FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 20, 2021
Dublin VA nurse receives national DAISY Award
Dublin, Ga.— The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, Ga., on behalf of the national DAISY Award Foundation, recently announced the selection of RN Lynn M. Rountree as a recipient of the prestigious DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
The DAISY Award memorializes J. Patrick Barnes who died from the complications of the autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in 1999 at the age of 33. The DAISY Award, which stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem, and the DAISY Foundation, were developed by Barnes’ family as a way to acknowledge superior commitment to nursing by registered nurses, which they experienced during Patrick’s final illness and attribute to helping them bear their loss.
The award recognizes the compassion and professionalism of nurses for the extraordinarily skillful and compassionate care they provide patients and families. Nurses are nominated nationally on the foundation’s web site or by mail and the nominations forwarded to local review committees for consideration. Nominees are rated based on explicit criteria including whether they serve as role models for the nursing profession, demonstrate caring attitudes, communicate compassionately, and if they have a significant impact on the lives of patients and families. In addition to a plaque, lapel pin, and monetary award, selectees receive many gifts, including fresh cinnamon rolls which were the only food that Patrick Barnes could tolerate in the final days of his life.
Rountree was nominated for the award by Dr. Andrea Lambert, a primary care physician at the Dublin VA who recognized Rountree’s superior professionalism in her work caring for a veteran who was reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Despite the veteran’s fears, Rountree continued to maintain contact with the veteran and coordinate his care.
“RN Rountree is a very inspiring and loving person who takes the time to genuinely care for her patients. Watching her nursing practice reminds me of Leo Buscalgia’s observation that too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Lynn is the embodiment of that sentiment in her daily actions and a true inspiration for all us at the VA,” Lambert said.
A nurse since 2003, Rountree has worked at the Dublin VA for seven years and was an LPN for three years before receiving her nursing credential. A member of the Green Team in Primary Care where she primarily assists Drs. Andrea Lambert and Mathew Mathai, both of whom she credits along with her other teammates of creating an environment of support and professionalism that allow her to excel as a nurse.
“We can’t practice medicine alone. It takes a dedicated team and I am grateful to have one,” Rountree said.
Rountree noted that being a nurse was always the plan.
“I have always wanted to be a nurse. I realized at a young age that nurses are the real care givers that go that extra step to help the patient and family members navigate and cope and understand their health issues. I worked many years in the Critical Care Unit and it really hit home that we nurses are the interpreters and advocates for the patients. We hold the hand of sick and dying patients and family members and we celebrate their recovery. Nurses have a special bond to their patients. They trust us. Many times, veterans will come to the nurses for assistance and they really appreciate the efforts made by the nursing staff. That’s a sacred trust that all good nurses take very seriously.”
Reflecting on receiving the DAISY Award, Rountree was appreciative but observed that the work itself is inherently rewarding.
“I was very honored to receive the Daisy Award. I am just doing my duty to serve our veterans to the best of my ability. Nursing is so rewarding. That is what nursing is all about—helping others. It feels good and I hope that fire never goes out,” she said.
Dr. Pam Jackson, head nurse at the Dublin VA, emphasized the model of nursing and VA professionalism that Rountree epitomizes.
“It was an honor recognizing Ms. Rountree as our DAISY recipient. This esteemed nationally recognized award recognizes nurses who go above and beyond to call of duty when delivering care. Ms. Rountree’s commitment to veteran care shows in everything that she does for our veterans in Primary Care. It’s not only the impeccable clinical skills of the nurse that make the difference in the lives of our veteran, but the care and compassion in which the skill is delivered that Lynn demonstrates. We salute her and congratulate her on receiving this honor and being such an extraordinary example for others to follow,” Jackson said.
VA medical center director David Whitmer affirmed Jackson’s sentiments.
“Everyone at the VA is crucial for our success in caring for America’s heroes, but when you look at healthcare from a high-level, it’s almost always a nurse who makes the difference in a patient’s perception of quality care. I have many nurses in my own family, so I certainly have a soft spot for nurses and admire them and what they do. RN Rountree’s commitment to nursing excellence makes our entire VA team look good and honors nurses everywhere,” Whitmer said.
Rountree has been married for 42 years with two children, a son and daughter-in-law who are both physicians and a daughter who is a teacher. When not working, her hobby is spending time with her two grandchildren.
The DAISY Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. More information about the foundation and the award is available at www.daisyfoundation.org.