Skip to Content


VA Northern California health care is proud to be a DAISY award partner, recognizing our selected nurses with this special honor each quarter.


The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary compassionate and skillful care given by nurses every day. These nurses' clinical skills and especially compassionate care exemplify the kind of nurse that patients, their families, and other staff recognize as an outstanding role model. They consistently demonstrate the Department of Veterans Affairs core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence (ICARE).

What is the DAISY Foundation?

In 1999, at the age of 33, Patrick Barnes was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia). His family was fortunate to spend the eight weeks of Patrick’s hospitalization with him. During those weeks, they experienced the best of nursing. While they expected great clinical care, they did not expect the incredible kindness and compassion shown to Patrick and them every day, even when Pat was completely sedated. It eased their minds, and the nurses' sensitivity to the situation made a great difference in the hospital experience. The nurses helped the family through the darkest hours of their lives with soft voices of comfort and strong, loving hugs.
After Pat died, the Barnes family knew they wanted to honor him, to somehow turn their grief into something that would help fill the giant hole in their hearts that Patrick’s passing had left. The family kept coming back to conversations about his nurses, and that’s when they decided to say “Thank You” for the gifts nurses give their patients and families every day, just as they had experienced.

Pat’s wife, Tena, developed the acronym DAISY, which stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. Paperwork was filed to become a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and The DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nurses began at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at the University of Washington Medical Center, where Patrick had been a patient. It was the first program of its kind to give patients, families, and co-workers a way to express their gratitude to nurses for what they became nurses to do - provide compassionate care to patients and their families. Since then, The DAISY Award has become a strategic tool for nurse recruitment, retention, and resilience that has been adopted by thousands of healthcare organizations and schools of nursing in the U.S. and around the world.

Nominate an extraordinary Northern California VA nurse here.


Congratulations to NCHCS Quarterly DAISY Award Winners!

DAISY Award recognitions honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve, and throughout their careers – from Nursing Student through Lifetime Achievement in Nursing.

2023 Quarter 2 DAISY Winners:

Ms. Caren Cline received the Daisy Award in September 2023.

Caren Cline - RN

Ms. Caren Cline received the Daisy Award in September 2023 and was presented with the award on 11/1/23 at her Retirement party. It was a bitter sweet celebration that included nurses on facetime and coworkers who came out to celebrate which capped off 10 years of nursing at the VA and 27 years of nursing as a career.  Ms. Caren Cline was nominated by a patient who received her prenatal care through the VA maternity coordination program and was extremely impressed and happy with the care received and has since had a healthy baby. 

A few people wearing masks and holding a plaque

Zachery Bohn - RN

Works in Mather Emergency Department

A person wearing a hat

Hydee Meneses - RN

Works in Community Care in Mare Island

Person smiling holding an award

Maraline Pierson - RN

Works in Mather Emergency Department

A person and person holding a trophy

Marissa Yamauchi - RN

Works in Mather Emergency Department


2023 Quarter 3 DAISY Winners:

A person holding an award

Lori Hestand   RN

Lori  is a case manager for HBPC and goes above and beyond to introduce whole health to patients and staff. She is dedicated on utilizing the 4M’s model to provide patient centered care and what matters most to patients. She is compassionate on assisting patients to achieve their health care goals.  

Words Expressed from HBPC Patients: 
“Goes above and beyond to answer questions when I call, and I call a lot. She assures me of what is right.” 
“Lori is always organized and you can tell she is proud of what she does.” 
“Always courteous, compassionate, and willing to help me with my condition. She always answers my questions and concerns.”
“Lori can explain complicated issues in a way that is easy for me to understand.”  

A person holding a green bag

Michelle Angela - LVN

Works in Chico MH Nursing 
per Linda Garcia NM, “Michelle is an outstanding nurse!”


2023 Quarter 4 DAISY Winners

Two men holding awards

Eric Matchko - RN

Works in HBPC in Redding

A nurse indoors accepting an award

Helen Moon - RN

When speaking of a RN that is committed to the Veterans; My example is Ms. Helen Moon. Ms. Moon has dedicated her service and skills to developing pathways of care, guidelines and processes that allows fellow nurses to continue to provide superior care to our Veterans. Over the years Ms. Moon has served our Veterans in carving out relationships that enhances Veterans compliance and participation in their health Care. Above and beyond her service to her veterans, Ms. Moon has trained multiple staff members across the VISN on her model of organization and management of the Allergy clinic. Her Motivation, Dedication, and commitment to putting the Veteran first, has led to a clinic of High achieving, and dedicated Veterans to their care goals and disease management. I am honored to have her as a key member of my team. 
Humbly submitted Kathy Ann Baptiste-Jones ANM Medical Specialty and Referral Coordination Initiative


Nurse holding an award in front of a green background.

Melissa Vazquez - Home Care RN Case Manager

Nomination from a Veteran’s wife: 
Melissa consistently shows compassion and patience to my husband. As family, we totally appreciate the quality of care she provides to my husband. She is very though in providing information relating to my husband’s care and medications. She personifies and upholds everything in the VA Mission and Vision. She went above and beyond visiting my husband and getting involved with his care when my husband was confined at the ICU, DGMC. Melissa has strong communication skills that make it easy for us to effectively communicate our questions and concerns to my husband’s doctors and other staff. Melissa is compassionate, empathetic, caring, trustworthy. She’ll make you feel comfortable to talk about your feelings without worrying that she’ll share it with just anyone. She demonstrated her care and concern when my husband was confined at the ICU. She stepped in and got involved with the discussion on further care for my husband with other medical staff at DGMC.


Congratulations to NCHCS First Quarter DAISY Award Winners!

Surgery nurse practitioners holding up a green banner congratulating them on winning a Daisy award.

Annie Marie Skradski NP and Sandip Kaur NP with Dr. Velez

“We are so proud of these two surgery NPs who exemplify the team’s values of delivering the highest quality of patient centered care. Their excellent treatment of patients led them to nominate them for a well-deserved award for their exemplary performance of nursing values.”

                                                                                                                                                -Dr. Velez

RN Lenora Hernandez holding yellow daisy's after winning a Daisy award.

Lenora Hernandez RN

DAISY Award recognitions honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve, and throughout their careers – from Nursing Student through Lifetime Achievement in Nursing.