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Samaritan Celebrates October 2022 DAISY® and BEE Award Recipients 

Published on: December 29, 2022

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce its DAISY and BEE Award recipients for October 2022. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses® recognizes exemplary nursing staff, and the BEE Award honors other outstanding staff members who support patient care, both at the hospital and all outpatient clinics.

Rachael Kaban, a Registered Nurse on 4 Pavilion, received the DAISY Award. Jon LaFontaine, Clinical Discharge Planner in the Emergency Department Behavioral Health Unit at Samaritan Medical Center, received the BEE Award. 

Sherin Washburn, Graduate Nurse, Samaritan Medical Center, nominated Kaban saying:

“I was having a busy shift from the moment I got report. I felt overwhelmed. Rachael was very calm, helpful and instructive.  She let me ask all the questions I had and did not make me feel bad for not knowing. She helped me tremendously the entire shift even though she was not always caught up. I am so grateful she was here because I don’t know what I would have done without her help. Having an experienced nurse available to use as a resource who doesn’t make you feel dumb and is willing to help and doesn’t seem irritated or disinterested is amazing and makes all the difference.”  

For receiving the DAISY Award – which is an international award backed by The DAISY Foundation – Kaban was presented a certificate commending her as an extraordinary nurse, a DAISY Award pin, and a symbolic sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” which is hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. A larger version of this sculpture has also been installed in the Healing Gardens at Samaritan Medical Center in honor of all DAISY and BEE Award winners to come. It was purchased using funds donated by the Samaritan Auxiliary.

Jacqueline Dawe, RN, Chief Nursing Office/Vice President of Patient Care Services, Samaritan Medical Center, nominated LaFontaine.  

“John emulates what it means to be EXCEPTIONAL.  This year has been very challenging in healthcare as all of you are aware, especially for our patients with mental health issues. We have seen an unprecedented number of patients needing our help.  Jon is a calm individual that helps the staff in an uncertain environment also stay a little calmer when he is working. Even when the situation is getting really heated and patients are in crisis, Jon remains calm. He speaks calmly to patient’s time and time again that are probably living one of the worst moments of their life, and he treats them with empathy and a caring attitude.  Jon is mostly seen with a smile on his face, and you can tell even with wearing the mask that he’s smiling from ear to ear.  He speaks with a tone that is positive and professional. I have seen the trust in John that has developed from many levels of the healthcare team with regards to his assessments and recommendations for patients.” 

LaFontaine was presented with a certificate, a BEE Award pin, and a gift bag with other tokens of gratitude. 

Both awards will continue to be presented throughout the year, and nominations can be submitted by patients, families, or colleagues at any time. To make a nomination or to learn more about the Samaritan DAISY and BEE Awards, visit


About Samaritan Medical Center

Samaritan Medical Center (Watertown, New York) is a 290-bed not-for-profit community medical center, offering a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services. From primary and emergency care to highly specialized medical and surgical services, such as cancer treatment, neonatal intensive care, behavioral health and addiction services, and imaging services, Samaritan Medical Center and its team of healthcare professionals proudly serves the medical needs of our civilian and military community. Quality, compassion, and safety are the basic principles by which exceptional care is delivered at Samaritan.

About The DAISY Foundation

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 3,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and for nurses participating in medical missions. More information is available at

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