, MedWest-Haywood and MedWest-Swain hospitals, the outpatient facility MedWest-Franklin, and through the 100-member MedWest Physician Network. MedWest is affiliated with Carolinas HealthCare System.


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