Recipients of the 2023 HealthImpact DAISY Nurse Leader Award in Policy Announced

The 2023 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.  Five individuals were selected by a national panel of healthcare policy experts.

Said Deb Zimmermann, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, CEO of The DAISY Foundation, “It is a delight to recognize nurses who are making a profound difference in healthcare policy. These nurses are addressing current challenges impacting our nation’s health, wellness, and safety. Their efforts will have an impact on generations. DAISY is honored to partner with HealthImpact in honoring these outstanding clinicians.”

Garrett Chan, PhD, APRN, FAAN, President and CEO of HealthImpact added “This group of Honorees have shown how nurses in policy, particularly in the federal and state governments and K-12 schools, advanced compassionate care for not only populations currently but also for generations to come.  We celebrate these incredible nurses and thank them for their tireless and impactful work.”


Sheila Burke, MPA, BSN, FAAN, Harvard/ Massachusetts General, for her extensive history in policy and legislation. Burke’s work on Capitol Hill has influenced legislation related to Medicare, Medicaid maternal and child health programs, and welfare reform. Her vision and leadership in many roles have resulted in real solutions to support and improve human well-being.

Ahnyel Burkes, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, LSU Health Science Center, for her contributions to the policy change, ACT 461, which directly impacted 3,249 facilities regulated by the Louisiana department of health. This policy focused on prevention of workplace violence incidents through raising public awareness and providing education. Additionally, Burkes shared this bill with other nurse advocates in different states to be used as a proxy for protection of healthcare workers and patients across the nation.

Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN, Camden City School District School Nurse, Faculty at Rutgers University – Rutgers School of Nursing – Camden for her support of school nursing and healthcare issues impacting school age children, especially gun violence.  Her advocacy efforts helped to pass the Bipartisan Gun Violence Bill. This initiative includes money for school safety, mental health, state crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which would provide a more comprehensive background check for those between the ages of 18 and 21 who want to buy guns.

Catherine Dodd, PhD, RN, FAAN, for her lifetime of policy work in bringing the nursing voice to the public health and welfare of a variety of governmental issues including changing medical policy to cover prosthetics following mastectomies, securing funds for a homeless prenatal program and increasing funding to cover adoption, costs, infertility care, palliative and hospice care, and gender-affirming care. Additionally, her work helped ban BPA from baby bottles, she was a national spokesperson for Hillary Clinton on the Affordable Health Care Act and recently raised money for Lauren Underwood’s successful campaign who has currently signed 10 bills into law.

Beth Luthy, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, FAAN, Brigham Young University College of Nursing for advocating for stronger immunization laws in the state of Utah via the Immunization of Students Amendments (Utah House Bill 221 in 2016 and Utah House Bill 301 in 2017). Dr. Luthy was present at the bill’s inception and organized a multi-organizational campaign to deliver compassionate care to the pediatric population in the state. She also spent over 1,000 hours testifying in committee hearings, lobbying in the House and Senate, providing educational materials to elected leaders, and bringing several organizations together to promote the bill. After the bill was signed into law, Dr. Luthy collaborated with multiple special interest groups, the school nursing association, and public health organizations to create the standardized immunization education module, which is still in use today.



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 5,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition programs for nurses wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve, and throughout their careers- from nursing student through lifetime achievement, and through several lines of research grant and evidence-based practice projects funding. 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.