Mari Sallee, RN, honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses

posted 8/7/2018 in News

Nurses at Wheaton Iowa are now being honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses!
The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day. Mari Sallee, RN, of Mercy Hospital in Oelwein was surprised with the award on August 6, 2018.
Mari Sallee, RN, and Kelly Richards, Chief Nursing Officer

The nomination from Debra Otdoerfer reads: "The day after Christmas last year Mari came to my room and noticed I was slurring my words. I told her I just had a headache and I was fine. Mari asked me more questions and got my blood pressure and all the stuff she needed to know. Then I told her my mouth was kind of numb and tingly. Mari then called to the ER to have me taken down to see what was going on. I didn't want to go and it took some convincing to get me there because I didn't think anything was wrong.

I am glad she was so persistent because the MRI said I had a brain bleed and was having a stroke. The ER sent me straight to University of Iowa. The doctor there said if it wasn't for the nurse that got me to the ER so quickly, I would have died. She saved my life that day. When I finally got to come back home to Mercy Living Plus a few days later I hugged her and cried because she is the one that saved me,  I am glad I listened to her!"

Mercy Living Plus manager Kelly Hilsenbeck, Debra Otdoerfer, and Mari Sallee, RN
"We are proud that Mari has received the honor of the DAISY Award," said Kelly Hilsenbeck, manager of Mercy Living Plus. "She may tell you that she was just doing her job that day but that is what makes her so special. We are grateful to work with amazing nurses like Mari every day."

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, California, established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. 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. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation, said, "When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human work they do.  The kind of work the nurses at Wheaton Iowa are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues, and are chosen by a committee of nurses at Wheaton Iowa to receive The DAISY Award. Awards are given throughout the year at presentations given in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients, and visitors.

To nominate a nurse for The DAISY Award, an electronic form is available online at