Szalat receives DAISY Award

Jenni Szalat

Jenni Szalat, director RN inpatient services, received the DAISY Leader Award at UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center.

She has worked at Trinity for 28 years, including in Trinity’s Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, the Health Education Center where she coordinated CNA courses, and in OB/Nursery/Pediatricss as a staff nurse, instructor, manager and director.

Team members describe her as “the person with the knowledge and communication style that many go to when trying to work through an idea or problem. She has a way of giving you her perspective on the subject — and then follows up with something that prompts you to look at the situation in a new way. Jenni uses this same communication style with patients, families, team members and students.”

“Jenni is known for the way she can talk to patients — to make them feel less anxious and also feel they are receiving great care,” said Jennifer Hansch, BSN, RN, house supervisor. “Jenni shows up every day ready to give her best. She challenges us to think outside the box and has made each of us a stronger person and nurse. Jenni is a stellar nurse leader and person.”

Whether she’s meeting with patients in Acute Care, Emergency Department or Obstetrics, Szalat has a compassionate way of making them feel comfortable enough to share concerns or ask questions. She shows the same caring and compassion to team members, who describe her as a great mentor and resource for teams.

“When I started working in the nursery, Jenni took time to make sure I was confident at new skills and understood why we were doing things. She always stayed calm – even with the sickest babies and scariest situations. This is something I really respected, and she set an example I have always tried to follow,” said Becky Yunginger, RN-CPN, Inpatient Pediatrics and Nursery.

Not only at Trinity, but Szalat is known and respected in our Fort Dodge community. She is an excellent representative and advocate for Trinity.

“Jenni is an amazing leader that you can trust to take care of the organization, team members, patients, family members, and visitors,” said Amber Barkhaus, BSN, RN, house supervisor. “Her heart is big enough for it all. She comes in every day with a beautiful smile and a positive vibe and you just know it is going to be a good day.”

Szalat was honored during a Nurses Week Luncheon and celebration with her family and team members. She received a certificate, pin and sculpture. This is the first year the DAISY Nurse Leader Award has been handed out at Trinity. It was created by the DAISY Foundation for a different purpose than the DAISY Award – to shine a light on those who don’t typically have direct patient care as part of their work and those who create an environment where compassionate, skillful care thrives.

The DAISY Leader Award is a merit-based award that honors clinical skill, leadership, strong patient care and compassion.


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