Extraordinary Texas VA nurse recognized by national organization


Providing Veterans with the care they earned and deserve is our mission at VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VATVCBHCS). On Thursday, Jan. 5, a nurse who embodies this mission was honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses at the VA Harlingen Care Clinic.

The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day. Nurses are nominated by patients, families, and colleagues, and are chosen by a committee of nurses at VATVCBHCS to receive the DAISY Award.

The first DAISY Award recipient for VATVCBHCS is Melody Morris. Morris has 39 years of nursing experience and has been with the VA for seven years. The Veteran who submitted her DAISY Award nomination, Mario Luera, was also in attendance and shared his experience with fellow Veterans and employees.

“You all have a great person and nurse here at this [clinic],” Luera said. “When Melody greeted me for my appointment it was with a smile and a calm voice . . . her positive spirit is truly something that benefits our VA health system.”

Luera went on to say that the care and attention he received on that day was the best care he had ever received. He added that Morris was a kind and caring nurse that was deserving of the DAISY Award and was honored to be able to have a part in her being able to be recognized.

“We are proud to honor Ms. Morris and her dedication to our Veterans,” said Karen Griffin, associate director for Patient Care Services at VATVCBHCS. “It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and the DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, California, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick 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.


Reynaldo Leal

– Reynaldo Leal recently joined the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System as the public affairs officer. He is a proud Marine Corps Veteran who deployed to the Al Anbar Province with 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment in 2004 and 2006. He also took part in some of the heaviest fighting during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004. Before coming to Continental South District he worked on the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team and was the State Public Affairs Specialist for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is glad to be back home in his native South Texas, and looks forward to working for his fellow Veterans. He also looks forward to introducing his two sons to all the great fishing and outdoor opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley.


  1. Kansas city electrician    

    awesome to see. I am glad people like this are getting recognized like they deserve

  2. Tom Haines    

    This article and award needs to be submitted toallnurses.com. Let me know if I can help.

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