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Extraordinary Nurses Recognized at Antelope Valley Medical Center

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Five nurses recently received the DAISY award.

(LANCASTER, Calif., March 13, 2023) — Nurses: Ewuraba, Ollvy, Nicole, Kevin and Tomas of Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) were recently honored with The DAISY Award® For Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day.

One of the nominations submitted read: “This woman was on top of it. She was seriously relentless in coordinating and expediting tests, procedures and surgery”, in addition to another nomination that read: “We could relax and take deep breaths when he interacted with my Dad or family members. He was calm, funny and encouraging. We thank him from the bottom of our hearts.”

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. 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. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) 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.

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at AVMC to receive The DAISY Award. Awards are presented throughout the year at celebrations attended by the Honoree’s colleagues, patients, and leadership team. Each Honoree receives a certificate commending her or him as an "Extraordinary Nurse." The certificate reads: "In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people." Honorees also receive a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, Doctor of Humane Letters (h.c) and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation, "When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do. The kind of work the nurses at Antelope Valley Medical Center are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Said Interim Chief Nursing Officer Amy Villaroya, MSN-NA,BSN,RN, “We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in The DAISY Award program. Nurses go above and beyond every day. It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”

To share your story and nominate an Antelope Valley Medical Center Nurse, patients and their families may visit

About DAISY Foundation

In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in thousands of healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nurses Advancing Health Equity, Nursing Ethics, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, Lifetime Achievement in Nursing and through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, Medical Mission Grants and their new Health Equity Grant programs. More information is available at

About Antelope Valley Medical Center

Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC), the only full-service, acute-care hospital in the Antelope Valley. AVMC has been delivering exceptional care to the community since 1955. It offers the region’s only Level II Trauma Center, Pediatric unit, NICU, Inpatient Mental Health Department, Labor and Delivery, Accredited Chest Pain Center/STEMI Receiving Center, Advanced Primary & Comprehensive Stroke Center and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center. AVMC is now a Thrombectomy Capable Center. More information is available at or by calling (661) 949-5000. Follow us @avmedicalcenter

(L to R) Antelope Valley Medical Center CEO, Edward Mirzabegian, DAISY honorees: Kevin Mendoza, RN; Olivy Kaufman, BSN,RN; Nicole Westfall, BSN,RN; Ewuruba Abban, BSN,RN; and Penny Hammer, RN,BSN,MSHA, Senior Director, Nursing Administration.