Awards, Spectrum Health West Michigan, Gerber Memorial Hospital

Compassionate care earns Watson a DAISY Award at Gerber Hospital

November 14, 2022

FREMONT, Mich., Nov. 14, 2022 – Ladonna Watson, RN, an inpatient charge nurse at Corewell Health™ Gerber Hospital (formerly Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital), was selected as the hospital’s latest recipient of The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Ladonna Watson, RN (center) stands with Angela Frye (left) and Nicholas Strait (right

Watson was not aware she had been nominated and selected until her name was called during the ceremony held inside the hospital.

“I was definitely surprised,” said Watson, upon learning of her selection. “Receiving this award is an honor, but I can’t take all the credit, as my team around me helped ensure I could provide the best care possible for this patient.”

Watson was nominated earlier this year by a former patient’s family member.

“She has so much love and care for her patients and family members,” the nomination read. “She’s so knowledgeable with every question we’ve had. She even took the time to print off information about my mother’s conditions. It truly is a blessing to have a great nurse and someone who, when I leave my mom, I know she is in good care, with someone who cares about her!”

Angela Frye, director of nursing at Corewell Health Gerber Hospital, said Ladonna is very deserving of the recognition.

“Ladonna is known for her kindness and compassion for others,” said Frye. “She always makes extra time for her patients and their families and provides empathetic care to all her patients.”

During the ceremony, Gerber Hospital chief nursing officer Nicholas Strait commended Watson on receiving the DAISY Award.

“This award is in deep appreciation for all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people,” said Strait.

Strait also commented, “One of the special qualities about Ladonna is that she works really hard to ensure her patients are as educated as possible about their conditions and helps their family members understand how to best help care for their loved one.”

As a young girl, Watson knew she wanted to be a nurse. She earned her nursing degree from Grand Rapids Community College and came to Gerber Hospital in 2006. She shared that one of the most rewarding aspects of being a nurse is the feeling you get when you know you’ve taken good care of someone, and they get to go home.

“That’s the best feeling in the world.”

Care and compassion are at the core of the Watson household. Ladonna’s husband and former Gerber Hospital registered nurse, Charlie, received the DAISY Award in March 2022.

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, California, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Barnes 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.

Nurses are nominated for the DAISY Award by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Corewell Health Gerber Hospital. Awards are given multiple times a year, with each honoree given a certificate and a sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch.”

Online nominations can be completed at by clicking on the DAISY Award section at the bottom of the page. At Gerber Hospital, nomination forms and boxes are also at all nurse stations, in lobbies and in the medical offices.


Michelle Rasmussen
Senior Communications Specialist
Phone: 231.349.9964