Spring 2023 Daisy Award

Spring 2023 Daisy Award

Posted On: 06/02/23

Kristi Yamaoka, a 2023 graduate of the registered nursing program at Kankakee Community College, has been awarded The DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nursing Students.

The award is part of The DAISY Foundation's mission to express gratitude to nurses with programs that recognize them for the extraordinary, compassionate, and skillful care they provide patients and families.

Yamaoka, a Sheldon resident, was nominated twice during her time at KCC. She was chosen by a committee at KCC, and the award was presented on May 12 at the college’s Registered Nursing Program pinning ceremony. Yamaoka received a certificate; a DAISY Award pin; and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, which was hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Yamaoka was nominated by her second semester clinical instructor, Mary Kyrouac.

Kyrouac was approached by an infectious disease physician who had interacted with Yamaoka.

“Kristi was caring for her patient when (the doctor) entered the room,” Kyrouac said. “He was speaking to the patient about their tests and progress. He soon began asking Kristi questions regarding the patient. She correctly answered his questions with confidence, some of which he was surprised she knew. The patient then told the physician how wonderful Kristi was and how attentive she was to their care and needs. It wasn’t until right before he approached me that he learned that she was a first-year nursing student and could not believe it. He thought she was already a nurse working on the floor.

“Kristi has a great passion for nursing and patient advocacy, and she will be great nurse!”

The other nomination was from a patient Yamaoka cared for during a later clinical rotation.

“She was very helpful to me with my medication after having any angioplasty,” the nominator said of Yamaoka. “Kristi was kind and thoughtful of my concerns with my medications. She was very patient and understanding. She is going to be a phenomenal nurse.”

About The DAISY Foundation

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 the creation of The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, an evidenced-based means of providing nurse recognition and thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

More information is available at DAISYfoundation.org.