December Employee of the Month supports the orthopedic surgery team

December 3, 2014

Brenda Singleton is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for December 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

On a typical day in Boone Hospital Center’s Orthopaedics Specialties unit, there can be many patients arriving to the floor before and after joint surgeries. Unit Secretary Brenda Singleton prepares the nurses and patient care techs to treat the patients before they arrive, assisting with room assignments, setting up means to contact members of a patient’s care teams, entering orders, answering phones and working with our orthopedic surgeons and other physicians.

“My job is primarily multitasking,” Brenda says. “I make sure everything is running smoothly so that the charge nurse doesn’t have to worry about every minor detail and can do exactly what they need to do to care for a patient.”

Brenda Singleton

Brenda Singleton

Brenda, a Boone baby who grew up in Columbia and attended Hickman High School, joined the Boone Hospital Center team in August 2012. She had previously worked elsewhere as a medical coder.

She says, “I was looking for a job in a hospital setting, where I could work around patients. The unit secretary position was a good fit, and I was excited to get hired here. I really like the people I’m surrounded by, both my co-workers and our patients. I think Boone takes really good care of their employees. Everyone’s extremely friendly and will help you and answer your questions. You just feel like everyone here is nice and easy to talk to – that’s something that’s hard to find.”

Brenda has two daughters; the oldest lives in Columbia with Brenda’s 3-year-old granddaughter, and the youngest is a Navy officer living in California with her husband and Brenda’s second granddaughter, now 2 years old. “I really enjoy being a grandmother,” Brenda says.

She also enjoys reading mystery and thriller novels and watching movies, particularly small, independent movies, and is a supporter of Ragtag Cinema in downtown Columbia.

“I love Columbia,” Brenda says. “I always have. This is a great area to a raise family, with a great hospital.”

Brenda admits she wasn’t ever expecting to be selected as Boone Hospital Center’s newest Employee of the Month, but says she is very grateful that her teammates thought of her and nominated her for this honor: “You don’t come to work expecting an award. You do your job and hope you’re doing your best for the patients.”


Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2014

boonetgWe are thankful for our staff and physicians working today to care for our patients. We wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday.

Boone Hospital Center never closes, but some of our services, departments and Boone medical clinics are closed Thursday and Friday (unless specified) for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Clinics:

  • Boone Convenient Care (open Friday)
  • Boone Diabetes & Endocrine Center (open Friday)
  • Boone Family Practice
  • Boone Internal Medicine Associates
  • Boone Primary Care
  • Boone Pulmonary Medicine
  • Boone Specialty Clinic of Moberly
  • Centralia Family Health Clinic
  • Mid-Mo Neurosurgery
  • Southern Boone Family Practice

Boone Hospital Services:

  • Boone Appétit Cafe
  • Boone Therapy
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Cashier
  • Diabetes & Nutrition
  • Gift Shop
  • Harris Breast Center (open Friday)
  • Home Care & Hospice
  • Medical Records
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • Patient Accounts
  • WELLAWARE Fitness Center (open Friday, 6 am to noon)
  • Wound Healing Center

 


Cancer Screening Saves a Life in an Unexpected Way

November 25, 2014

This story appears in the Fall 2014 edition of My Boone Health magazine. Click here to request a free subscription.

by Jacob Luecke

There were plenty of good reasons for Steve Downes to get a lung cancer screening at Boone Hospital Center this spring.

For starters, Steve, 54, was a smoker for most of his life before quitting a couple of years ago. His decades of smoking put him at risk for cancer.

Another good reason to get screened was that the procedure would cost him nothing. The Stewart Cancer Center lung screening had been paid for by donations to the Boone Hospital Foundation.

Steve could have also felt compelled to get screened due to his longstanding friendship with Norm and Virginia Stewart—the leading local voices in the fight against cancer through their charitable work and as the namesakes of the Stewart Cancer Center.

But for Steve, one other reason trumped all the rest.

“I did it to make my wife happy,” he says.

Steve Downes

Steve Downes

Steve is the kind of guy who avoids medical care if possible. In fact, prior to his screening, he hadn’t seen a doctor for 10 years. He figured if he felt good, why bother?

So it took some convincing by his wife, Janice Downes, to get Steve to agree to the screening. Janice even called Boone Hospital herself to make Steve’s appointment. Then she called again when he missed that first appointment.

After all, why not get screened when the technology at Boone Hospital can detect cancer early on, when it is tiny?

But Steve’s screening ended up detecting something big—and it wasn’t cancer.

 

“Walking time bomb

As the nurse navigator at the Stewart Cancer Center, Mung Chin helps guide people through the complexities of a cancer treatment plan.

She’s also the person who calls patients with the results of their lung cancer screenings.

On the morning of May 14, Mung was reviewing Steve’s report before calling him. The report came back clear for cancer. However, Maxwell Lazinger, MD, the radiologist who read the scan, noted that Steve did have an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

When Mung called Steve, she gave him the good news about cancer, but also shared the aneurysm finding. She said she would send him information about how to get that checked out.

But after the call, Mung decided to go a step further. She was concerned the aneurysm might be serious.

“Although I am not a vascular nurse, from my experience working with Oncology patients—some could be really sick when they come to the hospital—I learned to be more cautious when it comes to a medical condition,” Mung said. “As a health care provider, one cannot simply assume that the person understands the severity of the problem and will take care of it as recommended. What’s more, it seemed that an aneurysm this size warranted some immediate attention.”

So she researched abdominal aortic aneurysms. She then reached out to Angelee Geisler, a nurse practitioner who works closely with Boone Hospital cardiac surgeon Joss Fernandez, MD, of Missouri Heart Center.

They decided Steve’s problem might need immediate attention. Angelee offered to have Steve see Dr. Fernandez the next day.

So Mung called Steve once more, discussed the potential severity of the aneurysm and offered the appointment with Dr. Fernandez.

The urgency caught Steve off guard.

“It was kind of scary,” he says. “I’ve been healthy all my life. I’ve broken bones through sports and stuff, but I’ve never had any kind of issues at all, ever. It was a shock.”

However, Steve knew that aneurysms could be serious. His father, Ed Downes, twice had surgeries to fix aneurysms. His grandfather had died from an aneurysm.

“All of the sudden, I was a walking time bomb,” he says.

 

Collaborative effort

The next day, Steve was back at Boone Hospital where he had a CT scan, this time focusing on his abdomen. The scan determined his aneurysm measured 6.4 centimeters.

Left alone, an aneurysm that size has a 14 percent chance of rupturing per year, Dr. Fernandez said. If a rupture occurred, Steve would likely die.

Dr. Fernandez wanted to act quickly, scheduling a surgery for the following week.

Steve also consulted his friend, cardiologist William Woods, MD, who agreed with the assessment and advised that Dr. Fernandez was the best surgeon for the job.

A week later, Steve was back for the surgery. During the procedure, Dr. Fernandez placed a stent to reline Steve’s aorta, keeping blood from entering the aneurysm.

The surgery went smoothly.

“His prognosis is excellent,” Dr. Fernandez said. “I get great satisfaction from turning a life-threatening, scary situation into a friendly and comforting experience.”

As he recovered at Boone Hospital, Steve was very pleased with the care he received.

“Everything was as peaceful and as calm as it could be throughout the procedure,” he says. “Everybody in the hospital was great.”

He was also impressed by Dr. Fernandez.

“Not having a lot of experience with doctors as a patient, I was extremely happy,” Steve says. “He was a nice guy, straightforward, told me exactly what was what.”

Steve’s experience also stands as an example of how the collaborative environment between disciplines at Boone Hospital leads to quick, life-saving treatment.

“At other medical centers I have worked at, getting another specialist to see your patient requires setting up an appointment through their staff and sending medical records, which leads to delays,” Dr. Fernandez said. “The coordination between disciplines at Boone is as simple as a cell phone call direct to the doctor or nurse coordinator.”

So while Steve’s lung cancer screening didn’t find cancer, it still saved a life.

“If it wouldn’t have been for that lung screening, I would have never found the aneurysm,” Steve said. “I probably wouldn’t be here.”

In his job, Steve Downes inspects roofs, estimates damage and sells repair work.

Not long after the surgery to repair his aneurysm, he found himself inspecting Norm Stewart’s roof.

“I got to thank him for basically saving my life,” Steve says.

 

Boone Hospital Foundation

The lung cancer screening that detected Steve’s aneurysm was funded by donations to the Stewart Cancer Center—named for Norm and Virginia Stewart—through the Boone Hospital Foundation. The service to the Stewart Cancer Center is just one aspect of the foundation’s many roles inside Boone Hospital, where it works to enhance the care and create a more comfortable healing environment for patients.

To learn more about the foundation’s work or to make a donation, visit boone.org/foundation.


Boonique Gifts Offers Unique Items, Personalized Service

November 18, 2014
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of My Boone Health magazine. 
 
Boonique Gifts is currently seeking volunteers for evening and weekend hours. If you’d like to volunteer, please visit boone.org/volunteer or call 573.815.3472 weekdays, 8 am to 4:30 pm.

stories and photos by Jessica Park

The call came from California. Dee, the gift shop assistant who took the call, talked to a woman whose childhood friend was staying at Boone Hospital Center. The caller’s friend was not going to recover.

Dee knew this had to be a very special gift. The two women had grown up together; now, the friend in California needed to be at her friend’s side in spirit.

“Tell me a memory about the two of you growing up together,” she asked.

The caller told Dee that she and her friend would, as children, have fun reciting and acting out nursery rhymes. Dee immediately thought of an animated, talking Mother Goose doll sold in the shop. She retrieved one of the dolls and held it up to the receiver as its warm voice recited “Humpty Dumpty.”

The caller loved it and purchased the gift over the phone. And Mother Goose was delivered to her friend’s room.

“That customer later called back to tell me that her friend had let her know it was by far the best gift she’d ever received,” Dee says.

A New Home

Boonique Gifts opened in its new home in the lobby of the hospital’s new patient tower in June 2011. Across from the admissions desk, a curved wall of windows showcases a collection of colorful glass and glazed ceramic, fashionable scarves and handbags, a menagerie of plush animals, and new items being artfully arranged by Wanda, the gift shop’s coordinator.

Wanda also creates seasonal displays in a case just outside the shop. An assortment of black and gold Mizzou Tigers gifts will soon turn to a black and orange assemblage of Halloween ornaments.

“Holiday decorations are some of our best-selling items,” says Barb, manager of Boonique Gifts. “We like to have fun with sales around the holidays. Sometimes we’ll offer a discount for wearing a Halloween costume or singing a Christmas carol.”

In addition to a new location, the gift shop recently received a new name: Boonique Gifts, a portmanteau of Boone, boutique and unique. The gift shop staff members pride themselves on offering special items, from knickknacks to necklaces, not found in nearby stores.

“We have regular customers who come in from out of town to shop here for presents,” Barb says.

All sales at Boonique Gifts are tax-free and proceeds benefit the Boone Hospital Foundation. In addition to Barb, Wanda and Dee, the gift shop is staffed by a close-knit group of dedicated, upbeat volunteers, some of whom have worked in the hospital gift shop for decades.

“They’re loyal to Boone,” Wanda says. “This is their hospital. They’re not just here to put in time.”

Some shoppers aren’t looking for gifts but an experience. Visitors waiting on loved one wander in and browse. Hospital employees on break pop in for a pick-me-up snack.

“Sometimes,” Wanda says, “what people who come in here really want is a listening ear.”

Barb agrees. “I think of our shop as a respite.”

Personal Shoppers

“We offer a personal shopper approach,” Dee says. “If I know a patient has already received a similar gift, I’ll suggest something different. I’m happy to make recommendations. Flowers aren’t for everybody.”

Boonique Gifts offers custom gift baskets tailored for any patient. Any item in the store, including personal hygiene items and Sudoku puzzles, to name a few, can be included. For those still unable to decide, Boonique gift cards, customizable for any amount, are also available.

The gift shop also takes orders from and delivers items to patient rooms during shop hours on weekdays. Payments can be made over the phone with a credit or debit card or with cash upon delivery.

Patients have found these services helpful. Dee recalls another customer who called the gift shop: “A lady called me from her room and said, ‘I’m going to be here all day, and I’m bored. Do you have any magazines?’”

After learning that the patient loved celebrity magazines, Dee read her the shop’s extensive list of titles.

“Great,” the patient said. “I want them all. With three young kids at home, I rarely have time to catch up on gossip about the stars.”

“So we bundled up the magazines and ran them all up to her room. She was so happy, you would have thought we’d gone to the moon and back for her.

Boonique Gifts is located on the first floor near Boone Hospital Center’s Main Entrance. The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Online orders may be placed 24 hours a day at http://www.boone.org/giftshop or, for telephone orders, call 573-815-3525.


A WWII Vet Wins Another Battle

November 11, 2014

story and photo by David Hoffmaster

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2014 edition of My Boone Health magazine.

As a Marine in the Pacific theater, Fred Oerly had survived World War II. He had volunteered to serve as a forward observer for naval gunfire on hostile islands like Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Okinawa, and received both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Fred Oerly, center, with daughters Diane Oerly, left, and Donovan Davis, right.

Fred Oerly, center, with daughters Diane Oerly, left, and Donovan Davis, right.

But, on a Sunday morning in February 2014, Fred thought he might be in for his last battle.

Fred had been living by himself since his wife passed away. He continued to live in the Boonville home he had built with her 63 years ago. At 91, he led an active life, exercising three times a week and driving himself to Hartmann Village, a local assisted-living facility, for lunch. His daughter-in-law Karen had purchased meal tickets for him there, and Fred greatly enjoyed the camaraderie and socialization whenever he visited.

Fred had been selected for a Boonville Honor Flight to visit the World War II monument in Washington, D.C. A proud supporter of the program, Fred, who is a prolific and talented woodcarver, hand-carved more than a hundred cardinals over a period of two years and presented them to the volunteers who ran the Boonville Honor Flight program.

Fred was also working on his second book, sharing his experiences during World War II. His first book, Some Mighty Good Years: 1925–1937, written when he was 86, was a memoir of his childhood spent in the small river town of Overton, Mo., where Fred’s father ran the local grocery store until it closed during the Great Depression.

And then, on that February Sunday morning, Fred threw up bright red blood. His first action was to call his daughter, Dianne Oerly. She quickly picked him up and brought him to Boone Hospital Center’s Emergency Department. An initial endoscopy was unable to locate the source of the bleeding, but an x-ray and CT scan revealed a large mass in his right lung. Fred was admitted.

Fred’s doctor, Wade Schondelemeyer, MD, soon arrived, in the company of Eric Thompson, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Dr. Thompson told Fred there was a favorable chance that his surgery would be successful.

“Then let’s go!” Fred responded. He and Dianne made some calls to other family members. Another daughter, Donovan Davis, made urgent plans to travel from her home in Florida to be at her father’s side in Missouri.

The surgery to remove the mass from Fred’s lung concluded at midnight and was successful. The entire mass had been removed; no follow-up radiation or chemotherapy would be needed. The next day, Fred felt pretty good.

“The service was amazing,” Dianne says. “My father was diagnosed and cured in one day.”

Dr. Thompson attributes Fred’s recovery to his positive attitude.

Prior to his surgery, Fred told the surgeon about his experience in Bougainville during the war. As a young Marine, he had been convinced that he would die during the intense combat on the island. His survival changed his outlook on life.

“I’ve seen this in some patients who’ve faced death before,” Dr. Thompson says. “They lose their fear of dying.”

Fred remained upbeat about retaining his independent lifestyle, as well. Boone Hospital occupational therapy assistant, Cayla Viers, advised him on how he could make his home safer, and the family arranged for visits from Boone Hospital Home Care.

After a week in the hospital, Fred went home with Dianne and Donavan.

“Boone Hospital is where I wanted to be,” he says.


November Employee of the Month enjoys caring for everyone in our community

November 4, 2014

Ty Hamilton is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for November 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

As a respiratory therapist, Ty Hamilton’s skills are needed on every inpatient unit at Boone Hospital Center.

“We work with the entire population, from neonates to geriatrics,” he says. “One day I may be in the labor and delivery unit watching someone being born and then, that same night, taking care of someone near the end of life.”

Ty Hamilton

Ty’s role involves, as he puts it, “anything having to do with breathing,” a range that goes from treating patients for asthma or allergic reactions to running a patient’s life support equipment.

Born and raised in southeast Missouri, Ty came to Columbia as a student at the University of Missouri Columbia. He first experienced Boone Hospital Center while shadowing respiratory therapists, after he decided he wanted to enter the University’s respiratory therapy program.

Ty found he liked living in Columbia, particularly for its diversity. After graduating, he applied for a respiratory therapist position and joined the Boone Hospital Center team in January 2002.

Ty has worked on the night shift all 12 years, but he doesn’t mind it. “It took a while to get acclimated to it,” he says, “But it’s not bad.”

Among the many reasons he likes working at Boone Hospital Center, Ty says he enjoys caring for a variety of patients.

“I like the infusion of people from the community,” Ty says. “The patients who come here like this hospital. They brag about this hospital. And you build a rapport with some patients.”

He also enjoys the teamwork both in the respiratory therapy department and across all areas of the hospital, from patient care to maintenance, in taking care of patients.

Ty enjoys spending most of his free time with his children, Taylor and Kyren, fishing in conservation areas around mid-Missouri, and watching basketball games.

Above all, Ty says that he takes prides in being part of Boone Hospital Center. “It’s been wonderful watching Boone grow,” he says. “That’s one of the best things about working here.”


Questions about Ebola?

October 22, 2014

WestAfricaEbolaMap2

BJC HealthCare has created an informational page regarding Ebola that is frequently updated with new information.  Boone Hospital Center is part of the BJC HealthCare system.


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