CTCA® Chicago Oncology Nurse Honored with Daisy Award for Compassionate Care

June 25, 2019

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® recognizes Mike Stimac, RN as an extraordinary nurse

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Chicago, has honored CTCA® Chicago nurse, Mike Stimac, RN with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in recognition for his commitment and patient-centered approach to care. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.  

Stimac has been in nursing for more than 28 years. For the last five years, he has worked at CTCA Chicago assisting and serving patients in the ICU and surgical oncology unit. 

“I first became intrigued about nursing as a career after being in the hospital for stitches,” said Stimac. “While I was there I met a male nurse. I was very impressed with the way he and the physician interacted and communicated with one another. It left a lasting impression on me.”

Stimac was nominated for the Daisy Award by one of his patients, who anonymously shares: “I was in ICU recovering after having one of my kidneys removed. Michael is by far the best nurse I have had. He has exceptional knowledge, incredible bedside care, and attended to all my needs. When it comes to explaining what will be done as well as educating me on what I can do for myself, he is extremely detailed. A person doing his job also needs to be kind and nurturing mixed with a bit of humor – he has it all. Michael helped me to relax, which lessened my fears, and got me up and walking around sooner than later. This amazing nurse made is easy for me and my family. I thank you so much.”

“Of course I was pleasantly surprised and very appreciative to be chosen for the Daisy Award since there are so many deserving nurses at our hospital,” said Stimac. “I think it's important to recognize nurses for the work that we do, but we know the real heroes are our patients. They are the ones who inspire me.”

Each quarter, a nurse is selected to receive the DAISY Award by an awards committee, comprised of CTCA Chicago nursing leadership and peers. At a presentation given in front of Stimac’s nursing peers, colleagues, physicians, patients, and visitors, she received a certificate commending her for being an "Extraordinary Nurse."  Stimac also received a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa. 

“As a fellow nurse, I know how important the role is throughout the continuum of care,” said Adrienne Schultz, MSN, RN, HN-BC, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at CTCA Chicago. “Mike is a rock, and a key member and mentor of many of the night shift nurses. While the world sleeps this group of selfless men and women make sure our patients receive care and their needs are met.”

Stimac, who works closely with patients as they recover after having surgery, looks for opportunities to connect with his patients. He shares: “By far, the best part of my job is talking with my patients and hearing their stories. They put their trust in me, as I put my confidence in them.”

About the Daisy Foundation/Award
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon autoimmune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

"When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human work they do. The kind of work the nurses at CTCA are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award,” said Bonnie Barnes, president and co-founder of The DAISY Foundation. 

This is one initiative of The DAISY Foundation whose overall goal is to help fight diseases of the immune system. Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and provides assistance to ITP support groups. More information is available on their website www.DAISYfoundation.org.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) is a national oncology network of hospitals and outpatient care centers offering an integrated approach that combines surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and advancements in precision medicine with supportive therapies to manage side effects and enhance quality of life during treatment and into survivorship. CTCA also offers qualified patients a range of clinical trials that may reveal new treatment options supported by scientific and investigational research. CTCA patient satisfaction scores consistently rank among the highest for all cancer care providers in the country. Visit cancercenter.com for more information.