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DAISY Founders Bonnie and Mark Barnes Receive Honorary Doctorates from Chamberlain University


Mark and Bonnie have spent their lives giving back to the nursing community since losing their son J. Patrick Barnes at the age of 33. He passed away from complications due to Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). His parents created the DAISY Foundation to honor all the brave men and women in scrubs that go above and beyond for their patients every day. Today, there are over 4,900 healthcare facilities and schools that participate in the program.

Chamberlain University honored Mark and Bonnie Barnes with honorary doctorate degrees on Oct 20th to mark their contributions to the industry.

A Fitting Tribute

The couple started the foundation in 1999 in the name of their late son. DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. Awards are handed out all year long. The organization honors nurses across different departments, including those that provide direct clinical care, nurse leaders, students, faculty, and those fighting for healthcare equity. Each award is tailored to represent every facility’s unique culture and values. Nurses and providers are nominated by their peers or patients.

Chamberlain, which has the largest nursing school in the country, has long been a supporter of the DAISY foundation. Mark and Bonnie received their honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters during the school’s virtual commencement ceremony.

“We can’t think of two people who deserve this honorary doctorate more than Bonnie and Mark Barnes,” said Chamberlain University president Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN.

“Bonnie and Mark Barnes have devoted more than 20 years to ensuring nurses are honored and recognized for their compassionate care, extraordinary clinical skills and patient advocacy. The Barnes’s tireless efforts to support and humanize the nursing profession is inspiring and humbling.”

The university has been committed to supporting the industry for over 130 years. It strives to offer programs that help students and faculty make a difference in healthcare.

“We have profound respect for the work nurses do for their patients and their families, and Chamberlain’s commitment to a culture of care brings such extraordinary nurses into the healthcare system – the very nurses that DAISY was created to honor and celebrate,” said Bonnie Barnes.

Both Bonnie and Mark were quick to thank all the nurses that work tirelessly for their patients.

“Every day you will be someone’s hero,” said Mark Barnes. “Every day you will have the opportunity to make your patient’s life better in some way, and every day you will make the world a better place because of what you do.”

Scrubs Mag is a proud partner of the DAISY Foundation. We can’t think of a more fitting tribute for these two remarkable individuals. We applaud Mark and Bonnie Barnes for their continued support for the nursing community.  


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