Celebrations rang out across Keck Medical Center of USC during Nurses Week, a time to honor the men and women on the front lines of patient care.

Nurses Week was highlighted by two ceremonies celebrating the important work being done by nurses at Keck Medical Center.

The Nursing Recognition Awards ceremony was held May 6 in Hoffman Café  at Keck Hospital of USC. The annual events honors the finest in nursing care at Keck Medical Center.

Award recipients were:

Nurse of the Year — Brittany Wilson

Care Partner — Kaitlin Alderete

Nurse Advocate — Mary Schoenbaum

Nurse Rookie — Chelsea Palacios

Nurse Preceptor — Matthew Madaule

Advance Practice — Gina Kucherepa

Nurse Humanitarian — Annette Smith

Nurse leader of the year — Anabel Cantero

The ceremony was followed by a dedication on May 11 of statues donated by the DAISY Foundation to Keck Hospital of USC and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Hand-carved from a single block of serpentine stone by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe, the Healer’s Touch statues honor the nurses who continue to make this organization a great place to receive beyond exceptional care.

“This statue is dedicated to all of the nurses who continue to make this organization a great place to receive beyond exceptional care,” said Annette Sy, chief nursing officer of Keck Medicine of USC. “It will serve as a constant reminder of how special our nurses are and how important their work is.”

Sy and Keck Medical Center of USC CEO Rod Hanners were joined by DAISY Foundation co-founders Bonnie and Mark Barnes. The DAISY Award honors exceptional nurses and was established in honor of their son, Patrick, who died of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, or ITP. Keck Hospital and USC Norris began recognizing nurses with the DAISY Award in 2010. More than 2,000 health care facilities across the U.S. and in 15 countries honor their nurses with the Daisy Award.

“Thank you for doing your job, thank you for being heroes,” Mark Barnes said during the afternoon ceremony in front of the Healer’s Touch statue that stands in front of USC Norris. “Thank you for being nurses.”

— Douglas Morino