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A Saint Michael’s Medical Center nurse who cared for hundreds of COVID-19 patients with compassion was honored with the DAISY Foundation’s Daisy Award, which honors the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.

Mark Zanoria, who has worked at Saint Michael’s for the last four years, was recognized for touching and changing lives in extraordinary ways.

“Mark’s patients love him and are lucky to have him as their caregiver,” said Nancy Bisco Flora, the chief nursing officer.

“Mark is always motivated and driven to improve his practice and be the best nurse possible,” Bisco-Flora said. “He always goes above and beyond every day putting the needs of his patients first. He is always willing to help others and his example of compassion and caring is heartwarming.

Bisco-Flora said his compassion came through while caring for COVID-19 patients on the hospital’s A7 unit.

“Mark is a very kind and patient nurse, a good listener and is always smiling, courteous with a great sense of humor,” she said.

The DAISY (an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation was started in Glen Allen, Calif., by family members of J. Patrick Barnes, who died from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little-known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.

As a way of thanking Barnes’s nurses, his family established the award program.

The DAISY Award ceremony, held before colleagues, honored Zanoria with the “Extraordinary Nurse” certificate, which reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.”

Zanoria also received a DAISY Award pin, a hand-carved serpentine stone sculpture, entitled “A Healer’s Touch,” and of course, daisies.

To read more about the DAISY award, please visit