One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Rich Stratton, Assistant Director of Public Relations

A sick young boy and his mother faced an early morning crisis at Dayton Children’s Hospital, and it was a devoted nurse who eased their pain. Now, the grateful mom’s nomination of Brittany Lawhorn Rhoads, a 2013 graduate from the Cedarville University School of Nursing, was the impetus behind Rhoads receiving the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses during a ceremony on March 21 at Dayton Children’s Hospital. 

Rhoads received the award, established in 2001, for her exceptional compassion and clinical excellence exhibited in her work at Dayton Children's. Candidates for the DAISY award are nominated by patients and their families, coworkers or supervisors who observe a nurse giving outstanding care.  

Brittany Rhoads insertRhoads’ nomination came from the young child's mother, who is a nurse herself. She saw Rhoads’ patience and calming presence when working with her child, who needed special attention to cope with a very difficult health crisis. 

“She never rushed, never pushed him and never mentioned needing to leave or that there was something, or someone, more important than my son,” said the mom, who must remain anonymous due to HIPAA laws, in her nomination of Rhoads.  

Rhoads has worked the night shift at Dayton Children’s Hospital for 11 years. The job is tough, but she says the rewards outweigh the demands. “I love being able to comfort children and their families during difficult times,” said Rhoads. “There is nothing better than seeing a sick child getting well.” 

The award came as a surprise to Rhoads, who strives to provide the same level of care for all her patients.  

“I try to give my best every night. Showing compassion and the love of Christ is just what I am called to do,” said Rhoads when learning she was the recipient of the prestigious DAISY award.  

While it may have been a surprise to Rhoads, it wasn't to her colleagues or Cedarville University faculty members. 

“Brittany is a fantastic DAISY winner. I have been presenting and participating in DAISY awards for nearly 20 years,and her nomination was an amazing tribute to a nurse who understands the nursing profession and the importance of caring for each patient,” said Jayne Gmeiner, vice president and chief of nursing at Dayton Children’s Hospital. 

“It does not surprise me that Brittany won the DAISY award,” said Rhonda Smith, compliance advisor for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) student success at Cedarville University. “She is a kind and compassionate caregiver who will always go the extra mile for others.” 

Rhoads credits her time at Cedarville as a major factor in making compassionate nursing second nature for her. “The nursing professors showed us what it looks like to care. They are genuine and kind and taught us to care for all our patient’s needs, physical, emotional and spiritual,” reflected Rhoads. 

Dr. Angie Mickle, dean of the School of Nursing and associate professor, was excited to hear a Cedarville graduate received a DAISY, but like her colleagues was not surprised.  

“Our faculty are committed to teaching clinical excellence and to helping our students pursue growth in the areas of faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love,” said Mickle. “Academic excellence combined with intentional pursuit of confirming one's calling is the unique recipe for nursing graduates who can boldly use nursing as their ministry.” 

Rhoads is grateful for the award and recognition, but to her, the greatest gift comes from knowing she made a difference. She will treasure the words of a grateful mother in her nomination letter, “I will remember her ‘wait’ long after I forget her name, her face, and the rest of that night. Her compassion got us through.” 


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