Sparrow Ionia caregivers described as “angels” for care

Editor's note 1.4.2022: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Beverly Johnston who tragically passed away this morning. Weeks before her passing, Beverly was a patient at Sparrow Ionia Hospital battling with COVID-19. Beverly praised the Sparrow Ionia caregivers who cared for her. 

Published: Jan. 3, 2022

IONIA, MI – Eighty-five year-old Beverly Johnston of Ionia credited the caregivers at Sparrow Ionia Hospital – who she called her “angel band” – with saving her life after she contracted COVID-19 last fall.

“It was the best care you could ever ask for in this world,” she said.

Johnston was hospitalized for several weeks with COVID after she was admitted with a bad cough and flu-like symptoms. She felt blessed to have gone to Sparrow Ionia with its leading-edge medicine and highly skilled and compassionate caregivers.

“They nurtured me, they loved me. They are so compassionate and loving,” she said. “They are angels of mercy.”

Johnston said caregivers responded to her every need and nursed her so well that within weeks she was able to sit up in bed and carry on a vigorous conversation. The caregivers even set up a Zoom link so she could view her 83-year-old brother’s funeral.

Beverly Johnston Ionia COVID-19 Patient
Sparrow Ionia patient Beverly Johnston, 85, was interviewed about the extraordinary care she received at the hospital following her COVID diagnosis.
Ionia Daisy Award Group December 2021
Sparrow Ionia nurse Christa Schrauben, RN, (fifth from left) and members of the Medical Surgical team pose with hospital leaders after being recognized with DAISY Awards.

“I said to my children that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Johnston felt so good about the care she received that she nominated all of her caregivers for a DAISY Award, given for extraordinary nursing.

In response to Johnston’s nomination, Sparrow Ionia recently honored the hospital’s Medical Surgical nursing team with a DAISY Award for their compassionate care, outstanding nursing skills, and always putting patients first.

“Our Medical Surgical inpatient team is deserving of this award because of how they provide care from the heart, not for the recognition, but for who they are care plus givers,” said Steve Dexter, MSN, RN, CNRN, Sparrow Ionia Director of Operations.

Medical Surgical nurse Christa Schrauben, RN, was also recognized with a DAISY Award based on a patient letter that identified her as an “angel from above walking the hospital hallways.” Schrauben has been employed at Sparrow Ionia since October 2012.

“Christa is an advocate for her patients. She takes the time to infuse holistic care which, in turn, reveals the value in patient-centered care,” Dexter said. “Christa truly provides the care that people need, every patient, every time.”

The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary, compassionate and skillful care given to nurses every day.

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Award is a national program created in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died in 1999 of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, or ITP, at age 33. His family was overwhelmed by the skillful and compassionate nurses who cared for him, and the DAISY Foundation and Award were created as an expression of their gratitude.

Schrauben and the Medical Surgical Team received certificates, DAISY pins, and beautiful stone sculptures called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. The sculptures depict the embracing relationship nurses have with their patients.


Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia and St. Johns, as well as Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, the Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 Caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and Patient experience. For more information, visit