ERMC nurse receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Karen Cole, RN at the beginning of her career and accepting the DAISY Award last week.
Karen Cole, RN at the beginning of her career and accepting the DAISY Award last week.

Karen Cole, registered nurse (RN) at Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC), was presented with the DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. Cole is retiring after 42 years of service to the hospital and 49 years in the field. She is the second nurse in ERMC history to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award was created to recognize nurses who have devoted their lives to the compassionate care of others. Recipients of this award are nominated for their dedication to nursing through active mentoring, role modeling, advocating for their patients, and promoting the positive image of nursing. They serve as a beacon of inspiration at all stages of their career.

“Karen has been revered by her coworkers as the ultimate patient advocate,” shared ERMC Executive Director of Clinical Services Angela Ackley, MSN, RN. “No matter what kind of day Karen was having, the patients always received excellent care!”

Barbara Parrott, RN Clinical Educator and Infection Preventionist at Eaton Rapids Medical Center estimated that Cole has cared for a minimum of 18,900 patients during the past 42 years.

“What the numbers don’t reflect are the moments of joy, the hands that were held, hugs delivered, and the tears that were shared,” remarked Parrott. “Karen, know that you have made a difference in the lives of those you have mentored, those you have worked with, have cared for and this community—and for that we can’t thank you enough!”

The DAISY Foundation was formed in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died of complications of the auto-immune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) at the age of 33. This prompted the name of the organization, which is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. During the time Pat was in the hospital, his family was amazed by not only the clinical skill nurses brought to his condition, but by the way they delivered his care. When he died, the family wanted to say thank you to nurses everywhere for what they do for patients and families each day, and they are reaching that goal through the DAISY Foundation.

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