Top: DAISY Award Winner Jessica Anderson. Below: Pikeville Medical Center Chief Operating Officer Juanita Deskins, right, poses with DAISY award recipient Jessica Anderson (with flowers) and Jeremy and Melinda Goodson, who nominated Anderson for the award.
Medical Leader | Photo by AMANDA JO LAWSON

Anderson DAISY recipient

Amanda Jo Lawson

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) recently recognized its fourth DAISY Award winner, Jessica Anderson. The DAISY Award is a national initiative that recognizes extraordinary nurses for their work.


Chief Operating Officer Juanita Deskins presented Anderson with the DAISY Award to thank her for her contributions to PMC and their patients.


“Our nurses exemplify care and compassion day in and day out at PMC,” said Deskins. “The DAISY award is a way to give nurses the recognition they deserve for their hard work and contributions to our patients,” she added.


Anderson is a registered nurse who has worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 13 years. Anderson was selected from a group of nominees and was honored during a surprise ceremony at the hospital on Apr. 4 surrounded by her peers, nursing administrators and the Goodson family that nominated her for her outstanding efforts.


“I feel very humbled to have been nominated for this award. Working in the NICU has always been a true blessing to me,” said Anderson. “I have had the honor of taking care of so many tiny miracles over the last 13 years. Being able to be even a small part of some of the most important times in a patient’s life is an honor in itself.”


She was nominated for the award for the exceptional care she provided to an employees’ infant twins during their stay in PMC’s NICU. Her expertise, training and compassion helped save the life of one of the twins.


A nomination letter from Melinda Goodson read:


“I was admitted to Pikeville Medical Center on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 due to high-risk pregnancy complications, I was 35 weeks and five days gestation with twin girls, Averie and Maisie.


After multiple blood draws and tests, the decision was made on Thursday to proceed with an emergency C-section due to complications with my health that could cause serious health problems for, not only me, but the babies as well.


Both babies had lung complications post-delivery and were rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They required oxygen and had to have their blood drawn every few hours, along with other tests that preemies require.


On Friday, Jessica began her shift and was assigned my children as her patients. From the moment Jessica began caring for my children, she always ensured my husband, Jeremy, and I knew exactly what their status was and that we were always involved in the decisions concerning our children’s care - she ensured we knew everything she, and the rest of the NICU team, had to do to keep our children alive and to get them healthy.


Jessica would tell us the good, along with the bad, and even came to my room with the physician when Averie had to be placed on the vent, as she had been diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the neonate. She ensured we understood why this was happening along with any complications that could arise. We would visit or call the NICU every few hours, but in between our visits and calls; Jessica would call us with updates.


On Sunday, I was discharged from PMC, having no option, but to leave our children in the care of the NICU nurses and physician. Early Monday morning, before Jessica’s shift ended, she called us at home with an update informing us that Averie had a really bad night and her health was declining although they were doing everything they could.


After speaking with the physician, Jeremy and I made the decision to transport Averie to a Level 4 NICU, where there is special oxygen, known as nitric oxide, provided along with other resources for children as sick as she was. Maisie would stay at PMC to continue progressing with the treatment she was receiving. Once Averie arrived we were told multiple times by the staff that she arrived “just in time”, as they had made arrangements to place her on ECMO therapy, which is a life-saving treatment given to high-risk infants, upon her arrival. But, because we transported her when we did, she was able to begin the nitric oxide during her transport, and avoided the ECMO therapy.


We feel that without Jessica continuously updating us on Averie’s health and treating her as she would her own, there is a possibility that our child would not be here today.


Jessica is a caring, compassionate person, which is reflected in her nursing and the care she provides to the children who require the special care that only people like Jessica, and the rest of the NICU staff, give.


God blessed us to have Jessica be their nurse - Jessica saved our child’s life and we cannot thank her enough.”


The goal of The DAISY Award is to “ensure that nurses know how deserving they are of our society’s profound respect for education, training, brainpower and skill they put into their work, and especially for the caring with which they deliver care.”


The DAISY committee chose several exemplary submission to be named DAISY nominees. The DAISY nominees were Rachel Stevens (Recovery), Angela Rowe (Palliative Care), Jocelyn May (CTVU) and Amanda Whitt (Cardiac).


“I’m very proud to be part of the wonderful Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” said Assistant Vice President of Patient Services Jeanette Sexton. “The nurses save lives everyday and do it with honor. They are the definition of unsung heroes.”


To nominate a nurse for a DAISY Award online go to