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Hall County native gets Daisy nursing award from Emory Hospital
0618DAISYmug Christine Sage
Christine Sage, a 2008 West Hall High School graduate, recently was presented as the “Daisy” award winner by Emory Hospital.

A Hall County native was named a “Daisy” award winner earlier this month at Emory Hospital.

Christine Sage, a 2008 West Hall High School graduate, was presented the award during her shift at the hospital where she has been a nurse for four years.

“It was very humbling,” Sage said by phone last week. “I don’t like everyone looking at me.”

The family of Patrick Barnes, who died at 33, created the “Daisy” award in 1999. It stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. More than 20,000 nurses have been named Daisy honorees through more than 1,000 health care facilities in the 50 states and seven countries.

Sage is not the first Emory nurse to attain such an honor. In 2015, a team of three Emory nurses were honored with a Daisy for their care of Ebola patients.

Nominations for the award comes from patients, Sage explained.

“It kind of depends on them,” she said.

Sage, a cardiac care nurse, was nominated by five patients and one co-worker. She works on a unit with 24 patients, and seven nurses per shift work on the floor, she said.

“She is first a professional. Very knowledgeable and efficient and my confidence of being in her care was immediate,” one patient wrote.

“However, it was her nurturing that most stood out. I felt like I was the only patient she had to be concerned with ... From charging my phone, to explaining my meds, comforting me on my procedures — her time was freely given.”

Another patient described Christine as a joy.

“She is great at her job,” the patient said. “She is constantly making me aware of the medication that I’m taking. She always has time to answer my questions.”

A third said all of staff was attentive but Sage stood out.

“When my blood sugar went down, Christine worked quickly with her nursing team,” the patient said. “One nurse got help, and Christine held my hand and told me what was happening. I couldn’t talk, but I could hear her talk to me. I felt comforted and knew I’d be safe with her care.”

Sage, 26, was picked to be a “preceptor” — train other nurses in the daily functions of the cardiac unit — after working there for two years. She has been Preceptor of the Year for the past two years.

When new nursing students arrive each quarter, Sage works with them at least twice a week during her shift. That lasts about three months, she said.

She quickly said she plans to get her master’s degree and “would love to teach nursing.”

Sage described her interest in health care as “kind of weird, kind of funny.” She said she watched “House” and trauma shows on TV as a youngster.

She began taking courses in middle school and into high school.

“I think every year I took a nursing class,” she said.

Sage received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Augusta State University, now Augusta University. The woman also attended Gainesville State College, now the University of North Georgia.

She said she “never wavered” in her interest in the field.

“It’s been wonderful,” she said. “I love nursing.”

Sage has collected other awards. She was Rookie of the Year for her floor after her first year. Her second year, Sage was named Outstanding Patient Advocate, a hospitalwide award. Both awards are given through peer evaluations.

Sage lives in Atlanta with her sister, Cassie, who is a physical therapist. Their brother, Daniel, is an auditor and lives in Atlanta.

Sage is the daughter of Norman and Elizabeth Sage of Flowery Branch. Her mother is a teacher in the pre-K program at First Baptist Church and her father is a longtime pharmacist.

Sage said she still gets together with former West Hall High buddies.

“We get together every Christmas and have, like, a little reunion of us West Hall girls,” she said. “It’s really, really fun.”