Baptist Health-Fort Smith Nurse Honored with DAISY Award

FORT SMITH, Ark. – Yolanda Whitley, RN, of Baptist Health-Fort Smith was recently honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

In the nomination letter commending Whitley, a patient wrote “She gave me such a sense or ease and comfort. She somehow conveys the feeling to me that everything is going to be alright and I will recover from this.”

Whitley, a Fort Smith native, got her start in health care in the late 1980s as a patient care assistant at Sparks Regional Medical Center. She returned to the hospital, now Baptist Health-Fort Smith, nearly five years ago and provides care to patients who have undergone surgery.

Whitley took advantage of a scholarship program for employees and earned a nursing degree in 1992 from Westark College, now known as University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Whitley spent 10 years working in the field of behavioral health at a hospital in Beaumont, Texas, before returning home.

“I’ve always thought of nursing as a ‘ministry,’ and my grandmother once told me never to lose sight of that fact,” Whitley said. “Receiving a DAISY Award is just confirmation that is a ministry and I’m in the right place to help people.”

The goal of the DAISY Foundation’s program is to inspire nurses to provide exemplary care and applaud them for their compassion and skill. Recipients of the DAISY Award are honored with a congratulatory banner to be hung in their unit until the next award is given, a plaque and DAISY pin, and a “Healer’s Touch” sculpture handcrafted in Zimbabwe. Patients and their family members can nominate nurses who they feel deserve recognition for their outstanding care.

“Yolanda is a patient advocate and will go above and beyond to make sure a patient’s hospital experience is the best it can be,” said Rachel Major, MSN, RN, clinical nurse manager. “We are very glad to have her on our team.”

Nomination letters can be placed in designated DAISY Award drop-off boxes throughout the hospital or mailed to Baptist Health-Fort Smith, Attn: Dina Cox, Nursing Administration, 1001 Towson Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72901. For more on the DAISY Foundation, visit

Baptist Health is an Arkansas-based, locally owned and managed, not-for-profit, and faith-based health care organization. Baptist Health is also Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 200 access points and approximately 11,000 employees operating 11 hospitals. For more information about Baptist Health, visit or call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Pictured left to right are Rachel Major, RN; Dina Cox, RN; Yolanda Whitley, RN; and Stephanie Whitaker, MSN, RN, Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Executive.


Alicia Agent
Office: (479) 441-5445