Published on February 14, 2011

Baptist DeSoto Recognizes Nurse Who Performs Above and Beyond Expectations

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto recently recognized Cheryl Gentry, 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.

Gentry was nominated by a patient and her daughter who appreciated the concern and compassion she exhibited.

"Cheryl always gives her all in everything she does and I am so proud of her," said Mary Townsend-Gervis, chief nursing officer at Baptist DeSoto. "She is a true inspiration to everyone she encounters and always puts the care of others before herself."

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.

"Cheryl was made to be a nurse," said one nominator. "She truly is an angel of mercy and an asset to this hospital. She went above and beyond her duty and made my mom feel comfortable while she was in the hospital."

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 Gentry's 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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