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Corvallis Nurses Honored With The DAISY Award

A former Navy corpsman, the daughter of medical workers, a onetime rock musician and a manager who wanted to be a nurse as a girl in Nebraska were all honored on Friday, Dec. 3, with The DAISY Awards for extraordinary nursing at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

The DAISY Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura autoimmune disease. The care Patrick received inspired his family to create the award to thank nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient’s families.

“No one becomes a good nurse on their own. It’s teamwork,” said DAISY Award winner Christopher Brandt, RN. “Everything I’ve learned as a nurse, I’ve learned from working with other outstanding nurses.”

Brandt, a native of New Zealand, received two nominations by patients for the DAISY award.  One of those nominations called him “the complete nurse, attentive, professional, kind and compassionate.” To view Christopher’s nomination letters.

With a father who was an American journalist and mother a native New Zealander, Brandt spent much of his early life traveling the globe living in such exotic destinations as Ethiopia, Morocco, The the Philippines, Italy and Spain.

“I traveled so much that my New Zealand accent is gone,” said Brandt,

After serving seven years as a Navy paramedic and field corpsman, Brandt shifted to nursing, which led GSRMC’s Progressive Care Unit. “I have worked at emergency departments and ICUs up and down the West Coast,” Brandt said. “This PCU is the best unit I have ever worked on.”

Nursing is the second career for Tammy Miller, whose voice and music could be heard throughout the Pacific Northwest as a rock musician and voiceover artist before switching to nursing at the age of 30.  “I found my calling,” Miller said. “I decided it was time for me to settle down.”

Miller was nominated by a patient’s family member who said “I was incredibly impressed. She helped us feel ‘normal’ in our time of crisis.” To view Tammy’s nomination letter.

“I’m really humbled and amazed,” said DAISY award winner Tammy L. Miller, RN. “I’ve never known a psych nurse to get this award.”

Miller, who commutes from Newport, fell in love with GCRMC during training. “When I did my clinical rotation, it was in the fall and the trees were so beautiful,” Miller said. “I thought this was the most perfect place to be.”

For DAISY award winner Mendy Alvernaz, charge nurse in GSRMC Med Surg unit, taking care of those in need was always part of her family’s life. 

“I got into nursing because my dad was an EMT and my mom was a nurse,” said Alvernaz. “It just came naturally. My dinner would be cold some nights because mom and dad had stopped to help at a wreck.”

Alvernaz’s journey to Oregon began after falling in love with a fellow rugby player while attending Murray State in Kentucky. 

“My husband was a transfer student from Oregon State, he wanted to go someplace with a winning football team,” Alvernaz said jokingly.

Alvernaz has spent her entire career at Good Samaritan on the third floor in Med/Surg. “My favorite part about being a nurse is seeing people get better and helping them get better,” said Alvernaz.

Alvernaz was nominated by a nurse who also was patient. She wrote “Her time and energy at the bedside were altruistic and empathetic and I felt like I had the best the care ever.”  To view Mendy’s nomination letter.

“The DAISY award means a lot,” Alvernaz said. “It means that you’re being recognized for the effort and the time that you put in and those relationships you’re trying to grow and foster with patients and co-workers.”

GSRMC’s DAISY program also recognizes one manager. This time the committee is honoring nursing administrator Paula Stahl, RN.

“I was completely shocked and surprised to be awarded the DAISY Nurse Leader Award,” Stahl said. “Learning I was nominated for this lifetime achievement nursing award - I was at a loss for words.”

Stahl was nominated by Maryann Elias, RN, Ambulatory Surgery. “She encourages the staff to talk with each other and make resolutions and solutions.”  To view Paula’s nomination letter.

Stahl said she dreamed of becoming a nurse as a little girl in Nebraska. 

“I am extremely honored to lead a very talented group of nurses and CNAs,” Stahl said. “I would not be where I am without them.”

About The DAISY Award

To nominate an extraordinary nurse at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, visit

To learn more about The DAISY Award, visit