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A nurse who has worked for Saint Michael’s Medical Center for less than a year was honored with the DAISY Foundation’s Daisy Award, which honors the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.

Craig Cochran of Union, who works on the hospital’s medical/surgical telemetry units, was described by colleagues as a team player who goes beyond his daily duties.

“He’s only been employed here for such a short period of time, but he has much such a great impression on the staff in terms of his leadership,” said Nancy Cable, a nursing administrator. “His patients love him.”

Nurse Manager Joan Florczyk, Cochran’s direct supervisor, said he is the kind of nurse the DAISY Foundation had in mind when it created the award.

“Even with Craig’s hectic work load, he takes his time to listen to his patients and their families,” Florczyk said. “He is beloved by his patients and respected by his peers.”

Cochran graduated Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in community health in 2012. He then received an associate’s degree in nursing from Southern University in Louisiana and is currently enrolled in a nursing bachelor’s degree at University of Louisiana in Lafayette.

“I am so appreciative of the award and I love working at Saint Michael’s,” Cochran said. “Everyone here is really close. I feel like I’m part of a family here. When I first got here, other staff would ask me if I needed help with anything. Any time I needed help, I could go to pretty much anybody on this floor.”

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 Cochran 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.”

Cochran also received a DAISY Award pin, a hand-carved serpentine stone sculpture, entitled “A Healer’s Touch,” and of course, daisies, which, he said, he was giving to his wife.

Read more about the DAISY award.