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Everything’s Coming Up Daisies for Nurse

Phillip Betz, RN, a Florida Hospital Zephyrhills (FHZ) ICU nurse, was named Nurse of the Year on Monday, May 9, in a special awards ceremony during national Nurses Appreciation Week.  Betz was selected by FHZ management from among 291 nurses at the hospital, according to Bill Heinrich, CFO.  

The Nurse of the Year award was narrowed to a field of 11 individuals who had been selected as DAISY Award winners every month since last spring. This is a new FHZ program, according to Gwen Alonso, RN, FHZ’s chief nursing officer. DAISY Award nominations come from patients and families and celebrate nurses who provide extraordinary, compassionate and skillful care every day. “Our hospital is proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in the DAISY Award program,” Alonso added.

The non-profit DAISY Foundation is based in California and was established by J. Patrick Barnes’ family. Barnes died at age 33 of an auto-immune disease but his family were inspired to create the DAISY Award in recognition of all nurses who provided exemplary care.  

Betz admits to being drawn to the ICU. After graduating from Polk State College in 1997, he started in the ICU at a Lakeland hospital and joined FHZ nine years ago. Again, his passion for helping seriously ill patients led him to that department.  “I’m very honored to receive this award,” Betz said. “It’s gratifying to connect with patients, help them improve, and support them through the transition process. Compassion is a big part of it, and there’ve been times when I feel I’ve supported a family in the grieving process, too.”

Awards were also presented to the Departmental and Rookie Nurse of the Year and to a certified nursing assistant, support staff RN, secretary and technician.

About Florida Hospital Zephyrhills

Florida Hospital Zephyrhills is a 139-bed regional medical center located in East Pasco County.  It is a member of the Florida Hospital network of Adventist Health System, one of the largest health care providers in the state of Florida.  Florida Hospital Zephyrhills has been nationally recognized by the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association, The Joint Commission, The Leapfrog Group, and HealthGrades for excellence in providing top quality patient care with special emphasis on safety and patient outcomes. The award-winning Heart Program has received recognition in the treatment of coronary intervention, heart failure, chest pain, open heart surgery, and electrophysiology procedures. The hospital offers a full range of inpatient and outpatient surgical offerings, including orthopedic services such as hip and knee replacement and advanced MAKOplasty® robotic partial knee replacement. The Women’s Health Center offers comprehensive services for women including gynecology, urology and pelvic floor health, labor and delivery through The Baby Place®, and breast care through the Simpson Breast Health Center. The hospital also offers 24/7 emergency services including a “fast track” option, imaging services, the Center for Wound Healing, and the Sleep Center. Visit for more information.