Published on November 17, 2010

Baptist Memphis Recognizes Nurses Who Perform Above and Beyond Expectations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Kayce Thompson, a nurse working in the emergency department at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, and Penny Pence Kershner, a nurse working in the transplant unit, recently received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, which is given in appreciation of the work nurses do.

Thompson was recognized by a patient for her care during his hospital stay over a holiday weekend.

"I am blessed to have met (Kayce)," wrote the patient.  "Kayce came into my room with an attitude that 'we' are going to get you better. 'We' meant a team effort, and that is what I got."

Kershner was recognized for her help outside the hospital. She saw a man in need of care and stopped to help him and his wife. The man fell ill while on a walk with his wife, and Kershner turned off the street to assist them.

"We really appreciate Penny's caring attitude and felt she went above and beyond to help a stranger," wrote the victim's wife.

Nursing administrators at Baptist Memphis 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.

"I am very pleased that Kayce and Penny were recognized for their quality patient care," said Dana Dye, chief nursing officer at Baptist Memphis. "We are grateful to have nurses this caring and considerate on our team."

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 Thompson's and Kershner's units received Cinnabon 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.

The Baptist Memphis campus includes the 706-bed hospital that is the flagship of the Baptist Memorial Health Care system. It serves as a major referral center for patients from across the Mid-South and offers many diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services. The hospital has added hundreds of beds in the past few years, with the opening of a new patient tower and the Baptist Heart Institute. Consumers have rated Baptist Memphis their most preferred hospital for overall health care services in an independent National Research Corp. poll for the past 15 years in a row, and according to HealthGrades®, Baptist Memphis is in the top 5 percent nationally for emergency medicine and cardiac surgery and in the top 10 percent in the nation for overall cardiac services, cardiac surgery, stroke treatment, pulmonary services, prostatectomy, GI medical treatment and critical care. For more information on Baptist Memphis, please call 901-226-5000 or visit


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