Two Caregivers with OSF HealthCare Honored

1/16/2020 - Ottawa, Illinois

  • Photo from left to right: Valerie Contreras, RN, DAISY Award Recipient and Dawn Christie, Sunflower Award Recipient.

    From left to right: Valerie Contreras, RN, DAISY Award Recipient and Dawn Christie, Sunflower Award Recipient.

A Registered Nurse and a Mammography Technologist were two recent recipients of the DAISY and Sunflower Awards offered by OSF HealthCare. Both caregivers were honored with brief ceremonies held this month.

Valerie Contreras, RN of Ottawa, received the DAISY Award, which recognizes exceptional nurses nationwide on behalf of the DAISY Foundation. Contreras has been employed at OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center for three years and works within the Family Birth Center.

A co-worker stated, “I witnessed such kindness and empathy while watching Valerie care for one of her patients…experiencing very preterm labor. The patient was scared, overwhelmed, and tearful at the thought of losing the life that she could feel moving inside of her…from the moment Valerie walked into this room, a sense of peace and support was felt by all...I truly believe that I witnessed God’s light in that room, shining through Valerie. Her empathy and compassion are what make her an incredible nurse who changes lives. Her support and knowledge through the most difficult times are so very comforting.”

The Sunflower Award, a recognition program offered to non-nursing Mission Partners with OSF HealthCare, was given to Dawn Christie of Grand Ridge. Christie has been employed with the hospital for 16 years and currently works within the hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Department as a Mammography Technologist.

A patient stated, “As a four-year cancer survivor, I have been getting mammograms twice yearly for the full four years. Dawn has been the one constant that I have relied on each and every visit. She has taken very stressful moments in my cancer journey and has made them bearable. She sits with me while the radiologists give me the results and always finishes the visit with a hug. Thank you, Dawn. Continue being the great caregiver that you are.”

OSF HealthCare encourages patients, family members, and fellow Mission Partners to recognize caregivers who have provided exceptional care and service by nominating them for an award to honor their dedication. For more information about honoring a caregiver, or submitting a nomination, visit: