SVHC Honors the SVMC Endoscopy Team with DAISY Team Award
/ Categories: NEWS, 2022

SVHC Honors the SVMC Endoscopy Team with DAISY Team Award

Left to right: Mollie McMahon, RN; David L. Furman, MD; Krystle Kalinowski, RN; Margaret Hauser-Ullman, RN; Michele Bettis, RN; Laurie Reyes, RN; Kayla Duval, LNA; Marcy Martinka; Ella Leonard, LNA; Felisha Wright, RN; Julie Blatchley, RN; Lory Tudor, RN; Pamela Duchene, PhD, APRN, chief nursing officer and vice president for Patient Care Services; Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, president and CEO; and Tanya Cowder, MSN, RN, CNOR, senior director of perioperative and interventional services. Not pictured are Nancy Cook, RN; Jaclyn Hoag, RN, Amy Kinney, RN; and Desirae LaCross, LNA.

BENNINGTON, VT—February 7, 2022—The Endoscopy team at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), was the recipient of the DAISY Team Award for Extraordinary Nurses in November. The department was nominated by two patients.

“Our Endoscopy nurses are very highly experienced,” said Pamela Duchene, PhD, APRN, SVHC’s chief nursing officer and vice president for Patient Care Services. “Their years of service relate to both extraordinary skill and the ability to provide what would make the patient most comfortable, whether that’s a warm blanket or a word of reassurance.”

Duchene presented the award during a surprise presentation in the Endoscopy Unit last month.

The first nominator noted, “while I was there for my procedure, they were so  nice and professional. I can’t say enough about them. They were great.” The second had had a difficult procedure in the department several years ago and was very nervous. “These two nurses listened to my story. They passed it along to the new provider and, over and over, reassured me of my safety and wellbeing. Besides listening, which is huge in my mind, their infection-control techniques were impeccable and their bedside manner was wonderful.”

“We are so honored that patients feel like they are in good hands while under our care,” said Tanya Cowder, MSN, RN, the department’s director. “We enjoy hearing from patients that we were able to put them at ease and make their medical experience as enjoyable as possible.”

The Endocsopy Department is made up of nearly 20 full- and part-time staff members. Together with medical staff, they offer screening and repeat colonoscopies, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), and other emergency procedures, like food impactions, to approximately 65 patients each week.

The department offers a nurse-led program to provide direct access to screening colonoscopies and follow-ups, including personalized navigation and coordination and communication with providers. Patients with questions about preventing colon cancer with screening colonoscopy should inquire by e-mail at  

The DAISY Award is part of a national merit-based recognition program established by the DAISY Foundation. It celebrates nurses’ education, training, and skill. Nominations can be submitted by patients, families, physicians, and colleagues. All nominations are blinded, so that they are anonymous before being reviewed by a selection committee. One nurse is then chosen as the DAISY Award winner. DAISY Awards are presented on a regular basis, usually bi-monthly or quarterly.

About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care is among the most lauded small rural health systems in the nation. It is the recipient of the American Hospital Association’s 2020 Rural Hospital Leadership Award. SVMC ranked fourth nationwide for the value of care it provides by the Lown Institute Hospital Index and is a five-time recipient of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. It has also received the highest marks possible from the Leapfrog Group. 

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559. 

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