Community, Ludington Hospital

Michael Flippen, RN Named Recipient of The DAISY Award at Ludington Hospital

Michael Flippen, a nurse in the Emergency Department at Corewell Health’s Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital was nominated and selected as the hospital’s latest recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

June 1, 2023

(L to R) Drew Dostal, president; Bill McKinley, RN, emergency department supervisor; Kevin Franklin, MSN, RN, Emergency Department manager; Michael Flippen, RN; Meleah Mariani, DNP, MSN, NEA-BC, FACHE, chief nursing officer Lenora Jacobson, Environmental Services supervisor; Deb Bowden, Environmental Services senior technician.

Michael Flippen, a nurse in the Emergency Department at Corewell Health’s Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital was nominated and selected as the hospital’s latest recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Flippen was nominated by a former patient who came to the hospital with pneumonia. She stated, “I was at the hospital today with pneumonia. My nurse was Mike Flippen. I’ve had good nurses before, but I’ve never felt compelled to recognize any before today. I was a mess with a high fever and trouble breathing, but nurse Mike was wonderful. He was compassionate, and he could tell when I was really feeling terrible. He would try to take my mind off how awful I felt by having a conversation with me.”

Flippen was humbled by the nomination and said he was just doing what he does with every patient, empathizing with what they are experiencing. “I am very thankful to have been nominated by this patient and selected for the DAISY Award,” he said. “I’m grateful to have been chosen. It’s an honor and was a surprise as well. I always try to show compassion to my patients because I truly do empathize with what they are going through. I know that when they are in my care, they usually feel poorly and not at their best. Part of being a nurse is giving compassionate care, so I feel I was just doing my job the way that I always do it.”

Flippen, who has worked at the Ludington hospital since 2012 is known for talking to patients to better understand what they are going through. “Mike is a highly competent nurse who also is able to communicate with his patients in a unique way that comes from understanding,” said Kevin Franklin, RN, MSN, manager of emergency services at Ludington Hospital. “Mike’s empathy shines through because he’s been in situations in his past where he was really struggling. He uses his past experiences with homelessness and substance abuse as a way to connect with people who are also struggling in various ways.

“In one instance, Mike was instrumental in helping prevent a potentially violent situation,” said Franklin. “He was able to get information from one of his patients about the patient’s intent to harm someone. He recognized there was something going on and used his communication skills to help prevent what could have been a very bad situation from occurring.”

Flippen says it is just part of what he does in his role as an emergency department nurse. “I don’t see it as anything unique or special, except that I use what I have experienced myself to better understand what my patients might be going through. I have been down and out myself. I’ve been in pain and struggling. I know what that feels like, and I can see when someone just needs a human connection and someone to talk to them. If I can ease someone’s pain as well as ease their mind, I consider it my role to do so.”

Flippen’s wife, Amber, was able to be present during the ceremony where he was honored. “I’m very proud of Mike for being recognized in this way,” she said. “He’s pretty low-key about what he does for people, but I know it affects him. He’s a very caring guy, and what he’s been through personally has made him strive professionally to be the very best version of himself to overcome his past. He’s proof that hard work and commitment can turn anything around.”

“Mike is an extraordinary nurse,” said Meleah Mariani, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, chief nursing officer at Ludington Hospital. “He exemplifies what the DAISY Award is all about: going that ‘extra’ bit for people to make them feel seen and heard. Mike does that, and he does it well. We are very proud to have him as part of our nursing team.”

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 Spectrum Health Ludington 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 the Ludington Hospital, nomination forms and boxes are also at all nurse stations, in lobbies and in the medical offices.

Patricia Ezdebski
Marketing and Public Relations
Office: 231.845.2350
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