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Lompoc nurse, Air Force veteran recognized for extraordinary patient care

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Aug 01, 2022

A labor and delivery nurse at Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC) was recently awarded for going above and beyond for her patients.

During a surprise ceremony, Anahi Fontanos, BSN, was named as the July recipient for the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses for LVMC.

The award recognizes “the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care provided to patients and families every day.”

“Anahi has the heart of a nurse, she loves her patients and it shows,” part of the nomination stated. She was also called a “true listener” to her patients.

The nomination stated the labor and delivery department had a patient who was struggling financially and had no supplies or money. “Anahi was always eager to take them every time they came in,” the nomination said, while adding that once the baby was born, Fontanos worked to collect clothing, toys and other supplies for the family.

“What makes Anahi stand out is that she took the time to learn about the other children, their names, their ages, and their interests. She came to work on her day off with a carload of supplies including a monster truck for the ‘big brother’ because she learned he loved trucks. She met the patient at their car at discharge to give them all the things she had gathered. There was so much that it barely all fit in the car. The family was overjoyed and very emotional, thanking Anahi for her generosity and kindness,” the nomination read.

She was also commended for her care of a patient who recently experiences a fetal loss, adding that Fontanos spent time in the room listening to the patient and consoling her.

“The patient was so appreciative of her time and comfort,” the nomination noted.

Hospital officials say Fontanos is a mother of three and an eight-year U.S. Air Force veteran where, during that time, she entered the medical field and worked in a labor and delivery unit. Her husband is active duty at Vandenberg Space Force Base.

“It wasn’t until my mom got sick with breast cancer and I saw first-hand what the nurses really were doing for my mom that it made me want to go to school (for nursing),” Fontanos said. “The care and compassion that they showed – It’s something I’ll never be able to thank them enough for.”

Fontanos has been working at LVMC since November of 2021.

“Just seeing the teamwork that everybody had here made me want to apply here and work here,” she said. “Melinda (DeHoyos) is the most incredible boss. She’s always in the front lines with us. In any situation, she’s always so supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better team. The environment – everything I could possibly ask for. The patients are amazing. The providers are amazing. I have nothing but good things to say.”

The Daisy Award is given to employees a few times a year. The last time being in January of 2022.