Recipients of the 2021 HealthImpact DAISY Nurse Leader Award in Policy Announced

The 2021 Recipients of the HealthImpact DAISY Nurse Leader Award in Policy

HealthImpact and The DAISY Foundation™ have announced the recipients of their DAISY Nurse Leader Awards in Policy.  This award honors nurses whose work in policy advances  compassionate care that improves the health of populations.  Four individuals were selected by a national panel of healthcare policy experts.

Said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, Co-founder, and CEO of The DAISY Foundation, “It is a thrill to know that The DAISY Nurse Leader Award is honoring nurses whose impact is profound and widespread.”

Garrett Chan, PhD, APRN, FAAN, President and CEO of HealthImpact added “the leadership of these honorees has driven policy development that advanced compassionate care for communities and populations. In these challenging societal and pandemic times, it is heartwarming to see that nurses continue to advance humanitarian efforts for the greater good.”


Vanessa Barriera, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, Harris Health System, for eliminating the inappropriate uses of the terms “alleged” and “unplanned sexual encounter” during emergency department triage charting among sexual assault victims and developing a new policy to modify these terms, which impacted the credibility in the context of sexual assault and mitigated negative effect on staff attitudes and the mental health of victims.

Natalia Cineas, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, New York City Health + Hospitals – the nation’s largest public health system – for implementing the first system-wide Professional Practice and Care Delivery Model which serves as a framework to elevate nursing practice and performance, with improved efficiency and effectiveness leading to improved patient safety, higher patient satisfaction rates and overall superior quality of care. The new system-wide approach to exemplary professional practice that serves 1.4 million patients spotlights collaboration, quality, safety, and evidence-based best practices to craft a culture of true nursing excellence, recognizing that nurses are integral partners in the patient’s journey through their care experience.

Sarah Homer, MSN, APRN, ACNP, Houston Methodist Hospital, for developing and refining the “No Call Report” policy to improve throughput and to decrease the bottleneck in the Emergency Department. This policy, created during the first COVID-19 surge, has improved patient movement from the ED to acute care floors from hours to 30 minutes. Implementation of this policy expedited the transfer of patients to be sent to an appropriate unit to be treated and receive the care needed.

Surani Hayre-Kwan, DNP, MBA, FNP-BC, FACHE, FAANP, Sutter Health Nursing, for leading the effort to have California State General Funds and Proposition 56 money reinstated into the state’s budget to continue the Denti-Cal program in specific vulnerable patient populations.  The restoration of funds impacted more than 32,000 children and special needs patients who receive dental health services through the Denti-Cal program in California.



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.

In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 4,500 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, Lifetime Achievement in Nursing and through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and Medical Mission Grants. More information is available at


HealthImpact is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to transforming nursing to advance the health of Californians. Founded in 2001 as the designated state nursing workforce center for California, HealthImpact has a strong and successful history in California and nationally in engaging diverse stakeholders addressing workforce issues, developing solutions, and implementing programs through collaborative effort. Working in partnership with leaders from academic institutions, health care providers that employ RNs, health care associations, funders, policy makers, and workforce development boards, the scope of work has included focused effort addressing the supply, demand, and capability of the current and future nursing workforce. More information is available at