SALINAS, CA, April 24, 2019- Michelle Orta, BSN is the April recipient of the DAISY Award at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS). SVMHS participates in the national DAISY Award program which celebrates compassionate and skillful nursing care. Orta is a Transitional Care Coordinator for Disease Specific Care.

“It’s an honor to receive the DAISY Award,” says Michelle Orta, BSN. “I was inspired to become a nurse back in 1997 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. I underwent surgery here at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and all the nurses and physicians were wonderful providing compassionate medical care. I knew then, that I needed to pursue a career in nursing so that I could help change patients’ lives too. It gives me great satisfaction to see patients heal and thrive.”

Orta started her career at SVMHS as a unit assistant in 2003 and in 2016 began working as a case manager. She has been working as a Transitional Care Coordinator for Disease Specific Care since 2018. A colleague nominated Orta for the DAISY Award for going above and beyond for a patient at Salinas Valley Medical Clinic (SVMC) after discharge. The co-worker received an email from a nurse from Community Health Innovations (CHI), a healthy living partnership with SVMHS and Montage Health. The email praised Orta for helping one of her patients receive the medication she needed as soon as possible but her insurance would not cover. “Our patient was frantic,” explained Paula Baeza, RN from Community Health Innovations. “I called Michelle for any suggestions and she took the ball and ran with it. She called the pharmacy, spoke with a hospitalist who ordered the medication and even contacted the patient’s insurance company. In the end, the patient was able to receive the necessary medication and is doing well thanks to Michelle!”

“Michelle’s compassion is truly admirable,” says Christie McGuire, RN, Chief Nursing Officer. “She always goes above and beyond to help patients even when they are not actual patients at Salinas Valley Memorial. This demonstrates her commitment and dedication for the health and wellness of our community members.”

Orta will be recognized by the publicly elected Board of Directors at its April board meeting. The following individuals were nominated for the April DAISY Award: Jeanna Beckham, RN, Sara Christie, RN, Yesenia Contreras, RN, Guadalupe Garcia- Kirkland, RN and James Kovacs, RN.

Every month, Salinas Valley Memorial recognizes an outstanding employee with a DAISY Award (for nurses) or a STAR Award (for all staff). Nominations can be submitted by patients, visitors and staff. Nomination forms and drop boxes are located throughout the hospital. To learn more about the awards visit svmh.com/nomination.