Maria Dagraca, RN, from Atwood is latest DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses winner

Maria Dagraca, RN, from Atwood is latest DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses winner

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Maria Dagraca, RN, is the first 2024 winner of our DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national program started by a family that wanted to recognize the great nursing care their loved one received. She has been a nurse at our Atwood Health Center since 2021.

Maria, who was recognized at a surprise ceremony on January 29, was nominated by a patient who wrote in part: “I love Maria very much because I see her love for her work; she really cares about her patient’s health.” As the DAISY winner, Maria received a beautifully handcrafted statue called “The Healer’s Touch” which symbolizes the relationship between nurses, patients, and families, a framed certificate, and a check.

“While providing care to my patients, I treat them how I would like care provided to my loved ones -- with compassion, respect and dignity,” said Maria. “I pride myself in ensuring that my patients are receiving utmost patient-centered care while maintaining patient rights.”

The patient who nominated Maria for the DAISY Award also wrote, “If I miss an appointment, Maria reminds me. If something goes wrong on a test, she calls me to explain and advises me on how to improve the situation. She always receives me with love and a smile and kindness.”

Jamie Brooks, Atwood’s Health Center Director, said Maria is known for making each patient feel special. “Maria is an extraordinary nurse,” said Jamie. “She goes out of her way to be sure each patient feels like they are the ONLY patient of Dr Ogwurike. She is always positive, caring, compassionate and thorough with her patients. She is a delight to work with.”

Maria has two daughters who have followed her into nursing careers, both working at hospitals in the state. “They started caring for people at a very young age,” recalls Maria. “They believed that sick people were lonely and needed someone to care for them. My youngest daughter started volunteering on weekends and vacations at an assisted living by telling stories to residents and helping to serve meals.”

DAISY Award recipients are registered nurses who exemplify the following nursing values: extraordinary compassion, courage, and integrity. These individuals consistently demonstrate excellence in the delivery of patient care and promotion of their professional nursing practice.

If you’d like to nominate a nurse, you can find the nomination forms and boxes at most of our sites. To learn more about the award, just visit http://www.daisyfoundation.

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