Health & Wellness

Veteran nurse at Saint Michael’s Medical Center receives Daisy Award

Honorata “Nori” Reyes of Union, a nurse at Saint Michael's Medical Center, is presented with the Daisy Award. Credits: Saint Michael's Medical Center

Newark, NJ—A nurse who has worked for Saint Michael’s Medical Center for more than 26 years was honored with the DAISY Foundation's Daisy Award, which honors the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day

Honorata “Nori” Reyes of Union, who works in the hospital’s same-day surgery department, was described as a role model and a team player by her supervisors.

“Nori has a deep passion for the nursing profession and upholds excellence in standards of practice,” said Marie DeSimone, director of nursing at the hospital. “Sometimes it's not the outstanding event that makes a nurse stand out, but the daily consistent work they do every day that makes it seem so ordinary that it rarely gets acknowledged. Nori Reyes is that nurse.”

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DeSimone said difficult IVs are her specialty.

“One attempt and it’s done, which brings relief to already anxious patients,” DeSimone said.

Reyes, who was born and educated in the Philippines, left her native country to work as a nurse in Vienna, Austria. Reyes said her sister was living in Germany at the time, so she followed her to Europe. She spent five years in Vienna, where she became fluent in German.

She came to the United States to join her husband, who had been working at Saint Michael’s, a 358-bed hospital in the heart of Newark's business and academic district. He retired three years ago after working for 28 years at the hospital. Reyes and her husband have two grown boys, one who is a interior designer and the other a professional dancer.

Winning awards is nothing new to Reyes. She has previously been named nurse of the year when she worked in ambulatory care and received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Hemophilia Association of New Jersey when she was a hematology nurse. But Reyes said she was pleasantly surprised to be selected for the Daisy Award.

“I really didn’t expect it,” Reyes said. “I do this for my patients and for the hospital.” 

The DAISY (an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation was started in Glen Allen, Calif., by family members of J. Patrick Barnes, who died from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little-known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. 

As a way of thanking Barnes’s nurses, his family established the award program.

The DAISY Award ceremony, held before colleagues, honored Reyes with the "Extraordinary Nurse" certificate, which reads: "In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people." 

Reyes also received a DAISY Award pin, a hand-carved serpentine stone sculpture, entitled "A Healer's Touch,” and of course, daisies.

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