Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg held its quarterly DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses ceremony in front of the hospital’s chapel early Thursday morning, recognizing and honoring nurses for outstanding patient care.

Nurses are nominated for the DAISY Award by their patients and patients’ families for exemplary service. The forms, which are voluntary to fill out, are available in every patient room in the hospital.

This quarter, Christus Spohn Kleberg recognized 59 nurses, along with 7 nursing teams, who received a cumulative total of 151 nominations for the award.

The recipient of the DAISY Award this quarter was Jenna Blommel, a registered nurse of two years who serves in the emergency unit. She has been with Christus Spohn Kleberg for one year.

Originally from Wisconsin, Blommel said she knew she wanted to become a nurse at the age of 14 after an encounter with an ER nurse who was caring for her grandfather.

“I was really afraid, and she actually had me help with the procedures,” Blommel said. “And it made me not so afraid of the whole situation, so I really wanted to help (others) in the way that she helped me to not be afraid of the whole medical system.”

Blommel came to Kingsville with her husband, Joe, who serves as an aviator with the U.S. Marine Corps. She currently works the night shift in the emergency room, and said she has loved working with the hospital.

“It’s really fast-paced, and everyone works great as a team,” she said.

During Thursday’s award ceremony, Chief Nursing Officer Laci Lasater read the patient nomination form for Blommel. The patient stated that though she is known as “a very stoic and private person,” she came in to the ER “vulnerable, weak and in some of the worst pain that I have ever felt in my life.”

“Jenna made me feel emotionally supported and safe in her care,” the patient wrote. “I have no family locally, but Jenna made me feel as though I was not alone. The ER was extremely busy, but she made sure to frequently check in on me, educate me as to what was happening and I felt as though I was her top priority.”

Hearing the comments from the patient nomination form, Blommel said she was shocked at what was written about her.

“I feel like I just show up and do my duty,” she said. “I don’t really think that I do anything crazy, above and beyond. I think it’s really special (to hear that from a patient), and it really puts thing in perspective what we do every day. It really makes me appreciate the profession I’m in.”

Honorable mentions this quarter were RNs Catherine Trevino (L&D), Teresa Kight (Day Surgery) and Alicia Briggs (Med Surg).

Started in 1999, the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem) Award and Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP.

After his death, the family appreciated the care shown to Barnes by the hospital’s nursing staff and created the foundation and award as a way to honor them.

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at or (361) 221-0251.

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