50 Stories for 50 Years: Story 17

Lauren Dexter, Special Events Manager

Foundation Helps Bring “Healer’s Touch” to Hospital



A new sculpture dedicated to the skill and compassion shown by extraordinary nurses — past, present and future — was unveiled Tuesday, May 9, just outside the entrance to IU Health Bloomington Hospital. The sculpture was donated by longtime nurse Janice Ross and the Bloomington Hospital Foundation.

Called the “Healer’s Touch,” the sculpture was hand-carved by a Shona artist in Zimbabwe and shipped to the United States. It represents the relationship between nurses and patients and is a worldwide symbol of the DAISY Foundation. 

An acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, The DAISY Foundation was formed in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The nursing care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family.

Mark and Bonnie Barnes created the DAISY Award with a “goal to ensure that nurses know how deserving they are of our society’s profound respect for the education, training, brainpower, and skill they put into their work, and especially for the caring with which they deliver their care.” Today, the award is presented in more than 2,500 healthcare facilities in 50 states and 15 other countries.

To commemorate National Nurses Week and the placing of the life-size serpentine stone sculpture, Mark and Bonnie Barnes attended the unveiling and shared their touching story. 

“We know IU Health Bloomington Hospital’s nurses make an impact on patients and families every day,” said Bloomington Hospital Foundation President Jon Barada. “We are happy the Foundation was able to help provide a beautiful daily reminder of the compassionate care nurses provide.”