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'Extraordinary' nurse recognized at SWMC

Submitted Photo Registered nurse Missy Gruis (second from left) is shown with her colleagues (from left), Lisa Dean, Rhonda Ferguson, Judy Alm and Pam Christoffer, following the presentation of the DAISY Award at Sanford Worthington Medical Center.

WORTHINGTON -- Missy Gruis, a home care nurse at Sanford Worthington Medical Center, had received work emails about Sanford's DAISY Award, which recognizes extraordinary efforts in nursing, and had perhaps given thought to nominating one of her co-workers, but she never thought she'd be on the receiving end of the honor.

So Gruis was "very surprised" when she received a certificate commending her for being an extraordinary nurse and a sculpture called "A Healer's Touch," handcrafted by artisans in the Shona tribe in Africa.

The DAISY Award is presented in collaboration with the American Organization of Nurse Executives and is part of the Daisy Foundation's program to recognize the "super human efforts nurses perform every day." Based in Glen Ellen, Calif., the DAISY Foundation was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died in 1999 at age 33 from complications of an auto-immune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses inspired this means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

Four times a year, a nurse is selected by Sanford Health Network to receive the DAISY Award.

"We are proud to be among the hospitals participating in the DAISY Award program," said SWMC Chief Nursing Officer Jennifer Weg. "Nurses are heroes every day. It's important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and the DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that."

Gruis, who lives in Adrian, received her licensed practical nursing degree from Northwest Iowa Community College, Sheldon, Iowa, and her registered nursing degree in 1992 from Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington campus. Her entire nursing career -- 25 years -- has been spent at the Worthington hospital, and for the past five years she has been a home care nurse.

"I like it. It's very interesting," said Gruis about the home-care field. "You get a lot of one-on-one time with patients and their families. We go out to see patients in their homes, and we monitor their medications, set up their medications, do wound care, IV therapy. Whatever they need to stay safe in their home, we provide for them."

The award nomination stemmed from a specific patient care situation, Gruis explained.

"Actually, the patient passed away, and it was his wife, who is still a patient, who nominated me," she said.

The DAISY certificate and sculpture are currently sitting on her desk at SWMC, Gruis said, but she plans to find a special place to display them in her home.

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Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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