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Randy Kuwamoto Named Lodi Health's DAISY Award Winner

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Lodi Health named Randy Kuwamoto, RN, the recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses at an employee ceremony on May 2. DAISY is an international program honoring nurses for compassionate care.

The award was presented to Kuwamoto, a nurse in Lodi Memorial’s Medical-Surgical unit by Lodi Health’s Chief Nursing Officer Debbe Moreno. Kuwamoto received an “Extraordinary Nurse” certificate, DAISY-designated parking spot, a DAISY award pin and A Healer’s Touch sculpture hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

The DAISY Award was established nationally to recognize the over-the-top efforts nurses perform every day. Moreno described the qualities of those exemplary nurses who are selected for the DAISY Award, and said Kuwamoto’s compassion and kindness reflect that every single day, whether he’s working with patients or coming in after hours to offer support and fill his role as “Candy Randy,” a name given to him because he keeps his peers in supply of candy.

“Randy Kuwamoto is well-known in our departments for his compassion and kindness, and his dedication to personalized care is a vital part of his work,” Moreno said. “On his days off, he is often found in the hospital visiting some of his patients. He shows serious concern and dedication to the nursing profession.”

During the ceremony, Lodi Memorial nursing supervisor MaryBeth VerHagen shared an emotional appreciation for Kuwamoto’s care while her father was in the hospital.

“He didn’t treat me like I was a nurse, he treated me like I was a daughter,” VerHagen said, adding that the compassion and dignity he allowed was invaluable.

As a caregiver and as a coworker, Kuwamoto’s heart is felt throughout the hospital. Several months ago, he took it upon himself to honor and celebrate the hospital’s Environmental Services team for their hard work in keeping the hospital clean. He spent his own money and organized a lunch and dinner buffet to honor those he refers to as the unsung heroes of the hospital.

“Everything that this award was created for, you are that, Randy,” Moreno said.

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s efforts to nurses who go above-and-beyond on a daily basis. The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation, based in Glen Ellen, Calif., was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died in 1999 at the age of 33 from an autoimmune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired the award as a means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.