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BIRMINGHAM (May 8, 2013) – Crystal Creel, an RN on the special care unit, is the first to receive The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses at Children’s of Alabama. She was recognized during a special presentation held today at the state’s only freestanding pediatric hospital.

Creel was nominated by four different patient families, including David and Jae Skinner  whose infant son, Titus, was a patient of Creel’s shortly after his birth two months ago. “She didn’t just take care of him, she took care of us,” David Skinner said.

Creel, who is from Pelham, is an August, 2012 graduate of Auburn University. She has worked at Children’s for six months.

DAISY Foundation co-founder Tena Barnes Carraher presented the award before a crowd of 100 or more that included hospital administrators, nurses and other staff members.

“We generally tend to recognize nurses for their clinical and scholarly achievements.  While these are certainly important aspects of our profession, we cannot forget the basics: caring and compassion,” said Deb Wesley, Chief Nursing Officer at Children’s. “Every day we receive comments from patients and their families and, without exception, they include their appreciation for acts of kindness.  I believe it to be very fitting to have an ongoing recognition of nurses who consistently deliver that which is most valuable to those in our care.”

The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the extraordinary work nurses perform every day. The California-based Foundation was established by family members of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 from complications of a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses during his illness inspired the award as a means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

Each month, a nurse will be selected by a special hospital committee to receive The DAISY Award. Each honoree will receive a commemorative certificate and a sculpture hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. In addition, the DAISY winner’s entire unit will be treated to a jar of Cinnabon cinnamon as a tribute to Barnes. In his last days, he could eat very little but cinnamon rolls, which he shared with the nurses on his unit. With the help of Cinnabon’s parent company, FOCUS Brands, The DAISY Foundation carries on this tradition by serving cinnamon rolls to all the nurses in the award winner’s unit or, in markets that have no Cinnabon outlets, providing the jars of cinnamon. Additional information is available at

Children’s is one of only 1,400 hospitals worldwide who participate in The DAISY Award program and one of only two in Birmingham.

Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Last year, families made more than 670,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 41 other states and four foreign countries. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. and has been ranked among the top children’s hospital programs in the country for the past three years by US News & World Report. More information is available at