Baptist DeSoto Recognizes Nurse Who Performs Above and Beyond Expectations

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto recently recognized Kenneth Hawkins, a registered nurse in the medical surgical unit, with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, which is given in appreciation of the work nurses do.

Hawkins was nominated by a family member who admired the care he gave her husband. The nominator said her entire family found Hawkins to be concerned, personable and very knowledgeable.

“Kenneth is the type of hero we are honored to have on our team,” said Mary Townsend-Gervis, chief nursing officer at Baptist DeSoto. “His endless desire to improve quality care for all his patients and his undying loyalty to Baptist are what make him a true asset.”

Each month, Baptist DeSoto’s nursing administrators accept nominations and select a nurse to receive the DAISY Award. At a presentation in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients and visitors, the honoree receives a certificate and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

“Kenneth’s visits to our room were always uplifting, and he could always bring a smile to my husband’s face, in spite of his painful condition,” said his nominator. “We invited him to our home whenever he is nearby, which is something we have never done before.”

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, an auto-immune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill led to the creation of the DAISY Award. All the nurses in Hawkins’ unit received cinnamon rolls because while Barnes was in the hospital, he once asked his family to bring enough cinnamon rolls for him and all the nurses in his unit.

Baptist DeSoto is a 339-bed hospital that offers diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services. In November 2006, Baptist DeSoto opened a new, 11-story tower, featuring all-private rooms, expanded operating suites and a new emergency room. In 2010, Baptist DeSoto received the Hospital of the Year award (100 beds or more) from the Mississippi Nurses Association. The hospital offers open-heart surgery and a number of other cardiovascular services, and the emergency department’s heart attack response rate is, on average, 30 minutes faster than the national benchmark. Baptist DeSoto’s inpatient rehabilitation program ranked in the top 1 percent in the nation for quality in a report based on 2009 performance outcomes. In 2010, the hospital’s Women’s Center became the first breast imaging facility in DeSoto County to offer digital mammography.

For more information about Baptist DeSoto, please call 662-772-4000 or visit


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