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Changing Lives With Compassion: Altru Nurse Inspires Her Patient To Wellness

Posted OnMay 22, 2021

Grand Forks, N.D. – Nurses at Altru are being honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses ®. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day.

Brenda Coble is an Ob/Gyn nurse who helped a patient feel more comfortable about her weight.

“When we went into the room, I reluctantly confessed to her why I didn’t want to be weighed,” her patient said. “She showed 100% empathy and put herself in my place.”

Brenda made the patient feel heard and didn’t judge her for her weight.

“She made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my hurt,” Brenda’s patient said. Her patient is now in a weigh management program. She chooses to get weighed in each week with Brenda.

“She is so compassionate and empathetic,” her patient said. “She never once made me feel embarrassed or ashamed. This is a nurse who didn’t have to take time out of her day to do any weigh ins but does because she cares.”

Brenda’s pleasant smile and well wishes inspire her patients to have brighter days.

“Brenda has shown great compassion, patience, empathy and unconditional human kindness,” her patient said. “I feel she is a good role model for others. A simple word of kindness and a smile go a long way. Brenda is an excellent nurse and human being.”

Brenda’s thoughtful attention to her patient’s needs are why she was chosen as Altru’s Daisy Award recipient for the first quarter of 2021.

"Brenda is not only an amazing nurse, but someone who delivers the most compassionate care,” said Janice Hamscher, Chief Nursing Officer for Altru. “Brenda turned a patient’s apprehension into a growth opportunity. Brenda was attentive to her patient, during that appointment, and continues to inspire her patient through her wellness journey.”

Altru had several other nurses nominated for this award: Brianna Bork, Elizabeth Ray, Joan Garcia Ortiz, Levi Preston, Jennifer Shea, Kari Donald, Tiffany Chambers, Chad Gilberts, Amber Bomber, Mikayla Keitzman, Brenny Didier, Randi Hulst, Janelle Johnson, Camille Meyer and Dee Grabanski.

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, 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.

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at Altru to receive The DAISY Award. Awards are presented throughout the year at celebrations attended by the Honoree’s colleagues, patients, and visitors. Each Honoree receives a certificate commending her or him as an "Extraordinary Nurse." The certificate reads: "In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people." Honorees also receive a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

"When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night,” said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation. “Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do. The kind of work the nurses at Altru are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 3,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and for nurses participating in medical missions. More information is available at

About Altru Health System

Based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Altru Health System is a physician-led, multispecialty group practice with an acute care hospital, Level II trauma center, specialty hospital, more than two dozen Grand Forks and regional practice locations, and a large home care network. Altru Health System was the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, extending Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise to the patients we serve. For more information, visit