Sparrow Ionia honors Caregivers with DAISY and BEE Awards

Published: January 24, 2023

IONIA, MI – Sparrow Ionia Hospital recently honored two caregivers and the hospital’s highly skilled surgical team for their dedication and compassionate care for patients and caregivers.

Ionia Hospital nurse Lois Wilber DAISY Award - 2023

Sparrow Ionia Hospital Emergency nurse Lois Wilber poses with her DAISY Award.

Emergency Department Nurse Lois Wilber, RN, was named DAISY Award honoree based on a patient nomination for her compassion and cheerful personality during the patient’s recent stay. Wilber has worked at Sparrow Ionia since 1981.

“Lois is a very hard-working, compassionate, and dedicated nurse,” said Sparrow Ionia Hospital Emergency Department Manager Tara Lanz, MSN, RN. “She is a true patient advocate, ensuring that we are providing the highest level of care possible. Nurses, like Lois, are hard to find and we are lucky enough to have her on our team, caring for our community.”

Sparrow Ionia Surgical caregivers received a DAISY Team Award after being nominated by a patient who indicated the team “saved my life.” The patient was scheduled for a routine gall bladder removal that became a more serious condition. 

“This award recognizes the idea ‘to achieve better outcomes may start with an individual, but it takes a team to implement successfully,’” said Steve Dexter, MSN, RN, CNRN, Sparrow Ionia’s Director of Operations. “Our surgical team, without a doubt, is exemplary in regard to their quick thinking, commitment to safety, and compassionate and effective care.”

Ionia Surgical Caregivers with DAISY Team award - 2023

Sparrow Ionia Surgical caregivers were provided the DAISY Team award for their responsiveness and exceptional care for patients.

Ionia Nutrition Services Billie Jo Ostrander BEE Award - 2023

Food and Nutrition Services caregiver Billie Jo Ostrander (right) is honored as Sparrow Ionia Hospital’s BEE Award recipient and is joined by Dietitian Natalie Gall. 

Nominated by fellow caregivers, Food and Nutrition Services caregiver Billie Jo Ostrander received the BEE Award for demonstrating exceptional care to patients and caregivers. Ostrander has worked at Sparrow Ionia since 2014.

“Billie Jo exemplifies excellence daily as the foundation of helping others,” said Dexter. “She follows timeless principles of compassion – including honesty, integrity, and treating others with respect – to create a meaningful environment for our patients and our caregivers, every time.”

The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary, compassionate, and skillful care given by 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.

The BEE Award recognizes excellence among the clinical support caregivers who work alongside nursing teams to deliver quality, compassionate care. BEE is an acronym for Be Exceptional Every day. Acknowledging the strength behind teamwork, the BEE Award is given in conjunction with the DAISY Award to symbolize the relationship between nursing and clinical support caregivers - the same way bees and flowers depend on one another.


Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier health care organization that includes hospitals in Lansing, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ionia and Carson City 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