ICU Nurses Honored with DAISY Awards


ICU team and hospital leadership celebrate Chuck Munoz, RN, and Cessa Kellogg, RN, center, first row.

One Munson Medical Center ICU nurse seemed like a “fellow Marine” to a patient who appreciated her advocacy for him.

The other ICU nurse impressed a colleague with his commitment to compassionate care and nursing excellence.

Both ICU team members Cessa Kellogg, RN, and Chuck Munoz, RN, recently were honored with the DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nurses.

The patient who nominated Cessa, was among those she cared for when the ICU staff temporarily switched unit areas with the cardiothoracic unit during the pandemic.
“She blew into my world at my weakest, she showed me dignity and respect while helping me make decisions for my care and what was to come next,” the patient wrote. “Most RNs need to worry only about medical issues, however when the issues of my wishes and safety came up, I felt like she put me behind her and stood up for me like a fellow Marine … I will never forget having Cessa in my life when nothing made sense and the wolves were closing in. I admire her strength and the heart she has for the people she signs up to protect. Thank you!”

Cessa, who has been a nurse at the hospital since 2017, said she appreciates the recognition.

“I am incredibly humbled,” she said.

Chuck was characterized by his colleague as a “prioritizer of people and emotions” who “carries the spirit of service.”

“In the time I have worked with Chuck, I have come to appreciate the level of unsparing compassion he brings to work,” the colleague wrote. “With an intense devotion to the holistic and environmental aspects of nursing care, Chuck takes nursing to its roots and the patients he cares for flourish emotionally and mentally. Not all can recover physically from their situation and state of vulnerability, but I have witnessed Chuck provide emotional reprieve time and time again. In my own last days, it would be a gift from God to have someone with his reassurance and serenity by my side. I can think of no one more deserving of a DAISY.”

A nurse for 14 years at the hospital, Chuck smiled when asked how he felt about the nomination and recognition.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Munoz said.

Both Cessa and Chuck received special DAISY Award certificates, a pin, and a hand-carved serpentine stone sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch.” The award is a national recognition established in 1999 by a Seattle, Wash. family who wanted to honor nurses who go above and beyond in providing care – the kind of care they witnessed at a Seattle facility as their son, Patrick, fought but eventually died of an auto immune disease.