Seven CHI Memorial Nurses Receive Daisy Award For Extraordinary Nurses

(L to R) Grace Greene, RN, Vanessa Todd, RN, Teresa Shirley, RN, Jordan Howard, RN, and Ed Tempel, RN

(L to R) Grace Greene, RN, Vanessa Todd, RN, Teresa Shirley, RN, Jordan Howard, RN, and Ed Tempel, RN


Jordan Howard, Vanessa Todd, Teresa Shirley, Kelly Gildernew, Ed Tempel, Kristi Edington, and Grace Greene, all nurses at CHI Memorial, recently received the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

In the small excerpts below from each nomination letter, patients’ families and coworkers share how these nurses are living out our mission by giving compassionate care to our patients and being excellent examples of humankindness!

Jordan Howard, MICU, Hospital Chattanooga - "Each time we visited, Jordan would take the time to explain what was going on and always gave my family the latest update.  Even if things hadn't changed much between visiting hours, she would still explain things to whichever family member brought Grandpa up at that time... I personally would like to thank Jordan for her communication.  Always telling us who [Grandma's] night shift [nurse] would be, asking if we wanted [my grandma] turned, and always making sure we knew what was going on.  I would also like to thank her for her respect, integrity, compassion, and skill.  This young lady truly has the heart to be a nurse.  She shows she is a nurse because she wants to be and because she cares, not because it's a job."

Vanessa Todd, 400 South, Hospital Chattanooga - "I know Vanessa fought for my mom to live.  And though my mother doesn't remember her time spent in this unit (nor any of the six weeks she was hospitalized), my family and I sure do - and I can't tell you how comforting it was to know that Vanessa was taking care of my mom.  She communicated exceptionally well with my family on my mom's condition, and she made us feel as close to my mother as the necessary precautions and technology would allow."

Teresa Shirley, 100 South, Hospital Chattanooga - "My husband, daughter, and myself came to Chattanooga to spend a fun overnight trip.  On Sunday morning, I woke up very sick, very dizzy, very scared.  We got to CHI Memorial and from that point everything got better... [Teresa] always included my husband in 'our' care,  made sure he wasn't missing meals and had a pillow and blankets, and had snacks for me when I missed a meal while having a test.  She is amazing!  We've been married for 53 years, and I can't explain the comfort it gave me knowing when I left the floor for a test she would be there in case he needed anything. So very nice."

Kelly Gildernew, ER, Hospital Chattanooga - "As I was walking by the seclusion room of a combative psychiatric patient, I see Kelly seated on the ground with the patient calmly speaking to him.  She is listening to the patient and assuring him.  This patient had been previously escorted in by the police.  Kelly was able to calm this patient and listen to his concerns. This was not even her patient.  This is the behavior and compassion she shows every day at work.  Kelly speaks to each patient with compassion and concern for their illness.  Kelly comes each day to work positive, which radiates in the department daily.  She seeks out opportunities to help others and be a light to our patients. She develops a trusting rapport with her patients by empathetically caring for them.  Kelly is a mentor to our new staff.  She truly embodies the core values of this organization and the mission which we stand by. "

Ed Tempel, Unit 3, Hospital Hixson - "Memorial has a top-notch nurse named Ed!  He is the best nurse I have ever experienced.  Ed took exceptional care of me while I was recovering from emergency surgery.  He is a very compassionate, caring, and knowledgeable nurse.  He helped me understand everything surrounding my diagnosis while in the hospital and explained to me what to expect after I got home.  Ed even brought me homemade coffee on his day off, which goes way beyond my expectations of care in a hospital... I cannot thank him enough for what he has done for me.  Ed is a true asset to the nursing profession and to Memorial hospital.

Kristi Edington, 6 North, Hospital Chattanooga - "As soon as I arrived, Kristi took plenty of time to make sure I was settled in and comfortable.  When she came in to check on me, she engaged with me and gave me individual care... We shared jokes and stories, and she really put me at ease. She talked to me about my dogs and treated me like a person and not just another patient.  When she was talking about me to other members of my care team, she used my first name and not just my room number.  That means a lot... There are so many little things she did to make sure I was safe and had what I needed... Kristi broke the mold when it came to how [ my husband and I] both were treated while in her care.  I am so blessed to have had her watching over us during my stay."

Grace Greene, Short Stay, Hospital Chattanooga - "A patient who had been hospitalized for weeks and weeks and weeks came through our unit.  His hair was long and unkempt, covering his eyes, ears, and in his way.  His eyebrows were so long they were starting to bother him, too.  As his nurse, I didn't think there was anything I could do, but when he asked me if there was anyone who could cut hair and asked if I could find someone, I couldn't say no.  I asked our nurses, and Grace Greene volunteered and creatively, using the scissors from a suture removal kit and a shaver, cut his hair.  What a huge difference!  He was thrilled!  He looked like a new man, and he could see.  It wasn't perfect due to activity restrictions, but she made do.  He was grateful.

CHI Memorial is pleased to partner with the DAISY Foundation to recognize the extraordinary difference nurses make in the lives of patients and co-workers. Nurses are chosen each month to receive this wonderful award that honors compassionate care.  

Each honoree received a bouquet of daisies, a certificate, a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch - hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa - and a copy of her/his nomination letter. The honoree's nursing unit also received a cinnamon doughnut party, because it takes a team for a nurse to achieve his/her best. Tasty Doughnuts generously donates the treats for this worthy cause.

To learn more about the DAISY Foundation, visit