Lutheran Health Network Highlights Dedication and Compassion from Recent DAISY Award Recipients

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Sept. 2, 2020) Lutheran Health Network recognizes extraordinary nurses from across the network with The DAISY Award. This international recognition program was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by members of his family. In late 1999, Patrick died at the age of 33 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon autoimmune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique way of thanking those professionals for making a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families.

Patients, families and colleagues are able to nominate nurses from any LHN hospital, urgent care clinic or Lutheran Health Physicians office for The DAISY Award. Recipients of this honor will receive an “Extraordinary Nurse” commendation, a DAISY Award pin and a hand-carved sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” created by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

LHN is excited to highlight the stories of dedication and hard work our recent DAISY Award recipients have demonstrated:

Natalie Miller, RN, BSN 

Dupont Hospital 

“My husband and I came to Dupont on the evening of February 16 for a scheduled induction and delivered our son on February 18 with Natalie serving as our nurse for both nights. The labor was approximately 30 hours, and was very grueling. She was so caring and compassionate. I realize that she was doing her job, and it is difficult to articulate how impactful her actions were in our delivery. For the second night I had an epidural, and Natalie was by my side the entire night it seemed with encouraging words. There were numerous more intense situations that occurred during that second night, nevertheless, my husband and I can’t thank Natalie enough for her dedication to our family - I don’t even think she took a break that entire night! We have a healthy and happy son, and I couldn’t be happier with our experience at Dupont Hospital.”


Wendy Demmick, RN

Kosciusko Community Hospital 

“Wendy is an excellent nurse. Her passion is exhibited through her dedication whether she is at work, on her day off of work or on the weekend. Her knowledgeable as a nurse is refreshing to see as she is someone who is able to work the floors, ICU, PAR and OPC. She does all of this while also going back to school to further her education. She has this immediate willingness to work flexed hours and positions for whatever the patients, families or hospital needs. What is most noticed about Wendy is she always has a smile on her face and a kind word for all. She can multitask and get the job done to the highest quality but also makes patients feel like they are her only concern. When she floats, she embraces every task with gusto and finesse – someone I would want to be caring for me and my family. She embodies the great qualities of trust, compassion, kindness and a ‘get the job done’ attitude. I am so proud she chose to help out in my department, but even more proud she chose to serve the hospital in so many capacities. We are so lucky to have her on staff, but our patients are even more blessed to have her as their trusted and competent nurse. Thank you Wendy for your selfless service to all and for all the work that you do - the list is so long to name each accomplishment.”


Casey Book, RN 

Lutheran Hospital

“Casey was caring for a patient who was admitted weeks before with a spinal cord injury. This patient became paraplegic and ventilator dependent. Due to the COVID-19 virus, set visitor restrictions meant that this patient had no family to be in person with him during this difficult time. Hospital staff was supportive and worked hard to keep him connected to his family by phone, but he became very discouraged. As Casey started to sense his discouragement, she went above and beyond to arrange a surprise visit with his family. She coordinated with respiratory therapy and other nurses to move him to a room with a view of the parking lot outside. She had the window marked with paper letters to spell “Hi heart’” so his family could identify the room. Family gathered in the parking lot to wave and hold up signs and show their love and support. It was a touching moment for all involved, and very appreciated by the patient and his family. Casey embodies the mission and values of Lutheran Hospital!”


Mandi Hazelwood, RN 

Lutheran Hospital 

“Mandi is the most amazing case manager! She recently went above and beyond by bathing and washing the hair of a patient who had multiple wounds. She washed and combed out her hair, which provided therapy for this patient who couldn't use her hands because they were wrapped from all of the serious wounds. She is amazing and provides compassionate care to all of her patients. Mandi exemplifies what it means to be a weaver. She comes into the lives of others in the wake of seasons marked by constant change, loss, and chaos. Mandi's gentle attentiveness reconnects the fabric of our well-being despite the eroding effects of the demands at hand. Essentially, she weaves together the fabrics of our lives, knitting us together in a work that is bigger than each of us individually. What she creates is a seamless portrait and truly a work of art that just flows. She stands in the background and sees the whole picture; the tiredness of staff that may need to take a lunch, patients that long for a little normalcy through their pain, and want to feel like human beings, and she advocates for each of them. She does this without saying a word. Everything and everyone within her reach, function smoothly as she is the seamstress weaving everything together so effortlessly.”

To read the stories from each of our previous DAISY Award winners or for more information about this recognition program, visit

About Lutheran Health Network

The foundation of Lutheran Health Network is built on an experienced team of more than 7,000 employees working together with the more than 800 physicians who compose its medical staffs. The network’s more than 100 access points in northern Indiana include physician offices, urgent care clinics, outpatient centers and eight hospitals.

Media Contacts

Joy Lohse
(260) 205-7117

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