A trio of nurses from UnityPoint Health – Dubuque were recognized for their dedication to the profession with DAISY Awards for Extraordinary Nurses during a ceremony at Finley Hospital on Thursday, May 11 as part of UnityPoint Health’s celebration of National Nurses Week. The DAISY Award is a nationwide honor was created by the family of Patrick Barnes as a way to remember their son and recognize the nurses who cared for him, not only for their clinical skills, but also for the kindness and compassion they showed to his family.

Photo Caption: From left: Becca Thiltgen, Jan Pacholke, and Carla Belken

The DAISY Nurse Leader Award was presented to Carla Belken, RN, MSN, NVRN-BC, UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital’s Vice President of Operations. Belken has been with Finley Hospital for nearly 36 years. She was promoted to her current role in December of 2022, after previously serving as Director of Education and Organizational Excellence. She began her career at Finley in 1987 as a charge nurse. One of Belken’s nominators said “Carla leads by example, and supports both her teams and everyone outside her teams. She is focused on providing the best outcomes for patients and staff.”

Becca Thiltgen, RN, was awarded the DAISY Nurse Award. Thiltgen currently works in the 5th Floor Medical/Surgical unit of UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital and has been with the organization since early 2020. Thiltgen received multiple nominations, with a past patient telling the DAISY Award committee “Becca’s care made our mother’s journey so much better. We will always remember and value the care she gave to us and our mother.”

The DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Jan Pacholke, RN, in recognition of her distinguished career in nursing. Pacholke has worked at Finley Hospital for nearly 54 years and currently serves as a float nurse in the facility’s Access Center. Among the comments submitted by those nominating Pacholke are:

“Jan is always smiling and has a nice word to say about everyone. She is one of the sweetest and most kind-hearted people around.”

“Jan is very deserving of this honor. She is one of the most kind, level-headed people I know. She is great to work alongside. Jan is truly and angel on this Earth.”

“Jan is a staple here at Finley, an extremely knowledgeable and well-rounded nurse who, over her fifty-plus years has held a multitude of positions…so you know you can count on her if you ever have a question or concern.”

In addition to the DAISY Awards, a total of more than 150 UnityPoint Health – Dubuque nurses and staffers were nominated for Nurse Proud awards. This is an award program that was initiated at UnityPoint Health – Dubuque last year to recognize nurses and other team members across five categories: Strength, Excellence, Leadership, Caring, and Partners of Nursing.

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