, Port Arthur, Texas

August 13, 2013

Life-size statue honors Christus- St. Mary's nurses

Sherry Koonce
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Christus Hospital - St. Mary honored nurses Tuesday with the unveiling of a very special statue — one that reminds how a caretaker’s soft whisper, or the touch of a hand can make a difference in a patient’s day.

A 4-foot-tall “Healer’s Touch” statue was presented in partnership with the Daisy Foundation to recognize the unique relationship nurses  have with their  patients. An identical statue was unveiled at Christus Hospital — St. Elizabeth Thursday.

“I think our nurses don’t get thanked enough,” Jane Rawls, chief nurse executive for the Southeast Texas Region of Christus Hospitals.

The statue was placed in a common area so nurses can walk past it daily and be reminded of the special role nurse healers have in patient’s lives.

Each statue is hand-carved by tribal artists from Zimbabwe. The statues  depict an embracing nurse patient relationship.

Both hospitals participate in the DAISY Foundation’s awards program, which honors nurses for their clinical skill and compassion. The new statues are life-size versions of smaller, desktop-sized sculptures awarded to DAISY Award recipients each month.

Since 2008, when St. Mary’s first participated in the program, the hospital has honored about 30 nurses.

DAISY, an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, was formed In 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura.

Nurses are nominated by patients  or patient families, co-workers, hospital administrators, etc.

The newest Daisy recipients from St. Mary include Jennifer Laird, Tung Hoang and Jennifer Cole.

Tammy Price, nurse recruiter, described each nurse while reading from their nomination letters.

Laird, she said, is a real team player and always has a smile and kind words. Her primary unit is ICU, but she will work day surgery, ER, PACU and anywhere else she is needed. She has been an example to so many of a compassionate nurse,  Price said.

Cole, an ICU nurse, was described as an amazing nurse and person.

“We will never be able to express our love and gratitude to you for the love, care, concern and skill you showered on my mother at the most vulnerable time in her life,” a patient’s family member  wrote.

Hoang was also nominated by a patient who was grateful for the care  provided while undergoing a blood transfer procedure.

“Tung stayed close to ask how  I felt and assure me the transfer was safe and helpful...the incident was all new to me, but I’m glad Tung was there to help.”

Purchase of the statues not only honors nurses for their professionalism and dedication, it also helps the Zimbabwe people who face a 95 percent unemployment rate, Paul Guidroz, chief nursing officer at the St. Elizabeth campus, said.

“Clearly there is incredible work being done here at Christus, and it extends across the world to artists and their families,” Guidroz said.


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