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DAISY meaningful recognition guide
DAISY Award says 'thank you'
Thousands of nurses honored, with more to come.
Championing nurse excellence
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
We partner with the DAISY Foundation to celebrate nurses.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Nominators are nurse fans
Support from patients, families, colleagues up the special factor.
Nurse faculty deserve praise
DAISY faculty award gives credit where credit is due.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Benefits that may surprise you
The award comes with perks for honored nurses.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Honoree goes the extra mile
RN takes patient, a Chinese farmer, under her wing.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Propel your nursing practice
Foundation supports studies that can boost your nursing practice.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
4 projects are tip of the iceberg
Funded research targets autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Apply for DAISY grants
If you're ready to do research, applying for grants is a good place.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
DAISY can help retention
Millennial nurses embrace change and meaningful recognition.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Become a 'good detective'
Learn how to develop research in a clinical setting.
continuing education catalog
Continuing education catalog
Check out these courses to develop your career.
Schools get inspired by DAISY
DAISY student and faculty awards strike a chord at schools.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Compassion focus in spotlight
Magnet and Pathway to Excellence connect with DAISY goals.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
RN stages celebrations
Honoree brings holidays to dying patient and her family.
DAISY attracts global attention
The program's international appeal is apparent.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Associations give thumbs up
Groups enthusiastically endorse recognition efforts.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
U.S. families in need of diapers
Here's how to help patients find needed resources.
DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Singing program's praises
The meaningful recognition is a career highlight.
Get funding for your efforts!
Program offers honorees grants to help finance medical missions.
Improve critical thinking skills
This free CE course can help you keep patients safe.
DAISY's reach stretches
An agreement with ICN means more nurses will receive the honor.
New grant program will support medical missions
DAISY honorees with a desire to volunteer can apply for funding
By
Elise Oberliesen
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EDITOR'S NOTE:
Elise Oberliesen is a freelance writer.
Current and past DAISY Award honorees are eligible to
submit grant applications
each year. Visit the foundation's website to see
past recipients and learn more
about the program. “Our grants will cover as much as $1,500,” said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, co-founder and president of The DAISY Foundation. “We feel it will cover the majority of [nurses'] expenses. We’re hoping that by encouraging DAISY honorees who have demonstrated extraordinary compassion to also contribute to patient care for some of the world’s most underserved and vulnerable people.” Nurses typically pay their own way for medical missions, including the cost of medical supplies, Barnes said. In many cases, nurses also give up precious vacation time to participate in mission work. The cost to participate in a medical mission ranges from $500 to $4,000, she added, depending on the location.
The DAISY Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in November 2019 with the announcement of a
new grant program to support medical missions
. The grants help offset travel expenses for DAISY Award honorees interested in pursuing missions.
Behind the scenes of medical missions
Although she’s retired, Joanne Evans, Med, RN, PMHCNS-BC, continues to fuel her passion for nursing by volunteering for medical missions both at home and abroad.

In 2005, she jumped on a plane to New Orleans to provide relief to residents who endured Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history with a final death toll of 1,833, according to the National Weather Service. Evans also travels to countries such as the Dominican Republic and Ecuador to carry out her nursing mission work. She said one of the greatest joys in doing this work is the sheer appreciation expressed by people who need medical care. “Access to healthcare is limited,” Evans said. “In the Dominican Republic, some people would walk for days [from Haiti] to get to where we were, and they’d wait in line for hours to be seen.” Evans works with
Somos Amigos
, a non-profit that provides medical and dental services to people who live in a small mountain village in the Dominican Republic. Volunteers work in a clinic with five exam rooms and nine dental chairs. The organization hosts four trips per year, Evans said. “We provide prenatal care, OBGYN [services], heart care and medications,” Evans said. “If the people need more extensive care they are referred to a nearby city, which is hours away.” The DAISY Foundation recruited Evans to help with the new honoree grant program because of her many years of experience in working on medical missions, she said. "Joanne is well known in the nursing community as a ’doer,’” said Cynthia Sweeney, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, executive director for The DAISY Foundation. “She is always doing something, but most importantly she typically is doing something for other people, like her dedication to mission trips. When DAISY started thinking of people who could share their experiences around mission work to help us articulate the needs of a mission nurse, the first person who popped into my mind was Joanne!"
Shaping the grant program
DAISY Foundation releases new book "Shining the Light On All the Right."
Buy Now
The DAISY Foundation has so far funded 16 medical mission grants, Bonnie Barnes said. Keep in mind the following questions when filling out the application. Knowing these answers can help honorees decide whether the mission is a good fit and determine if they will be able to demonstrate readiness to reviewers.

When a team heads out on a mission, they provide medical, dental and vision care to patients after they have been registered and triaged. Patients go through several stations where volunteers check their height and weight, vital signs and lab work, Arellano said. Volunteers also provide patients with a spiritual consult and physician consult and instruct them on their prescription needs, said Arellano. Patient education is another aspect of the medical mission work. “We educate patients on proper dental hygiene and foot care and give them free flip flops, toothbrushes and toothpaste,” he said. “Then they see the ophthalmologist for vision screenings and they get free reading glasses and sunglasses.” Besides the medical services, Arellano said volunteers also visit orphanages to give out backpacks with school supplies, clothing and toys. “Medical missions are and will forever be a part of me and one of the biggest reasons why I became a registered nurse,” Arellano said.

DAISY honorees can
apply for medical mission grants
on The DAISY Foundation website.
Jose Manuel Arellano, RN
Joanne Evans, RN
When Jose Manuel Arellano, RN, isn’t checking in with patients, he’s running the medical missions program at
Adventist Health White Memorial
in Los Angeles.  “I've been involved with medical missions to Mexico and the Philippines through Adventist Health, both as a coordinator and volunteer, for the past six years,” Arellano said. He also has been instrumental in helping The DAISY Foundation shape the new medical mission grant program, Barnes said.  The foundation sought him out for his expertise about the financial impact of medical missions on nurses — and about what to look for when selecting volunteer candidates for medical missions, Arellano said. For many nurses who graduate from nursing school, student loans combined with daily living expenses make it nearly impossible to foot the bill for a medical mission, he said. Many nurses enjoy the idea of volunteering on medical missions, but the costs exceed their budget. “I've encountered many nurses who would love the opportunity to participate in medical missions but are unable because of financial constraints,” Arellano said. “This grant will be a huge blessing to DAISY honorees who wish to participate in medical missions. Thanks to the Barnes family who took the time to put this grant together, I foresee many [honorees] rushing to apply for medical missions and benefiting from the financial help this program offers.”
25 key questions to ask before you go
  • What are the goals for the medical mission group?
  • How many people are on the volunteer team?
  • How many nurses are going? And how many other professionals?
  • Is additional training required?
  • What does a typical day of volunteer work look like?
  • Are there any nursing licensing issues?
  • Will I need any immunizations?
  • Is there insurance in case I get hurt?
  • How much will it cost to volunteer?
  • Are there additional out of pocket expenses?
  • Are any expenses reimbursed?
  • What are the sleeping arrangements – rooms, bunk beds?
  • What is the primary language the people speak?
  • Will there be interpreters?
  • Has violence ever been an issue?
  • Is there a religion connected to the organization?

  • If so, how is it practiced or shared with the community?
  • What are the expected weather conditions like during my time on this mission?
  • What specific clothes should I pack? Considering weather and cultural considerations.
  • What are the transportation arrangements?
  • Will I be going to one community or several?
  • Has this group visited these communities in the past?
  • Could I talk with a volunteer who has gone on a previous trip?
  • Are there any physical challenges during the trip — stairs, hills, jungle, rubble?
  • Is there time to visit outside the community or do local trips?
Source: Joanne Evans, RN