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Surgical nurse receives Sparrow Ionia Hospital DAISY Award

Sparrow Ionia Hospital DAISY Award group photo

Sparrow Ionia Surgical Services caregivers were given the DAISY Team award for going above and beyond for patients.

Published: July 8, 2021

IONIA, MI – Sparrow Ionia Hospital has honored surgical nurse Justin Thomas with the DAISY Award in recognition of his patient-centered approach to care.

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

Thomas has been a fixture and leader in Sparrow Ionia’s Surgical Service Department, able to handle the daily responsibilities of the department while mentoring new caregivers.

“Justin has dedicated his career to providing compassionate care for the Ionia community.  He quietly works behind the scenes to accomplish great things and provide excellent care for all.  Justin is well deserving of this recognition,” said Tara Lanz, Emergency Department manager.

Thomas began working in patient registration at Sparrow Ionia in 2008, worked hard to go to nursing school and became a nurse in the Emergency Department in 2012. He joined the surgical staff in 2015.

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.

Justin Thomas with the DAISY Award

Sparrow Ionia Hospital Nurse Justin Thomas displays his DAISY award for extraordinary nursing after a recent ceremony.

Thomas received a certificate, a DAISY pin, a beautiful stone sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. The sculpture depicts 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 Sparrow.org.