Aspirus Tomahawk Hospital’s Dani Lilek receives DAISY Award

For the Tomahawk Leader

TOMAHAWK – Aspirus Tomahawk Hospital this week announced that Dani Lilek, RN, had been honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

A release from Aspirus Health said the award is given to nurses “in recognition for their commitment and patient-centered approach to care,” and the award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to “recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.”

“Aspirus Tomahawk Hospital DAISY Award recipients are nurses recognized for going above and beyond patient expectations by providing service with respect, compassion and integrity; generating enthusiasm and energy while carrying out everyday duties and responsibilities; significantly making a difference; and listening not only with ears, but also with heart,” Aspirus stated.

Lilek works in the Aspirus Tomahawk Hospital Med/Surg Department and was nominated for the DAISY Award by a grateful family member of a patient.

Lilek. Photo courtesy of Aspirus.

“Dani was my mom’s nurse during her recent hospital stay at Aspirus in Tomahawk,” Lilek’s nomination reads. “My mom’s condition escalated quickly to hospice care. Dani showed excellence in her delivery of patient care for my mom, but she’s not only skilled, she was also very attentive to my mom’s specific needs, checking on her often to ensure she was comfortable. Most importantly though was her display of empathy and compassion, sharing the loss of her own grandparent through her own tears. Our entire family knew that my mom was in very capable and caring hands. What a gift during such a highly emotional time. Thank you, Dani, for easing our minds, and for expertly and lovingly caring for my mom, treating her as though she were your own family. Lucky are the future patients that you care for. You truly have a gift, Dani.”

Aspirus said Lilek and her coworkers were treated to cinnamon rolls, which honor the memory of the late Patrick Barnes, who once ate his father’s cinnamon roll when he was in the hospital without an appetite for food.

“He then requested one for the next day – and enough for all the nurses in the unit,” Aspirus stated. “The hope is that whenever a nurse smells that wonderful cinnamon aroma, they’ll stop for a minute and think of how special they are for being a nurse.”

Additionally, Aspirus noted, Lilek received an honoree pin, certificate, a bouquet of daisies donated by Nature’s Riches and a “beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.”

Established in 1999, the family of J. Patrick Barnes created the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award to honor his memory with a tribute to the skillful and compassionate care he received from his nurses during his hospitalization. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, visitors and colleagues, and they are chosen by a multi-disciplinary team to receive the DAISY Award.

“The DAISY Award recognizes the outstanding and extraordinary care nurses provide every day,” Aspirus said. “Aspirus DAISY Award winners and nominees exceed the needs and expectations of patients and families by displaying the Aspirus core values of: Compassion, Accountability, Collaboration, Foresight and Joy.”

For more information about Aspirus Tomahawk Hospital, visit

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