Benefis Hospice Nurse and DAISY Award Winner Says Her Work ‘Makes My Heart Full’

When Bruce Stucker, 83, wanted to go home toward the end of his life, Benefis Peace Hospice nurse Barb Margaris helped him return to his family.

“We were so thankful for the opportunity to have him back home,” Shannon Hines wrote on behalf of Bruce’s family. “It meant so much to us that he was able to spend time at home, spend time with family. Barb helped us have that short period of normal living that we all needed at his end of life — and for that we are forever grateful.”

Barb helped the Stucker family navigate the great end-of-life mystery and understand what to expect, listened to their needs, and helped them navigate difficult decisions.

Barb, RN, works at Peace Hospice of Montana Outpatient Services and is Benefis' latest winner of the DAISY Award, an international recognition of extraordinary nurses. Benefis presents the award quarterly.

“Without a doubt, there are countless other families and Benefis team members who cherish Barb and her remarkable service to others,” Vicki Robinson, director of Hospice, and LaToya Reovan, manager of Hospice, wrote in their recognition of Barb’s efforts.

“Barb Margaris continually goes above and beyond her duties as a nurse at Peace Hospice,” they wrote. “She provides compassionate, outstanding care to our patients and their family, and is tremendously supportive of her team members.”

Barb helps families and patients across the region and in the Hospice House. She keeps a smile on her face and is known for meeting the unexpected with confidence and professionalism.

Barb was a nurse in a doctor’s office, but then she started dating and later married that doctor, Dr. Mel Margaris. She looked for another position, and the only one available was in Hospice.

“It was God’s direction,” she said. “This is what makes my heart full, to help people through this time of life and through the nursing they need.”

Early in her career, she was the Hospice nurse for a 12-year-old boy. The day he died is indelible in her mind, but she’s also known many memorable elderly people who welcomed her into the intimacy of the moment almost as family.

“Everybody dies, and it’s a huge honor to be the nurse who goes through that with them in an intense family moment,” she said. 

Barb said she was honored by the DAISY Award but wanted to shine a light on her incredible teammates.
“Hospice wouldn’t work without the strong team we have. Part of this award is for each of the nurses and social workers and aides and chaplain,” she said. “We all together make this work.”

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization recognizing nurses and the incredible care they provide. The foundation was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 from an autoimmune disease. More than 4,500 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing present DAISY Awards. 
To nominate a Benefis nurse who has touched your life for a DAISY Award, visit
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