ROCKFORD, Illinois – SwedishAmerican is pleased to announce this year’s Daisy Foundation Nurse of the Year Award winner is Liz EauClaire.

A registered nurse for SwedishAmerican’s case management team, EauClaire was surprised with the award by her colleagues at a breakfast honoring National Nurses Week at SwedishAmerican Hospital. The Daisy Award was one of several honors handed out during the event.

Co-worker Imari Hanserd nominated EauClaire with the following story:

“A patient from the emergency department was being transferred to the VA, but did not have anyone or any resources to care for his dog. His dog was so important to him that he claimed it was the only thing keeping him alive. Liz went above and beyond her job duties to help this veteran find care for his dog. She organized a collection to cover the cost of boarding and updating the dog’s vaccinations. After the patient was discharged from the VA, Liz brought the dog back home because the patient was unable to do so himself. Liz even made sure the dog went home with a new bag of food. After taking the patient’s dog home, Liz learned that the patient had accidentally left his cell phone in the taxi on his way home from the VA. Liz contacted the VA in Madison and Rockford in order to track down the cell phone. Liz personally picked up and returned the patient’s phone to him.”

The Daisy Foundation was established by Mark and Bonnie Barnes to honor the exceptional nursing care their son, Patrick, received while battling ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura). By honoring the nurses who go “above and beyond” with the Daisy Award, healthcare organizations have an outstanding tool to add focus to their patient/family-centered care throughout the year.


“I don’t see going above-and-beyond as a nurse here as just my responsibility, I see it as something that I really want to do,” EauClaire said. “And I know all of our nurses feel the same way.”

This year’s list of Daisy Award nominees included:

  • June 2018: Renee Lewis, Surgicare
  • July 2018: Amanda Wolfe, Progressive Care Unit
  • August 2018: Jackie Koenig, Critical Care Unit
  • September 2018: Liz EauClaire, Case Management
  • November 2018: Erin Pederson, Ortho/Neuro
  • December 2018: Emily Meinert, Emergency Department
  • January 2019: Jillian Douglas, Progressive Care Unit
  • February 2019: Jaime Lundberg, Emergency Department
  • April 2019: Heather Vittetow, Critical Care Unit

Other award winners from Thursday’s Nurses Week breakfast were:

  • Jennifer El Brichi, Transformational Leader Nurse of the Year
  • Samantha West, Structural Empowerment Nurse of the Year
  • Julie Gates, Exemplary Professional Practice Nurse of the Year
  • Shelley Huntington, New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements Nurse of the Year
  • Jennifer Conner, Allied Professional Help Award
  • Jaclynn Abraham, Preceptor Nurse of the Year Award
  • Jill Weberg, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse of the Year Award

About SwedishAmerican:

A division of UW Health, SwedishAmerican is dedicated to providing excellence in healthcare and compassionate care to the community. The organization serves residents of 12 counties in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through a dedicated and caring staff, a major acute care hospital and a free-standing outpatient cancer center in Rockford, a medical center in Belvidere, a network of 30 primary care and multi-specialty clinics, and the region’s largest home healthcare agency. Additionally, SwedishAmerican has achieved Magnet® recognition as a reflection of its nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care.