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UCI Health honors nursing excellence

DAISY and Sunflower awards recognize nurses and nursing supporters

September 14, 2023
uci health medical intensive care unit team holding DAISY award sign and smiling
The UCI Health medical intensive care unit team celebrates its DAISY
Team Award recognition.

Orange, Calif. — UCI Health nurses are among the very best at what they do.

That’s why the health system regularly honors its exceptional nursing team with the DAISY award, which honors nurses who demonstrate excellence in patient care while displaying the values of compassion, courage and integrity.

The Sunflower award honors outstanding assistants, techs or transporters who use their expertise to ensure excellent patient care.

The most recent recipients of the DAISY and Sunflower awards are:

DAISY Team Award winner

The medical intensive care unit (MICU) is a 12-bed nursing unit that provides critical care to patients with a variety of medical conditions, including respiratory failure, sepsis, pulmonary artery hypertension, renal disease and more.

The unit is staffed by 60 highly skilled and experienced nurses, senior hospital assistants and unit secretaries. The MICU nursing team is led by Muriel Moyo, DNP, RN, nurse manager, and Ann Charity Aliman, BSN, RN, assistant nurse manager. Sonia Lane, MSN, RN, serves as their nursing director of critical care services.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MICU team was one of the primary COVID ICUs. They worked tirelessly to care for critically ill patients, and they did so with compassion, teamwork and camaraderie.

Individual DAISY award winners

uci health nurse jackie santacruz wearing scrubs holding DAISY award and smiling
Jacky Santacruz,

Jacklyn (Jacky) Santacruz, BSN, RN, is a clinical nurse and joined UCI Health as a new graduate in April 2020. Her award nomination details in part her work with a homeless veteran and spending extra time to ensure that he had the resources necessary to help him, including calling the VA and setting up transportation home for the patient.

Noelle Yee, BSN, RN, is a per diem registered nurse who started at UCI Health in May 2022. She was nominated for going above and beyond the call of duty with a patient in need, checking on them often and ensuring they had the information they needed before discharge.

uci health burn unit nursing assistant susan beedle wearing scrubs, holding SUNFLOWER award and smiling
Nursing assistant
Susan Beedle.

Sunflower award winners

Susan Beedle is a nursing assistant and joined UCI Health in 2013. She was nominated for being an integral part of the UCI Health Regional Burn Center ICU team, as well as her dedication to her patients.

April Aporongao is the MICU secretary and joined UCI Health in mid-2022. She was nominated for proactively streamlining processes that enabled her department to grow, as well as for exemplifying great teamwork.

uci health nurse sarah essayli smiling and holding sunflower award
Sarah Essayli,

Sarah Essayli, LCSW, is a social worker who joined UCI Health in 2018. She was nominated for her caring attitude toward patients with complex needs, ensuring that the patient and family have their emotional and psychological needs met during their most challenging moments.

How to nominate a team member

Anyone can nominate an exceptional nurse or patient care team member for a DAISY or Sunflower Award, including faculty, staff and patients. Simply fill out the appropriate nomination form below:

About the DAISY and Sunflower awards

The DAISY Team Award is designed to honor collaboration by two or more people, led by a direct-care nurse, who identify and meet patient and/or patient family needs by going above and beyond the traditional role of nursing.

The individual DAISY Award recognizes a nurse for being an outstanding role model. To be nominated for this award, they must consistently demonstrate a caring attitude focusing on meeting the needs of patients and families, listen with their heart, significantly makes a difference in the life of a patient, shows good assessment and critical thinking skills and brings enthusiasm and energy to their daily work. The DAISY Award committee selects one nominated nurse each month who exemplifies what it means to truly be an outstanding caregiver.

The Sunflower Award recognizes a deserving ancillary staff member (nursing assistant, therapists, technicians, etc.) who demonstrates exceptional teamwork that positively impacts the patient.

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About UCI Health

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed, acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 23 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.