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 2021 Award Categories:

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


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.

2020 National Award Winners

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

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 Lutheran Hospital was the recipient of the 2020 Nurses Improving Care for Health system Elders (NICHE) and American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation Choosing Wisely Trailblazer Award.

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 (PSQH).

2019 National Award Winners

Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital’s Emergency Department was recognized with the Lantern Award by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). The award recognizes EDs that demonstrate excellent practice and innovative performance through leadership, education, advocacy and research.

Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital was re-designated as a Pathway to Excellence Hospital by American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Cleveland Clinic Nursing and Ursuline College’s Breen School of Nursing received the Outstanding Partnership Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society

Julia Blanchette, BSN, RN, CDE, Diabetes Educator at Cleveland Clinic main campus, received the Rising Star Award from the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Mary McLaughlin Davis, DNP, MSN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, CCM, was named Case Manager of the Year by The Case Management Society of America.

Kamini Parekh was awarded the Hartless Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a Cleveland Clinic nurse caregiver who exemplifies great potential in the nursing profession, financial necessity, academic and clinical excellence and dedication to putting patients first. 

Four Cleveland Clinic nurses have been named fellows by the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN): Cleveland Clinic Executive Chief Nursing Officer K. Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC, FAAN; Debra Hain, PhD, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, FAANP, FNKF, FAAN, Cleveland Clinic Florida; Sandra Siedlecki, PhD, RN, APRN-CNS, FAAN, Nursing Research and Innovation; and Beth Marie Faiman, PhD, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN, FAAN, Taussig Cancer Institute.

2018 National Award Winners

Meredith Foxx, MSN, MBA, APRN, PCNS-BC, PPCNP-BC, CPON, was selected as the 2018 Nurse Advocate by the Ohio American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Nancy Albert, PhD, CCNS, CHFN, CCRN, NE-BC, FAHA, FCCM, FHFSA, FAAN, was awarded the 2018 Nursing Leadership Award for her contributions to improving the care of patients with advanced heart failure.

Kathleen Burns Mau, DNP, APRN, ACCNS-AG, ACNS-BC, CEN, was recognized as America’s Best Nurse by the American Health Council for her outstanding contributions to the nursing field.

Previous Winners

Learn about our national award winners from previous years.