News & Announcements

Latest DAISY Award Winner is Part of Phoebe’s International Nurse Program


Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital recently announced its latest DAISY Award winner. Josedario Espiritu, RN, was honored as the December DAISY Award recipient. The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skills and compassionate care given by nurses every day. Dario, who works Acute Care on the 8th floor, was nominated for the award by a patient for his dedication to patients and providing the highest quality of nursing care.

According to the nomination letter, Dario was attentive to not only the patient but the patient’s wife. “He made me, and my wife feel like I was the only patient he had. He was instrumental for several days in my care and then when my surgery came, he helped my wife move me to the sixth floor. Even after moving, I received several visits from him, just checking on me,” the patient wrote.

Dario, who is originally from the Philippines, joined the Phoebe Family in July 2019 as part of Phoebe’s International Nurse Program. Currently, Phoebe has 14 international nurses at its main campus and 11 at Phoebe Sumter in Americus, and is hoping to get about 50 more in 2021. “This program has been very beneficial for Phoebe. We have some amazing nurses from all over the world who have become an important part of our nursing workforce,” said Evelyn Olenick, DNP, RN, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Chief Nursing Officer.

International nurses must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, several years of experience and pass an English proficiency test. The nurses work at Phoebe on a 36-month contract, then hopefully become permanent employees. Additionally, the program recently implemented a career advancement pathway, giving them the opportunity to advance their career. Five international nurses will begin that portion of the program in January.

“I am just so happy to be here at Phoebe and doing what I love. I feel at home here,” added Dario.

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes.  Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

At a presentation given in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients, and visitors, the honoree receives a certificate commending her or him for being an "Extraordinary Nurse."  The honoree is also given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.