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LVMC Registered Nurse Recognized with Award for Extraordinary Care

Written by Nora Wallace on

Labor and Delivery Registered Nurse Anahi Fontanos, BSN, was named the July 2022 recipient of LVMC’s DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Labor and Delivery Registered Nurse Anahi Fontanos, BSN, was named the July 2022 recipient of LVMC’s DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Anahi was recognized during a surprise ceremony by members of the healthcare district’s leadership team and Daisy Nomination Committee, which includes a wide range of clinical and non-clinical staff.

“Anahi has the heart of a nurse, she loves her patients and it shows,” the nomination stated. “She is so deserving of recognition.”

On the nomination form, a coworker called her a “true listener” to her patients. Anahi recently took care of a woman who experienced a fetal loss. She sat with the distraught patient and comforted her.

“The patient was so appreciative of her time and comfort,” the nomination noted.

The prestigious international award is part of The DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care provided to patients and families every day.

Anahi’s nomination also included the story of how she went “above and beyond” in her job to help a patient who was struggling financially and had only recently moved to the U.S. The expectant couple had no insurance established yet and were paying for their twice-weekly appointments with cash. After the delivery, Anahi spent time learning about the patient and the family’s other children.

“Anahi asked if she could donate supplies, clothes, toys and her own baby swing to this needy couple,” the nomination noted.

Anahi met the family at discharge and loaded their car with supplies and toys for all the children.

“The family was overjoyed and very emotional, thanking Anahi for her generosity,” the nominated stated.

An eight-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and mother of three children, Anahi earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University and received her nursing license in 2016. She began work at LVMC last November.

Anahi entered the medical field while serving in the military. She eventually achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. Her husband is currently active duty at Vandenberg Space Force Base.

daisey team with winner

“It wasn’t until my mom got sick with breast cancer and I saw first-hand what the nurses really were doing for my mom that it made me want to go to school (for nursing),” she said, noting her mom Liliana Pelayo passed away at the age of 42. “The care and compassion that they showed – It’s something I’ll never be able to thank them enough for.”

While working in the military, Anahi worked in a labor and delivery unit.

“I just completely fell in love with the bond the mom and baby have, and everything that has to do with it,” explained Anahi, who gave birth to her most recent baby at LVMC a year ago.

“Just seeing the teamwork that everybody had here made me want to apply here and work here,” she said. “Melinda (DeHoyos) is the most incredible boss. She’s always in the front lines with us. In any situation, she’s always so supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better team. The environment – everything I could possibly ask for. The patients are amazing. The providers are amazing. I have nothing but good things to say.”

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, Anahi received a DAISY Award pin 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, under the Resources tab and Patient Feedback link.

Nora Wallace
Written By Nora Wallace, Public Relations
Nora Wallace was previously employed as a newspaper reporter for 25 years at the Santa Barbara News-Press. At LVMC, Nora is also responsible for the hospital volunteers. She is a graduate of Santa Barbara City College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from San Francisco State University.