Inova Alexandria Nurse Awarded For Extraordinary Work

Nurse Wins DAISY Award for Treatment of Cancer Patients

ALEXANDRIA, VA – (July 28, 2008) — Inova Alexandria Hospital will present its first DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses to Cari Freeman, RN, who works in the hospital’s medical oncology unit. Freeman was recognized for consistently nurturing cancer patients and mentoring new nurses.

“Cari goes above and beyond in caring for her patients,” said Joy Solomita, RN, chief nurse executive, Inova Alexandria Hospital. “The DAISY Award program is one way for us to recognize dedicated nurses who really make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.”

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation, based in California, was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died in late 1999 at the age of 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an auto-immune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses.

Nursing administration select a DAISY Award winner each quarter based on nominations from patients, family members and staff. The honoree receives a certificate commending her or him for being an “Extraordinary Nurse” and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the African Shona Tribe.

All of the nurses in the honoree’s unit will also receive Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. This tradition came about from Barnes’ time in the hospital. One day he asked his family to bring him a cinnamon roll plus enough for all of the nurses on his unit. Today, with the help of Cinnabon, The DAISY Foundation carries on this tradition by serving cinnamon rolls to the nurses on the honoree’s unit.

Inova Alexandria Hospital is among nearly 200 hospitals and hospices nationally, and one of only several hospitals in Virginia, committed to The DAISY Award program. Since the program started in 2001 an estimated 2,000 nurses across the country have received the award. For more information about The DAISY Foundation visit

Inova Health System is a not-for-profit health care system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency and urgent care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.

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