Open Accessibility Menu

Jessica Piccioni, LPN, honored as DAISY Award recipient at UF Health Flagler Hospital

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Erin Wallner
Jessica Piccioni, LPN, honored as DAISY Award recipient at UF Health Flagler Hospital

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Jessica Piccioni, L.P.N., has been honored as the UF Health St. Johns DAISY Award recipient for the third quarter of 2023, it was announced today. Piccioni was honored for providing superb care to a patient who was struggling after undergoing emergency surgery.

The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary compassion and skill nurses give daily. Piccioni, a licensed practical nurse on the 8th floor at UF Health Flagler Hospital, was nominated by a retired nurse who credits Jessica with saving her life.

“I want to thank my lifesaver, Jessica, for what she did for me,” wrote Linda Menard in her nomination letter. “I underwent surgery in January and ended up with a colostomy and nephrostomy. I was devastated. Being an R.N. for 45 years, I knew my outcome, which wasn’t good. I came home determined to beat this. Then I woke up with pain and knew I needed to go to the hospital. I was admitted and was here for five days, then the hospital sent me home.”

Menard had to return to the ER two hours later for emergency surgery. Petrified, she was admitted to the 8th floor, where she met Piccioni. Their bond was immediate, and Menard says felt like she was meeting an angel. They spent time talking and she is certain that if it wasn’t for Piccioni, she would not have made it through her ordeal.

“Even when Jessica wasn’t my nurse, she would come into my room and sit with me. We would have tea together. I love tea, and she knew it,” Menard wrote. “She made sure I was as pain-free as I could be. There are not enough ’thank you’s’ to give her. If it weren’t for her, I would have given up, but she would not let me. I owe my life and my sanity to Jessica. Because of her, I could go home with a new outlook on life. The love she showed me as a nurse, you can’t learn that. It comes naturally. Please acknowledge her dedication to her patient’s well-being.”

Menard surprised Piccioni by attending the ceremony.

“It was really a pleasure taking care of you,” Piccioni told Menard as she accepted the award. “It brings tears to my eyes to see you. I love helping people. You just have to have care and sympathy for your patients. That’s what it is all about.”

Carlton DeVooght, president and CEO of UF Health St. Johns , said that the bond between Piccioni and Menard represents the standard of care the health care system aspires to.

“The bond that Jessica nurtured with her patient is truly inspiring and is everything that UF Health Flagler Hospital represents,” said DeVooght. “She gave her all for her patient even when she wasn’t on duty. She represents our core values and made a tremendous difference in the life of her patient.”

In recognition of this honor, Piccioni received a stone-carved “Healers Touch” trophy, a DAISY winner’s pin, a gift basket and a $200 bonus.

Piccioni’s nomination was among 56 recognitions submitted in the third quarter of 2023 by patients, their families and UF Health St. Johns team members.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is part of The DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses make every day. The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation, based in Glen Ellen, California, was established by J. Mark Barnes and his family in memory of his son J. Patrick Barnes. J. Patrick died at the age of 33 in 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a little-known autoimmune disease. The nursing care Patrick and his family received while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and families.