DAISY Award Honors Peninsula Regional Nurse Theresa Emge
Nurses at Peninsula Regional Medical Center are being honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national program to recognize the outstanding efforts of nurses in their daily work.
The first award recipient is Theresa “Terry” Emge, a CRNFA (certified registered nurse first assistant) who is a true pioneer of cardiothoracic surgery — starting at 16 years old, when she was the first assistant of Drs. Nevins Todd and Richard Hughes learning the intricacies of the heart-lung machine, a time before cardiac surgery was a specialty. She was the first assistant in Salisbury's first open heart surgery in 1974, performed at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, and went on to perform many firsts at PRMC: the first coronary bypass surgery, the first cardiac valve replacement, the first transmyocardial laser surgery, the first Left Ventricular Assist Artificial Heart Implantation, as well as the world's first Robotic TMR procedure and the world's first TMR plus injection of STEM cell/platelet rich plasma. She has scrubbed into more cases than any cardiac surgeon in the State of Maryland, and her skill made it possible for many surgeons to introduce new procedures to patients on Delmarva.
But just as important as Emge’s clinical skill, her compassion for patients is endless and truly genuine. Patients appreciate her soothing nature as they are about to undergo complex surgeries, and she exemplifies true professionalism in every interaction with every patient and staff member. She has made a powerful impact on the lives of more than 13,000 patients undergoing heart surgery at PRMC, and her experience has made the cardiothoracic team at the Medical Center much stronger.