WHC’s Freeman honored with Daisy Award


Staff report

GREENVILLE — A longtime Wayne HealthCare employee has been honored for her contributions to the hospital and the community.

Kimberlee “Kim” Freeman, Wayne’s Vice President of Patient Care Services/CNO, is the recipient of the DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award. Freeman’s celebration was attended by family, Wayne HealthCare Senior leadership, administration, and staff.

According to Wayne, Freeman has spent her entire career thus far being a supportive and nurturing leader to any nurse that has crossed her path. She is available to answer questions and willing to support decisions for her staff and others in the organization. Freeman has been steadfast on her career aspirations and has quite a distinguished nursing career which makes her the perfect recipient of the DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award.

The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the auto-immune disease ITP in 1999. During his hospitalization, they deeply appreciated the care and compassion shown to Patrick and his entire family. When he died, they felt compelled to say “thank you” to nurses in a very public way.

The DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize those nurses who have devoted their life’s work to the compassionate care of others. Recipients of this award are nominated for their dedication to nursing through active mentoring, role modeling, advocating for patients and promoting the positive image of nursing. They serve as a beacon of inspiration to those at all stages of their career and in the various and important roles of nursing.

Freeman has ensured that she embraced her educational pathway to excellence and utilized each step as a way to bring quality improvements to clinical practice, units that she managed, and to Wayne’s facility as she leads from her current role. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE); the nation’s top professional society of healthcare leaders.

Freeman serves as a mentor to encourage others who have returned to school to further their nursing education. She mentors many whom are working towards their masters and doctoral level degrees in nursing. She also identified a strong need to develop a nurse residency program in order to attract new nursing graduates and was instrumental in establishing a nationally recognized, evidence based program to Wayne HealthCare. The Versant Nurse Residency program mentors and grows new nurses into our leaders for tomorrow. We have watched the Versant Program grow new graduate RNs from a Med/Surg nurse trying to bridge their knowledge and practice from a student role to that of an independent nurse and then beyond to embrace roles in the ICU, CN and Preceptor roles; all within two years or less.

Freeman serves on multiple boards. Freeman is a certified nurse executive advanced through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Her expertise and service is widely sought and she serves on the boards of the American Organization of Nurse Executives Advocacy Board, the Edison Community College Nursing Advisory Board, the IU East School of Nursing and Health Sciences Advisory Council and the Upper Valley JVs Nursing Advisory Board. She is also involved with the Ohio Organization of Nurse Executives, the Ohio Nurses Association and the Oncology Nurses Association.

Freeman was instrumental in bringing the quality initiative from American Hospital Association Team STEPPS course that focuses on patient safety while empowering every hospital worker to speak up and stop the line in the name of patient safety. This program along with many others that Freeman has supported have resulted in Wayne HealthCare achieving a 5 Star quality rating, the highest ranking any hospital can receive from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. Wayne HealthCare also received an A level ranking for patient safety by Leap Frog Group. Freeman is constantly reminding staff at meetings to assure we keep quality and safety in our decisions. She also was supportive of the Crucial Conversations course that Wayne HealthCare provided to their employees to ensure that all work together as a team with goals for each conversation focused on patient safety and high standards of care.

With 25+ years of service, Freeman started as a candy striper at Wayne Hospital. She moved on to become a nursing assistant at the Brethren Retirement Community. She obtained her LPN in 1998, her associate degree in nursing from Edison State Community College in 2001, her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Indiana Wesleyan in 2003, her master’s degree in nursing from Ball State University in 2007, and has now culminated with her doctorate of nursing degree from Indiana University in 2017.

The team at Wayne HealthCare was honored to recognize and celebrate Freeman for her outstanding accomplishments in the nursing profession, within our organization and community at large. We all look forward to seeing Freeman thrive and lead with excellence. As she has heard many times throughout her life, “the best is yet to come.”

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