GILBERT, Ariz. (Oct. 11, 2023) – Ellie Ucci, a beloved nurse who works in the postpartum unit at Banner Gateway Medical Center, has been recognized with the prestigious DAISY Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. This national award was created to honor nurses who have devoted their life’s work to the compassionate care of others through active mentoring, role modeling and superb patient care.
Ellie’s extensive family, friends and co-workers celebrated her incredible impact during a recent ceremony at Banner Gateway. She was presented with an award certificate, a specially-designed lapel pin, and a unique Healer’s Touch sculpture with a personalized plaque attached to commemorate her momentous honor.
“Ellie has touched so many lives over the years. I would be remiss if I did not recognize all the family, colleagues, and friends who have been truly blessed by Ellie,” Kelley Kieffer, chief nursing officer at Banner Gateway, said. “Her relationship with each and every one of you is so special, including her one with me. It is an absolute honor to present Ellie with this prestigious award today. No one is more deserving.”
“Words can’t describe how pleased to see all my friends, young and old, here today. I am so overwhelmed in the best way, and I deeply appreciate the love you have all given me,” Ellie said. “I hope I have given you tenfold of that love back. They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life – and that is exactly how I feel.”
Ellie is a beacon of inspiration and embodies the qualities of this award wholeheartedly. At 90-years-young, Ellie has been in the nursing profession for nearly 70 years. Her nursing journey began in 1954 as a psychiatric nurse in a military hospital during the Korean War.
Once in Arizona, Ellie worked for Mesa Lutheran Hospital and Mesa Public Schools, gaining experience in the emergency room, labor and delivery units and interacting with high school students.
Ellie has been with Banner Health for 50 years and has been working in the post partum unit at Banner Gateway when the hospital opened in 2007. She has eased hundreds of moms and dads into the new journey of parenthood. Her dedication, kindness, intelligence and infectious spirit have left an indelible mark on all. Congratulations, Ellie!
Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, Arizona, offers emergency care, surgery, women’s services, obstetrics and medical/surgical beds. Banner Gateway shares the campus with Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 33 hospitals in six states. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com/gateway.