Forrest General Hospital Names DAISY Award Winners for November

Published 10:23 am Friday, December 9, 2022

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (December 8, 2022) Forrest General is naming two DAISY Award winners for the month of November. Haven Riddell, an RN in the Emergency Department at Forrest General Hospital, has been named the November recipient of the DAISY Award while Ashely Ballew-Martin, an RN on 4T, is the recipient of the DAISY Leadership Award. The DAISY award, which is presented monthly to a deserving nurse or nurses, exemplifies clinical expertise and compassionate care and is recognized as a role model in the nursing community.­

Haven’s nomination came from a patient’s family member. “My daughter, who is 15 weeks pregnant, came to the ER, was sick and nauseous and unable to tolerate an oral antibiotic she was taking for a UTI,” the nominator said. “She was dehydrated and needed fluids. My daughter is a nursing student and graduates in just one month. I appreciated Haven’s professionalism and for showing my daughter how a great nurse should respect and treat her patient. Haven was very patient and explained everything she was doing and why. I know as a nurse myself, that the ER is often viewed by the public as a negative environment. Haven gave 100 percent when caring for my daughter. She never broke conversation with my daughter nor myself. I appreciate so very much her hospitality and the concern she showed toward my daughter and our newest little one who will be here in April of next year.”

Riddell, who lives in Hattiesburg, received her nursing degree from Jones College. As someone who loves taking care of people, Riddell has been at Forrest General hospital since 2018.

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The DAISY Leadership Award is presented to a nurse in a position of leadership. Ashely’s nominator said “Ashely goes out of her way to attend to her patients’ nursing needs. We recently had a patient who arrived to 4T debilitated with a nasal feeding tube and bed bound after an extended ICU stay. The patient did not have many discharge options, due to lack of insurance, so Ashely made it her business to rehabilitate this patient. She made sure he was up for all meals. She contacted numerous ancillary departments to make sure he was receiving the therapy he needed. She worked with him on his swallowing and meals and helped him advance his diet. She stayed in contact with his providers to ensure he was not left behind. The patient is now a minimum assist, and I can honestly say he would have been a nursing home patient without Ashely’s hard work. She also went out of her way after a long shift to make sure another patient with limited resources had clothes to take with them post discharge. She learned our phlebotomy team did not have lab trays and she thought it was something they needed. She dug through her house and found a basket and turned it into a lab tray for them. Ashely always comes up with new ideas on how to improve our unit from tech-training programs to different ways to look at problems. She sees the value in floor nursing and does an excellent job every shift. We are proud to have her.”

From Columbia, Ballew-Martin graduated from Pearl River’s Nursing School. “I started out as a CNA, and my grandmother told me I could be a nurse’s assistant. ‘You just help the nurse,’ ” she said. “I had no idea what a CNA did. At that point I fell in love with it and wanted to do more than I was able to do as a CNA.” She then went through the LPN programs and later the RN program. She has worked at Forrest General for more than five years.

“Nurses, like Haven, Ashley and others, who have been nominated for and honored with the DAISY Award during the past year, are an integral part of what makes Forrest General such a caring and compassionate place for your healthcare needs,” said Phyllis Chambers-Berry, Forrest Health vice president. “I am so proud of Haven and Ashley and how hard they work to make our patients feel appreciated and cared for in such a warm manner.”

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 in California by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 from complications of an auto-immune disease. During his eight-week hospital stay, his family was impressed by the care and compassion his nurses provided, not only to him but to everyone in the family. They created the DAISY Award in his memory to recognize those nurses who make a big difference in the lives of so many people.

Forrest General Hospital is proud to be a DAISY Award partner and recognizes nurses with this special honor every month. Nurses are nominated by patients and family members, as well as other healthcare professionals. The winner is then selected by a board of healthcare workers. Each DAISY Award Honoree is recognized at a public ceremony in her/his unit and receives a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled, “A Healer’s Touch,” handcrafted by a tribe in Zimbabwe.

To nominate a nurse for a DAISY Award, visit