Institute Awards

Institute Awards

Across Cleveland Clinic hospitals, nurses are consistently the largest employee group. To recognize their invaluable contribution to patient care, we have a robust group of awards honoring those within our institution.

Do you know a nurse who:

  • Courageously inspires hope & touches the human spirit?
  • Exemplifies the highest standards of quality & patient safety?
  • Dedicates a career to exceptional patient care, mentoring or evidence-based practice?
  • Collaborates to promote teamwork & quality outcomes?

 Nursing Excellence Awards

The Stanley Shalom Zielony Institute for Nursing Excellence proudly honors caregivers annually for their outstanding achievements and dedicated commitment to the nursing profession though the Maria and Sam Miller Nursing Excellence Awards.

The phenomenal nurses who receive an award epitomize Cleveland Clinic’s values of quality, innovation, teamwork, service, integrity, and compassion from operating rooms to hospital rooms and classrooms. Our best-in-class nursing professionals work diligently to deliver world-class care to our patients and are among an elite group. Individuals are nominated for an Excellence Award by those who witness their commitment to excellence day in and day out – including fellow caregivers and physician colleagues, patients and volunteers.

These awards are our nursing organization’s most prestigious honors and are announced during Nurses Week and formally celebrated during a fall banquet. 

Nursing Research Fund Award

The Purpose of the Nursing Research Fund (NURF) Award is to help Cleveland Clinic nurses, especially those providing clinical nursing services, conduct nursing research that promotes evidence-based nursing and management practices that lead to quality patient outcomes, enhanced nursing processes, and professional development.

Monies in the Fund are provided by patients and their families in recognition of nursing care received during hospitalizations. Additional contributions to the Fund are made from private donations and honorariums from nursing staff members for presentations and other professional work done in conjunction with their staff role.

Awards up to a maximum of $2,500/each aid registered nurses in conducting research and can be used to provide time to collect data, offset costs of supplies and equipment and statistical analysis, or to travel to a meeting to present findings. It is expected that research results will be shared within the Division of Nursing and to other departments, as appropriate and that generalizable results will be translated into nursing practice. A maximum of $15,000 in awards are presented annually.

Excellence Award Categories

Excellence Award Categories

The Stanley Shalom Zielony Institute for Nursing Excellence proudly honors its nurses for their outstanding achievements and dedicated commitment to the nursing profession annually though the Maria and Sam Miller Nursing Excellence Awards.

These awards are our organization’s most prestigious nursing honors. The nurses who receive these awards epitomize Cleveland Clinic’s values of quality, innovation, teamwork, service, integrity and compassion. Nominations are submitted by fellow caregivers and physician colleagues, patients and volunteers.

Below are the 2023 Award Categories

Local Awards:

National Awards:

Daisy Award Overview

Daisy Award Overview

What is the DAISY Award?

An international program that rewards and celebrates the exceptional, compassionate and skillful care given by nurses every day.

DAISY Award for extraordinary nurses

History of the DAISY Award

Co-founders Mark & Bonnie Barnes started the DAISY Awards when they lost their son, Patrick, from an auto-immune disease. Patrick spent eight weeks in the hospital where they experienced some of the most compassionate care. They turned their experience into an international award in their son’s honor. DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem.

The Barnes’s wanted to honor Patrick’s memory and knew just the way to do it. They knew they had to start by creating a way to say thank you for the gift that nurses give their patients and families every day. Through the DAISY Award, they honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.

Cleveland Clinic collaborates with the DAISY Foundation to provide ongoing recognition of the clinical skill, and especially the compassion, nurses provide to patients and families all year long.

Want to Thank a Nurse for Providing Exceptional Care? Share your story.

DAISY Award honorees provide a great patient experience. These nurses consistently deliver excellence through their clinical expertise and compassionate care. They are recognized as outstanding role models in our nursing community. Nominate a nurse today by filling out the form below.

Please complete the form below (cite specific examples) and click "Submit."

*Indicates required information.

Please do not use such characters as "&", "#", "@" and/or other entities like asterisks.
Phone format should be 000-000-0000
Date format should be mm/dd/yyyy
Download a copy of the DAISY Award Nomination Form if you would like to print it for submission.
Daisy Award Winners

Daisy Award Winners

DAISY Recognized Honorees

Avon Hospital

  • Doris Patrick
  • Lindsay Trotter
  • Janet Underwood

Cleveland Clinic Florida

  • Imtiaz Gafoor
  • Mariya Kalnysh
  • Regine Jeanty
  • Yung Lee
  • Denise Smith
  • Laverne Cuzzocrea
  • Louann Lyttleton

Euclid Hospital

  • Stanley Ndinda
  • Trisha Laska
  • Carolyn Ward

Fairview Hospital

  • Alyssa Kauffman
  • Cynthia Kovach
  • Lauren Patton
  • Katrina Gabriele
  • Virgina (Ginger) Summers
  • Meredith Lalak

Hillcrest Hospital

  • Bethany Casto
  • Frances Vasquez
  • Kevin Acierno

Lutheran Hospital

  • Carolyn Touchet
  • Stavros Koundourakis

Main Campus

  • Brittany Rae Lucas
  • Mary Jane Ziganti
  • Alexandra Rhoten
  • Kathleen Jerge
  • Antonio Rodriguez

Marymount Hospital

  • Jessica Juchnowski
  • Marlene Cooper
  • Melissa Podboy
  • Robbysean Moore
  • Jessica Dawson

Medina Hospital

  • Stephanie Pribonic
  • Lisa Wilson
  • Rebecca Prentiss

South Pointe Hospital

  • Lillian Kuts
  • Gabrielle Eichler
  • Kerry Gould

Daisy Award Recipients

EMERALD Award Overview

EMERALD Award Overview

EMERALD Award

Cleveland Clinic celebrates our nursing support staff with the EMERALD Award. Our nursing support caregivers provide outstanding care and make a difference to patients and families every day.

Award Criteria

  • E - EMPATHY: Treats patients, families, and fellow caregivers as they would like to be treated; Cares for the whole patient: body, mind and spirit.
  • M - MODEL: Serves as a role model for fellow caregivers; Collaborates and shares knowledge to provide the best possible care for every patient.
  • E - EXCELLENCE: Prioritizes “Patients First” by placing patients’ health and well-being at the forefront of everything they do. Holds the highest standards for quality and safety and strives to achieve good outcomes.
  • R - RESPECT: Displays respectful and professional behaviors that represents a positive and engaging culture.
  • A - ACCOUNTABILITY: Demonstrates ownership and responsibility for providing exceptional experiences for patients, their families and our fellow caregivers.
  • L - LEADER: Welcomes change, encourages innovation, and always seeks better, more efficient ways to improve patient care.
  • D - DEDICATION: Holds to high moral standards and demonstrates honesty, confidentiality, trust, respect and transparency in role.

Nominate a Nursing Support Staff Caregiver Today

*Indicates required information.

Please do not use such characters as "&", "#", "@" and/or other entities like asterisks.
Phone format should be 000-000-0000
Date format should be mm/dd/yyyy
National Awards

National Awards

Cleveland Clinic has a national reputation as a top hospital and our nurses play a vital role in this success. We are proud to present those nurses who have received national recognition for their contribution to our model of world-class care.

2023 National Award Winners

Cleveland Clinic’s adult extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program on main campus has received the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support — Gold Level for 2023-2026. Awarded by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), the international honor recognizes institutions whose processes, procedures and systems promote exceptional care in ECMO.

Heather Dicioccio, DNP, RNC-MNN, C-ONQS, has been named a 2023 Reviewer of the Year by Nursing for Women’s Health, the practice journal of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. Dicioccio is a Nursing Professional Development Specialist at Fairview Hospital.

The American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights has named Georgina Morley, PhD, an expert panel member of the 2025 revision of the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. Morley, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Nursing Ethics Program, will help further develop ethical guidance on the values and ideals of the nursing profession and identify ethical challenges affecting the health and well-being of patients.

Lee Anne Siegmund, PhD, RN, ACSM-CEP, was accepted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Siegmund, a nurse scientist in Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Nursing Research and Innovation was one of only six Ohio nurses selected this year.

Dianna Copley, DNP, APRN-CNS, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, received the 2023 Susan B. Davidson Service Award from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS). Copley, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s surgical intensive care unit, was honored for her extraordinary service to NACNS.

2022 National Award Winners

Cleveland Clinic’s Akron General Satellite Emergency Departments in Bath, Stow and Green, Ohio, received the 2022 Guardian of Excellence Award. Presented by Press Ganey, the award honors healthcare institutions that have reached the 95th percentile for patient experience.

Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital received the Maternity Care Best Practice Award: Bag-Free Designation. Presented by the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Lactation Consultant Association and Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance, the honor recognizes hospitals whose practices align with Baby-Friendly USA certification requirements and the organization’s goal of reducing infant mortality.

Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest and Fairview Hospital’s received the Care Award from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® for demonstrating practices that promote, protect and support breastfeeding and the lactation consultant profession.

Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital was named one of America’s Best Maternity Hospitals by Newsweek magazine in 2022. The honor was given in recognition of the high-quality patient care the hospital provides through all stages of pregnancy.

Cleveland Clinic’s Miller Pavilion and cardiothoracic and vascular operating rooms on main campus received Go Clear (Gold Level) awards from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. The award, which was also presented to South Pointe Hospital and Cole Eye Institute, recognizes medical facilities for their commitment to protecting patients and caregivers from the hazards of surgical smoke.

Cleveland Clinic’s main campus earned Get With The Guidelines® (Gold Plus) awards in adult resuscitation, stroke care and heart failure recognition from the American Heart Association. It also earned a Silver award in pediatric resuscitation. The prestigious awards are presented annually to medical institutions that promote consistent adherence to the latest scientific guidelines and recommended clinical practices.

Cleveland Clinic Martin Health received the Gold Go Clear Award from the American Operating Room Nurses Association for achieving a surgical smoke-free environment. The presence of smoke in the surgery suites is a byproduct of energy-generating devices such as electrosurgery units, lasers, ultrasonic devices and powered surgical instruments.

Cleveland Clinic Martin Health North and Tradition hospitals have been granted Perinatal Care Certification by The Joint Commission. They are two of only 60 maternity hospitals in the United States and the first in the Cleveland Clinic enterprise to earn this distinction.

The emergency department of Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital earned a 2022 Lantern Award from the Emergency Nurses Association for its innovative performance in leadership, practice, education, advocacy and research.

Shannon A. Rives, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, won the 2022 MEDSURG Nursing Quality Improvement Writer’s Award for her peer-reviewed journal article “Decreasing Central Line Infections on a Medical- Surgical Unit.” She is a clinical nurse specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s inpatient gastroenterology, hepatology and abdominal transplant units.

Deborah Small, DNP, RN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Cleveland Clinic London, has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Known as an intuitive leader with a focus on human relations, healthcare safety and nursing advocacy, Small has held numerous administrative and academic roles. She previously served as CNO of Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital and Associate CNO of Quality and Practice.

Tina Resser, CNP, a nurse practitioner with Cleveland Clinic’s endovascular and open cerebrovascular program, received the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2022 Ohio Award for Excellence. The award recognizes nurses who demonstrate excellence in clinical practice and who have made a significant contribution to increasing the awareness and recognition of NPs.

Cleveland Clinic’s Akron General Satellite Emergency Departments in Bath, Stow and Green, Ohio, received the 2022 Guardian of Excellence Award. Presented by Press Ganey, the award honors healthcare institutions that have reached the 95th percentile for patient experience.

Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital at Richard E. Jacobs Campus received Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for knowledge and expertise in the delivery of nursing care. Euclid Hospital achieved this designation with seven exemplars for exceptional practices. Avon Hospital received 11 exemplars.

Cleveland Clinic was named the first recipient of the Kathleen Singleton Award from the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN). The honor is bestowed on institutions that provide exemplary support to medical-surgical nursing units. Cleveland Clinic was recognized for its robust support of nursing education and clinical competency, and for fostering respectful collaborations. Singleton served as AMSN president from 2008 to 2010.

Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital nurses were awarded First Place for Research by the Association Of Operating Room Nurses (AORN) during the organization’s Global Surgical Conference & Expo in New Orleans in March 2022. The nurses’ poster, The Effect of the Built Environment on OR Personnel and Their Perception of Patients’ Surgical Experiences: A Phenomenological Comparative Study, described the lived experience of operating room personnel working in an environment equipped with an OR integration system that incorporates a relaxing multimedia experience. Primary author Rosemary Field, MS, APRN-AOCNS, Clinical Nurse Specialist, worked with Marymount Hospital colleagues Linda Soos, BSN, RN, CNOR, Perioperative Clinical Nurse; Charika Burns, MSN, RN, CNOR, Perioperative Nurse Educator; MaryBeth Houlahan, BSN, RN, CNOR, Nurse Manager of the Perioperative Department; and Christian Burchill, PhD, MSN, RN, CEN, former Nurse Scientist II at Cleveland Clinic and research mentor for the project.

Dena Jo Stuart, BSN, RNC-MNN, CLC, Nurse Manager of Childbirth Education and Lactation at Hillcrest Hospital, received the 2022 Breastfeeding Medicine Advocacy Award for her outstanding work in support of breastfeeding patients and their babies.

2021 National Award Winners

Tina Resser, CNP, a nurse practitioner with Cleveland Clinic’s endovascular and open cerebrovascular program, was named Ohio Nurse Practitioner of the Year by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Jane Hartman, MSN, APRN, PNP-BC, was named the 2021 March of Dimes Ohio Healthcare Hero of the Year for going above and beyond to effect change and playing a vital role in keeping families healthy during the pandemic.

Mary Beth Modic, DNP, APRN-CNS, CDE, FAAN, and her co-author Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, received two 2021 Book of the Year awards from the American Journal of Nursing for Luminaries of the Past: Stories of Fifty Extraordinary Nurses (Halo Publishing). The book won first place in the Creative Works category and third place in History and Public Policy.

The American Association of Critical Care Nursing (AACN) honored three Cleveland Clinic units with its Beacon Award for Excellence. Through the AACN’s gold-, silver- and bronze-level awards, teams are recognized for excellence in a variety of areas, including leadership, staffing, communication, learning development, evidence-based practice and patient outcomes. The Surgical Intensive Care and Medical Intensive Care units at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus each received gold awards. Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital’s Critical Care Unit received a silver award.

Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Fairview Hospital, Hillcrest Hospital, Mercy Hospital and  Hillcrest Hospital received the 2021 Maternity Care Best Practice Award: Bag-Free Designation. Presented by the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Lactation Consultant Association and Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance, the honor recognizes hospitals whose practices align with Baby Friendly USA certification requirements and the organizations’ goal of reducing infant mortality.

The Cleveland Clinic Ambulatory Care team’s COVID Home Monitoring Program was honored by the Value-Based Health Care Center (VBHC) in the Netherlands with a Value-Based Health Care Prize for Cost Effectiveness. VBHC is an international organization focused on delivering value in healthcare.

Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital received a PRISM Award® from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership. The award recognizes diversity and inclusion initiatives within the nursing profession, healthcare organizations and the community. PRISM signifies Premier Recognition in the Specialty of Med-Surg.

Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital received Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for knowledge and expertise in the delivery of nursing care. The hospital achieved This designation with nine exemplars for exceptional practices.

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) honored a number of surgical units throughout the Cleveland Clinic Health System with its Go Clear Award™ for providing increased safety to surgical patients and healthcare workers by implementing practices that eliminate smoke caused by surgical devices.

Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital’s Stroke Center earned recognition from the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke program as a GOLD PLUS program with Honor Roll Elite designation. The stroke center also was named to the AHA’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.

Joan Kavanagh, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, and Patricia A. Sharpnack, DNP, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, were selected by the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) to receive the Elaine H. Martyn Writing Award for their leadership and many contributions to ONA and the nursing profession. They were honored at the 2021 ONA Convention held virtually on Oct. 5-6, 2021.

Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital received Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The hospital earned seven exemplars for outstanding work in Nursing Quality Outperformance Inpatient Setting, Quality Outperformance Ambulatory Setting, and Patient Satisfaction Ambulatory.

Cleveland Clinic Fairview and Hillcrest hospitals were named Best Maternity Hospitals 2021 by Newsweek magazine working in partnership with The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit that reports on quality and safety in U.S. healthcare facilities.

2020 National Award Winners

Cleveland Clinic’s Nurse Residency Program received Accreditation with Distinction in May 2020 from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Cleveland Clinic received a 2020 Richard L. Doyle Award from MCG Health to recognize innovative use of evidence-based guidance and technology.

Joan M. Kavanagh, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Nursing Education and Professional Development at Cleveland Clinic, was selected by the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow.

The nursing team on the 5 Main medical-surgical unit at Cleveland Clinic’s Hillcrest Hospital earned the PRISM Award®, co-sponsored by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the Medical- Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB).

Three nursing units on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus earned the Beacon Award for Excellence®, Silver Level from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses in 2020: the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, the Neurological Intensive Care Unit and the Thoracic Surgery Step-Down Unit. In addition, the Cardiovascular Step-Down Unit was recertified at the Gold Level.

Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital was the recipient of the Chest Pain – MI Registry™ Gold Performance Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology.

Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital medical intensive care unit received a Gold Level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital was the recipient of the Choosing Wisely® Trailblazer Award from Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.

Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital was the recipient of the Go Clear Award – Gold Recognition Level Surgical Smoke-Free Award from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).

Cleveland Clinic health system was the recipient of the Innovation Award from Patient Safety& Quality Healthcare.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has awarded Cleveland Clinic’s main campus Emergency Department a Level 1 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation. Cleveland Clinic is one of only three hospitals in Ohio to achieve Level 1 accreditation.

Mary Ann Donovan, MSN, MSEd, RN, CPAN, received the 2020 Above and Beyond Service Recognition Award from the 2020 American Society of Perioperative Nursing.

Jane Hartman, MSN, APRN-PNP-BC, won Cleveland Clinic’s Outstanding Innovation in Medical Device Award for developing the High-LineTM system , a product that keeps long lines of IV tubing off hospital floors.

Previous Winners

Learn about our national award winners from previous years.