Lompoc Valley Medical Center Registered Nurse Julia Beccia was named the January 2023 recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, and Emergency Department Director Ryan Stevens was honored with a DAISY for his role in inspiring a former patient to pursue a career in medicine.
Both Julia and Ryan were recognized Thursday during a surprise ceremony in the Emergency Department by members of the healthcare district’s leadership team and DAISY Nomination Committee, which includes a wide range of clinical and non-clinical staff.
Julia’s nomination came from a Lompoc family whose 33-year-old son and brother was rushed to the Emergency Department last August and placed on life support. Tyler Schooter was treated at Lompoc Valley Medical Center and eventually transferred to UCLA Medical Center, where he passed away. His father, Denis, sister Brittany and brother Travis attended the ceremony Thursday.
“Our family was confused and scared by the whole situation,” Brittany said, reading from the family's nomination. "Julia encouraged us to talk to him and hold his hand. She never left his side, every question we had she answered for us even though we asked the same questions several times.”
The family said Julia constantly updated them on their loved one’s condition and provided emotional support to the entire family until the moment Tyler was transferred to another facility.
“We can never thank her enough,” the nomination stated.
Brittany added, “You played a huge role in his chance for survival.”
The family also thanked Dr. David Tufenkian and the entire Emergency Department staff for the care they provided to Tyler.
Julia, who grew up in San Luis Obispo and later attended UCSB, has worked at LVMC for two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from California State University Channel Islands.
“I’m so grateful,” she said.
Nurses, she said, see people on the worst days of their lives, so “when people are appreciative of the care we give, it feels nice.”
Ryan, a Registered Nurse and now director of the Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit, has worked at LVMC for more than 11 years. His DAISY award came from a patient he helped in 2014 following a car accident. The nomination stated that Ryan’s kindness “forever altered” the nominator's life.
“He made it his mission to change my fear into calm, my weakness into strength and my feelings of a wounded victim to those of a brave survivor,” the nomination stated.
The nomination stated that the person no longer looks back on the event as “the day I almost died,” but as “the day I knew for certain I wanted to become a nurse.”
The nominator became a Certified Nursing Assistant and is in the final semester of nursing school in Texas.
“My desire to pay forward Ryan’s gift has kept me enthusiastic and motivated,” the nomination continued. “Since that day, I have kept Ryan in my thoughts with every individual under my care. I think about how he made me feel and how I can share that with another.”
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by members of his family and honors nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. Patrick Barnes died in 1999 at the age of 33 from complications caused by ITP, or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, an auto-immune disease. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The foundation was inspired by the care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill. LVMC nominations are reviewed by an internal committee of representatives from nursing, non-nursing, and non-clinical departments.
In addition to a certificate, Julia and Ryan received DAISY Award pins and a sculpture called A Healer's Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.
More information about the award is available at daisyfoundation.org. To nominate a nurse at LVMC, Lompoc Health, or the Comprehensive Care Center, see the nomination form at lompocvmc.com.