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Nurses Station

Mar 29, 2016 08:15AM ● By MED Magazine

Awards and Honors for VA Nurses


Sioux Falls VA nurses Holly Lunde, RN, and Marie Clifford-Chapin, LPN, were recently recognized as DAISY Award recipients for exceptional nurses. DAISY recipients are nominated by a peer or patient’s family for making a difference in Veterans’ and families’ experiences.

Claire Forster, RN, on the Community Living Center was also honored as the 2015 Employee of the Year for the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System.  Claire was originally nominated as one of the 2015 Employees of the Month by a Veteran’s family.

Susan Leitheiser, MS, RN, NP-BC, has been selected as the Mental Health Service Line Director at the Sioux Falls VA. Loretta (Lori) Thomas, MSN, CNP, NE-BC is the new Extended Care and Rehabilitation Service Line Director. 








Registered Nurses Lyn Haug, Steve Linman and Sheila Johnson are the latest recipients of Rapid City Regional Hospital’s DAISY Awards for Nurses.

Haug provides patient care in Labor and Delivery and has worked at the hospital for more than 22 years. She was nominated for the DAISY Award by a recent patient who praised her no-nonsense approach and competence. “Lyn expertly and efficiently spent hours assisting me through labor and helping our son move along in the process after 33 hours of labor. She is an amazing nurse,” the patient wrote.

Linman has worked as a Hospice nurse for more than 25 years and was nominated for a DAISY for caring a husband and wife who entered the Hospice House at the same time. “Steve comforts patients and families by his quiet, calm manner,” wrote the couple’s daughter in her nomination. “He has a special gift of singing which he shares beautifully with his patients and families.”

Finally, Johnson, a one-year member of the Emergency Department, was nominated by the sister of a recent cancer patient. According to the nomination, “Sheila’s level of compassion and concern for my sister made my Mom and I feel like we were the only people in the ER and it was a madhouse. She thoroughly explained everything, continually checked on my sister, and helped alleviate our anxiety.”







Sanford Nurses Go Above and Beyond

Mila Pugach of Sanford Health recently received a DAISY Award for her quick problem solving when she noticed that a patient had an outdated car seat. Pugach quickly called a family member and procured a car seat for the family, who then passed the car seat challenge.

Megan Vanliere of Sanford Heart Hospital received two separate DAISY nominations, one for her kindness and thoroughness in explaining to a patient and another for handling a patient with chest pains. “She dropped everything to help us,” wrote the patient. “I feel so much better with all of her care.

Miranda Pate, RN, a clinical care coordinator in the critical care unit at Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center, was nominated for a DAISY Award for her “exemplary compassion” and ability to establish special connections with patients and their families. Miranda has been employed with Sanford Aberdeen for four years.