Bayhealth announced the latest recipient of the DAISY Award is Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus Progressive Care Unit nurse Matthew Smenkowski.

Once a month, Bayhealth chooses a new nurse to receive the award, a national recognition given to nurses who go above and beyond in the care of their patients.

The DAISY Award is given through the DAISY Foundation, which was formed in January 2000 in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 of complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The DAISY Award was created a year later and recognizes nurses across the country, and stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem.

Smenkowski was nominated for the DAISY Award by a patient, who wrote in a nomination that she was impressed with Smenkowski from the very beginning of her care on the PCU.

“He would always ask me if my pain was actually more than what I was admitting,” wrote his nominator. “He would explain conditions and give me scenarios, which gave me more thought to being completely honest with the pain I’d been experiencing. This nurse is a great force to be reckoned with.”

With a family of nurses, Smenkowski choosing nursing as a career isn’t much of a surprise to those who know him.

“I knew deciding to become a nurse allowed me to work closely with patients,” he said. “I know it is cliché to say, but I truly do enjoy helping people, and nursing allows me to make a difference in the lives of my patients and their families on a daily basis. What drives me as a nurse is the ability to affect the lives of my patients and the opportunity to learn something new every day.”

DAISY Award honorees are nominated by nurses, administrators, peers, physicians, volunteers, patients and families. To nominate a Bayhealth nurse, visit bayhealth.org/daisy.