Daisy Award Winners- September 2023


The DAISY Foundation was formed in January 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). The Barnes family, impressed with the compassionate nursing care their son Patrick received before his death, wanted to recognize extraordinary nurses everywhere for the difference they make in the lives of patients and families.

The DAISY Award® is a nationwide program that recognizes nurses who consistently demonstrate excellence through their clinical expertise, compassion and spirituality, and are recognized as role models in the nursing community. Congratulations to the following Ascension Living nurses who recently received the DAISY Award!

Jenifer Carriker, LPN | Ascension Living

Jennifer was nominated for the award by a co-worker. In the nomination, her co-worker wrote, in part: 

“She is the perfect example of going above and beyond for her residents and nurse aides. After working side by side with her, there is no other nurse I’d rather work with and have mentor me. She constantly thinks about others even when she has her own tasks to complete and continues to have a smile the whole time. I am grateful for her support and her amazing ability to be there for me. She has taught me valuable lessons by talking to me about situations that may occur to educate me and prepare me for the future. I appreciate all her hard work and I want to make sure it does not go unnoticed. I love working with her and cannot wait until my next shift with her.”



Andrea McClellan, LPN | Ascension Living Alexian Village Tennessee

Andrea was nominated for the award by a co-worker and resident and a resident’s loved one. The nominations stated, in part: 

“There are so many reasons that I could list to say just how amazing and knowledgeable and caring and generous and wonderful of a nurse she is. I’ve had the privilege of working here at Alexian with her for several years now and have witnessed that no matter the day or situation, her level of care does not waver. Andrea always strives to put her residents first – even when she’s off and not at work – constantly checking on them, worrying about them, and loving them. Not just them, but their families.

“Andrea is humble and prefers to stay out of the spotlight. She does whatever it takes to always do her best, every day, and she does it all without ever wanting or accepting thank-yous or compliments. Every time someone says thank you or tries to remind her just how grateful every resident and staff is for her, the response is always the same – “I don’t need a thank-you, I’m just doing my job.” It is clear that she loves being a nurse. I know that’s all the reward she needs, but I think she deserves more. I promise you will not find a better floor nurse than her. Ask any one of our residents or staff on 7 East and I promise we will all say the same. We love her and we would not be the floor that we are without her. She’s one of the best nurses I’ve ever had the chance to work with.

“On top of being the best nurse, her work ethic is always above par. She hardly ever calls in and always tries to pick up extra shifts. During COVID, Andrea never hesitated to do whatever was asked of her, continuing to give the Alexian Village family her very best. I’m proud to have her as my co-worker and my friend.”

“Andrea makes a difference in my care throughout every moment of her workday. When I was first admitted, she advocated for me by connecting with other staff members to request placement in her unit. I heard that she told the team that [I am] ‘one of our own,’ and she was willing to personally oversee my care. She has a rare gift to foresee any need, change in condition, or potential challenge, and begin to resolve it before it even becomes evident or problematic for every resident, every shift, and every workday. Much of her meaningful care goes unheralded, and even unrecognized because of her humility, clinical knowledge and quiet expertise. On a personal basis, I’ve known her as a friend, co-worker, and most recently as my nurse during recovery from a serious illness. My swift recuperation, without doubt, is in large part due to her literally countless interventions for me. But, most importantly, she makes a meaningful difference for every patient under her care at every given moment, regardless of their level of need.”



Alona Tester, RN | Ascension Living PACE Michigan, Flint

Alona was nominated for the award by a colleague. In the nomination, she wrote, in part: 

“Alona Tester, RN, has developed and led our comfort care program with dedication and love. In 2020, near the beginning of the COVID outbreak, our program decided to bring a comfort care (hospice) program in-house. At the time we felt like our contracted providers were not caring for our participants like we could. Alona, who had no hospice experience, volunteered to head the program and threw herself into learning everything she could about comfort care and dying with dignity. Because of Alona’s dedication to this program, we are able to care for our participants and their families through the end of life when they are most vulnerable. She has led and educated our nurses on end-of-life care, and her passion for the subject has inspired all of the nurses to embrace end-of-life care for our elderly population. The service that Alona has brought to our program and our community is unparalleled.” 


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About us


Ascension Living, based in St. Louis and part of Ascension, is a mission-driven senior living provider deeply connected to our Catholic faith that cares for the physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being of all individuals we serve. Our Mission calls us to provide spiritually centered, holistic care to seniors, particularly those most in need. We offer a wide range of programs tailored to meet the unique needs of older adults. Regardless of everyone’s stage in life, our goal is to provide seniors with opportunities designed to make their lives joyful, enriching and satisfying. With communities in 11 states and the District of Columbia, our ministries are continually developing and adopting new best practices in care that enhance the experiences of our residents, program participants and patients. Learn more at www.ascensionliving.org.

Ascension (www.ascension.org) is one of the nation’s leading non-profit and Catholic health systems, with a Mission of delivering compassionate, personalized care to all with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2022, Ascension provided $2.3 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 140,000 associates and 37,000 aligned providers and operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 138 hospitals in 19 states.