Heather Sootkoos ’18 recently received the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses through Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Medical Center. “Daisy” stands for “Diseases Attacking the Immune System,” an acronym and award created in the remembrance of J. Patrick Barnes who passed away [from] an autoimmune disease. During his stay in the hospital, his family reflected on the one positive thing in the midst of their sorrows and it was the compassionate nursing care that he received. The Daisy Award is given to nurses worldwide who exemplify nursing care.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science, Heather attended the JFK Muhlenberg School of Nursing, and received an Associate of Science degree, and became a Registered Nurse. During her time at Montclair State, she was awarded the 2018 Co-Op Student of the Year Award while a clinical student intern in Cardiac Rehabilitation at St. Barnabas Medical Center and the Ambulatory Care Center in the MJM III Health Assessment Center for Athletes.
Heather stated, “In the last 6 months I have learned so much as a nurse, but the most important thing that I learned is when people are afraid and unwell, offering kindness and compassion is what can make them whole. I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing group of nurses who practice with their hearts each and every shift. We have accomplished amazing things this past year rising above and battle COVID-19. Working on a COVID unit has not been easy but it has taught me so much about being human.”