Published on December 14, 2010

Baptist DeSoto Recognizes Nurse Who Performs Above and Beyond Expectations

SOUTHAVEN, Miss.– Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto recently recognized Cole Smith, 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.

Smith was nominated by a family member of a patient and another patient who were grateful for the care she provided and her warm spirit.

“Cole is someone who always goes above and beyond for everyone around her,” said Mary Townsend-Gervis, chief nursing officer at Baptist DeSoto. “Her passion to help and serve others exemplifies Baptist’s mission, and we are grateful to have her on our team.”

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.

“Cole was always professional, friendly and enthusiastic,” said one nominator. “She helped me maintain dignity at a low point in my life. Thank you to her a thousand times.”

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 Smiths 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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