Nursing staff gather to celebrate Jennifer Roberts winning the DAISY Award Choctaw Nation Photo

Nursing staff gather to celebrate Jennifer Roberts winning the DAISY Award. Left to right: Rachelle Allen, Wendy Brown, Gary Lawrence, Jennifer Roberts, Kelly Mings, Renee Robinson, and Kayla Price.

Heil, Roberts Earn DAISY Award

Published June 11, 2024

DURANT, Okla. – The Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority (CNHSA) awarded the DAISY Award to two registered nurses working at the Talihina facility. Michelle Heil, RN, inpatient unit, and Jennifer Roberts, RN, Breast Clinic were selected for the distinguished award.

Heil was nominated by a first-time parent who brought their baby to the hospital with RSV. After being admitted, the family soon met Heil who comforted them and answered all their questions. The nomination narrative stated she not only made their son’s health and healing her number one priority but also was there for them, the parents. The family cannot thank Heil enough for all the care and love she gave them and, most importantly, gave their son. “She shows true compassion in her work.”

Roberts works with oncology patients in the clinic and was nominated by a colleague. She strives to be helpful to all her patients and goes out of her way to make sure they are taken care of, not only clinically, but also assists in life cares such as giving her own phone charger to a patient, getting a battery for a key fob, or even jumping their car in the parking lot, the nomination noted. Roberts also sought out further education, completing her certification for oncology navigation. “She goes above and beyond daily to make sure our patients are cared for the way she would want her family to be cared for,” the colleague said.

The DAISY Award was developed by the wife of Patrick Barnes, who struggled with an autoimmune disease which landed him in the hospital for eight weeks before he passed away. The care and compassion shown to him led the family to develop the award for nurses who go above and beyond the routine care for their patients. DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System and has grown into a worldwide tool to recognize exceptional nurses.

“The nurses are chosen by a committee blindly,” says Beth Brinkley, CNHSA program co-administrator. “The committee doesn’t find out who was chosen until we release the names to everyone. The fact that Michelle won two quarters in a row shows how amazing she is!”

Anyone can nominate a CNHSA nurse for the DAISY Award through an online form or printed forms located throughout the facilities. CNHSA will award a nurse from an inpatient unit and an outpatient unit each quarter.


Michelle Heil receives the inpatient award for the second quarter in a row
Photo by Choctaw Nation Photo

Michelle Heil receives the inpatient award for the second quarter in a row. Shown with her husband, Aaron Heil and Gary Lawrence, Chief Nursing Officer.

About The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 225,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.


Contact Kristina Humenesky for any media relations needs at [email protected].