Forrest General Names DAISY Award Winner For December

Forrest General December DAISY Award Winner, Shannon Vega, RN. 

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (December 21, 2020) Shannon Vega, RN, was named the recipient of the December DAISY Award. The award is presented monthly to a deserving nurse or nurses who exemplify clinical expertise and compassionate care and is recognized as a role model in the nursing community.

Following high school graduation, Vega was on her own with a baby and needed a way to support herself. It was encouragement from her sister, who was a high school senior at the time, that pushed Vega to go to school and get a degree. “My sister said, ‘I’ll keep the baby all summer if you’ll just go to college’,” Vega remembers. She went to the registrar’s office at Jones College with her catalog in her hand and asked what she could do in two years. The reply was nursing. Vega is quick to say it took longer than two years. “I’ve been an ADN nurse for 20 years,” Vega said. She credits the support of Joe (Marcello), Millie (Swan) and the whole hospital for helping her return to college classes at William Carey where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing last year. Now, she is in the MBA program at The University of Southern Mississippi. “The hospital has helped me and completely supported me in my 20 years in nursing,” Vega said.

Vega, who joined the Forrest General family in 2001, grew up in Moselle and is the first person in her family ever to go to college. Her grandmother retired from Forrest General where she worked for 20 years in housekeeping. She encourages others to seek a profession in healthcare. “Every day we have students come through our department, and I definitely encourage them. There’s a lot of longevity and loyalty in this building.”

Vega was also presented with the prestigious Philip Rogers Advocate Award last week. The award is presented in memory of Forrest General’s first nephrologist who dedicated 32 years of his life to serving the people of South Mississippi as a physician, mentor, and humanitarian.

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 in California by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 from complications of an auto-immune disease. During his eight-week hospital stay, his family was impressed by the care and compassion his nurses provided, not only to him but to everyone in the family. They created the DAISY Award in his memory to recognize those nurses who make a big difference in the lives of so many people.

Forrest General Hospital is proud to be a DAISY Award partner and recognizes one of its nurses with this special honor every month. Nurses are nominated by patients, and family members, as well as other healthcare professionals. The winner is then selected by a board of healthcare workers. Each DAISY Award Honoree is recognized at a public ceremony in her/his unit and receives a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled, A Healer’s Touch, handcrafted by a tribe in Zimbabwe.

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