A group of 20 nurses from the medical intensive care unit at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center are recipients of the 2017 National Patient Safety Foundation and DAISY Foundation Team Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Created in 1999, the award recognizes nurses who go above and beyond traditional nursing roles with an emphasis on patient safety. UCLA’s winning entry was selected over others submitted by more than 90 nursing teams from around the world.

Referred to as “Team Kalynn,” the nurses were recognized for their exceptional care of a young woman named Kalynn, who spent 11 months in the hospital awaiting a lung transplant.  

The staff designed a safe, caring environment that provided high-quality nursing care personalized to meet the patient’s emotional and social needs. The nurses decorated the patient’s room to give it a home-like ambiance, put up holiday decorations, created scrapbooks and organized special outings, such as atttending a movie, that had to be carefully planned due to the patient’s health.

“This effort assured both safe handoffs at shift changes and continuity of care, which resulted in the patient’s comfort and kept her safe from complications,” said Karen Grimley, chief nursing executive for UCLA Health. “Although Kalynn sadly did not survive her disease, she lives on in the changes that the staff has made in care planning and the provision of that care.”

As a central voice for patient safety since 1997, the National Patient Safety Foundation partners with patients, families, the health care community and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety.

The award will be presented during the foundation's 19th annual Patient Safety Congress in Orlando, Florida, from May 17 to 19.