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St. Mary’s announces recent winner of Daisy Award


Marla Smith, BSN, RN — Director of Behavioral Health at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Centralia, was recently honored with the DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary nursing.

Marla began her nursing career at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Centralia as a staff nurse in 1987. She rapidly progressed throughout the years from staff nurse to administrative supervisor to department director. Marla was initially the director of the medical, surgical, and pediatrics departments. She flourished in leadership. In 2017 the Administration approached Marla about assuming the role of Director of Inpatient Behavioral Health. Although this wasn’t Marla’s career plan, she embraced the opportunity. She’s been in this role for six years and has also assumed oversight of Outpatient Behavioral Health including several providers. Marla’s leadership has revived the service line, supporting the hospital’s mission by serving the marginalized behavioral health population in our surrounding areas.

Smith’s colleagues share that Marla has a special gift that enables her to build connections with patients and team members. Somehow, Marla can manage all of it and they often look at her in amazement. She handles her job with grace and in a very professional manner. All nurses are dedicated to their profession and to their patients, but Marla’s dedication to the mission and to her team goes above and beyond the expectations of her position.

The DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes nurses who have devoted their lives and careers to the compassionate care of others. Nurses are nominated by their colleagues for their life-long dedication to compassion in nursing through active mentoring, role modeling, advocating for their patients, and promoting the positive image of nursing.

The criteria for The DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award was developed by Daisy Coordinators across SSM Health. To be considered for the award, the nominees must have 25+ years of service, a distinguished career in nursing, a special concern for those who are underserved and marginalized and be instrumental in implementing the mission of SSM Health with their team.

Pictured above: Daisy Award winner Marla Smith, BSN, RN

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