October Employee of the Month: “I can be myself at Boone.”

October 1, 2014

Jeanine Hickman is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for October 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

When Jeanine Hickman was told that she was Boone Hospital Center’s October Employee of the Month, she did a literal victory dance, high-fiving her many co-workers who had gathered in the Boone Appetít Café for the announcement. Known for her outgoing personality, great customer service and sense of humor, neither the award nor her reaction were a surprise to those who’ve met Jeanine.

“I can be myself here at Boone,” she says. “I don’t have to pretend to be anyone but Jeanine – and I’m happy to be me.”

Jeanine Hickman

Jeanine Hickman

Jeanine joined the Boone Hospital team in early 2013, working part-time as a cashier and barista at Boone Appetít. She later went full-time in the cafe, until May this year, when she accepted a position in the hospital’s catering department, preparing and serving food for meetings, special events and other activities. “I started on the first floor making coffee, then I went upstairs to make sandwiches,” she says.

Jeanine grew up in Malden, a small town in southeast Missouri, as the youngest of 25 children. Upon graduating high school in 1996, she had lived for a couple of years in Columbia, then moved to Saint Louis. She later returned to mid-Missouri in August 2010, to provide a change of environment for her young daughter. While living in Saint Louis, she had worked at another BJC hospital, Missouri Baptist.

When she’s not working, Jeanine loves spending time with her daughters Natalie, 8, and Lily, 2. “My spare time is all about my girls. We sing and dance around the house. We do girl stuff all the time, dress up, put on make-up. I love being with my girls.”

Jeanine says she loves everything about working at Boone Hospital Center. Working at Boone Appetít, she quickly made friends with regular customers, including co-workers, patients and family members, winning them over with her positive attitude. “If I can make your day, I’m here to make your day,” she says.

She was so well-liked by her regular customers that, when Jeanine first moved to the catering department, people dropped by the Nutrition and Food Services office to ask where she went.

While she may miss her customers, Jeanine also loves working in the catering department, and takes great pride in making delicious and beautiful-looking food: “I like what I do. This job shows my variety and what I’m capable of doing outside of making white chocolate mochas.

“With caramel,” she adds, laughing.

Jeanine, who began working as a teenager, says that without a doubt, Boone Hospital Center has been her favorite place to work.

“The Boone atmosphere is amazing. Everybody is so friendly, and everybody is treated like an individual,” she says. “I’m so excited to be here – I know I keep saying that, but I really am.”


WELLAWARE Group Fitness Classes Can Help Improve Your Strength and Coordination

September 30, 2014

by Heidi Salter, WELLAWARE Group Fitness Instructor

Boone Hospital Center WELLAWARE offers a variety of group exercise classes, including yoga and Zumba. Each class is adaptable to all levels of interest, age, ability and vocation.

One of our physicians, Kimberly Jamison, MD, recently started yoga and shared that the movements used during yoga are much like those learned in physical therapy, held longer for continued muscular endurance. Dr. Jamison says, “It’s silly not to take advantage of these classes and the WELLAWARE fitness center.”

To start and continue healthy habits, it’s important to enjoy them. Group exercise classes encourage you to become as healthy and fit as you are able. Shari Bullard, a Boone Hospital Center employee, really enjoyed taking our Zumba Gold class. She appreciates that the group laughs and has a good time together.

group exercise all ages

“The instructors are encouraging and don’t make you feel bad when you modify the exercise based on your personal abilities,” Bullard says.

The classes encourage physical activity, provide accountability, camaraderie and relaxation, and offer endless physiological benefits, including:

  • Feeling more energized as a result of class participation on a regular basis. As your body adapts to the increased exercise, everyday activity becomes easier.
  • Increased flexibility, coordination, posture and improved balance can lower your risk of injury and falls later in life.
  • Strengthening bones and muscles reduces risk of injury and slows progression of osteoporosis.
  • Increased metabolism leads to weight loss, leaner muscles and fitting into your clothes better.
  • Improved cardiorespiratory fitness. As the body becomes more efficient with exercise, blood pressure and pulmonary function improve or can slow progression of heart and lung disease.
  • Improved circulation from increased blood flow, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • More efficient use of naturally occurring insulin. As your body becomes more active, it is better able to utilize insulin to control blood glucose levels and decrease risk of type II diabetes.
  • Improved immune system. Your body is strengthened systemically and is less likely to succumb to viruses. You also gain a boosted ability to recover from injury and illness.
  • Mental benefits of exercise include improved concentration, decreased stress and increased feelings of wellbeing as a result of the chemical serotonin being released into the brain.  

Although each class has a different style, all are appropriate for most anyone interested.

Yoga offers a low to moderate intensity that is appropriate for nearly everybody, including individuals living with chronic diseases or recovering from an injury or illness. A delightful member of WELLAWARE fitness center and yoga enthusiast Tammy Winfrey says, “You get to enjoy 60 minutes of your own quiet time during the class.” She encourages anyone to come and try it out — people of all different ages, shapes and sizes enjoy the class.

Zumba makes exercising to dance styles such as the merengue, salsa, cha-cha, cumbia, tango, hip-hop and rock easy to follow so that everyone, at any age, can have fun doing it. This is an excellent way to burn calories in a fun environment. The Zumba class gets you moving aerobically while strengthening key muscle groups including the core (abdominals).

Zumba Gold is less intense than Zumba. The instructor has experience working with beginning exercisers, active mature adults and special populations.

Body Conditioning helps to reduce stiffness and tension through focused stretching and core muscle toning.

Pilates is all about creating long, lean muscles through developing the core and improving balance. Modifications will be learned in order to feel progression throughout the course of these sessions.

Qigong is the Chinese practice of aligning body, breath and mind for health, relaxation, and martial arts training.

Classes are now accepting registrations for fall 2014 sessions. To register or see our schedule of current and upcoming classes, visit boone.org/wellaware/group today!


September Employee of the Month loves teaching and learning on the ICU

September 5, 2014

Sharon Acra is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for September 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

When Sharon Acra and her family moved to Columbia, she interviewed for a staff nurse position at three hospitals in the area. “Boone was the one that impressed me the most,” she says.

Sharon Acra

Sharon Acra

The feeling was mutual; Sharon joined the Boone Hospital Center family in July 1998 and has worked in the Intensive Care Unit for the subsequent 16 years. She enjoys being a nurse on the ICU, working with her patients and the opportunities to learn something new every day – or every night, rather, since she works the third shift.

As a staff nurse on the unit, Sharon takes part in the orientation of new hires, training recent nursing school graduates and educating nursing school students. She enjoys working on the night shift with many of the newer hospital employees. “They’re fun and have a fresh perspective on things,” she says.

Additionally, Sharon serves as a community representative for Boone Hospital Center, providing blood pressure screenings to residents of The Terrace Retirement Community in Columbia.

Sharon was born in Saint Louis, but moved to several places while her husband served in the U.S. Navy. While he was stationed in Connecticut, she received her Associates Degree in Nursing at a local community college. She later earned her BSN through the University of Missouri, inspired to further her education when her second daughter enrolled at the Sinclair School of Nursing.

“I decided she was not going to beat me to a bachelor’s degree,” Sharon says. “I did the RN-BSN program online at Mizzou, she did the traditional program, and we graduated on the same day.”

Sharon’s three daughters live with their families in Jacksonville, Florida, and she has two grandchildren that she adores and visits often. She loves to bowl and recently joined a local senior bowling league – “You only have to be 50 to join!” she says – where she enjoys listening to other bowlers’ stories and picking up some good bowling tips, as well

When asked what she enjoys most about working at Boone Hospital Center, Sharon says, “I work with some wonderful people. I have to give credit to the people I work with for being chosen for Employee of the Month. We have an excellent team, and they encourage and assist me to be a better nurse.”


August Employee of the Month is a true team player

August 11, 2014

Deontae Curtis is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for August 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

One thing Deontae Curtis’s teammates at Boone Hospital Center can agree upon: he is great with his patients on the Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery unit. “Patients always love to see Deontae enter their room,” wrote one of his peers. Another staff member nominating Deontae to be our next Employee of the Month wrote, “He works well with his patients. They all love him.”

Deontae Curtis

Deontae Curtis

For Deontae, the feeling is mutual. “I appreciate the individuals that I care for, from admission to discharge,” he says.

Deontae joined Boone Hospital Center in January 2011. “I had several friends who worked here and thought that Boone would be a good fit for me,” he says. He applied to be a patient care technician because he was interested in gaining work experience in a medical-surgical environment before continuing his education in nursing. Deontae also works at Boone as a technician in the Electrocardiography (EKG) department. He serves on the hospital’s Safe Patient Handling Committee and has worked with the Training and Development team on bed and lift education for other Boone Hospital caregivers.

Deontae was born in Columbia and grew up in Mexico, Mo. As a senior at Mexico High School, he was captain of the Bulldogs football team and crowned Homecoming King. He also played baseball and basketball. After graduating in 2003, Deontae attended Central Methodist University where he majored in Computer Science and played football for the Central Methodist Eagles. Currently, he plays semi-professional football for the Hannibal Falcons, a team he’s been with for the last two years.

In addition to football, Deontae plays slow-pitch softball and enjoys fishing, hiking and camping when he’s not at work. He also enjoys spending time with friends and family. He describes himself as the “proud father of two beautiful children,” his son Dayne, 5, and daughter Ava, 2. And he is close to his mother, Shelly, “Without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

When asked what he likes most about being part of Boone Hospital Center, Deontae says he especially enjoys meeting and interacting with patients, visitors and co-workers. He appreciates both the high quality care and the compassion that his colleagues show in caring for patients.

“Boone Hospital Center is a great facility to be associated with,” Deontae says.


Boone Hospital Center along with other BJC HealthCare Hospitals Lead State Hospital Rankings

August 5, 2014

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Boone Hospital Center and two other BJC hospitals have earned top rankings for the State of Missouri by U.S. News & World Report. Boone Hospital Center ranked #4 overall. In addition to Boone Hospital Center, BJC’s Barnes-Jewish Hospital, ranked #1, and Missouri Baptist Medical Center, ranked #3, were also among the top hospitals in the state. BJC Collaborative member, Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, was ranked #2. Boone Hospital Center is a part of the 36-hospital BJC Collaborative, formed in 2012.

Boone Hospital Center was recognized by U.S. News for eight high-performing specialties, including cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

Boone Hospital Center was rated as the area’s highest in the category of recommending a hospital to family and friends. In addition, Boone Hospital Center was the only hospital in central Missouri to be recognized as high performing for the following:

  • Cardiology and heart surgery
  • Gynecology
  • Geriatrics

“Our ranking is a testament to the incredible team of physicians, nurses, clinical and support staff who work each day to provide world-class patient care to the communities we serve,” says Jim Sinek, Boone Hospital Center President. “To see Boone Hospital Center, along with two other BJC hospitals among the top four ranked hospitals in the state is special. It’s an indication that our incredible team extends well beyond the walls of Boone and that patients can count on us for their care.”

The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Report has been released annually for 25 years. In the past three years, U.S. News has released state and metropolitan rankings to assist consumers in identifying the best hospitals in their communities. Reports include key information on nearly 5,000 medical centers across the Unites States.

About Boone Hospital Center

Boone Hospital Center is a 397-bed full service hospital located in Columbia, Mo. It is a regional referral center located in the center of the state. The hospital provides progressive health care programs, services, and technology to residents in 25 mid-Missouri counties. Boone Hospital Center has been named a Top 100 Hospital by Becker’s Hospital Review and Thompson Reuters and is designated as a Magnet® Hospital for Nursing Excellence by the American College of Nursing.

About BJC HealthCare

BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, and is focused on delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. BJC serves the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities and includes 12 hospitals and multiple community health locations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice.

About The BJC Collaborative, LLC

The BJC Collaborative was created in October 2012 when BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, CoxHealth in Springfield, Mo., Memorial Health System in Springfield, Ill., and Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, Mo., partnered together with a goal of achieving even higher quality care for patients served by the independent nonprofit health care organizations. Blessing Health System and Southern Illinois Healthcare joined in 2013. The Collaborative is focused on delivering clinical programs and services to improve health care quality, lowering health care costs and creating additional operational efficiencies for the benefit of patients and communities served by the member organizations. Together, these 36 hospitals account for:

  • 6,265 beds
  • 284,807 admissions
  • 58,653 employees
  • 6,043 affiliated physicians

Boone Hospital Center receives third Magnet designation for nursing care

August 4, 2014

Magnet Recognition Logo CMYK [eps] 2 [Converted]

Boone Hospital Center has attained Magnet® recognition as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® for a third consecutive time. This voluntary credentialing program for hospitals recognizes superior quality in nursing care as evidenced by performance outcomes. Magnet recognition is the highest honor a health care organization can receive for professional nursing practice.

With this achievement, Boone Hospital Center retains its place among a select group of 378 out of nearly 6,000 health care organizations in the nation, as one of seven Magnet hospitals in Missouri, and joins a more exclusive group of 113 (less than 1%) hospitals internationally to have achieved Magnet recognition three times.

Boone Hospital Center was initially designated a Magnet hospital in 2005 and received the credential again in 2009.

“Earning Magnet recognition the first time was a great accomplishment. The second time was an incredible source of pride for our nurses. For Boone Hospital Center to have achieved this designation for a third time exemplifies the exceptional level of class, competency and dignity of our nursing staff. It truly is a monumental achievement for Boone Hospital Center and for health care in Missouri,” says Mary Beck, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer.

To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process requiring widespread participation from hospital leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous onsite review process, the Commission on Magnet reviews the completed appraisal report and votes to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted. Hospitals must reapply for Magnet recognition every four years.

An organization that reapplies for Magnet recognition must provide documented evidence of how Magnet program concepts, performance and quality were sustained and improved over the four-year period since the hospital received its most recent recognition.

The Magnet program focuses on high quality clinical care outcomes by promoting quality of care, identifying excellence in the delivery of nursing services to patients and disseminating best practices in nursing care. Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to hospitals and their communities, such as higher patient satisfaction and improved patient outcomes.

“Magnet recognition means high job satisfaction, autonomy in practice and high quality of care for over 500 Boone Hospital Center nurses. And being cared for by the best-trained and most qualified nurses results in higher satisfaction rates and improved outcomes for our patients,” says Laura Noren, Magnet Program and Service Line Director.

Magnet recognition has become the gold standard for nursing excellence. U.S. News & World Report ’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

“Achieving Magnet recognition has raised the bar for patient care and inspired our nurses to provide excellent patient and family centered care,” says staff nurse Maggie O’Laughlin. “Our commitment to providing professional, high-quality care helped Boone Hospital Center become a Magnet facility, and it’s why we continue to serve as a Magnet hospital today.”

For more information about the Magnet Recognition Program®, please visit www.nursecredentialing.org/magnet


Boone Hospital Center breaks ground on our new campus

July 24, 2014

On Thursday, July 24, the Boone Hospital Center Board of Trustees broke ground on the new south campus medical plaza, located at the corner of Nifong Boulevard and Forum Boulevard.

When complete in 2015, the site will potentially be home to four buildings with a total of 125,000 square feet of space for health care services. The project will be completed in phases, with phase one to include the construction of an 80,000 square-foot signature building designed to reflect the architectural features of the new south tower on the main Boone hospital campus, which opened in 2011.

Rendering of Boone Hospital Center

Rendering of Boone Hospital Center South Campus

“Our goal is to grow with Columbia and our entire service area,” says Jim Sinek, Boone Hospital Center President. “The southwest portion of Columbia continues to expand, and there is a need for more convenient access to high quality health care services. We have nearly completed the programmatic plan regarding the services that will be provided at our south campus. Community needs assessment and input from numerous contingency groups have guided us on the services to be offered.”

The $20-million development will be located on 14 acres of land purchased by the Board of Trustees in 1989, when the growth of southern Columbia was already apparent. The Trustees selected Coil Construction to manage the project.

“Coil Construction is pleased to be a part of bringing Boone Hospital Center and its great reputation to the south part of Columbia,” says Randy Coil, owner of Coil Construction. “What a terrific use for the land the Trustees purchased almost 25 years ago and what a great addition to health care in our community.”

Lanes will be added to both Forum and Nifong Boulevards to accommodate the project. These upgrades will require the relocation of the memorial placed on Nifong in honor of Officer Molly Bowden, who was killed in the line of duty in 2005.

“We have been working with Officer Bowden’s family to ensure that a permanent and more appropriate memorial is established to recognize the sacrifice she made on behalf of our community,” says Fred Parry, Chairman of the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees. “We will be creating a pocket park with a reflecting pool, park benches and access to a walking trail that winds through the new development. This will be a wonderful tribute to Officer Bowden.”


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