Newport Hospital Presents DAISY Nurse Awards

Nurses at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital were honored this week with DAISY awards in recognition of their compassionate and professional care provided to those who are ill.

This year’s recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is Chai Estrada Cornejo, RN, an Acute Care nurse. He was selected for the top honors from among the five dozen nominations submitted during the past year.

The recipient of the hospital’s DAISY Nurse Leader Award is Sandie Schaefer, RN, manager of the hospital’s Ambulatory Infusion and Wound Services.

The DAISY Team Award was presented to the entire nursing staff of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

In photo from left, are Sandi Schaefer, RN, Peter Davis, RN, representing the ICU, and Chai Estrada Cornejo, RN.


Estrada Cornejo joined Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital as a new graduate RN trainee in the Acute Care Unit in August 2022. More than 40 family members of a patient signed the following nomination:

“Chai was one of the nurses that we saw the most. He was so kind, gentle and helpful for us. The first few days were the most difficult as we tried to understand all that was going on. He was so helpful to explain things and it helped us to know what to expect. He was so gentle and careful as he cared for our mom. Chai was overwhelmed by all of us and even teared up as he experienced the love in our room for our mom. As things got worse, he was reassuring and brought peace into the room. His attentiveness was unmatched. It was like we were the only patient in his care. Thank you so much for going above and beyond.”

As this year’s DAISY Nurse, Estrada Cornejo received a DAISY pin, award certificate and a hand-carved stone sculpture titled “A Healer’s Touch.” Along with the public recognition, DAISY award winners receive financial discounts for nursing certification training; reduced tuition for continued education; conference scholarship opportunities; and are eligible for the national DAISY Award.

DAISY Nurse Leader

Schaefer joined Samaritan Health Services in October 2004 as a registered nurse in the Albany hospital’s Intensive Care/Critical Care Unit. In 2017, she became the RN case manager in wound and ostomy services at Albany, later transferring to Samaritan’s Lebanon hospital as supervisor, then manager, of wound services. In June 2022, she transferred to Samaritan’s Newport hospital as manager of ambulatory infusion and wound services, where she remains today.

The nomination for Schaefer stated: “During the daily safety huddle (of hospital managers), Sandie often shares safety moments that apply to many individuals within the hospital and clinics. She shows a great vulnerability by doing this and it’s done in the spirit of continuous improvement and safety of our patients and staff. She identifies opportunities for improvement and proactively engages in creating action plans to ensure that best practice and patient safety are the primary focus in the department and beyond. She willingly shares knowledge with other departments and hospitals for learning opportunities which reflects high reliability. She works well with peers and her staff members are kind and friendly to patients and other employees alike.”

DAISY Team Award

Given to the nurses in the Intensive Care Unit, the nomination stated: “My dear sister and mother of three daughters in their 20s died in December. The nursing care was outstanding and seamless, shift to shift. In spite of some complex family dynamics, this team of nurses treated my sister with dignity, respect and modesty. Her wishes were respected. She was clean, warm and dry, and she was medicated for anxiety and pain. The nursing staff was kind and compassionate to all of us, especially to my sister. Thank you all for what you do. We understand that you get paid for what you do, but your kindness is free. Kindness matters. Thank you so much.”

The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 from an autoimmune disease. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The foundation’s mission is to express gratitude and recognize nurses for the extraordinary compassion and skillful care they provide patients and families.

To learn more, visit To nominate a Samaritan nurse, go to

circle-chevronemailfacebookSHS AffiliateinstagramlinkedinMyChart IconMyHealthPlan IconphonepinterestSearch Iconsilhouettetwitteryoutube